April 29, 2015
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
We are still on the mission statements of the Lord Jesus Christ recorded in scripture. Remember, a mission statement is a “…one-sentence statement describing the reason an organization, program or ministry exists. It is used to help guide decisions about priorities, actions, and responsibilities.” This next mission statement is from John 12:46: “…Jesus…said, ‘I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.’ ” Let’s look at the negative of this statement first – what does it mean to “abide in darkness…”? The Bible sheds light on this:
• Darkness is associated with emptiness and chaos in Genesis 1:2 (New American Bible): “…the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss….” And the first words recorded that God spoke in Genesis 1:3 countered those conditions: “Let there be light.”
• Darkness is also associated with God’s judgment, as in the ninth plague sent upon Egypt in Exodus 10:21-29. During Jesus’ crucifixion it says in Matthew 27:45, “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over the whole land.” Many Bible scholars think it was the same condition of darkness experienced in Egypt because it was the time the Son was “…made sin for us…” (II Corinthians 5:21), and the Father gave judgment against Him. In Joel 1:15 and 2:2, the prophet says this about “…the day of the LORD…. [It is a] destruction from the Almighty…a day of darkness and gloominess….” And in Revelation 16:10, the fifth bowl judgment was “…darkness… poured out…on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom…”
• Darkness is used to describe sin in many Bible passages. Here are two examples – one from the Old Testament, and one from the new:
Proverbs 4:19 – “The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know
what makes them stumble.”
John 3:19 and 20 – “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. For everyone practicing evil hates the light, and does not
come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”
• We are told in Colossians 1:13 that Satan’s kingdom is “…the power of darkness….” And his evil and well-organized army includes a rank called “…the rulers of darkness of this world…” (Ephesians 6:12).
• Ignorance is also closely associated with darkness – especially spiritual ignorance. Paul, in the opening verses of In I Thessalonians 5, is referring to the return of Christ and the judgments that precede it. He tells us that those who do not believe are ignorant of that coming time. “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this day should overtake you as a thief.” (I Thessalonians 5:4).
Is it any wonder then that in our featured mission statement “…Jesus…said, ‘I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness…’ ”? (See also John 1:4, 9; 8:12; 9:5).
But there are two more very important elements if we are to “…abide…in the light…” (I John 2:10):
• First – as it is written in Psalm 119:130, “The entrance of Your words gives light….” Also in Psalm 119:1-5: “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” Jesus plainly said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” But we learn about the Lord Jesus Christ and what it means to be His disciple from His Word, the Bible!
More than just a text book on Christianity, the Bible is a living Word ! (see Hebrews 4:12; I Peter 1:23). It is living because the Holy Spirit living within every believer takes that Word you hear/read/study/meditate/memorize and energizes it – and empowers it – for you to become more and more like Jesus Christ! It is no wonder then that Paul tells us in Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly….”
• Second – we must be willing to obey the Lord through the leading of the Holy Spirit by His Word. God will not do much in your life if you maintain a disobedient spirit.
So if you, Christian, want to live in the Light, follow Jesus, dwelling in the Word often with an obedient heart!