The Good News - Home
By David A. DePra
I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)
God is light, and Jesus is light – THE light of the world. Light brings ILLUMINATION. But despite the fact that God can shed a great deal of light upon many things, none of that would do us much good unless the Light illuminated to us the Person of God Himself.
In Genesis 1, the first recorded words of God are, "Let there be LIGHT." Everything begins, and can only begin, in the working of God, with light. Indeed, LIGHT is exactly what God initially speaks into the heart, and then into the understanding, of anyone that He is calling to Christ.
Now, if God reveals Christ to anyone – if LIGHT is given – then immediately everything begins to be laid bare. The moment LIGHT is introduced, darkness cannot prevail. All is exposed. Truth exposes error. Light will expose US.
This is much different than merely adopting and assenting to Christian doctrine. You can list teachings about light, and even teach that God must bring light, but in the end, light must be given, experienced, and embraced. Or refused.
If there is one thing that is certain when God gives light it is that nothing can ever be the same again. It is no longer possible to say you have not seen. Oh, you can close your eyes to the light, creating a self-imposed darkness, and try to plead ignorance, but you HAVE seen. You either know or you COULD know by opening those eyes. It is too late to go back.
Once God gives light it is no longer a question of whether you have light – the question then becomes what you will do with it. And the fact is, you can always turn back to that light – even if you have previously ignored or refused it. It is never too late to turn back to God, and God never closes the door or withdraws His light. Our sin is found in the fact that we don’t turn back, and that we don’t walk through God’s eternally open door in Christ.
In the end, we are either going to respond to the light in a way that will suit ourselves, or we are going to embrace the light and allow God to adjust us to Himself through it. John had this way of saying the same thing:
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hates the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that does truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (John 3:19-21)
We are going to either love darkness rather than light, or we are going to love light rather than darkness. And right at the forefront, John tells us what is usually the pivot point – whether we are willing to be exposed before the Lord.
Now, light is not a THING. Light is a Person: Jesus Christ. Thus, we are here talking about a revelation of the Truth – the truth about myself, and the truth about God -- through seeing Jesus Christ. Because of where we begin in this fallen creation, that initial vision won’t be pretty. But it is all unto Redemption for those who will embrace it.
But make no question, the same Light that God gives – which He fully intends to set us free and work to our full redemption – that same Light will condemn us and harden our hearts if we refuse, deny, or neglect it. If light is given to us we are going to have to respond to the Truth. We are going to have to do something with Jesus Christ.
Light is never intended by God to condemn us. You will note that John defined condemnation as men loving darkness RATHER than light. So light never condemns. The refusal of light condemns. Light is intended by God to show us the Truth – Truth, which, if we embrace, will result in our salvation. But if we refuse that Truth there is nothing left to say – this is condemnation.
The initial reason God gives light is to bring us to Christ. But once Christ comes to dwell in us, the Light only gets brighter. The Christian life is a growth in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. He is the Light. And as we grow to know Him we will see the Truth all the more.
Despite the fact that people do not want to face the Truth about themselves, there is simply no other truth. But if we really understood it, all Truth sets us free – including the Truth about ourselves. Our problem is that we hold onto ourselves rather than embrace Christ. If we saw the Truth we would lose ourselves and embrace Him.
Have we yet recognized that there is absolutely NOTHING we can do about ourselves? But the good news is that you don’t need to do anything about yourself, indeed, must not think you can do anything. Rather, Jesus Christ has already done all that needs to be done.
Now, if you have actually seen that this is the truth, it will come as good news. And you will begin to see that if there is any hope at all it is the grace of God – not based upon anything about you, but based solely upon Jesus Christ.
The question is, will you believe? Will you leave yourself alone long enough to simply step around yourself, and despite yourself, simply embrace the promise of God based solely in His Son?
It is almost as a law of nature – it is only to the extent that we see there is no hope in ourselves that we will put our faith in Christ. That is why the first approach of God is to expose us. He is not being mean. He is showing us the Truth about ourselves so that we will turn to Him.
We have a thousand reasons, most of them unspoken and unrealized, that keep us from abiding in Christ by His grace through faith. Usually we think we are not worthy. Or maybe we think we are too worthy. But neither is the Truth, and God doesn’t consider either. Sometimes we just don’t see how it can be that easy. But it is that easy and it is that free because of the cost Jesus paid. If we actually got a glimpse of our desperate need, we would realize why all must be offered us by grace – it is the only way God could save us. And if we actually got a glimpse of the true nature of God, we would realize His desire to give us all things freely in His Son.
So you see, the issue here is faith. But you and I cannot muster up faith from out of ourselves. Faith comes to be in us through God’s revelation and our openness to hearing. (see Rom. 10:17) This means that God must show us the Truth about ourselves and the Truth about Christ – He must show us the Truth, period. But make no question about it, we must hear and embrace that Truth.
The Light of Life
Jesus said that if we follow Him we would have, "the light of life." John also said of Jesus, "In Him was life, and that life was the light of men." You will note that the LIFE and the LIGHT are inseparable. Sure. That is because they are not things. Light and Life are a Person – the same Person.
The Life of Jesus Christ carries all Light. Now, once we realize this, it explains a great number of things. First of all, as one who is saved, how do I come to know Jesus – how do I come to see more light? Well, the light is in the life – in Him. Thus, it is only as there is an increase of the life of Christ in me that there is an increase possible of light and Truth.
Practically speaking, if I LOSE my life into His hands, I will find a greater increase of His life – and the light will come along with Him. We don’t usually think of LIGHT emerging from being crucified with Christ. But the light is in His life because the light is Him. It is all about coming into a greater fullness of Christ.
It is not possible to know God, or to truly grasp anything God is doing, apart from knowing the Person of Christ. Sure, we can use our brain power and sort things out, but that is not the same as knowing – as defined by the Bible. In the Bible, knowing is SEEING. It is seeing all things through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
It is one thing to be blind and not know you are blind – that is total deception. But once God speaks light – speaks Christ to us – then, at first, we might continue to be relatively blind. But at that point we have enough light to KNOW we are blind. Ironic, but true: Knowing you are blind is a seeing – it is a seeing that you are blind! This is enough for us to turn and cry out to God that we might see. The answer is not merely Christian doctrines – for these can merely describe to us what we ought to see and believe. Rather, the answer is to actually see. We have to have LIGHT.
Jesus Christ in us is illumination. All discernment is the result of knowing Him. Jesus is the light that drives away darkness. Knowing Him will set us free from the blindness that deceived us. Thus, rather than ask God for information, let us ask Him for revelation – the revelation of Christ in us.
The Good News - Home