Jesus Christ - The True Light
Dear Church Family,
As we discovered over the past two Sundays, two key themes in the prologue of John’s Gospel (1:1-18) are Jesus as the light and the truth. I mentioned on Sunday how the concept of truth has fallen on hard times in our Post-Christian and post-modern culture. Few believe that there are absolute, universal, and transcendent truths that are for all people, in all times and places, and that are to act as anchors and guides in life (and death) and give us meaning, purpose, direction, and hope. The loss of this concept of Truth has many serious negative and detrimental implications--one of which is that the gospel itself loses all real meaning and value.
As I was preparing for Sunday’s sermon earlier this week, I read the following passage that tied together the concepts of light and truth in Christ and his gospel—and brought out the importance of truth-- in a helpful way. It comes from The Dynamics of Spiritual Life by Richard Lovelace and is worthy of my sharing it with you and of your reading and reflection:
Martin Luther perceived that the main root of the flesh [fallen human personality apart from the renewing influence and control of the Holy Spirit]…was unbelief. The characteristic bent of the flesh is toward independence from God, his truth and his will, as if man himself were God… Luther was right: the root behind all other manifestations of sin is compulsive unbelief—our voluntary darkness concerning God, ourselves, his relationship to the fallen world and his redemptive purpose. For this reason the entrance and growth of new spiritual life involves the shattering of our sphere of darkness by repentant faith in redemptive truth. If the Fall occurred through embracing of lies, the recovery process of salvation must center on faith in truth, reversing this condition. Therefore Jesus says to those who are trapped in unconscious slavery to sin, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:31-32). The deliverance which brings us into spiritual life in communion with God is summed up in John’s description of redeemed behavior as withdrawing from darkness and walking in the light of truth and holiness:
…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7)
Therefore, since Jesus Christ is both the source of light and truth, the key to relationship with him is to cast off the darkness and lies that are at the center of a life of rebellion and separation from him and to embrace the truth revealed in and by Jesus through repentant faith in the person and work of Jesus.
May our lives be ever marked in this way and may this mark how we communicate the gospel to others--those both inside and outside the family of faith.
For Christ and His Kingdom,
Pastor Rich Good