John 3:21
But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are worked in God.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTeedTTBVWSWESTSK
(21) He that doeth truth is opposed to “him that practiseth evil.” With fixed purpose he doeth not that which is evil or worthless, but that which, when every veil by which it is hidden from himself or others is removed, remains morally true. Regarding truth as the work of life, he cometh to the light, and though for him too it will be a revelation of sins and errors, and deeds of shame, he hates them the moment he knows them, cuts them from his life at whatever cost, and carries his whole being to the light that it may become really true, and that its true works may be made manifest. He will hate the darkness, for he can have nothing to conceal in it. He will love the light, for everything which it reproves he reproves too, and every ray he can gather from it becomes part of the truth which is his life-work. For the remarkable expression “to do the truth,” which, with its opposite “to do a lie” (John 8:44; Revelation 21:27; Revelation 22:15), is common in Rabbinic writers, comp. Job 13:4, and 1John 1:6; and for “walking in truth,” comp. 2John 1:4, and 3John 1:3-4. In 1Corinthians 13:6, “truth” is opposed to “iniquity.”

That they are wrought in God.—Perhaps better, because they are wrought in God. This is the reason of their being made manifest in the light revealed in the person of Christ. However full the light which had guided men’s steps had been, it was still part of the true Light which lighteth every man, and must lead to Him. Every work wrought in God had already bound them in union with Him, and prepared them to receive Him. That Light was in the world, in the Law and Prophets of the Old Testament Scriptures (Matthew 5:17), in the witness of things invisible ever borne by the things that are made (Romans 1:20), in the law written upon the hearts of men (Romans 2:14-15). As before (John 3:19), these words are general, but we may not exclude from them a special meaning. He who spoke them warrants our applying them to characters, like the true Nathanael, in whom there is no guile (John 1:47); like the rock-man Peter (John 1:42); like the witness John (Matthew 11:11). Some ground was good when the Sower went forth to sow.

Two thoughts are suggested to us at the close of this first discourse. One is, that the writer, with perfect naturalness, says nothing of the effect on Nicodemus, but leaves the after-glimpses to tell their own tale. (See John 7:50; John 19:39.) The other is, that we have come upon teaching distinct in style and matter from that of the earlier Gospels. On this see Excursus D: The Discourses in St. John’s Gospel.

