God is Spirit. God is Light. And God is Love. This is the insight we gain from John into the person of God. This post deviates from grace, to talk about the phrase “God is Light”.
We don’t understand the significance of this phrase because light has become mundane for us. It is not only mundane, it is now subject to our command. We can flip a switch at will. And in doing so, we sometimes jokingly refer to the first words of God in the Bible:
Let there be light.
These first words are packed with so much power and truth, yet we so easily glance over it. It has become familiar to us – mundane was the word I used.
We need to look afresh at these very words. God is Light. And the first words we know He said were “Let there be light.”
Or, “Let there be God.”
I do not take this to mean God created Himself. No, the very existence of God lies outside of our understanding. What is the Clay to say to the Potter, “Why have you made me like this?” What more can the Clay say to the Potter, “Who made you?”
Instead, I take it to be the truest expression of God. God revealed Himself. It is who He is. He reveals Himself. Genesis was the revelation of God in creation. Without light we do not see. By light, we see everything. All of creation, we see by light. Therefore, is it not unsurprising that His first words were as such? For all things reveal God, and God reveals Himself through all things.
Yet we take this for granted as well. Creation has become mundane to us. We are no longer awed by it. Perhaps we’re surrounded by familiar sights. The same wall that lies beyond the screen of my laptop. The table cluttered with books on which my laptop rests. These are familiar sights. So familiar that I give them no second thought.
This is a testament of man in his utter rebellion. He does not treasure light. He does not treasure all that it reveals. He is merely interested in subjecting it to his will. As such, how can he even begin to treasure its source?
But once again, we can treasure light, as it was, and as it truly is. For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. It is the marvelous light of redemption by which we can perceive everything anew!
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shined
This is the ‘true light’ as John calls it. The marvelous light of redemption. For a people condemned to eternal wrath by their rebellion against God, God has said once again, “Let there be light.” This light is Jesus Christ. The Jesus who died for our sin, taking upon Himself the wrath of God, and was raised for our righteousness, a righteousness we cannot earn; rather His righteousness is now credited to us if we accept Jesus as Lord. The good news of what Jesus did on the cross – this is the marvelous light of redemption.
Those who live in Jesus, the one who died for our sins and was raised for our justification, live in the light. And those living in the light, do not live in darkness. Yes they are surrounded by a land of deep darkness. But on them a light has shined. A light that overcomes the darkness. It is everything bright and true. It is everything good. By this light we see things as they were, good. We see man as he was. Very good. We see things as they are now. Subject to futility. We see man as he is now. Utterly sinful and deserving of the wrath of God. And by this light, we see clearly who we are now. Saved. By grace. I guess we can never stray too far from grace.
Because we can never stray too far from the cross. The marvelous light of redemption. And it is by this light that we live. Despite the greatest of temptations, this light has overcome all darkness. Sin has lost its power. Keep bearing in mind this is the light that has given us this life. Keep bearing in mind this is the light in whom we live. Keep bearing in mind the power of this light in whom we live.
Dare we treat light so mundanely? Perhaps you might think differently next time you switch on your lights.