12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Light is a symbol that has been used in through out the Bible in connection with Christ.
Isaiah used it in his great prophecy of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:2 which states, The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.”
Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, used it when he prophesied of the coming Christ in Luke 1:78-79, as “the Dayspring from on high has visited us; (79) To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.”
At the beginning of Christ’s ministry Matthew also makes the connection with the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy when he says, (Matt 4:16) “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”
John in writing his gospel declared concerning Christ (John 1:4-5) “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (5) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” Later in explaining why people are condemned, those who reject the light of Christ, John stated...
19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
Those who have been drawn to the Son... believed by faith, will never be condemned, because Jesus has already taken their punishment upon Himself. But those who reject Jesus as Savior must bear the full penalty for their sins.
His Claim ( Jesus )To Be The Light.
It is worthy of note that Jesus is not simply saying that he was “a” light to the world or that he was “another” light to the world. Jesus is not saying that He is holding the light or that He has the light or even that He is the way to the light. He is declaring that He is the one and only light of the world.
Light reveals as mentioned in John 3:19-20...Light enables us to see things that were there all along but because of the darkness we could not see them at all. Darkness conceals and light reveals. Without light we can’t see anything. It was C.S. Lewis who said, “I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun. Not only because I see it, but because by it all things are seen.
But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible... By the way, that’s why some people avoid coming to church. Avoid coming into fellowship with the saints.They really don’t want Christ to shine His light on the way they’ve been living. Why? Because they still love the darkness, by coming into the Light will expose they’re way of living, and with that they don’t want to be exposed. They feel ashamed,or maybe even pride comes in, but feeling ashamed at times can be a good thing, it means the person is being convicted. Just like Adam and Eve, when they had realized that they broke Gods command, they hid...embarrassed of what they had done.
The only way to receive the benefits from His light is to follow Him...
1 John 1:6-7
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
John, “the Apostle of love” tends to be very uncompromising in his perspective on the christian walk. Being obedient to God as he says, is not optional, and those who habitually disobey do not know God. Better yet...does not belong to God.
If one strays from the light, he is unable to see because of the darkness. Thus... he falls, with injury or death as a result. Only two groups of people are unaware of the presence of light. Those who are blind and totally unable to see,( non believers ) or those who close their eyes tightly and refuse to see. Meaning...still living in the flesh, still battling its desires. I this particular story, Jesus is also referring to the religious leaders. ( Book of John )
Let me give you a quick rundown of the rest of the chapter of John that resulted with these people rejecting the light. In verse thirteen, the Pharisees challenge his statement, “I am the light.” In verse thirteen and in the next four verses Jesus defends the credibility of his testimony. None of those who heard Jesus, chose to argue the validity of His claims, they wanted to protest over technicalities. In verse twenty-four Jesus asserts, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in you sins; for you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” If you don’t believe, you will die!
In response the Jews again asked Jesus, verse twenty-five, “…Who are You?” They are blind because they refuse to see the “light.” In verse twenty-eight he repeats the same claim, “Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He…Only then will they believe. His crucifixion and resurrection will be the one great and final sign, proving Him to be the Messiah. And indeed, verse thirty informs us, “As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.”
Now...You will recall that in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus told His disciples on Matthew 5:14...Keep in mind, earlier i had mentioned that “Light”, is a symbol that has been used in the Bible in connection with Christ. Here you go...
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
How is it that we can be what Jesus Himself was? The light we have isn’t from ourselves, but from God. Ours is a borrowed light. It is derived from another source. Think of the sun and the moon. The moon has no light of its own; it simply reflects the radiant light of the sun. We have to remember that if anything is standing in the way between us and God, we will not reflect His light. And we still stand in darkness. We should purpose in our hearts to rid ourselves of anything that stands between us and Christ. Of course that is a challenge in its self. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves, “are we shinning that light”? Can people around us, “the city on a hill, the light in the house”. See how we shine the True light? Are we reflecting the One True Light?
How do we do that, especially in the world that we live in now. Please forgive me for cramming all those verses that refers to the Light. It is very important that we know why we were called to shine that same Light.
Yes!!! Even in the world that we live in now. If i was to compare our way of living to that of the times of the Apostles, and the disciples after them,which life is easier? Of course that would be hard to answer since we cannot travel back in time to experience what they went through. Other than what we read through scriptures. Let us focus on shining the True Light in our time. How can we do it without having anything distract or block that True Light? How can we let His light shine?
My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands;
2 For length of days and long life,And peace they will add to you.
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,4 And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase.
The world has no vision of how God looks at the system that we live in. Society sees everything totally different than God expects us to look at it.
The world says it is proper to kill unborn babies just because the parents do not want the responsibility of raising them. Society thinks it is proper to condemn, restrict, and ever eliminate a Bible believing and teaching church.
