BELIEVERS MUST BE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
In the last two lessons, we have learn the value of salt in our lives and the need for us to be used as that salt, to stir up our gifts, and preserve the best qualities of our lives. God has equipped us in order that we may have a positive effect on others as the salt of the earth.
The Bible speaks of light as the symbol of God’s presence and righteous activity. Light has been associated with the presence, truth, and redemptive activity of God since creation. Before human beings were created, light was brought into being by the Creator: “Then God said, Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good’ (Gen. 1:3-4). Through-out the Bible, light represents truth, goodness, and God’s redemptive work. Darkness, on the other hand, symbolizes error, evil, and the works of Satan.
Now listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 5:14, “14You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” As salt makes a difference in people’s food, so light makes a difference in their surroundings. Jesus told them that He was the light of the world, and if you follow me you will not stumble through darkness, but instead you will have the light of life. He further said, “You as my disciples must live for Christ, shining like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. They are like light in a dark world, showing clearly, what Christ is like. Because Jesus is the light of the world, his followers must reflect his light.
When Jesus was on earth, his divine life illuminated the inner lives of his followers. Everywhere he was present he gave light. This light penetrated people, exposing their sin and revealing divine truth. No one could encounter Jesus without being enlightened.
Know in your heart that Jesus is light, and as light enables people to do their work, it produces growth in crops; it reveals beauty and provides safety. Light represents what is good, pure, true, holy, and reliable. Light reveals; light shines. God is so completely “light” that there is no darkness in him at all. “Darkness” represents what is sinful and evil. God is untainted by any evil or sin. Thus, “God is light,” means that God is perfectly holy and true and that he alone can guide people out of the darkness of sin.
Those of us who claim to follow Jesus must be living in the light of God’s presence. They must be illumined by the truth of God’s character. To “live in the light” requires constant contact with God and no tolerance for dishonesty, hypocrisy, or sin. Living in the light comes from continuous effort to take on Christ’s qualities. This involves complete transformation from within.
Living in the light leads to fellowship with each other. This fellowship among believer’s results from each believer is having fellowship with God. True spirituality manifests itself in community fellowship. One cannot say that he or she communes with God and then refuse to commune with God’s people. Such was the case with some of the false teachers of John’s day, and this situation exists among false cults today. Often their followers and leaders claim to have special relationships with God, but they do not affiliate with other believers. They stay isolated and withdraw from everyone else. John’s point is that the natural result of living in the light (in fellowship with God) should be joyful relationships with other Christians.
1 John 1:5 (Amplified Bible) 5And this is the message [the message of [a]promise] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [[b]no, not in any way].