THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 2-14-10
LESSON TITLE: “EXCEEDINGLY GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES: IF WE WALK IN THE LIGHT”
“…Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,” 1 Corinthians 15:58! How about it, are you standing up for God? Are you standing strong in His will and promises? And are you always abounding in His work!
I welcome you as fellow laborers this day in the service of our God. I furthermore thank all of those who have joined us, who have not yet fully submitted to the will of God. My hope and prayer this day is for you and your obedience. As God said, “Today is the day of salvation.” Are you willing to submit to the things of God and obey?
What better way to begin our time together this morning, than in speaking with our God in prayer. Will you bow with me at this time!
I hope everyone is ready to worship God in song at this time! We will begin today with a hymn which reminds us of what awaits the faithful at the end of this life! So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be?”
(SONG # 1)
We read a passage a moment ago that talked about our need as Christians to be steadfast and immovable. No doubt this is the same idea which the Hebrew writer had in mind as we read in Hebrews 12:28-29, there it says, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” Obviously the connection is clearly given here. We are to be those who are founded and secured because we are a part of God’s Kingdom which is the same and has the same foundation. However, notice another aspect which the writer adds here. He went on to say that we receive the kingdom, and we remain unshaken, so that we may serve God acceptably with all reverence and godly fear. How wonderful it is to know that we have such an awesome and powerful God which we are to serve. Furthermore, how wonderful it is to know that in doing so, we will receive great blessings in this life, as well as, the hope of eternal life when our Lord comes again.
Now back to our original text in the book of 1 Corinthians, if you go back to verse 57, we find confirmed for us as to why we must stand firm and strong with God. There we read, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We are truly made victorious through Jesus Christ! Not only in the fact that we are able to become Christians and followers of the King. But as well, because we are able to know that our God is able to care for, protect and deliver us. How blessed we are to serve such a loving and caring savior!
As far as our study, we will be concluding our important discussion concerning our “Exceedingly Great And Precious Promises.” The specific lesson of the day is entitled, “If We Walk In the Light!” So stay with us and after our next song together, I will be leading us in the main thoughts of the day. But for now let’s join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “Home Of The Soul.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
In 1 John chapter 1 and verse 7 we read, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light.”
As we look at this text today we are introduced to once again another great, exceeding and precious promise from God. This has really been our series together as we have tried to encourage each other, to realize that there are so many things that the Bible helps us to understand that we might obey the truth, that we might do what God has said and that we might be found pleasing in His sight, and yet again here we find something concerning light. And so our discussion today is going to be about the light of God. Certainly we understand what that light is because within the same passage, back up in verse 5 it actually makes this statement, “God is light.” And so let’s begin looking together at some passages of scripture that will help us to see what the light is and really what our part is in relationship to the light of God.
If you will turn with me to the gospel account as given by John and here we find yet again another great encouraging thought concerning not only the creation that God gave through the scriptures, in other words the evidence, the only evidence that man has of where this world truly has come from and how God made it, but also here we have that concept developed a bit in chapter 1 of John. After he has made the statement that, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God, verse 14 says, “That Word was Christ or Jesus in the flesh.”
I want you to notice what he goes on to say there in verse 4 of that same passage. It says, “In Him…” It’s just talked about the Word. It has just talked about the Creator, Jesus who did all according to the Will of the Father, the One who it says, “Made everything and nothing was made that was made without Him,” there in the 3rd verse, but now it says, “In Him, in Jesus was light and the light was the light of men.” What was Jesus? The light. He came as it says in the next verse, “At a time of darkness as the light.”
Look at verse 5 with me. “And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.” If God is light, and we know what God is. We know God is perfect and Holy and righteous in every way exactly what He should be and what we should strive to be, so then we know that that represents light and if we know what light is, then what would darkness be? The opposite. Anything that is not of light. You know all of us can relate so easily to the idea of light and darkness. Most of us when we were young children were afraid of the dark. I know at times my children even still don’t like it when it is really dark, and they might even, especially when the thunder or the lightning begins, they might want to come and be with Mom and Dad. Why? They don’t like that darkness when they can’t see things and they are unsure. Well here again we see that the world was unsure. It was afraid. It was without hope.
And what did Jesus do? He came as light. He illuminated in the world in a world of darkness. Certainly that darkness then represents that world of evil and sin, those things contrary to God. But Jesus is a light in all of that darkness.