3:1-8 Nicodemus was afraid, or ashamed to be seen with Christ, therefore came in the night. When religion is out of fashion, there are many Nicodemites. But though he came by night, Jesus bid him welcome, and hereby taught us to encourage good beginnings, although weak. And though now he came by night, yet afterward he owned Christ publicly. He did not talk with Christ about state affairs, though he was a ruler, but about the concerns of his own soul and its salvation, and went at once to them. Our Saviour spoke of the necessity and nature of regeneration or the new birth, and at once directed Nicodemus to the source of holiness of the heart. Birth is the beginning of life; to be born again, is to begin to live anew, as those who have lived much amiss, or to little purpose. We must have a new nature, new principles, new affections, new aims. By our first birth we were corrupt, shapen in sin; therefore we must be made new creatures. No stronger expression could have been chosen to signify a great and most remarkable change of state and character. We must be entirely different from what we were before, as that which begins to be at any time, is not, and cannot be the same with that which was before. This new birth is from heaven, ch. 1:13, and its tendency is to heaven. It is a great change made in the heart of a sinner, by the power of the Holy Spirit. It means that something is done in us, and for us, which we cannot do for ourselves. Something is wrong, whereby such a life begins as shall last for ever. We cannot otherwise expect any benefit by Christ; it is necessary to our happiness here and hereafter. What Christ speak, Nicodemus misunderstood, as if there had been no other way of regenerating and new-moulding an immortal soul, than by new-framing the body. But he acknowledged his ignorance, which shows a desire to be better informed. It is then further explained by the Lord Jesus. He shows the Author of this blessed change. It is not wrought by any wisdom or power of our own, but by the power of the blessed Spirit. We are shapen in iniquity, which makes it necessary that our nature be changed. We are not to marvel at this; for, when we consider the holiness of God, the depravity of our nature, and the happiness set before us, we shall not think it strange that so much stress is laid upon this. The regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is compared to water. It is also probable that Christ had reference to the ordinance of baptism. Not that all those, and those only, that are baptized, are saved; but without that new birth which is wrought by the Spirit, and signified by baptism, none shall be subjects of the kingdom of heaven. The same word signifies both the wind and the Spirit. The wind bloweth where it listeth for us; God directs it. The Spirit sends his influences where, and when, on whom, and in what measure and degree, he pleases. Though the causes are hidden, the effects are plain, when the soul is brought to mourn for sin, and to breathe after Christ. Christ's stating of the doctrine and the necessity of regeneration, it should seem, made it not clearer to Nicodemus. Thus the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness to the natural man. Many think that cannot be proved, which they cannot believe. Christ's discourse of gospel truths, ver. 11-13, shows the folly of those who make these things strange unto them; and it recommends us to search them out. Jesus Christ is every way able to reveal the will of God to us; for he came down from heaven, and yet is in heaven. We have here a notice of Christ's two distinct natures in one person, so that while he is the Son of man, yet he is in heaven. God is the HE THAT IS, and heaven is the dwelling-place of his holiness. The knowledge of this must be from above, and can be received by faith alone. Jesus Christ came to save us by healing us, as the children of Israel, stung with fiery serpents, were cured and lived by looking up to the brazen serpent, Nu 21:6-9. In this observe the deadly and destructive nature of sin. Ask awakened consciences, ask damned sinners, they will tell you, that how charming soever the allurements of sin may be, at the last it bites like a serpent. See the powerful remedy against this fatal malady. Christ is plainly set forth to us in the gospel. He whom we offended is our Peace, and the way of applying for a cure is by believing. If any so far slight either their disease by sin, or the method of cure by Christ, as not to receive Christ upon his own terms, their ruin is upon their own heads. He has said, Look and be saved, look and live; lift up the eyes of your faith to Christ crucified. And until we have grace to do this, we shall not be cured, but still are wounded with the stings of Satan, and in a dying state. Jesus Christ came to save us by pardoning us, that we might not die by the sentence of the law. Here is gospel, good news indeed. Here is God's love in giving his Son for the world. God so loved the world; so really, so richly. Behold and wonder, that the great God should love such a worthless world! Here, also, is the great gospel duty, to believe in Jesus Christ. God having given him to be our Prophet, Priest, and King, we must give up ourselves to be ruled, and taught, and saved by him. And here is the great gospel benefit, that whoever believes in Christ, shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and so saving it. It could not be saved, but through him; there is no salvation in any other. From all this is shown the happiness of true believers; he that believeth in Christ is not condemned. Though he has been a great sinner, yet he is not dealt with according to what his sins deserve. How great is the sin of unbelievers! God sent One to save us, that was dearest to himself; and shall he not be dearest to us? How great is the misery of unbelievers! they are condemned already; which speaks a certain condemnation; a present condemnation. The wrath of God now fastens upon them; and their own hearts condemn them. There is also a condemnation grounded on their former guilt; they are open to the law for all their sins; because they are not by faith interested in the gospel pardon. Unbelief is a sin against the remedy. It springs from the enmity of the heart of man to God, from love of sin in some form. Read also the doom of those that would not know Christ. Sinful works are works of darkness. The wicked world keep as far from this light as they can, lest their deeds should be reproved. Christ is hated, because sin is loved. If they had not hated saving knowledge, they would not sit down contentedly in condemning ignorance. On the other hand, renewed hearts bid this light welcome. A good man acts truly and sincerely in all he does. He desires to know what the will of God is, and to do it, though against his own worldly interest. A change in his whole character and conduct has taken place. The love of God is shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost, and is become the commanding principle of his actions. So long as he continues under a load of unforgiven guilt, there can be little else than slavish fear of God; but when his doubts are done away, when he sees the righteous ground whereon this forgiveness is built, he rests on it as his own, and is united to God by unfeigned love. Our works are good when the will of God is the rule of them, and the glory of God the end of them; when they are done in his strength, and for his sake; to him, and not to men. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a subject to which the world is very averse; it is, however, the grand concern, in comparison with which every thing else is but trifling. What does it signify though we have food to eat in plenty, and variety of raiment to put on, if we are not born again? if after a few mornings and evenings spent in unthinking mirth, carnal pleasure, and riot, we die in our sins, and lie down in sorrow? What does it signify though we are well able to act our parts in life, in every other respect, if at last we hear from the Supreme Judge, Depart from me, I know you not, ye workers of iniquity?Are that doeth truth - He who does right, or he that obeys the truth. Truth here is opposed to error and to evil. The sinner acts from falsehood and error. The good man acts according to truth. The sinner believes a lie - that God will not punish, or that there is no God, or that there is no eternity and no hell. The Christian believes all these, and acts as if they were true. This is the difference between a Christian and a sinner.

