The Difference Between Light and Darkness
- Rev. Gordon McClellan President of ChristianNetworks.org
- 2002 4 Nov
A crucial point that the apostle John makes in both the Gospel of John and his series of three letters known as 1, 2 and 3rd John, is the difference between light and darkness. It is important for us to understand what John means.
As he writes in the first of his three letters, "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." (1 John 1:5-7)
When John says that "God is light", he is referring literally to God as illuminator. That is, as the illuminator - as the creator - as the generator - of all that was, is, and ever will be.
Of course, light not only reveals that which is hidden in darkness, but it also provides energy needed for the giving and sustaining of life. When the earth was dark and void (Genesis) God provided light. This light not only provided physical energy for the development of all life, including human beings, but it also provided spiritual direction, ultimately through the person of Jesus Christ, for the proper orientation of all life toward and in obedience to God's Word.
Accordingly, the message that Jesus Christ brings to this world is one that will bring light to the darkness of any heart. It is the Good News about the truth of God's love that is capable of overcoming any obstacle, no matter how dark.
John's use of the word "darkness" refers to all that is opposed to God. This includes everything from the darkness of human sin to the dark power of the devil. By teaching us that "in God, there is no darkness at all," we are assured of God's total supremacy over sin and its insidious corrupting nature.
God is not touched by sin, though He endured the sin of all mankind by allowing his Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross. From this we know that God has overcome sin though He Himself is not corrupted by sin. In this way, God's light is shed upon the darkness of all sin, allowing human beings the opportunity to escape the dark grip of sin for the light of God's love. This is why (and how) "the blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin"(1 John 1:7)