As we go on, we see that John is next mentioned, John the Baptizer, as he prepared the way for Christ. It says that, “This man was sent by God,” verse 6, “and his name was John. This man came to bear witness,” notice there, “of the light that all through Him might believe.” Notice there that it states that John came to show and bear witness of the coming One who was called “The Light,” the One who would bring them hope in a world of darkness, the one who would turn on a light bulb and give them an opportunity to live in light rather than darkness, to be saved rather than lost.
Then he goes on in verse 8 to say, “He was not the light,” that is John, “but was sent to bear witness of that Light,” of Jesus of course.
Then in verse 9, “That was the true light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world and the world was made through Him and the world did not know Him. He came to His own and His own did not receive Him.” You see even the Jews, those own chosen people of God, when Christ came and did not set up as they felt what was being taught in an earthly kingdom, when He did not establish himself as a physical and earthly king with a literal kingdom, they rejected Him. But what they rejected was the light, and when they rejected the light, guess where they remained. They remained in darkness.
And so when we think about this idea, if we walk in the light that takes us to the next step. We know that God is light. We know that God is perfect. We know that Christ proclaims Himself to be the light of the world and so how must we react? By doing the very same thing. By striving to be like God the light ourselves.
I love the way Jesus put it in John 8 and verse 12. There he makes this statement as He speaks to His disciples. He says, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light…” There’s the word again. “The light of life.” You have to go back to John 1 there. It talks about the fact that “I am the life.” We read about the concepts in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Jesus came as the light to bring what? Life! Life not only today, a better life, a life based on good wholesome and proper things that give us all things we need through God, but a life eternal.
And so certainly we need to respond to that light. We need to know what that light is and we need to go to it. It says that if you are lost in the middle of the night and your car breaks down and you don’t have a light, the first thing you are going to look for is that house or that light in the distance that you can go to. Jesus is that light! He offers us life now and forever.
The question is: Will we go to the light? And then once we have gone to the light and responded, the next question is: Will we be the light? Because as we continue to look at the scriptures, that is what we find. In fact, on the Sermon on the Mount, we see that Jesus, in the very first gospel sermon proclaimed that we have recorded by our Lord; He makes this statement there in verse 14 of chapter 5. He says, “You are the light of the world.” Isn’t that a beautiful thought? He says, “I am the light. I have come to bring light even in darkness and I will make you light, those who were in darkness will be brought out of darkness into light,” and He says, “I am the light of the world. Therefore, you are the light of the world. You are like a city on the hill. That city that can be seen and that illuminates the region.” Then He says next in verse 15, “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand and it gives light to the whole house.” You are to illuminate the entire house, the entire area, the entire… When people see us, they see light. What is light? God! They see God! And therefore are encouraged to know God.
But also I want you to notice what He further says in verse 16. “Let you light then,” He says, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” So as God is the light and I illuminate the light that God wants me to, isn’t it interesting that now He states the fact that we now let our lights shine before whom? Before men! That others might see light or God in us to give glory to the Father. Isn’t that what Jesus did? Jesus said, “I came not about My own Will, but about the Will of the Father,” and therefore He says, “I am the light. You must be the light for our objective is to glorify the Father in heaven who alone can save, who alone offers,” As we see there the concept of, “life.”
The idea of darkness is also seen in relationship to our becoming a Christian. You might notice with me in the book of Colossians where Paul was speaking to the church of Colossi how he had challenged these brethren to understand that they were brought out of darkness. I want you to notice what he says here concerning that idea of being brought our of darkness and into something else. In verse 13 he makes this statement. “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of His dear Son, the Son of His love in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. What have we been put in? The kingdom of God. Through what? The blood of Jesus Christ. The sacrifice made. We have been washed from our sins. We have been made white as snow and we now are justified before Christ as His children. And how was that made possible? Through Jesus when He took us out of what? Darkness! And put us into light! So again I challenge us to understand that we must be the light of the world.
Another passage I want to look at in relationship to the application of this is, how do we illuminate as light? How do we show forth that light as God demands?
If you’ll notice with me now in the book of Ephesians we find there several concepts of what we are to walk in within chapter 5. Specifically in verse 8 beginning in chapter 5, notice what he states there. He says, “For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk therefore as (what?) children of light.” He said that you were once in darkness. Remember what we just read by Paul? You were taken out and put into the kingdom of Christ where Christ is there is what? Light. You have been made what? Light. And therefore walk as children of light. Then he actually clarifies for us what the darkness is all about because he goes on to talk about sin and those things that are not even acceptable to God. Therefore in verse 11 he says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of (guess what) darkness, but expose them.” He says that on one hand you have got God and the followers of God. He is light and they are light. And on the other hand, you’ve got evil and wickedness and darkness and they are not of God. He says that guess what, there is no fellowship. Those of the light can’t extend fellowship to those whom God has no fellowship with, those who have chosen darkness because only those who are of the light are with God and of God.
