Author: Ron Graham
Light and Darkness
—In Which Will You Walk?
The word “light” in the Bible often has the spiritual sense of that which brings enlightenment to those in spiritual darkness. Thus Jesus and his message are called “light” as in the following Bible passages for example...
The people walked in darkness,
But have seen a brilliant light.
They sat in lands death-shadowed,
Then light dawned [and banished night].
¶“1In the beginning was the Word... 4In him was life, and the life was humanity’s light. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not understand [or overcome] it” (John 1:1a,4-5).
John 8:12 (Jesus)
¶“12I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
¶“5We heard this message from Jesus, and now we proclaim it to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all” (1John 1:5).
Here are three facts about the light of Christ that are worthy of your deepest consideration:
1 The Word of Christ is Your Light
When God with the Son and the Spirit created the world, he said “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). Without light, the sun could not shine and life could not sustain itself.
God has given to this world just the right amount and kind of light for life to thrive. Our bodies depend on this gift of light from God —if he took away the light, or changed it to another kind, we would soon die.
Jesus Christ, the Word of God, created all that has come into being. This means that he created the light that human beings depend upon. It also means that he created human beings too, both our physical and spiritual parts —our outward and inner being.
“All things were made through [the Word], and without him nothing was made that has ever been made” (John 1:3). “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God” (Hebrews 11:3).
Our spiritual inner selves, like our fleshly selves, also depend for life on a certain kind of light from God. This is not the created light that our bodies thrive in. Rather, the light of our souls is the Creator himself —Christ the Word and his message. He said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).
Well may Paul the apostle say, “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). As believers, we live and thrive in the eternal “light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2Corinthians 4:4).
2 Your Own Light is Darkness
It has long been a human philosophy that human beings have their own inner light. Even though it may be called a divine light, it is conceived of as a human light and not a light from God our Creator.
To this philosophy God replies, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.” (Isaiah 5:20-21).
What is the result of living according to our own lights and human wisdom? We put darkness for light. We put our own thoughts in place of God’s word. And what does God say? “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8).
Paul believed that people can be enlightened spiritually by one means only —revelation by the Holy Spirit to the apostles and prophets. We cannot know the deep things of God on our own.
¶“10God has revealed these things to us through his Spirit —for the Spirit searches everything, even the very depths of God.” (1Corinthians 2:10).
¶“11Can anybody know a person’s thoughts except that person’s inner spirit? Likewise, no one knows the thoughts of God except God’s Spirit. 12Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God. So we understand the things freely given us by God.” (1Corinthians 2:11-12).
¶“13We speak this message in words taught not by human wisdom, but by the Spirit. We explain spiritual truths with spiritual words [taught by God’s Spirit]” (1Corinthians 2:13).
3 You Must Choose Your Lamp
We must choose which light we will follow: our own light or God’s light. That choice will determine our path in life. We will either stumble in darkness because our own light fails us, or we will walk in the light of life, the light of Christ and his word.
- “The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked goes out” (Proverbs 13:9).
- “For it is you, my God, who lights my lamp; the LORD lights up my darkness.” (Psalm 18:28).
- “You, LORD, are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light.” (2Samuel 22:29).
- “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105).
Parable of the Lamps
Jesus told a parable about ten bridesmaids who came to a wedding, each with her own lamp...
¶“1The kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3The foolish took no extra oil with their lamps. 4The wise, however, took flasks of oil with theirs” (Matthew 25:1-4).
¶“5The bridegroom was delayed, and the [waiting] maids all became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a cry, 'The bridegroom is here! Come out to meet him!' 7Then all the bridesmaids rose and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' 9But the wise answered, saying, 'No, because there won't be enough for us and for you as well. You'd best go to the merchants and buy for yourselves.'” (Matthew 25:5-9).
¶“10And while the [foolish five] were going to buy, the bridegroom arrived [at the door to the feast]. Those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and then the door was shut. 11Later, the other maids came also. 'Lord, lord,' they cried, 'Open the door to us.' 12But the bridegroom refused. 'To tell you the truth,' he said, 'I don't know you.' 13Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour [when the bridegroom comes]” (Matthew 25:10-13).
Picture the ten maidens each looking lovely, dressed up for the wedding celebration, and each with her oil lamp burning brightly. But look very carefully and you will notice a difference between them. See, five girls carry small oil flasks along with their lamps, to ensure their lamps will stay alight. The other five had lamps that failed them.
Think and be wise about the lamp you carry. Will it give you light or will it fail and let you down?
Children of Light
- “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).
- “For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night, nor of darkness... we belong to the day” (1Thessalonians 5:5,8).
- “Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become sons of light.” (John 12:36).