THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 2-13-05
LESSON TITLE: "WHO IS JESUS?: JESUS IS THE LIGHT"
In Genesis 1:1 we read, "In the beginning - God - created the heavens and the earth!" This morning, it is before this awesome, great and mighty God which we assemble - to praise, laud and magnify His wondrous name! We are so glad that you have joined us this Lord's Day for the Living Word Program. Won't you do your part to see that this time of offering is completely focused on God and according to His Perfect Will. As we begin our homage to Him this morning, will you bow with me and approach His Almighty throne in prayer!
Well, it's already time to praise our God through song. Won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "In Vain In High and Holy Lays!"
(SONG # 1)
Throughout the Bible, we find that in every period and every age there were those who rejected God. Many rejected God because they were pagans and believed in and followed other god's. However, what is really amazing to me is that with all of the proof and evidences which we have concerning God's Word today, that many in our world still believe in a different god, or god's! How sad this reality is for those who want everyone to be saved!
Oh, that we would open the hearts and minds of those who reject Him. How wonderful it would be to see that all men turn to the truth. But the problem has never been with God, it has always been with man. Because of man's wickedness and desire to do what they want - they have chose to reject God and to do things their own way.
So what does the Bible say about God, being the only true God? Moses proclaimed these words of God in Deuteronomy 4:39. There we read, "Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other." Truly God alone is God and there is no other! Isaiah said, "Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one," (44:8). Again in Isaiah 46:9, we hear God proclaim, "For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me."
In the New Testament, we see that the Spirit confirms the same thing. In 1 Corinthians 8:4, we read, "there is no other God but one." Paul also told the Ephesian brethren that their was, "one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all," this is found in chapter 4! Also, James declared the truth of only one God in chapter 2, verse 19 of his book.
So we can see that God is strongly confirmed to be the one and only true and living God. The only Creator and giver of all. Oh, what a wondrous and loving God we serve! So what about you, have you proclaimed this precious truth before God and the world? Have you shown forth that God alone is God, that He is the one and only God? The true and the living God? Choose today to confess your belief in this God and to do those things required to be added to His foal. Will you become obedient to the things commanded by this true God which we must serve?
This morning, we will be continuing our series of discussion which is entitled, "Who Is Jesus?" Our specific message of the morning will deal with, "Jesus Is The Light!" So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, I will lead us in our main thoughts of the day. But for now let's join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, Jesus Is All The World To Me."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was the life and the life was the light of men." In our study so far about "Who is Jesus?", we have learned so much. We've learned a vast amount of information about not only the fact that Jesus here is demonstrated as the Word, also clarified in verse 14 of John chapter 1, but He is not only the Word but He was with God and was God. He was the Creator, as the verse here tells us, that is verse 3, that "nothing was made that was made without Him." And then as we saw last week, Jesus is the life. There that concept of life, life eternal, the ability to not only be blessed in our physical lives now because of what God had done and promised, but also the great blessing of eternal life where we will never die but live eternally.
Our topic of study today will continue again on "Who is Jesus?" as we look a little bit further and not only the concept of Jesus being the life, but as verse 4 introduced to us that He was also the light of men. The life was the light of men. Go on with me to verse 5 as it says, "And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it." Here we learn that Jesus now has another term that is applied, a descriptive term, that is applied to who He is and what He is all about, that is the concept of light. Certainly we are not ignorant about what light is. We are so blessed in this day and time to have electricity and to be able to flip a switch there in our house and the lights come on or we flip it off and it goes off, or remote controls and just so many blessings that we have. It really comes to your attention when you go overseas because you might enter into someone's house or hut and you've got simply just a lamp there, but even though in a lamp, or a lamp is being used, we find an illumination of that room, a light that is put out, a light as in contrast to darkness. Certainly most don't like darkness. Can you imagine living in a world of darkness? A world where there was never any light where you would be able to see things or be able to look at your surroundings and enjoy the great beauties that God has blessed us with? A world that certainly was not able to bless us and bless our senses by being able to know what is around us? Certainly we know the difference between light and darkness and we learn it from a very early age because as children how many of us were maybe afraid of the complete darkness? We maybe wanted a night-light on or maybe wanted at times to sleep with mom or dad or maybe a brother or sister and why? Because we were afraid of the dark. We were afraid of what might be in the dark.
So as we look here at the idea of the light, certainly we see that Jesus being the light is something that is illuminates, something that is seen, that is clearly visible. The Son is obviously the great light, the light that God created in the beginning to be Lord or to reign over, it says, the day that He also made. And so light and darkness are two terms that are well understood to us today. As well, they would have been well understood back in the New Testament times and no doubt that is whey they are being used here by Jesus, by John and as we will see even others, other writers of the Bible that really confirm to us that really the concept of light is a great application and understanding of what we are to be in the world, how we are to be perceived by men, that we be the light rather than darkness.