Cometh to the light - Loves the truth, and seeks it more and more. By prayer and searching the Scriptures he endeavors to ascertain the truth, and yield his mind to it.

May be made manifest - May be made clear or plain; or that it may be made plain that his deeds are performed in God. He searches for truth and light that he may have evidence that his actions are right.

Wrought in God - That they are performed according to the will of God, or perhaps by the assistance of God, and are such as God will approve. The actions of good people are performed by the influence and aid of God, Philippians 2:12. Of course, if they are performed by his aid, they are such as he will approve. Here is presented the character of a good man and a sincere Christian. We learn respecting that character:

1. He does truth. He loves it, seeks it, follows it.

2. He comes to the light. He does not attempt to deceive himself or others.

3. He is willing to know himself, and aims to do it. He desires to know the true state of his heart before God.

4. A special object of his efforts is that his deeds may be "wrought in God." He desires to be a good man; to receive continual aid from God, and to perform such actions as he will approve.

This is the close of our Lord's discourse with Nicodemus - a discourse condensing the gospel, giving the most striking exhibition and illustration of truth, and representing especially the fundamental doctrine of regeneration and the evidence of the change. It is clear that the Saviour regarded this as lying at the foundation of religion. Without it we cannot possibly be saved. And now it becomes every reader, as in the presence of God, and in view of the judgment-seat of Christ, solemnly to ask himself whether he has experienced this change? whether he knows by experience what it is to be born of that Spirit? If he does he will be saved. If not, he is in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity, and should give no sleep to his eyes until he has made his peace with God.

21. 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 "Israelite, indeed, in whom is no guile." Truth here is put for true things. He who purposeth, designeth, and acteth nothing but what is just, and holy, and good, and what is consonant to the will of God; he is not afraid to bring his notions and actions to the test of the Divine rule, published by him who is the true Light. For he desires that what he doth may be made manifest, both to himself and others, that they are wrought in, with, or according to, by, or through God (for the particle en, here used, is used in all these senses, 1 Corinthians 7:39 Revelation 14:13). Those works are said to be wrought in, with, by, or through God, which tend to the honour and glory of God as their end, and flow from him as their cause, which are done with his strength and assistance, and for his honour and glory. But he that doth truth,.... That which is true, right and good: "he whose work is just", as the Ethiopic version renders it; or, "he that does that which is right", so the Persic; that which is according to the will of God, and from a principle of love to him, and with a view to his glory:

cometh to the light; to Christ, and to his word, and ordinances:

that his deeds may be made manifest; being brought to the light, to the test, and standard, whether they, are right, or wrong; and that it may appear,

that they are wrought in God; or "by God"; by his assistance, and gracious influence, without which men can do nothing; for it is God that works in them both to will and to do: or, "according to God", as others render it; according to the will of God, both for matter and manner: or "for God", as the Ethiopic version renders it; for the glory of God, which ought to be the aim, and end of every action. The Persic version reads the whole thus, "that the work which is between God and him may be known"; that such deeds may be discovered, which are only known to God and himself.

But he that {s} doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought {t} in God.

(s) That is, he that leads an honest life, and is void of all cunning and deceit.

(t) That is, with God, God as it were going before.

John 3:21. Ὁ δὲ ποιῶν τὴν ἀλήθ.] The opposite of ὁ φαῦλα πράσσων, John 3:20, and therefore ἀλήθεια is to be taken in the ethical sense: he who does what is morally true, so that his conduct is in harmony with the divine moral standard. Comp. Isaiah 26:10; Psalm 119:30; Nehemiah 9:33; Job 4:6; Job 13:6; 1 John 1:6; 1 Corinthians 5:8; Ephesians 5:9; Php 4:8. Moral truth was revealed before Christ, not only in the law (Weiss), but also (see Matthew 5:17) in the prophets, and, outside Scripture, in creation and in conscience (Romans 1:19 ff; Romans 2:14 ff.). Comp. Groos, p. 255.

