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Light-of-the-World

 

What was judged on the cross? I’ve heard some odd teachings on this, especially about Jesus being lifted up.

John 3:13 And, no one, hath ascended into heaven, save he that, out of heaven, descended, – The Son of Man. 14 And, just as, Moses, lifted up the serpent in the desert, so, must, the Son of Man, be lifted up, – 15 That, whosoever believeth in him, may have life age-abiding. 16 For God, so loved, the world, that, his Only Begotten Son, he gave, – that, whosoever believeth on him, might not perish, but have life age-abiding. 17 For God, sent not, his Son into the world, that he might judge the world, but, that the world might be saved through him. 18 He that believeth on him, is not to be judged: he that believeth not, already, hath been judged, – because he hath not believed on the name of the Only Begotten Son of God. 19 And, this, is the judgment: That, the light, hath come into the world, – and men loved, rather the darkness than the light, for, wicked, were their, works. 20 For, whosoever doth practise corrupt things, hateth the light, and cometh not unto the light, lest his works should be reproved; 21 But, he that doeth the truth, cometh unto the light, that his works may be, made manifest, that, in God, have they been wrought. (The J.B. Rotherham Emphasized Bible)

John 12:31 Now, is there, a judging, of this world, – Now, the ruler of this world, shall be cast out; 32 And, I, if I be lifted up out of the earth, will draw, all, unto myself. 33 But, this, he was saying, signifying, by what manner of death, he was about to die. 34 The multitude, therefore, answered him – We, have heard, out of the law, that, the Christ, abideth evermore; How then dost, thou, say, – It behoveth the Son of Man to be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man? 35 Jesus, therefore, said unto them – Yet a little while, the light, is, among you: Walk, while ye have, the light, lest, darkness, on you should lay hold; and, he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he drifteth. 36 While, the light, ye have, believe on the light, that, sons of light, ye may become. These things, spake Jesus, – and, departing, was hid from them. (The J.B. Rotherham Emphasized Bible)

Some are saying that it is judgment Jesus drew, not men (the word “men” is not in the Greek). I’m not so sure this is a good understanding.

[Numbers 21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. ~The J.B. Rotherham Emphasized Bible]

The serpent is considered to represent eternal life, or even resurrection. They looked because they believed they would not die. We look to Jesus and his finished work. But the lifting up probably refers to his ascension. Some say it is Jesus lifted up on the cross, but we don’t see him there today.

Only if we see God as angry and full of wrath, needing to punish sin, can we see Jesus as drawing all judgment to himself. But this idea does not harmonize with the teaching of the New Testament. In context, the judgment would seem to be on the ruler of this world – which we understand to be Satan and whose works Jesus came to destroy.

John 16:7 But, I, the truth, am telling you – It is profitable for you, that, I, depart; for, if I should not depart, The Advocate, would in nowise come unto you, but, if I go, I will send him unto you. 8 And, having come, He, will reprove the world – Concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment: 9 Concerning sin, indeed, because they are not believing on me; 10 But, concerning righteousness, because, unto the Father, I go my way, and, no longer, do ye behold me; 11 And, concerning judgment, because, the ruler of this world, hath been judged. (The J.B. Rotherham Emphasized Bible)

No where does the New Testament speak of Jesus being judged, or receiving the wrath of God. The penalty / punishment of death was paid / taken, because Jesus was made to be frail and flawed human flesh, no longer able to live forever. He was without transgression of the law and so was the Lamb, and his death paid the penalty imposed on human beings in Eden. He did it all at once, becoming also the high priest, and so much more!

God did not abandon His son, and was never angry with those He made in His image. At the cross, Satan was judged and mankind was rescued from death. By belief in Christ, man can receive eternal life – Jesus is the true tree of life. But Jesus did not draw judgment to himself as some say. It does not fit.

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What’s that mean, anyhow, to say “No” to the world? Are Christians supposed to say no to the world – the kosmos, the system of the world? What did John mean when he wrote, “For God so loved the world (kosmos) that He gave His only begotten Son…. (Jn 3:16)”?

And what did John mean in his first letter, when he wrote this?

1Jo 2:15-17 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world…..

God loved the world, but we can’t love the world, or the love of the Father is not in us. Hmmmm.

James says a similar thing: Jas 4:4 – You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Then there is Peter:

1Pe 5:9 – But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

2Pe 1:4 – For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

By “world” Peter means the Jews. The use of kosmos isn’t as narrow as we may think. We have the world system, created by God. We have the lust of the world, and the flesh, and the devil. We have the Jewish non-believers. Clearly, we should not hate what God created, called “good”, and came to redeem.

But we should not love the ungodly systems by which men govern themselves.

So, are we to turn our backs on the world, deny it, because we want to be spiritual? In fact, can we do this, seeing as we are to be in the world, but not of it? This is of course a bit of a trick question. Think about it. How do we become spiritual, and how do we know we are walking in the spirit?

We are no longer a part of this world system, because we are now in the kingdom of God. We walk in the spirit now. We don’t “turn our backs on the world” because we are not of the world – we are taken out of that system and placed into God’s!

1Jo 4:4-5 – You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.

2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,

Eph 4:17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,

Eph 5:8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light

Col 1:13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,

We are called to actively bring His kingdom into the kosmos!

It was Jesus who said to pray that the Father’s kingdom come and for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

We are in it now!

Are we bringing the good news of the kingdom to the world? It’s more than preaching, but it is a message confirmed by signs. Physical healing is one sign that is promised to follow those that believe. It’s not a full message without the signs.

Say no to the world?

How can we say no, or yes, to something we have no part in?

We are dead to the kosmos – how can we then have any relationship to it?

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