Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


John 3:21

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Wrought in God - In his presence, and through his assistance. This is the end of our Lord's discourse to Nicodemus; and though we are not informed here of any good effects produced by it, yet we learn from other scriptures that it had produced the most blessed effects in his mind, and that from this time he became a disciple of Christ. He publicly defended our Lord in the Sanhedrin, of which he was probably a member, John 7:50, and, with Joseph of Arimathea, gave him an honorable funeral, John 19:39, when all his bosom friends had deserted him. See Dodd.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

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, Philemon 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.

Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 244.5

We have evidence that there are many deceivers in the world, men who say, “I go, sir,” but go not. They may speak smooth words, and make fair speeches; but they deceive; they reveal in their lives that their words are not wrought in God. The practical life is a genuine index of the character. By our words and works we reveal to the world, to angels, and to men whether we believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. TDG 244.5

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Ellen G. White
Conflict and Courage, 293.1

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John 3:21. CC 293.1

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Ellen G. White
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 437.1

Honesty Essential—In all the details of life the strictest principles of honesty are to be maintained. These are not the principles which govern our world, for Satan—deceiver, liar, and oppressor—is the master, and his subjects follow him and carry out his purposes. But Christians serve under a different Master, and their actions must be wrought in God, irrespective of all selfish gain. 2MCP 437.1

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 272.2

In all the details of life, Christians are to follow the principles of strict integrity. These are not the principles that govern the world; for there Satan is master, and his principles of deception and oppression bear sway. But Christians serve under a different Master, and their actions must be wrought in God. They must put aside all desire for selfish gain. RC 272.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 122-3

The course of God's people should be upward and onward to victory. A greater than Joshua is leading on the armies of Israel. One is in our midst, even the Captain of our salvation, who has said for our encouragement: “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” He will lead us on to certain victory. What God promises, He is able at any time to perform. And the work He gives His people to do, He is able to accomplish by them. If we live a life of perfect obedience, His promises will be fulfilled toward us. 2T 122.1

God requires His people to shine as lights in the world. It is not merely the ministers who are required to do this, but every disciple of Christ. Their conversation should be heavenly. And while they enjoy communion with God they will wish to have intercourse with their fellow men in order to express by their words and acts the love of God which animates their hearts. In this way they will be lights in the world, and the light transmitted through them will not go out or be taken away. It will indeed become darkness to those who will not walk in it, but it will shine with increasing brightness on the path of those who will obey and walk in the light. 2T 122.2

The spirit, wisdom, and goodness of God, revealed in His word, are to be exemplified by the disciples of Christ, and are thus to condemn the world. God requires of His people according to the grace and truth given them. All His righteous demands must be fully met. Accountable beings must walk in the light that shines upon them. If they fail to do this, their light becomes darkness, and their darkness is great in the same degree as their light was abundant. Accumulated light has shone upon God's people; but many have neglected to follow the light, and for this reason they are in a state of great spiritual weakness. 2T 123.1

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