Now to really understand what he is trying to state there as we further develop our thoughts of God being light and you and I needing to be those who are of light and walk in the light and also glorify God by showing forth the light. I want you to go back with me to our main text there in 1 John and chapter 1 and now you might notice with me several things that he states here. First of all, he mentions again that “God is light,” verse 5 of 1 John chapter 1, “and in Him is no darkness at all.” Now no darkness, no wickedness, no sin. Therefore as I am light, what should I strive for? No darkness and no sin! My objective is to be as perfect or complete as possible. I can’t achieve complete perfection but I can strive to be my best. Then notice what he next says in verse 6. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him…” Who? God! God who was what? God who was light. “And then we walk in darkness…” What is darkness? Sin! “We lie and do not practice the truth.” If God is light and our fellowship is with God and that’s where righteousness is and purity and yet darkness is evil and we choose to fellowship both, guess what. We can’t do it. We are liars because we can’t fellowship something of God and something that is contrary to God. We can’t fellowship God and then fellowship something that has no fellowship with God. So how do we have fellowship? Well look at the next verse, verse 7. “But if we walk in the light…” Isn’t that interesting? We just read that earlier. We saw that in Colossians. Walk in the light as God’s dear children, God’s children of light. Walk in the light. Notice what he also says. “As God or He is in the light.”
So how is it that I find myself in God when I illuminate myself as the light, as God. Therefore it says that if I walk in the light as He is in the light, guess what I have with God. Fellowship! And so our fellowship is not based on me or what I think or my thoughts or who I am or my abilities. My fellowship with God is based on God. There’s one word that sums it up. Light! God is light. The question is: Am I striving to be what? Light! If I am, guess what happens. We have fellowship.
Now on the other hand, it goes on to state here that, “We have fellowship also with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ continually cleanses us.” And so what is that fellowship then between us based on? Well we have already learned earlier in the same text it is not based on darkness. We’ve already learned back in Colossians that it cannot be based on darkness. It cannot be a part of those things that are dark or contrary to what God would have us to do. We learn there also the idea in Ephesians chapter 5 that we should expose those of darkness as the light. In fact, if we are doing good, it shows forth those who are doing bad.
But now notice what it says. “If I am in the light, and walking in the light as God is, therefore having fellowship with God and if you are in the light and you are having fellowship with God…” Guess why we have fellowship. Guess why you and I share fellowship together. Not because of you. Not because of me. Not because of what you think or I think. Not because of what you believe or I believe, but because of God and the light. Your fellowship with God is that which must first be established for you to be in the light and the only way that I, as one of the light, can fellowship you is when you are in the light.
Brethren, this is not a hard concept. It is a hard concept to understand within a world that is so apathetic, a world that is so condoning of everything, a world that simply says, “Live and let live and don’t bother me and I won’t bother you.” But if you look at what God says, it is not hard to understand that we must first establish ourselves as children of light. Therefore having fellowship with God for God is light. Then and only then do we have fellowship as those of the light.
And so let me challenge you and myself and all those who might listening and even that we might come in contact with to realize that our objective is to first and foremost know God, to know the God of light which is life and salvation, and therefore that we must walk in the light as He is in the light, that we must first have fellowship with God and fully commit ourselves to everything He is about and do everything He has asked that I might be right with my God and then how wonderful it is, how beautiful, how glorious that those of like precious faith, those who are equally alike based on God and the Will of God and the Word of God share the beautiful fellowship that is found from Jesus Christ our Lord.
If you don’t have that fellowship, do today what is required by God to be faithful. Obey His commands and make sure that you will always do His commands for that is the only way you can have eternal life and be saved in the end.
(SONG # 3 - “I Am Thine Oh, Lord!”)
Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in giving this time to God. I hope and pray that our time and sacrifice has been according to His will. We invite you back every first day of the week at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to the wondrous truths of our God!
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How great it is to know that our God is the light of the World. May we strive to be that light as well, that we might save ourselves, as well as all those who respond to His wondrous glory!