ἵνα φανερ. αὐτοῦ τὰ ἔργα] φανερ. is the opposite of the μὴ ἐλεγχθῇ John 3:20. While the wicked wishes his actions not to be reproved, but to remain in darkness, the good man wishes his actions to come to the light and to be made manifest, and he therefore ἔρχεται πρὸς τὸ φῶς; for Christ, as the personally manifested Light, the bearer of divine truth, cannot fail through His working to make these good deeds be recognised in this their true nature. The manifestation of true morality through Christ must necessarily throw the true light on the moral conduct of those who come to Him, and make it manifest and show it forth in its true nature and form. The purpose ἵνα φανερ., κ.τ.λ., does not spring from self-seeking, but arises from the requirements, originating in a moral necessity, of moral satisfaction in itself, and of the triumph of good over the world.

αὐτοῦ] thus put before, for emphasis’ sake, in opposition to the evil-doer, who has altogether a different design with reference to his acts.

ὅτι ἐν θεῷ, κ.τ.λ.] the reason of the before-named purpose. How should he not cherish this purpose, and desire the φανέρωσις, seeing that his works are wrought in God! Thus, so far from shunning, he has really to strive after the manifestation of them, as the revelation of all that is divine. We must take this ἐν θεῷ, like the frequent ἐν Χριστῷ, as denoting the element in which the ἐργάζεσθαι moves; not without and apart from God, but living and moving in Him, has the good man acted. Thus the κατὰ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ, 1 John 5:14, and the κατὰ θεόν, Romans 8:27, 2 Corinthians 7:10, also the εἰς θεόν, Luke 12:21, constitute the necessary character of the ἐν θεῷ, but are not the ἐν θεῷ itself.

ἔργα εἰργασμένα] as in John 6:28, John 9:4, Matthew 26:10, et al., and often in the classics.

Observe from John 3:21, that Christ, who here expresses Himself generally, yet conformably to experience, encountered, at the time of His entering upon His ministry of enlightenment, not only the φαῦλα πράσσοντες, but also those who practised what is right, and who were living in God. To this class belonged a Nathanael, and the disciples generally, certainly also many who repented at the preaching of the Baptist, together with other O. T. saints, and perhaps Nicodemus himself. They were drawn by the Father to come to Christ, and were given to Him (John 6:37); they were of God, and had ears to hear His word (John 8:47, comp. John 18:37); they were desirous to do the Father’s will (John 7:17); they were His (John 17:6). But according to John 3:19, these were exceptions only amid the multitude of the opposite kind, and even their piety needed purifying and transfiguring into true δικαιοσύνη, which could be attained only by fellowship with Christ; and hence even in their case the way of Christian penitence, by the φανέρωσις of their works wrought in God, brought about by the light of Christ, was not excluded, but was exhibited, and its commencement brought about, because, in view of this complete and highest light, the sincere Old Testament saint must first rightly feel the need of that repentance, and of the lack of moral satisfaction. Consequently the statement of John 3:3; John 3:5, still holds true.John 3:21. ὁ δὲ ποιῶν … “On the other hand, he who does the truth” … This is one of John’s comprehensive phrases which perhaps lose by definition. “To do the truth” is at any rate to live up to what one knows; to live an honest, conscientious life. John implies that men of this type are to be found where the light of Christ has not dawned: but when it dawns they hail it with joy. He that doeth the truth comes to the light that his deeds may be manifested, ὅτι ἐν θεῷ ἐστιν εἰργασμένα. Is ὅτι expressive of a fact or declarative of a reason? Must we translate “manifested, that they are,” etc., or “manifested, because they are,” etc.? The R.V[45] has “that” in the text, and “because” in the margin. Godet and Westcott prefer the former; Lücke, Meyer, Weiss and Weizsäcker the latter. It is not easy to decide between the two. On the whole, the latter interpretation is to be preferred. This clause gives the reason of the willingness shown by the man to have his deeds made manifest: and thus it balances the clause ἦν γὰρ πονηρὰ αὐτῶν τὰ ἔργα, which gives the reason for evil doers shunning the light. He who does the truth is not afraid of the light, but rather seeks increased light because his deeds have been done ἐν θεῷ; that is, he has not been separated from God by them, but has done what he has done because he conceived that to be the will of God. Where such light as exists has been conscientiously used, more is sought, and welcomed when it comes. “Plato was like a man shut into a vault, running hither and thither, with his poor flickering Taper, agonizing to get forthe, and holding himself in readinesse to make a spring forward the moment a door should open. But it never did. ‘Not manie wise are called.’ He had clomb a Hill in the Darke, and stood calling to his companions below, ‘Come on, come on, this way lies the East: I am avised we shall see the sun rise anon’. But they never did. What a Christian he would have made. Ah! he is one now. He and Socrates, the veil long removed from their eyes, are sitting at Jesus’ feet. Sancte Socrates, ora pro nobis” (Erasmus to More in Sir T. More’s Household). Holtzmann quotes from Hausrath: “As a magnet attracts the metal while the dead stone lies unmoved: so are the children of God drawn by the Logos and come to the Light”. Cf. chap. John 18:37.

