Christian Universe ™
Out Of The Darkness, Into The Light
October 3 , 2010
The apostle Peter wrote that we must add virtue to our basic faith in Jesus Christ. To virtue, we must then add knowledge, for what is our faith without truly understanding what we believe? And how can we stand in the power of the Lord and His might, if we do not know His power and might? How do we learn of God? Jesus was the word made flesh, and He taught us by his life, explanations, and instructions. As we learn of Him, we do the things that are right and good. We produce fruits of righteousness.
Out Of The Darkness, Into The Light
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 10-03-2010
Presented to Load church of Christ on 10-10-2010
Matthew 4:13 “And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
The scriptures give us a vivid vision of what life is like with and without God. Without God, it is a place of darkness -- a pit of despair, hopelessness, and death. When God enters such a dark, despondent, and desperate world, light springs up to pierce the depths of that darkness.
This is what Jesus means to the world full of sin and
ignorance. He is the light of the world.
John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
Light dispels darkness. In a world that sits in the darkness of sin and ignorance of God’s will, Christians are strong beams of light in that darkness. We drive out the darkness where we are. Good people see the light and are drawn to it, looking for hope. Bad people fear the light because it exposes their wrongdoing, and they slink into the darkness to hide their ungodly activities.
John 3:19 "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."
What is the source of this light?
John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."
Jesus is the living word of God, and Jesus is the source of light of this world.
When we gain knowledge of Jesus, we walk in the light. As we walk in the light, others see the life that we are living. This is deliberate – it is the plan of God. He has placed His treasure in us, so that we may show the world what it means to serve the true and the living God.
Matthew 11:29 "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
Knowledge of God’s truth, and of His son, Jesus Christ, is important. Religious leaders often direct their followers away from the truth, cloaking it behind their own teachings.
Luke 11:52 "Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered."
Jesus warned against such teachers who do not accept the truth, and keep others from finding it. The job of Bible teachers is to expose the listeners or readers to God’s word, not their own.
Romans 10:2 "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."
The true light of our lives is found in the person and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:5 "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."
Bible teachers and preachers are merely receptacles for the light. The light does not originate within us, but rather from God. We capture that truth and pass it on.
Ephesians 5:8 "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord."
Colossians 1: 9 "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:"
The kingdom of man is darkness, while the kingdom of God is a kingdom of light. Learning God’s ways, and of Jesus, and His life and His words, leads us to do the things that God wants us to do. These things are known as righteousness, and those who do them are the righteous. We become fruitful in our service to God, by assisting our fellow man as we see opportunity.
James 3:13 "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."
Jesus said that His followers are the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14 "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Like weary travelers in a desert, longing for water, food, lodging, and rest, those lost in darkness see us, and rejoice at the light. Our light comes from knowing Jesus Christ, and the will of God. As the apostle Paul advised the evangelist, Timothy, study to be approved of God, not to argue and fight about words and things that are a waste of time.
2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness."
Peter said that we must start with a strong base of faith, and then to it we must add virtue, or strength, and to that must be added knowledge. Faith and strength without knowledge of how to use that faith and strength leave us floundering, confused, and lost in the darkness of ignorance. In knowledge of God and His son, Jesus, comes the light that drives out the darkness. We know what we stand for, and we know what we must do with our lives. We stand for truth, we reprove the works of darkness, and we serve God by serving our fellow man.