If we want to understand the terms really more specifically, why don't we go over together in the book of 1 John. Perhaps again the same author there in 1 John gives us a clear understanding of what the light is as we have clarified there in verse 5 of 1 John chapter 1. It says this: "This is the message which we have heard from Him, that is God, and declared to you, that is the readers, that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all." Notice there the clarification. God is what? God is light. It makes that comparison again in the fact that He is light, how much darkness is there? Zero. No darkness. Well what are the comparisons here? If God is light and there is no darkness, zero, in God at all, light and darkness then would be the total opposites then in the spiritual sense that is being portrayed here, the total opposites. If light is God, then the darkness would be anything that is contrary to God. If there is no darkness in God, my question might be, what about in us? Can there be light and darkness in us? I think some of my religious friends think so and some of my brethren at times think so because the lives that they live show that they want to have one foot on God's side and one foot in the world enjoying the sins of this world. But certainly the Bible tells us here that God is light and as God is light, there is zero darkness.
Verse 6 continues, "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." We cannot be in darkness and the light at the same time. And if we try to claim that I somehow can be involved in the things of darkness or evils or wickedness, but yet I am still a child of the light, we're liars. God says it can't be so. You can't have it both ways. You can't serve God and riches. You can't serve God and evil. You have to choose. As Christians, hopefully we have chosen that we will serve God first and foremost. So as he states here that God is light, in Him there is no darkness, he says that you as a follower of God, being one who is supposed to be in the light as God is in the light, as well can have no darkness and if we think that we can, we must think also that we're simply liars because it's impossible.
He goes even more so to clarify there in verse 6 and following, verse 7 that is, what the light is all about. He says, "But if we (that is the readers here, that is the writer John and those who are Christians) walk in the light as He is in the light," there again confirming we walking in the light as God is walking in the light. It says, "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..." What? "...all sin." How wonderful it is to know that God is light and anything opposite is darkness. We must strive to be light. We cannot be involved in darkness and as we are in the light that the blood of Christ will cleanse us of the darkness as long as we are penitent, as long as we are the children of light, as long as we are striving to be in the light, we have fellowship.
I love the verse also there, verse 7 of chapter 1 because he says that "our fellowship is based on light." If God is in the light and I am striving to be in the light as God is because I am His child, I have fellowship with God, but the verse goes on to say that you and I have fellowship. When I have fellowship with God because of me being in the light, and you have fellowship with God because you are in the light, then you and I have fellowship. Why? Because we are each in the light. You see the basis of fellowship is not differences. It's not that we can accept the evils of the darkness that is in each other or somehow accept that we are different. The thing about light and being in the light is that we are the same. Because we are one with God, we are one with each other. We are all in the light. Now does that mean we don't make mistakes? Verses 8 and following in 1 John chapter 1 says that we will still sin. We will still make mistakes. We will still do things that are contrary to the Word of God. Not on purpose or because we have that as our first and foremost desire, but because we are human. We will make those mistakes. But because we are in the light, the blood of Christ can forgive us of those things. How wonderful that is! But if we are not in the light, certainly we remain in sin and you and I know that the outcome of sin is death.
So as we look at the light, surely we understand that the light was a very, very important thing that not only God is demonstrated as, but that you and I as His children must also demonstrate because when people see the light in us, what does that reflect? That we are His, that we are His children.
1 John chapter 4 as well helps us to see the idea that when we do something that is of the nature or the character of God or the requirement of God, that then people see God in us. The verse there, that is again chapter 4 and verse 12 says, "No one has seen God at any time, but if we love one another, God abides in us and His love has been perfected in us." When we love one another, although people have not seen God before, guess what they see through us? God! Because we have allowed Him, that is the light, to be perfected in us thus we illuminate as lights. We illuminate as lights of God and the essence that we portray, the very nature and character and the words and the deeds are exemplary of God, not self, not the world, and not darkness. So yes, God is light. We must walk in the light and have fellowship with God because we are in the light striving to have no darkness at all because God has no darkness and therefore, you and I walking in the light, we have fellowship with one another and as we fellowship in the light because of our fellowship first and foremost with God, then the world can look at us and see that we are the light. We are the light. We are representative of God Himself because of the attitudes, the actions and the character that we show in our daily lives.