[45] Revised Version.21. doeth truth] Or, as in 1 John 1:6, doeth the truth, the opposite of ‘doing’ or ‘making a lie,’ Revelation 21:27; Revelation 22:15. It is moral rather than intellectual truth that is meant. To ‘do the truth’ is to do that which is true to the moral law (comp. John 8:32), that which has true moral worth, as opposed to ‘practising worthless things.’ In 1 Corinthians 13:6 we have a similar antithesis: ‘rejoicing with the truth’ is opposed to ‘rejoicing in iniquity.’

that his deeds may be made manifest] ‘His’ is emphatic, ‘his deeds’ as opposed to those of him that doeth evil. ‘Be made manifest’ balances ‘be reproved.’ The one fears to be convicted; the other courts the light, not for self-glorification, but as loving that to which he feels his works are akin. See on John 1:31.

wrought in God] Better, have been wrought in God. This is his reason for wishing them to be made manifest; it is a manifestation of something divine. The Greek for ‘that they are’ may mean ‘because they are.’

These three verses (19–21) shew that before the Incarnation there were two classes of men in the world; a majority of evil-doers, whose antecedents led them to shun the Messiah; and a small minority of righteous, whose antecedents led them to welcome the Messiah. They had been given to Him by the Father (John 6:37, John 17:6); they recognised His teaching as of God, because they desired to do God’s will (John 7:17). Such would be Simeon, Anna (Luke 2:25; Luke 2:36), Nathanael, the disciples, &c.

