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What Does the Bible Mean by 'God Is Light?'

Jennifer Heeren

What does it mean when the Bible says, “God is light?” Scripture tells us that God is light and there is no darkness in Him at all. He shines in glorious radiance (Psalm 50:2) and the whole landscape shines with His glory (Ezekiel 43:2b). God will live forever with a light so brilliant that humans cannot approach Him (1 Timothy 6:16a).

What Does God Is Light Mean?

God the Father created the light we see on the earth by speaking it into existence. He put light here on earth because chaos reigns in darkness. God saw that the light He created was good because it created a distinction from the darkness (Genesis 1:4). Evil and sin thrive within darkness. The light of God, however, brings righteousness and goodness.

Even though the light of God can be frightening because of its brilliance, God lets a filtered version of it shine into our hearts so that we can know His truth and love. King David said that the Lord was his light and his salvation and a fortress to protect him from danger (Psalm 27:1). God’s light can guide us if we let it. Our darkness and fear will flee when God shines His light on us.

What Does the Bible Mean When it Talks about God’s Light?

1. Jesus, the Light of the World

Just as Isaiah predicted, God’s Son came into the world to make God’s light even more accessible. The Word of life came to earth.

In the beginning, the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone (John 1:1-4).

Furthermore, when light shines in the darkness, the darkness can never extinguish it (1 John 1:5). God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell us that a great Light was coming into the world (John 1:6-8). Then, when Jesus did come, he said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12). He came to show us the way, and it’s always easier to see the way when light shines. When we believe, that light shines within our hearts so we can know the glory of God that was seen in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).

2. His Word Is a Lamp unto Our Feet

God the Father brought light into the world. Jesus showed us that light. And as referenced above in John 1, the Word of God also shows us the light. It is a lamp to guide our feet and light our path as we walk through this life (Psalm 119:105). This light also instructs us and corrects us when we veer off course so we can get back to walking the narrow but clear path of righteous living.

3. Light for All Eternity in Heaven

The light we see on earth is just a taste of future glory. The Temple of the Lord in Heaven is full of glory that glows in a way that we cannot fathom right now. The city of God has no need for a sun or moon because God’s glory illuminates the whole city, and the Lamb is its light (Revelation 21:23). How amazing it will be to one day see that splendid glory in person!

How God's Light Shines through Us

We are a chosen people because we believe in the truth of the Son of God. We are God’s own possession, and He chose us to show His goodness to others while we are here on earth. This is a reasonable request; after all, He called us out of darkness and into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). God lifted us up when we needed help. He rescued us from sin and death. So now, we can walk in His life-giving light (Psalm 56:13).

We get to live as people of light! That means that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin and we get to have fellowship with other believers (1 John 1:7). That’s what walking in God’s light is all about. And when people outside of the faith see this light and love in action, they may come to believe too. It really is contagious because God’s light is so attractive.

Jesus, who is the light of the world, has given us the power to now be lights of the world ourselves. Lights are placed on stands to shed their brightness to all who see them. They aren’t hidden or covered (Matthew 5:14-15). A light points people to the path of righteousness. Being a light is active, not passive. So, let your life and actions shine so that everyone who sees them will praise your heavenly Father (Matthew 5:16).

Ephesians 5 tells us to imitate God in all we do because we are His dear children. Living a life filled with love is a good way to be a light to the world. Seek to love other people every chance you get. Stay away from sexual immorality and impurity. Avoid obscene language, foolish talk, and coarse joking. There is no light in these things. Instead, speak of God and His truth, live with gratitude in your heart, and thank God in all circumstances for He is always with you.

Remember what Philippians 4:8 says: fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, and admirable. Think about things that are positive and worthy of praise. The more you think of such things, the more good words and deeds will spill out of you. If that’s what’s inside of you, that’s what will come out when you’re around others.

Live as people of the light. This light will produce what is good. Expose evil, darkness, and injustice when you have the opportunity. Truth and light squelch evil because evil likes to live in the dark. Sometimes we may think that we only have one little light, and what is that against all the evil in the world? But if you go into a completely dark room and light one match, you will be amazed how well it lights that room!

When you sense God telling you a way to shine His light to the world, be obedient and follow through as soon as you can. Whenever we’re used by God, it brings us much joy. He uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere. Living in this way shines a bright light into this dark world. Hold on tightly to the Word of life, and people will be drawn to its beauty.

Spreading the News that about This

One day, the time to shine God’s light will run out. Jesus told us to quickly carry out the tasks assigned to us because night is coming (John 9:4). One day it will be too late for people to turn to God. Soon, He will set things right.

Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going” (John 12:35).

But until that final day, take every opportunity to shine the light and truth of God to others. Arise and let your light shine for all to see!

Further Reading

21 Bible Verses about Light

What Does 'God Is Light' Mean in 1 John 1:5?

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/momnoi 


headshot of author Jenni HeerenJennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk. Her debut novel is available on Amazon. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. Visit her at her website and/or on Facebook.