At that time: Jesus said to Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that those who believe in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.” And so forth. John 3:16-21
Homily of St Augustine, Bishop
So far, then, as it lies in the physician, he comes to heal the sick. That man destroys himself who will not obey the commands of his physician. He comes, a Saviour, to the world. Why is he called the Saviour of the world, if not because he comes to save the world, and not to judge the world?
You are not willing to be saved by him; you shall be judged by your own act. And why do I say: “You shall be judged?” Behold what he says: “He who believes in him is not judged. But he who does not believe…” – what do you expect shall be said to him, but: “He is judged?” And he adds: “Already he is judged”; the judgment has not yet appeared, but the judgment has already taken place.
He who does truth comes to the Light
For the Lord knows who are his; he knows those who are to be rewarded with a crown, and those who are to be punished in the flames. He knows the wheat on his threshing floor, and he knows the chaff; he knows the good grain, and he knows the weeds. “He who does not believe, is already judged.” Why judged? Because he does not believe in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
And this is the judgment: because the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, for their works were evil.
My brethren, whose works does the Lord find good? The works of none. He finds the works of all evil. How then did some of them do truth, and come to the Light? For this likewise follows: “He who does truth comes to the Light.”
The beginning of good works
“But,” he says, “they loved darkness rather than the light.” On that he laid emphasis. For many loved their sins, many confessed their sins; now he who confesses his sins and rebukes his sins, works with God. God rebukes your sins; and if you too rebuke yourself, then you are united with God. There are, as it were, two things: the man and the sinner. That you are called man was God’s doing; that you are called sinner was man’s own doing. Destroy what you yourself have made, that God may save what he has made. It behooves you to hate your own work in yourself, and to love God’s work in you. And when what you have done shall begin to displease you, from that time you begin to do well because you denounce your own evil works. The beginning of good works, then, is the confession of evil works.
– St Augustine, Treatise 12 on John, from: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964