Delving deep into Scripture

Walking in the Light

     When we were in the world we did some things that were right and some that were wrong.  Even though we knew not Christ, we still did some right things.  How could that be that we did right even without Jesus?  It is because the tree of the human knowledge upon which we were living had not only evil fruit, but also good fruit.  So, we did some good, just on our own, without knowing Christ at all.

But, when one enters the Kingdom of God he begins to feast upon the Tree of Life; he enters into the Light of God.  The Bible says that the Light of God is none other than Jesus,

John 1:9  the true Light Who gives light to every man who comes into the world.

Before Jesus came, the world was in darkness.  The prophet has declared:

Isaiah 60:2  Darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people.

Jesus was born into the Jewish race of people.  The Jews knew a whole lot about God.  Yet, for all their knowing, they really didn’t know God after all.  But, here is the complete quotation of the prophet Isaiah regarding the coming Christ to them:

Isaiah 60:1,2  Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.  For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon you, and His Glory shall be seen upon you.

For four thousand years, not only the Jews, but the whole population of the earth thought they were so smart, but, in truth, none knew the Life of God nor His Light.

John 1:4,5  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.   And the light shined in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Under the inspiration of the holy spirit, Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, spoke of this Light:

Luke 1:78,79  Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring [Christ] from on high has visited us to give Light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

The Jews were “the darkness” unto whom Jesus Christ came.  Not the Jews only, but darkness covered the whole earth.  Jesus Christ has come to reveal God’s Light to everyone who would have it.  Jesus is

John 1:9  the true Light, who lights every man who comes into the world.

Every person who had lived in the world before the coming of Christ was destined to die in darkness.  But then, the Light shined.

Isaiah 9:2  The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death [Galilee], upon them has the Light shined.

Matthew quoted the entire prophecy:

Matthew 4:13-17  And leaving Nazareth, Jesus came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zebulon and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah, the prophet, saying,  “The land of Zebulon, and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles:  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.”  From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The Jews, especially those of Galilee, knew the Isaiah prophecy and what it meant.  This Gospel declares the reason Jesus moved from Nazareth to Capernaum, which was for the very purpose of fulfilling that prophecy in Isaiah.  It was deliberate.

No person who had ever lived had ever seen God’s true Light.  There he was, God’s Light, right there in Capernaum, the ancient tribal border of Zebulon and Naphtali on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.  When Jesus came, how brilliant was his Light amidst the gross darkness!  But, sad to say,

John 1:5  “The Light shined in darkness; and the [Jewish] darkness comprehended it not.”

Could you believe it?  They did not comprehend; they did not understand; they did not realize; they did not discern; they did not grasp that the Light of the World was shining upon them.  They rejected Jesus; they did not believe.

Matthew 13:58  He did NOT many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Not only that, but many years later, part of this magnificent, self-confident city of Capernaum actually sank into the Sea.  Jesus precisely foretold this would happen:

Matthew 11:23  And you, Capernaum, which is exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hell  For if the mighty works, which have been done in your city, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

There was a prayer oft quoted in the synagogues of Israel in those days, and still quoted to this day, acknowledging the Light of God:

O Lord of the universe, You command us to light lamps to You, yet You are THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD:  and with You the Light dwells.”

The Jews understood something about the Light.  Then Jesus, that man from Galilee declared:

John 8:12  I am the Light of the world.  He that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life.

There he was, the Light of the world.  People had always lived their lives in deception; they were liars; they were betrayers.  Then came this man who could empower them to walk in the light, to be real, to be transparent, able to reject the sin that was in their nature.  Jesus said to them:

John 12:35,36,46   “A little while longer the Light is with you.  Walk while you have the Light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going…I am come a Light into the world, that whoever believes on me should not abide in darkness.”

 

What marvelous news!  Jesus has made it possible for evil, sinful, beguiling, hypocritical people to be honest, upright, sincere, moral, and honorable.  The apostle Paul declared:

Ephesians 5:8,13,14  For you were once darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord. Walk as children of Light…All things that are exposed are made manifest by the Light, for whatever makes manifest is Light.  Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you Light.”

When God calls upon us to awake, and to arise, His meaning is that we should break off our sins by repentance, and start on a course of holy obedience, and He encourages us to do our utmost that way, by that gracious promise, “And Christ shall give you Light;” He shall enlighten you, He shall shine upon you; He shall bring you into a state of knowledge, holiness, and comfort, assisting you with His grace, and refreshing your mind with joy and peace here and rewarding you with eternal glory at the end.

I can think back to an event in my early childhood where darkness was definitely a part of me.  I was playing by myself with a ball, and I accidentally tossed it through our basement window.  I fled the scene, dashing into our next-door neighbor’s garage crouching down behind their car.  I didn’t know God, but I knew darkness.  Darkness said, “Hide!”  How long did a five-year-old think he could hide?

Peter expressed the extraordinary turn of events that befalls those who come to Christ:

1 Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous Light.

The Light of God is indispensable in the Christian walk.  John said:

1 John 1:5-7  This then is the message which we have heard from him, and declare to you that God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and [yet still] walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.  But if we walk in the Light, as He [Jesus] is in the Light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.

We are to understand that those who become themselves the-light-in-Christ will make up that eternal city called “New Jerusalem.”  The people ARE that holy city.  Everything in that city will have been purified.  Everyone will be pure as gold.  They will have no more darkness in them.  They all had darkness at one time in their lives, but the beautiful work of Jesus has made them transparent glass.

Revelation 21:21  The street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

 

How was this beauty worked in them?  God revealed His son to them.  They believed Jesus washed them with his shed blood.  They received the indwelling of the holy spirit.  They benefited from the fellowship of the saints.  They received guidance from a God-ordained ministry.  They had many crosses applied to their lives.  They had many fiery trials and sufferings.  They experienced the awful judgments of God.  They also experienced His Mercy, as well as His Grace.

They also did something else:  they confessed their sins, sometimes to God in prayer, sometimes to their minister.  They confessed their sins.  They came clean.  They didn’t hold any of them back.  They had nothing on their record against them.  They were clean.  They were transparent.  They were pure gold. 

Revelation 21:11,18,21  Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal…The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass…The street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

They only way to walk in the light is to be transparent with everything in your life that is unclean and unholy.

If, having received the principle of holiness from Him, we live a holy and righteous life, deriving continual Light, power, and life from Him, then we have fellowship one with another; that is, we have communion with God, and God condescends to hold communion with us.  God and a holy heart are in continual correspondence.  And yet more, we, by the Light of God, have communion with all other saints.

The noble power of his passion and death has purged our consciences from dead works and cleansed us, and continues to cleanse us, i.e., to keep clean what it has been made clean (for it requires the same merit and energy to preserve holiness in the soul of man, as to produce it).  And being cleansed from all sin is what every believer should look for, what he has a right to expect, and what he must have in this life, in order to be prepared to meet his God.

Men often deceive themselves into believing that no one knows the secret things they do, or even their dishonest thoughts.  But, God knows all:

Psalm 139:2,12  You understand my thoughts afar off…The darkness hides not from You.

Romans 13:12-14  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of Light.  Let us walk honestly, as in the day…Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

 Isaiah 2:5  Come and let us walk in the Light of the Lord.

 Matthew 17:3  Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.

                               

Dennis Moel

DENNIS MOEL

Dennis Moel was born in 1941 and raised a Jew in Frankfort, Kentucky but his knowledge of Judaism and of the Bible was miniscule.  Coming to Christ at the age of 28 transformed his life.  While serving as a pastor and family counselor, he has also devoted himself to espousing the riches of God’s Word.  His three children appear in illustrations in the books he has authored.

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