Light in the Darkness

John 1:4-5
In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:9
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

John 3:19
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

John links the light of the Word of God with the eternal life of God. They are inseparable. Through all eternity before time, space and matter began LIFE! was – is. And that life, which gives rise to the incredible variety and vigour of all life on this planet, is the Life and the moral light by which mankind lives. The light reveals and gives form and substance to all that is darkness. The light defines goodness, wholeness, and the light exposes and overcomes all that stands in opposition to it.

Darkness. Darkness is the lack of light, is absence of life, is chaos. Quite possibly the saddest verse in the whole Bible is John 3:19. “and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (NJKV) Evil is defined by Good. Evil is all that stands in opposition to the One true God and is exposed as such by the light of the Word of God.

“Only in silence the word,
Only in dark the light,
Only in dying life:
Bright the hawk’s flight
On the empty sky.
—The Creation of Éa”

― Ursula K. Le Guin

The Word of God

John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Isaiah 55:11
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Genesis 1:3
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

God does nothing apart from His word. The word of God exists with God. God’s word is God! God’s word is God’s will, it not only accomplishes God’s will but it is the complete expression of God’s divine will and purpose. God’s word is unstoppable and cannot be thwarted. Because the Word of God is actually a person, God’s son Jesus Christ, all of the attributes that pertain to God himself, pertain to his word.

God’s word is:

  • Eternal – Psalms 119:89 Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.
  • Pure – Psalms 119:140 Your word is very pure; Therefore Your servant loves it.
  • Right – Psalms 119:172 My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right.
  • True – Psalms 119:160 The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.
  • Imparts Wisdom and Revelation – Psalms 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.

Psalm 19 sums it up very well,

Psalm 19:7-9
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.

The Continuing Proclamation of the Kingdom

Philippians 1:12-18

I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

Many of us view contrary circumstances in our lives as inconveniences and roadblocks to an imagined future that we ourselves have planned and hoped for. Here is Paul chained in prison with guards on either side, cheerfully telling the Christians in Philippi that this has, in fact, resulted in advancement for the Gospel. How does he come to this realisation and perspective? Paul’s perspective is based on the kingdom, he views everything from the viewpoint of how it affects the advancement of the good news of Christ to the world. But he also is concerned for the lives of those around him and the brothers who are encouraged as they see the grace of God working in and through Paul.

Paul acknowledges that people have different motives when it comes to the proclamation of the Kingdom. We should remember this when are confronted with persecution and opposition, even from within the church. Our over-arching concern and focus should be, like Paul, that in every way Christ – the KING -is proclaimed, and in that rejoice.