“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” (Eph. 5:8).
Light is the opposite of darkness. The Bible speaks of light as the symbol of God’s presence and righteous works. “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen” (1 Tim. 6:16). Physical light has been associated with God’s presence, while spiritual light is associated with His knowledge, truth, and righteousness since creation. Darkness, on the other hand, symbolizes ignorance, error, evil, and the works of Satan.
God and His Word are frequently pictured as lights or lamps to enlighten and guide the believer down the dark roads of life. “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:” (1 John 1:5-6). “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psa. 119:105). The Psalmist also declared, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” (Psa. 27:1). Light is also used as a symbol of holiness and purity. Paul counseled the Christians at Rome to “put on the armour of light” (Rom. 13:12).
The New Testament presents Jesus as the personification of light or divine illumination: “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). He is the one who brought the truth and knowledge of God into the world (John 1:18). Jesus plainly stated that those who rejected this divine light would bring judgment upon themselves. “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 hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:19-21). Jesus and the New Testament writers extended the figure of light to include faithful Christians, who were called “children of light” (Eph 5:8).
Hating the light will bring condemnation. Turning to the light brings salvation, as He said: “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” (Col. 1:13-14). Walking in the light is not just believing a certain doctrine. Walking in the light, which is God’s word, is walking according to God’s direction for us””doing what He says. That light, when it enters our hearts, gives the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6).
Jesus not only brought the light, but He walked according to the light and therefore is our example of what it means to be light. We need to grow in that light, both in knowing the light as well as becoming a light to others. God’s prophesy (the word of God) is that light which shines and needs to grow brighter and brighter until the day star rises in our hearts! (2 Pet. 1:19). The more of God’s truth and word we understand the brighter the light. Paul prayed that the Colossians would be filled with all knowledge and spiritual understanding, which would mean all light (Col. 1:9-10). Truly the day star comes closer and closer the more knowledge and understanding we add. When we live according to that light we do many good deeds which glorify the Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Our obedience glorifies our Father. We are admonished to walk as children of light (Eph 5:8), which we do when we obey more and more of His commands.
1. RESEARCH QUESTION: Many ancient cultures were fascinated with light and its implications. Using a concordance or a Bible dictionary, find as many examples as possible of ancient people whose religions called for the worship of light or the sources of light (stars, moon or the sun). As much as possible, give examples from scripture of what God thought of these people.
2. Who were the people who sat in darkness, and what “great light” did they see (Matt. 4:16; Luke 1:79)?
3. What is the light of the body? What happens to people whose “eye is evil” (Matt. 6:22-23: Luke 11:34-36)?
4. Why did men love the darkness (John 3:19)? Did they comprehend the light (John 1:5)?
5. What was Jesus called (John 8:12; John 12:35)?
6. What was the purpose of “the light” (John 12:46; Acts 26:18)?
7. DISCUSSION QUESTION: If we hate our brother for any reason, where are we dwelling (1 John 2:8-9)? Can we be saved in that condition? Please also consider 1 John 4:20.
8. If we walk in the light, what do men in the world see (Matt. 5:16)?
9. What does it mean that the day star can rise in our hearts (2 Pet. 1:19)?
10. How can the light of God shine more and more in our hearts and actions (Col. 1:9-10; Matt. 5:16)?