************ Sermon on 1 John 1:5 ************

By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman

This sermon was preached on December 22, 2109

1 John 1:5
"God is Light"
Candle Light Service

I A Message we have Heard
A "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light" (1 Jn 1:5). "This is the message we have heard ..." Which leads me to ask, when and where. When was this heard that God is light? Where was this heard that God is light? Answer: throughout the Bible.

We see God is light when Israel left Egypt. God led the children of Israel out of Egypt. Do you remember how God led them? A pillar of cloud, a cloud of light, during the day. And, a pillar of fire, a cloud of light, during the night. The light represents the presence of God.

Moses knew and personally experienced that God is light. As you know, Moses was told by God to lead the children of Israel. He led them out of Egypt. He led them through the wilderness. But because of the people's complaints and the enemies they faced, Moses got discouraged. Remember what Moses asked for? "Show me your glory" (Ex 33:18). So God put Moses in a cleft in the rock and covered him with His hand until He passed by and Moses got to see God's back. "Show me your glory." So what did Moses see? He saw light, some kind of glorious light. A brilliant light. A blinding light. A light that stuck to Moses' face -- so much so that it scared the Israelites and Moses had to wear a veil (Ex 34:30-35).

Remember the dedication of the Tabernacle? The light, which represented God, came down from heaven and filled the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle with the glorious presence of God (Ex 40:34). Later on in Israel's history when the Temple was completed the light, which represented God, again came down from heaven (1 Kings 8:11). Many people refer to this as the Shekinah glory of God even though the word shekinah itself does not appear in the bible. It is a Hebrew word that emphasizes the glorious presence or dwelling of the Lord God on this earth. In the Tabernacle and in the Temple God showed He is light.

"God is light." We see this, too, on the Mount of Transfiguration. Jesus took Peter, John and James with Him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. Peter and John and James saw all this. They saw the glory of Jesus. They saw the light (Lk 9:28-36). They saw living proof of what Jesus said about Himself: "I am the light" (Jn 8:12).

Someone asked me a good question: How could there be light on the first day of creation if the sun was not created until the fourth day? This is only a problem if we fail to take into account that ours is an infinite and omnipotent God. God does not need the sun, moon, or stars to provide light because God Himself is light! God Himself was the light for the first three days of creation. Similarly, Revelation says God is our light in the new heavens and new earth.
(Rev 22:5) There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
The promise of the Bible is that those who believe in Jesus never walk in darkness but have the light of life. That is, they have the light of God.

B "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light" (1 Jn 1:5). One way to understand this is to think of clothing. The psalmist puts it this way:
(Ps 104:1-2) Praise the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. (2) He wraps himself in light as with a garment ...
God covers Himself with light in the same way as we cover ourselves with clothes. That is fairly simple and easy to understand.

And, yet, we have to realize the light is also terrifying. Paul writes,
(1 Tim 6:15-16) ... God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, (16) who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light ...
Unapproachable light. That's God. That's why God said to Moses: "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live" (Ex 33:20). The light is too glorious, too glorious for any creature to see it in all its fullness. So Matthew's gospel tells us Peter, James, and John were terrified by what they saw on the Mount of Transfiguration (17:6).

II God is Light
A "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light" (1 Jn 1:5).

God is light. What does this mean? Go back to the opening chapter of Genesis. God's creation activity starts with light. What is the first thing God said or made? "Let there be light" (Gen 1:3). Before God said this all was darkness and the earth was formless and empty. And then there was light. Light marked the start of creation. Light marked the start of life. What am I saying? What is the Bible saying? That light equals life. Light means life.

Light means life -- not only in the physical realm but in the spiritual realm too. The physical light that God made on the first day of creation is a wonderful picture of what He does in every heart that trusts in Christ Jesus. So in his gospel John can write, "In [Christ] was life, and that life was the light of men" (Jn 1:4).

"God is light." Which means God is the source of life. Everybody who lives, lives because he or she has received life from the Creator. God is the source of physical life. God is the source of spiritual life. The Lord Who created light is the source of all life.

B "God is light." This means, as our text puts it, that "in him there is no darkness at all." There is no darkness in God. Only light. Only life.

"God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." There is no darkness in God. Which means He is not like Satan. Satan is darkness. Satan is deceit and lies, not truth. Satan is death, not life. Every form of life has its enemies. Insects have to watch out for hungry birds, and birds must keep an eye out for cats and dogs. Human beings have to dodge automobiles and fight off germs. And Christians have to watch for the darkness of Satan and sin.

There is no darkness in God. This means God is righteous and good and holy. In Him there is no sin, no iniquity, no injustice, no moral blemish. God is always perfect and altogether good.

This, too, is the message we hear throughout the Bible. "I, the Lord your God, am holy" (Lev 19:2). "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty" (Is 6:3).

III Come to the Light
A Because God is light, everyone has physical life, temporal life. But not everyone has spiritual life, eternal life. Why not? Listen to two verses from John's gospel:
(Jn 1:5) The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

(Jn 3:19) Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
People live in darkness, in spiritual darkness. In fact, they are born in darkness, spiritual darkness. Meaning what? Well, if light means life then darkness -- as at the beginning of time -- means the absence of life. Darkness means death, spiritual death. So Paul can tell us we are dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1). We are spiritually dead. To live in spiritual darkness means not having fellowship with God through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. To live in spiritual darkness means to be in a state of rebellion against God. To live in spiritual darkness means our understanding has been darkened and our hearts have been hardened (cf Eph 4:18).

B "God is light." Jesus is light. Jesus tells us He has come into the world as light. By this He means He has come to give life. So that we are no longer spiritually dead. So that ours is spiritual life, eternal life. So that we live in the light instead of the darkness. A very familiar verse from Psalm 27 says, "The LORD is my light and my salvation ..." (Ps 27:1). God is my light. He is my light in and through Christ. Paul explains this so beautifully in his letter to the Corinthians:
(2 Cor 4:6) For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of ... Christ.
God gives us light through Christ.

C How do you get spiritual life, eternal life. You know. You know. It can only be yours in and through Jesus Christ. Isaiah speaks of this:
(Isa 9:2) The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

(Isa 60:1-2) "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. (2) See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
This message of Isaiah is quoted early in the New Testament, in Matthew 4, to announce that Jesus is the light and that those who believe in Him have been delivered from spiritual darkness and now walk in God's light. By the grace of God you need to accept Jesus as your Savior from sin and as the Lord of your life. When you do, if you do, then yours is the light of Christ and the life of Christ. And you become light in the Lord.

I want to ask you if you have come to the Light? Have you come to Jesus? Do you believe in Him? If you don't, you remain in darkness. If you don't, you remain dead in your transgressions and sins. But if you do believe in Jesus, then yours is life, abundant life, life to the full, physical life and spiritual life. Come to the Light, congregation. Come to Jesus.

"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all."
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