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Posts tagged ‘obedience’

TODAY’S MESSAGE

LIVING IN THE LIGHT AS LIGHT (GENESIS 1:1-5, 1John 1:5-6)

As we begin this study of Living in the light as light, we begin with two precepts.  First we begin with light as the substance that illuminates the world.  Second we come into the knowledge and understanding as to whom and what the substance that illuminates the world is.

Let me give you a working definition of the word light; it is something that makes things visible are affords illuminations.  In Physics it is also called, luminous energy, radiant energy. electromagnetic radiation to which the organs of sight react, ranging in wavelength from about 400 to 700 nm and propagated at a speed of 186,282 mi./sec (299,972 km/sec), considered variously as a wave, corpuscular, or quantum phenomenon.

The state of being visible, exposed to view, or revealed to public notice or knowledge; limelight: Stardom has placed her in the light. A person who is an outstanding leader, celebrity, or example; luminary: He became one of the leading lights of Restoration drama. A gleam or sparkle, as in the eyes.  A measure or supply of light; illumination:  The wall cuts off our light, Spiritual illumination or awareness; enlightenment.

Now let us look at just how this light came into its existence.  In order to do so let’s begin with Genesis 1:1-5 (Amplified Bible) 1IN THE beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens and the earth.(A)

    2The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters.

    3And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.  This had to be one of the most profound moments in the history of the universe.  God spoke the word, “LET” and let went into action.  It did not waste any time.  It obeys the master’s command.  Did just what it was told to do and lit up the entire universe. 

This was the very moment in time that any form of light existed upon the earth.  Do not allow your mind to become confused with the establishment of the sun, moon, and stars on the fourth day.  You see it was not until the fourth day that the Lord set the sun, moon, and stars in the heavens as light bearers and as means for establishing a calendar.

    4And God saw that the light was good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it; and God separated the light from the darkness.(B)

    5And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Now the entire universe has experienced the awesome power and beauty of this light that shines forever to provide us with the light of a loving God who allows His marvelous light to light up the entire universe.

Now we can stand and tell the world that we are living in that light and that same light is reflecting from us to all that see us.  We are truly that marvelous light and in us that believe, there exist no darkness. 

In our second precept, we stated that we would come into the knowledge and full understanding as to whom and what the substance that illuminates the world is.  In order for us to do that, let us take a compelling look at the life of Jesus, the son of God who became the living light.

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].

    6[So] if we say we are partakers together and enjoy fellowship with Him when we live and move and are walking about in darkness, we are [both] speaking falsely and do not live and practice the Truth [which the Gospel presents]. (1 John 1:5-6) (AMP)

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 come into contact with Jesus without being enlightened. 

God is light; He is the light of the world.  For so many of us, we have taken this light for granted.  When we awaken each day, we believe that this light will always be there without ever giving it a second thought of how it got there and how it remains there for our lives to exist from.

Let us reflect upon this thought for a moment; 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. 

While “light” have many connotations, this reference points specifically to God’s purity.  Therefore, those who claim to have fellowship with God are living in God’s light, trying to live holy and pure lives for him.  To claim to belong to God but then to go on living in spiritual darkness is hypocritical.  Christ will expose and judge such deceit. 

Now let’s for a moment take a close look at how John confronted the first of three claims of the false teachers.  When you open your bibles to (1 John 1:8 then to 1 John 1:10), you will see that John was exposing the false teachers who said that people can have fellowship with God and still walk in sin.  False teachers who thought that the physical body was evil or worthless taught one of two approaches to behavior; either they insisted on denying bodily desires through rigid discipline, or they approved of gratifying every physical lust because the body was going to be destroyed anyway.  Here John was stating that no one can claim to be a Christian and still live in evil and immorality. 

Those who claim to follow the Son 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 believers results from each believer’s 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 don’t 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.

Another result of living in the light is that the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin.  John emphasized that the death of Christ saves people, not the false teachers’ knowledge.  The verb cleanses also means “purifies.”  Sin is not only forgiven, it is completely erased.  

