By Pastor Aaron Proffitt
This past Sunday at Aletheia, we visited John chapter 1 and talked about the true light (who is Jesus) and the implications of this for our lives and for our world.
Let us consider these implications:
- The true light brings life (John 1:4). This is true not just of creation (God said let there be light in Genesis 1:3 and then there was life in verses 20, 24, and 26), but also redemption (we “were dead in our trespasses and sins” but God “made us alive together with Christ” Ephesians 2).
- The true light not only overcomes darkness but also disorder. John 1:5 says that darkness cannot overcome the light. But we also know from Genesis 1 that when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was without form or void (1:1-2), meaning there was no order to it. That was until verse 3 when God created light, which brought about subsequent order.
- The true light leads us to a true belief (John 1:7). A genuine saving faith only comes by way of a genuine Savior who makes Himself seen, heard, and known. You realize God when He makes Himself realized (1 John 1:1-3).
- The true light causes us to be people of light (John 1:9a). “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” (Eph 5:8). In a world characterized by darkness, because of our redemption in Christ we are characterized by the exact opposite.
- The true light is the only light that is needed. One day in the future, Jesus will functionally fulfill this: “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” (Rev 21:23).
There is also another very important piece to this. John the Apostle (the author of the fourth gospel account in the New Testament) introduces us to another John, John the Baptist. John the Apostle is very clear on who John the Baptist was in verse 7-8: “He came as a witness to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light but came to bear witness about the light.”
Something very apparent is revealed to us. John the Baptist wasn’t the true light, but he also wasn’t an imposter either. He was merely a witness – a vehicle, catalyst, or tool – about the true light. To me, this leads us to ask a very interesting question:
If we know who the true light is, and if we know that those of us brought out of darkness are witnesses to the true light, then what is an imposter light? Anything that opposes the true light, right? So, evil, death, sin, satan, and idolatry all fall under the category.
Let us consider the implications of this category:
- The imposter light brings death: “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a).
- The imposter light breeds darkness and disorder: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20). “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” (James 3:16).
- The imposter light leads to unbelief: When the people of Israel, who were led out of Egypt by Moses, lacked faith in their faithful God, the Psalmist said this in regards to them – “…having no faith in his promise.” (Psalm 106:24).
- The imposter light causes us to be people of darkness ( See John 1:9a again).
- The imposter light leads to an eternal darkness: Jude speaks of the plight of those who reject God and His grace – “for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.” (Jude 1:13).
As we can see, there is no middle ground. Jesus is the true light and everything else that doesn’t bear witness to it is an imposter. Praise be to Christ for His great love for us – that He would enter darkness (the world), and bear the darkness (evil, sin, and death), overcome the darkness (on the cross and though His resurrection), so that we could become children of light and no longer imposters.
Let that sink in this Christmas season!