|Vol. 14 No. 9 September 2012||
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” (Ephesians 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 Timothy 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” (Psalm 119:105). The Psalmist also declared, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 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” (Romans 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” (Ephesians 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” (Colossians 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 Corinthians 4:6).
Jesus not only brought the light, but He walked according to the light, and therefore, He 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 needs to grow brighter and brighter until the day star rises in our hearts (2 Peter 1:19)! The more of God’s truth and Word we understand, the brighter the light will be. Paul prayed that the Colossians would be filled with all knowledge and spiritual understanding, which would mean all light (Colossians 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 that glorify the Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Our obedience glorifies our Father. We are admonished to walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8), which we do when we obey more and more of His commands.
Tami Coble Brown
I recently read an article in The Voice of Truth International called, “My Child Doesn’t Like Bible Class.” The author gave some excellent suggestions to parents on how to motivate their children to want to go to Bible class. However, in some congregations, just the opposite problem exists. The children do not come to class, not because they do not want to come, but because their parents prefer to attend only the Sunday morning worship service. The Sunday school teacher, with a lesson all prepared and ready, sits in an empty classroom week after week. This is discouraging for the teacher, but more importantly, it is tragic for children who are missing out on essential, age-appropriate lessons from God’s Word.
In Matthew 19:13-14, the disciples rebuked parents who brought their children to Jesus, but Jesus Himself intervened and said, “Let the little children come to me.” Today, more than ever, parents need to bring their children to Jesus. What better way to do that than to take them to Sunday school and midweek Bible class, where they can learn Bible stories and sing songs to help them remember basic Bible truths?
Paul told fathers in Ephesians 6:4, “…do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the teaching and the admonition of the Lord.” As parents, we all have the responsibility of teaching our children about God and Jesus. We can do this by having Bible studies and devotionals in our homes, and also by bringing them to Bible class every week.