Now as we conclude this message, let us turn to (1 John 2:5-6) (AMP) and here we will close with a final thought on the word “Obedience.” 

5But he who keeps (treasures) His Word [who bears in mind His precepts, who observes His message in its entirety], truly in him has the love of and for God been perfected (completed, reached maturity). By this we may perceive (know, recognize, and be sure) that we are in Him:

    6Whoever says he abides in Him ought [as [a]a personal debt] to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself.

When we talk about Obedience it is linked not merely with knowing God but with loving him.  Those who obey God’s word really do love him.  By this obedience and love, believers can know that they live in him.  They are living in the light.  Jesus portrayed in human terms absolute obedience to the Father.  Anyone who wonders how to obey God can look at Jesus.  Those who truly desire to live in God should live their lives as Christ did.  To “live as Christ did” doesn’t mean choosing twelve disciples, performing great miracles, and being crucified.  People cannot merely copy Christ’s life.  Much of what Jesus did had to do with his identity as God’s Son and his special role in dying for sin.  Anyone’s claim to live in Christ must be backed up by following his example of complete obedience to God and loving service to people.  Then you can truly say that you are living in the light and your life is reflecting that light.  Therefore, in you there is no darkness, no evil exist nowhere in your life.  You are a walking, talking living example of Christ.  In the name of Jesus, let me here you shout it out, JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, OH HOW I LOVE TO CALL YOUR SWEET NAME.  TODAY I AM THE LIGHT THAT REFLECTS YOUR BEAUTY AND LOVE.  THANK YOU JESUS.  AMEN, AMEN, AMEN.

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LEARNING TO LIVE IN THE TRUTH

As we begin our study of the epistle of 2 John 1:4-6, we are given to understand that John had only met some of the believers in the church and was glad to find them living in the truth.  John was probably speaking of those he met at some place other than the local church itself.  His joy at meeting them and then discovering that they were living in the truth prompted him to write this epistle.  In identifying only “some” of the children, he was not necessarily excluding the others.  Rather, he was speaking only of those he met.  In both cases, the apostle rejoiced in the believers who had not allowed the false teachers to lead them away from the truth.

Living in the truth refers to the Christians conducting their lives as they had been commanded by the Father.  The commandment to live in the truth came from the Father through the Son to the disciples, who passed it on to the believers.  As John had explained in another letter.  “And this is his commandment:  We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us.”  (1 John 3:23).  To live in the truth, therefore, involves believing in Jesus Christ as God’s Son (faith) and loving others (action).

Now as we look at verse (1:5), we see that John urged the church to love one another.  This was not a new commandment: the believers had heard this from the beginning.  The Christians had been taught this commandment from the time they first heard the gospel preached.  The statement that Christians should love one another is a recurrent New Testament theme.  Yet love for one’s neighbor is an old command, first appearing in the third book of Moses (Leviticus 19:18).  Believers can show love in many ways: by avoiding prejudice and discrimination, by accepting people, by listening, helping, giving, serving, and by refusing to judge.  Knowing God’s command is not enough.  Those who claim to love God and believe in his Son must put their faith into practice by loving.  (Look at Matthew 22:37-39 and 1 John 2:7-10).

In verse (1:6) lest anyone wonder what John meant by the word “love,” he explained it here.  Love does not focus on emotions or feelings; instead, love means doing what God has commanded.  Love is expressed by obedience; obedience fulfills the command to love.  The one command to love one another sums up all of God’s commands, and obedience to God’s commands is the sure test of love.  John made the same proclamation in his first letter (see 1 John 3:11, 16-19).

Four times in verse 4-6 appears a form of the word”command.”  Yet the commands are obeyed through love.  John wanted his readers to know that he spoke as an Elder, as an apostle, and as a loving father to his children–with authority from God himself.  The false teachers had no such authority, and their lifestyles did not exemplify love.

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