I want you also to go over to what Jesus had to say about the light in one of the greatest sermons ever proclaimed, the Sermon on the Mount. There's probably no better place can we go to see what Jesus and God wanted, that is of His first chosen one, some of the very first disciples that were there in that day, that is when He began walking the earth even before the church was established, but we find that here He really gives some great lessons about what we're to be interested in, about what we're to participate in, about what our character is to be. In fact, you might remember there that in chapter 5 of Matthew it talks about the Beatitudes. It gives us there those things that happy or blessed we are if we do this and then the outcome of blessing from God is that. Well certainly that's a wonderful passage. Just after the Beatitudes, moving into there more instruction about how I can exemplify God, how I can show forth Christ in me. It begins there in verse 13 to talk about the salt. He says, "We are salt," and he mentions there the concept, "that as we are the salt of the earth, we must not lose our savor." You know, I always use too much and people tease me about it, but I like salt and when you salt food, it adds flavor. It adds something. If we are salt and if we are of the earth, that is on the earth, what do we do? We add flavor. We are seen.
So that's why he goes on in the next verse, verse 14, to use the example of the light. "Not only are we the salt of the earth, but we are the light of the world." We are the light of the world. "Now bad salt is nothing better for," than as it says in verse 13 than, "to be trampled on under the foot of men." Dark salt, salt that is in darkness, a follower of God that really is in darkness is worthless to God. Therefore, a light that is not in the world illuminating God, but yet is stuck in darkness would be worthless to God. But here he says, "Rather be the light of the world," verse 14, "a city that is on a hill that cannot be hidden." I remember there in Africa when we used to return to the capitol city of Gaborone that when you get nearer and nearer, because there is not a lot of electricity around the countryside, you would see the city in the distance and as we would come down through the hills and we would notice the light getting brighter and brighter and brighter, and the city being on a hill so to speak illuminated by the electricity and the bright light. It could not be hidden. Nothing could have stopped the light except someone turning it off, that is maybe the power plant. But if you think again about what is being said here. The light, a city on the hill, something that illuminates that really casts it's light on all things.
He also gives another example in verse 15. He says, "What about that light in the lamp in your home?" The one that you put there in the middle of the house so that it might illuminate the room and you might see one another and study or read. He goes on to say, "Would it be sensible to put it under a bushel?" You know our children sing "This Little Light of Mine," and they say, "put it under a bushel? No!" Well you don't put it under a bushel because a light is lit to illuminate for us to see, not to produce darkness. The bushel would produce darkness. So the light is there in the house again to illuminate. The city is illuminating. It cannot be hidden. You and I as the light of the world, the application is that we must illuminate, verse 16 says, that "we must as lights so shine before men" that when they look at me they see that I shine, not because of who I am or what I look like or what I'm about, but because what I'm about is God, what I'm doing, what I'm saying and how I'm acting is about God. That's why he says here that "then shine before men." Why? "So that they might see the good works and glorify our Father in Heaven."
As lights, what are we doing? We are illuminating God. We are allowing the world to see God in us so that they might see works. You see works are required so that people can see that we are of God so that people can see that we are exemplifying God, but then not only are they required but we go on to see here that when we do the work of God as His light and they see Him in us as the light, what happens? We glorify Him. How wonderful it is to know that we glorify God as the light, that we glorify Him and that we are able to be those that are seen as God's own children because we are of the light. Certainly we know how we become of the light because even Nicodemus asked there a few chapters over in John, John chapter 3, he says, "What must I do to be born again? Must I enter into the mother's womb again?" The answer was, "No." Well if you go back there to John chapter 1 you'll see that the discussion continues, that the light came and really that John the Baptist had prophesied about the light and that they were told that they must be born again according to the light, so Nicodemus was told, "You be born again." And he says, "How do I be born again?" And Jesus said, hear what He said. He said, "Be born of the water and the spirit."
I encourage you today to become a child of the light. Do it God's way. Make the great confession. Do what God has asked you by "repenting and turning from sin and be buried with your Lord and Savior in the water because we must be baptized in the water as well as the spirit in order that we might truly become his follower, in order that we might truly be those who have put on Christ," Galatians chapter 3:26-27. Are you willing today to illuminate the light of God? Are you willing today, if you are a child of God but yet you have not been showing forth that light as you should, to get your life right again, to do what you need to so that you might truly be the light of the world and in knowing that you are the light of the world that you will not only glorify God but that eventually you will receive the great reward of Heaven someday?
(SONG # 3 - "Take Time To Be Holy!")
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this worship to God!
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How wonderful it is to know Jesus as the Light! May we all learn to be in the light and to shun the darkness, so that we may be considered as true and faithful Children of our God!