In our time, it is accepted by society for a child to make their own decision as though they were adults. They can choose what is beneficial to them physically, morally, and emotionally. They can even choose a life style that is completely opposed to the family belief system. (Gods Commands)
Our world says any and all sin should be looked at as a choice, while restraining the only freedom to truthfully preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. ( Health, Wealth, and a prosperous life, and so on..) Is what the world looks at when one wants to come to Christ. Our world tells us that right may not always be right to everyone and the individual can decide for himself what is right and wrong for him. Totally the opposite of the verses we just read.
It is accepted by our world that religions can be determined by society whether such is legitimate. As long as we are not offending anyone else. As long as its fair for everyone. Its ok to offend God, and not the people.
When we look at our surroundings, current events, media and so on...
Its scary, and at times we can slowly feel it break our hearts. This is what we see daily, and its sad. Thinking that we have to live our lives around that. If we think that its a challenge for us not to go with the flow...just think about our children, they have to face the same challenges. How can they face that battle, when we know that they are not properly equipped? If its a hard battle for us not to go with the flow, its an even harder battle for them. They have to be prepared. We have to prepare them.
One thing we all know for sure is that, everything that we are witnessing is in Gods plans. It should not surprise us anymore. Yes it hurts... yes its sad... but the fact remains, we are called to shine that True Light. We have no business dealing with the affairs of the world. We cant go against Gods plans. But we are part of Gods plans, and that is to let His Light shine, so the world can see, and believe. Remember what Jesus told Peter when he tried to stop Jesus from going to the cross... “Get behind Me satan, you are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Don’t try to stop, or get involved in what God has planned, or you might just hear the same response as Peter did. We have been given our commands, we are just messengers, chosen to shine His Light.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;Fear the Lord and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh,And strength to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your possessions,And with the firstfruits of all your increase.
“Trust in the Lord...In all your ways acknowledge Him...Fear the Lord...and Honor the Lord”.
Nothing about getting involved with the affairs of the world...right!
This portion of Scripture tells us that there is a way in which every child of God can live successful and acceptable to God even though the surroundings may not be conceivably acceptable.
Even if the whole world is falling apart we...the children of God, can still live a fruitful life that can reflect the Savior we love. Live a fruitful life that is aimed to please our Creator. Do you acknowledge and commit to the Lord your every course of life or course of action? Is God in control of everything? Perhaps some of you listening to me right now, your very next step in this matter of serving God is to commit to Him your course of life or course of action. You may have nearly done this in the past, and yet held on to just one little string of life that you still wanted to control of. You will never experience living a life of letting His Light shine, letting Him lead the way, and try to avoid being conformed to the world. We cannot have both.
Remember, “in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight”.
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand, Or whenever you turn to the left.
Think about that, a voice whispering in your ear instructing you where to take every step in life. His direction will lead you to happiness and success. Why? Because it is His Light that guides us. Our direction, our way, will lead farther in what you now have. Which do you want? The sooner each of us realize that we are not capable of making our own decisions the better off we will be. When we make my own decisions and insist on our own way, we always end up confused and sadly, often defeated. Don’t get involved in Gods work unless He is inviting you to join.
1 Peter 3:8-12
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For “He who would love life,And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. 11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
“not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling”, When you see the world fighting it own, don’t join. We cannot convince them other wise. By joining in, that you “reviling for reviling”. Let it be, God is in control.
“Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good”. What does this mean? It means... hush, hold your tongue from evil, turn away from doing evil, stop talking evil. Again...we have no power to convince anybody of what we believe in. Evil will always be evil...don’t join in...hush. Let it be, God is in control.
‘Let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil”. Let him seek peace, and pursue it...joining in with the mess of the world is the opposite of this verse, you are actually seeking to fight. Seek peace and pursue it. I just love this part here... “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers”. Are on the righteous, you want to join the world and the mess that its in? God will not join you there, he did not invite you there. We are to pursue peace. “And His ears are open to their prayers”. Do you think God will listen to our prayers, if we are trying to oppose His plans? No, of course not! Let it be, don’t join the mess of the world, don’t pick a fight, don’t make any gestures, or comments that can lead to a fight. Pursue peace, let it be...hush. God is in control!
“But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil”. Against those who do evil...there’s your answer if you want to join in the mess that world is so happily doing. The Lord is against it!
You know sometimes...sadly, among Christians, we think that just because the Bible calls us “children of God”, which we are because of Christ. We think that we are so powerful, to think that we have such power to do or say whatever we want. We have none, unless given by Him, our source of Light.
Keep in mind, we died in Christ, we no longer live. It is His Light that needs to shine. It is His Light that the people need to see.
This message is a good reminder for each and everyone of us. ( If you are here tonight, and you want to live in His Light, let me tell you more about it)
The Title of this message is “That You May Believe”. Believe that He is the source of the Light that we carry, believe that...His light is the One that people need to see. And always remember, that God knows all thing. God is in control...That You May Believe!
Pastor Richard Santos
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