SOTM – THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Jesus came into the world as a light, a light of truth, a light of righteous living in the Word of God, and the world rejected that light of truth. “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:5) The Christian, the follower of Christ is to be a reflection of that light, as we abide in Him and He with us. As we have His Holy Spirit dwelling within that we may be guided to all truth. The truth that Jesus has taught us and He will convict us of that truth that we will know the way that we should go. “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13)

Many a follower of Jesus has forsaken their responsibility of reasonable service to Him that has chosen us and keeps us as His own. They have gone their own way to try to do that which is not accomplishable without the vine to empower them. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Like sheep they have gone astray and their testimony is amiss of the full gospel of His truth. “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13) The follower of Jesus is to reflect the light of Christ that is within him yet they are filled with empty words of vague truths that have been manipulated for selfish gain. The world can see the falsehood of their testimony. As Jesus said that He is the Light that should shine forth from us. “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12)

The light that Jesus gives serves through the Christian in in three ways or functions. The light of Jesus from within should dispel the darkness of the world that is around us. I have noticed that people act differently when in a Christian atmosphere than they normally do. When the Christian enters in he should influence the behavior of the people around him. He should be a positive character that lifts people to a higher morality and cause them to see their short fall in relationship to righteousness. They should become aware that in the light of God’s Word they fall short of the glory of God and realize their need for confession and repentance. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

All who are without the saving grace of Jesus are walking in the valley of the shadow of death and are in need of salvation. They are in a darkness and unknowing of the truth that can set them free from their bondage of sin. The Christian should dispel that darkness and lead them to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a Light dawned.” (Matthew 4:16)

The light of Jesus from within the Christian should reveal the darkness that is in the unbeliever. The Christian has not come to judge, as neither did the Lord Jesus Christ, the Christian has come to share the truth of His Word. Jesus came to save the world and His disciples have come to give the gospel truth of the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. The Christian cannot judge nor can he save, as these are things belonging to God. The Christian has come to testify of the light of truth within him that others might see by his witness. The Christians are sowers of His seed, His word of truth that they can believe on the name of Jesus and call unto Him and be saved. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” (John 3:17-19)

The light that Jesus gives to His followers shows the way out of the darkness that people are living in. If the Christian does not walk in the light of Jesus then his testimony is discredited. He is called a hypocrite which is a serious charge that has been placed upon the Church. A Christian must at all times walk in a way that brings honor to the Father and to His Son. By our word and deed we prove our testimony to be true. If we continue to walk in the darkness then we make the Word of God a lie before men. If the Christian walks in the light of Christ then they have fellowship with a worldwide Christian brother and sisterhood. When the world sees Christians walking together in the bonds of Christ’s love then they will see something that they too desire to have. They will listen to the testimony and follow the path to their salvation. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:6-7)

Because the Christian is not of this world but of the Kingdom of Heaven people of the world will take notice of the difference. They will notice that the Christian is living in the peace and joy of eternal security. Many people will know that Christian’s have a deep personal faith in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately they feel their faith should be kept personal and that if they share it others will be offended. But nothing will be more offensive than a lost souls eternal damnation. The Christian is to make Disciples of Christ throughout the nations. Sharing the gospel seeds of the truth of His light is a good work that is pleasing to the Father and brings Him glory. There is no more a satisfying good work than to pull one out of the pit and lead him to a path towards an eternal home in the Kingdom of Heaven. “So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, March 20, 2016

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