30th August 2019
English Bible Study
For God so loved,—
This proclamation of the Gospel has been so often on the lips of missionaries and preachers in every age since it was first uttered
The picture embraces several distinct compartments: “THE WORLD” - in its widest sense - ready “to perish”;
the immense “LOVE OF GOD” to that perishing world, measurable only, and conceivable only, by the gift which it drew forth from Him;
THE GIFT itself - “He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,” or, in the language of Paul, “spared not His own Son” (Rom 8:32),
or in that addressed to Abraham when ready to offer Isaac on the altar, “withheld not His Son, His only Son, whom He loved” (Gen 22:16);
the FRUIT of this stupendous gift - not only deliverance from impending “perdition,” but the bestowal of everlasting life;
the MODE in which all takes effect - by “believing” on the Son.
Nicodemus’ narrow Judaism would become invisible in
the blaze of this Sun of righteousness seen rising on “the world” with healing in His wings! (Mal 4:2).
not to condemn,
— A statement of vast importance.
Though “condemnation” is implied in this statement
, it is not the main object of His present mission,
which is purely a saving one.
is not condemned — Having, immediately on his believing, “passed from death unto life” (Joh 5:24).
condemned already — Rejecting the one way of deliverance from that “condemnation” which
God gave His Son to remove, and
so willfully remaining condemned.
this is the condemnation,
— the condemnation is already existing, sealing those who will not be delivered from it.
light is come into the world —
in the Person of Him to whom Nicodemus was listening.
loved darkness, —
This can only be known by the deliberate rejection of Christ,
reproved — by detection.
doeth truth —
whose only object in life is to be and do what will bear the light.
Therefore he loves and “comes to the light,” that
all he is and does, being thus thoroughly tested, may
be seen to have nothing in it but
what is divinely wrought and divinely approved.
This is the one whom Christ referred to as
Israelite,, in whom is no guile.”
Aenon ... Salim — on the west of Jordan
John not yet cast into prison —
Our Lord’s ministry did not commence with the imprisonment of John, though,
but for this, explanation we should have drawn that conclusion from Mat 4:12 and Mark’s (Mar 1:14)
between some of —
, “on the part of.”
and the Jews about purifying — that is, baptizing, the symbolical meaning of washing with water
being understood (as in Joh 2:6) for the act itself.
As John and Jesus were the only teachers who
baptized Jews, discussions might easily arise
between the Baptist’s disciples and such Jews as declined to submit to that rite.
“Master, this man tells us that He to whom
you bear such generous witness beyond Jordan is
Responding to your generosity by
drawing all the people away to Himself.
At this rate, thou you soon have no disciples at all.”
The reply to this is one of the noblest and most moving utterances that ever uttered
“I do my heaven-prescribed work, and
that is enough for me.
Would you have me mount into my Master’s place?
Said I not unto you, I am not the Christ?
The Bride is not mine, why should the people stay with me??
Mine it is to point the burdened and heavy laden to
the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world,
to tell them there is Balm in Gilead, and a Physician there.
Enough for me to be the Bridegroom’s friend,
sent by Him to negotiate the match, privileged to
bring together the Savior and
those He is come to seek and to save, and
rejoicing with joy unspeakable if I may but ‘
stand and hear the Bridegroom’s voice,’
You bring me glad tidings of great joy.
He must increase, but I must decrease; this, my joy, therefore is fulfilled.”
A man can receive,
— lawfully assume nothing, that is, not apportioned to him
Every man has his work and sphere appointed him from above,
Even Christ Himself came under this law (Heb 5:4).
— Here is the reason why He must increase while
all human teachers must decrease.
The Master “cometh from above” -
descending from His proper element, the region of those “heavenly things” which He came to reveal, and
so, although mingling with men and things on the earth, is not “of the earth,” either in Person or Word.
The servants, on the contrary, are of the earth, and their testimony, even though divine in authority, partakes necessarily of their own earthiness.
It is impossible for a sharper line of distinction to be drawn between Christ and all human teachers,
even when divinely commissioned and speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost.
for God giveth not the Spirit by measure —
Here, again, the sharpest conceivable line of distinction is drawn between Christ and all human-inspired teachers:
“They have the Spirit in a limited degree; but
.God has not restrained himself by giving the spirit to Christ by measure. .... It is limitless
The present tense “giveth,” very aptly points out the permanent communication of the Spirit by the Father to the Son, so that a constant flow and reflow of living power is to be understood
The Father loveth, —
See on Mat 11:27, where we have the “delivering over of all things into the hands of the Son,” while
here we have the deep spring of that act in the Father’s “love of the Son.”
hath everlasting life — already has it.
shall not see life — The contrast here is striking:
The one has already a life that will endure for ever -
the other not only has it not now, but
shall never have it - never see it.
abideth on him —
It was on Him before, and
not being removed in the only possible way, by
“believing on the Son,” it necessarily remaineth on him!