Thursday, June 14, 2012

People of the Light

I've been reading 1 John lately.  And this is what I've been thinking about:
“What we are telling you now is the very message we heard from Him: God is pure light, undimmed by darkness of any kind.  If we say we have an intimate connection with the Father but we continue stumbling around in darkness, then we are lying because we do not live according to truth.  If we walk step by step in the light, where the Father is, then we are ultimately connected to each other through the sacrifice of Jesus His Son. His blood purifies us from all our sins.”  1 John 1:5-7 the Voice
After his greeting in verses 1-4, John doesn't waste any time getting to the heart of the matter.

He begins contrasting two things.  Dark and light.

God is light. 

I like the way the Voice translates the Greek word for "light" here, phos.  Pure.  Undimmed by darkness of any kind.

This is what God is like.

And that which is not like God?  It is darkness.

What do you think about when you hear the word darkness?   

I think of the way shadows twist and contort as I move about my home in the middle of the night when the lights are out.  Things are not as they seem here. 

I also think about my natural tendency to hide when I do something wrong.  To conceal it.  To put it in a deep, dark corner.  To never talk about it.  To cover it up.  To lie about it.

The Greek word John uses for "darkness" is skotiaIt means "spiritual or moral darkness emblematic of sin as a condition of moral or spiritual depravity."  Brokenness.  Sin.

This epidemic is an old one.  It began in the garden with Adam and Eve.

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.  She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”  Genesis 3:6-8 TNIV
Before this, man never knew shame.

Before this, there was no reason to conceal anything.

Before this, man didn’t live in darkness.  Brokenness.  Sinfulness.

Now, darkness is the way of the world.

Yet, by the grace of God, we don’t have to live like this.

We can have an intimate connection with the Father and others through the blood of Christ.

We can walk in the light.  Phos.

John paints a picture of these two ways of living.

As he does so, it is important to note that he is talking about a particular type of person. 

He is talking about one who says they have koinonia with the Father. 

Remember that word?  It means fellowship.  It means communion.  It means you share a special bond. 

He is talking to believers.

This causes me to open my eyes and pay attention.  How about you?

We can walk in darkness.  Or we can walk in the light.

So what does that mean--"walk"?  The word for "walk," here, in Greek is peripateō.  It means “the whole round of activities of the individual’s life.”  Basically, the way one lives day in and day out.

Someone can say that they have fellowship with God and walk in the darkness.  John calls these people liars.  He says they don’t live the truth.  Ouch.

I’ve lived here before.  I sometimes still live here.  But I don’t want to.

And John tells of a better way.

“If we walk step by step in the light, where the Father is, then we are ultimately connected to each other through the sacrifice of Jesus His Son.  His blood purifies us from all our sins.” (v.7)
I like this translation, because it reminds me that walking in the light is to trust God, step by step.  Moment by moment.

That means I have to seek Him daily.  I have to submit daily.  And daily, as I do this, I have communion through Jesus, by way of the Holy Spirit.

Walking in the light is not always comfortable.

Walking in the light requires bringing those things I’d like to hide, those places of sinfulness in my life out into the light.  And that can be painful.  It is painful to confess to a friend that I shared something that maybe was meant for nobody’s ears but my own.  It is hard to ask for forgiveness.  But it is also good.

Walking in the light also requires me to do the things that I’m afraid to do.  It means walking in trust that God is with me every step of the way as I go to an unfamiliar place or try something new.  Those kinds of situations always bring up anxiety in me.  It is hard.  But it is SO good.

In the light we live as God’s changed people.

We recognize that Christ’s blood purifies us from all our sin.

We live humbly admitting our faults as we bring them to the cross.  We live loving others because we know what it is to be forgiven.  We live changed by God’s generous love.  We live conquering fear.  We live proclaiming Good News!  We live free.  We live letting go of control.  And as we do we become a little bit more like Christ.

We choose one path or the other.  Light or dark.

Let’s live as people of the light!

Grace and peace be yours in abundance as we live in the light, becoming people of the light, reflecting the glory of God to those in need of hope.

Jessica :)

P.S.  You can find the Greek Words by searching for the words at Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.  I have been having trouble linking to specific words for some reason.  So I'm sharing a link to the site where you can do your own search.  Hopefully it works!  Blessings. 

No comments:

Post a Comment