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  • Chad Werkhoven

Genesis 1:3-4, John 3:19-21 - Light, Truth & Goodness

Step out of the darkness and into His wonderful Light


Genesis 1:3-4a (NIV)

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good...

John 3:19–21 (NIV)

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.


Listen to passage & devotional:


Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 14: The Creation and Fall of Man

We believe

that God created man from the dust of the earth

and made and formed him in his image and likeness—

good, just, and holy;

able by his own will to conform

in all things

to the will of God.

But when man was in honor

he did not understand it

and did not recognize his excellence.

But he subjected himself willingly to sin

and consequently to death and the curse,

lending his ear to the word of the devil.

For he transgressed the commandment of life,

which he had received,

and by his sin he separated himself from God,

who was his true life,

having corrupted his entire nature.

So he made himself guilty

and subject to physical and spiritual death,

having become wicked,


and corrupt in all his ways.

He lost all his excellent gifts

which he had received from God,

and he retained none of them

except for small traces

which are enough to make him


Moreover, all the light in us is turned to darkness,

as the Scripture teaches us:

“The light shone in the darkness,

and the darkness did not receive it.”

Here John calls men “darkness.”



Two words. That's all it took. Two single syllable words.

Unfortunately it takes us four words to translate it into English, but at least they only have one syllable each: Let there be light.

With this almighty verbal fiat, existence came into being. It's where we get the name of the book from: God spoke, and there was genesis. No other god in the entire history of contrived religions and deities has even tried to make that claim, but our Father "calls into being things that were not (Romans 4:17)" simply by speaking.

And "God saw that the light was good." Only a few verses into the Bible, and God already has created reality and defined goodness. But it didn't take long for the pinnacle of His creation, His prized possession, the best thing He ever made (1 Peter 2:9), to flip that script. They'd define their existence and ethics themselves, thank you very much, and it just so happens a tree of knowledge right in the middle of their garden could help them do that.

And so it is that we live in a world created good, but in which "people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds are evil (John 3:19)."

Dig Deeper

The context of today's passage from John 3 is fascinating. The chapter begins with Nicodemus, one of the most respected leaders of the Jewish religious establishment, coming to see Jesus "at night." He didn't want to be seen. He inherited that fear from our shared parents, who immediately hid in naked shame after plunging God's good world into darkness.

John, inspired by the Holy Spirit, helps us make sense of our broken communities: although sinful people love their dark deeds, they don't want those deeds exposed to light, as if somehow the God who created light can't see what they're doing in the dark.

Christians, on the other hand, defined by John here as "people who live by the truth," seek to "come into the light." God's light certainly causes discomfort at times, but in having our flaws "seen plainly" by ourselves and those around us, we can repent of our sins and cling to the true "Light that has come into the world."

John never makes clear whether or not Nicodemus ever fully stepped out of the darkness and into this wonderful Light. I sure hope he did. Make sure you don't leave any doubt in your life! Make it clear to yourself and all those close to you that you are a person who lives in the Light.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who spoke light into existence and then sent His Light into the world;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that more and more you will be a person "who lives by the truth" and walks in the Light;



Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Matthew 12


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