We have no means of knowing how Nicodemus was affected by this interview, beyond the incidental notices of him John 7:50-51, John 19:39, which being so incidental shew that he is no fiction.John 3:21. Ὁ ποιῶν, who does) Ποιεῖν is often used of continuous zeal; as with the Latins, mercaturam facere, etc.—φανερωθῇ, may be made manifest) Even Nicodemus subsequently acted more openly.—ἔργαεἰργασμένα) Words akin [conjugate].—ἐν Θεῷ, in God) in the light, by the virtue [the power] and love of Him, from whom cometh all truth.Verse 21. - But he that doeth the truth - who is "of the truth," and "heareth his voice" (John 18:37), he who is "morally true," inwardly sincere, who would never shrink from a genuine self-revelation - cometh to the light. This remarkable expression allies itself with many other words of Christ, and suggests that in the heart of Judaism and of mankind generally, amid and notwithstanding the darkness which prevailed, there were found elect souls, taught of the Spirit, longing for more light, yearning to know the truth about themselves, however humiliating it might prove to be. This is confirmed by St. Paul's argument (Romans 1 and 2), where some Gentiles who have not the Law are admitted to do by nature the things contained in the Law, and even to become a law unto themselves; and where, in contradistinction to the hopelessly rebellious, Paul assumes that there are some who "by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory, honour, and immortality." These "do the truth, and have no pleasure in unrighteousness." They are "taught of God," they have "seen and heard from the Father" some of the great things of the Law. The Holy Spirit has opened their eyes to see great things in the Law, and they come to the light. They are not afraid of the revelation it will make. They may be humbled and pained by the disclosure, but there is a Divine luxury in such pain. The purpose of the coming to the light on the part of one who doeth the truth, is in order that his works may be made manifest. This is the precise contrary of the conduct of the man whose eye is scaled and whose heart is made fat by sin. Such a one dreads conviction, the outward affirmation or utterance of the inwardly known κρίσις; and therefore shrinks from conviction or any conduct which will promote it. He flees from the man of God, he disdains the revealing Word, he rejects the blessed Christ, he loves the darkness, this is his condemnation. On the other hand, the sincere man, who is honest with himself, is supremely anxious for the true light to bear down upon his "works." He is willing that they should be manifested. If he is deceiving himself with false hopes, he yearns that these should disappear before the shining of the true light. If his works will bear examination, then let him know the verdict which is unconsciously being given by the revelation of the light. It is a nice question to determine the meaning of the ὅτι. The current interpretation is for, or because, they are wrought in God; i.e. the sincere man desires this self-manifestation, comes to the light because his works have been inwrought by Divine grace. He loves the light, he does the truth because God has wrought within him to will and to do. In other words, the work of grace is in every case the adequate explanation of such a contrast to the common condition of human nature. Godet suggests that ὅτι here has the meaning of "that," and urges that the Greek usage in John 4:35 and other passages will justify the translation, he cometh... manifest, that they are wrought in God, as though this Divine revelation were the real end of his coming to the light. This appears to me to be incompatible with the fact. The man who doeth the truth may yet need very much instruction before he accepts the Divine Original of his own conduct, or desires the manifestation to others of the Divine Source of his humble search. The more current translation, "because," is in harmony with the facts of Christian and religious experience, and is in keeping with the biblical assurance, that all good, all holiness, sincerity, and upright striving, just such as Nicodemus was then displaying, is God's own work, and is the result of his grace. Nicodemus comes, asks questions, receives weighty answers, and retires. We do not know the immediate result of these most wonderful words upon him; but we do find him taking the part of Jesus before the Sanhedrin (John 7:50, 51); and from John 19:39 we learn that, though a secret disciple, he did not disdain to come out of his hiding place to houour the corpse of the Crucified. The death of Jesus, which had blasted the hopes of the apostles, had fired those of Nicodemus. Every word of this discourse is compatible with the position of the great Prophet at this early period of his ministry, is suited to the Pharisaic mind, and adapted to meet its difficulties and correct its prejudices. If a few expressions, such as "the only begotten Son," "this is the condemnation, that," "he that doeth the truth," are found in writings which are John's undoubted composition, the circumstance may be explained that he borrowed them from Jesus. This is quite as rational (not to say legitimate and reverential) as to suppose, because of them, that John invented them, and betrayed their origin by placing them in the lips of Jesus. We do not suppose that John has mechanically recited the whole of the words that were spoken on either side, but preserved those heads of discourse which rise like mountain peaks above the oceans of thought between them, and are linked together by the glory which they severally reflect from the sublime personality of the Son of man. Doeth the truth (ποιῶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν)

The phrase occurs only here and in 1 John 1:6. Note the contrasted phrase, doeth evil (John 3:20). There the plural is used: doeth evil things; evil being represented by a number of bad works. Here the singular, the truth, or truth; truth being regarded as one, and "including in a supreme unity all right deeds." There is also to be noted the different words for doing in these two verses: doeth evil (πράσσων); doeth truth (ποιῶν). The latter verb contemplates the object and end of action; the former the means, with the idea of continuity and repetition. Πράσσων is the practice, while ποιῶν may be the doing once for all. Thus ποιεῖν is to conclude a peace: πράσσειν, to negotiate a peace. So Demosthenes: "He will do (πράξει) these things, and will accomplish them (ποιήσει)." In the New Testament a tendency is observable to use ποιεῖν in a good sense, and πράσσωιν in an evil sense. Compare the kindred word πρᾶξις, deed or work, which occurs six times, and in four out of the six of evil doing (Matthew 16:27; Luke 23:51; Acts 19:18; Romans 8:13; Romans 12:14; Colossians 3:9). With this passage compare especially John 5:29, where the two verbs are used with the two nouns as here. Also, Romans 7:15, Romans 7:19. Bengel says: "Evil is restless: it is busier than truth." In Romans 1:32; Romans 2:3, both verbs are used of doing evil, but still with a distinction in that πράσσω is the more comprehensive term, designating the pursuit of evil as the aim of the activity.

Cometh to

In contrast with hateth (John 3:20). His love of the light is shown by his seeking it.

In God

The element of holy action. Notice the perfect tense, have been wrought (as Rev.) and abide.

John 3:21 Interlinear
John 3:21 Parallel Texts

John 3:21 NIV
John 3:21 NLT
John 3:21 ESV
John 3:21 NASB
John 3:21 KJV

John 3:21 Bible Apps
John 3:21 Parallel
John 3:21 Biblia Paralela
John 3:21 Chinese Bible
John 3:21 French Bible
John 3:21 German Bible

Bible Hub

John 3:20
Top of Page
Top of Page