“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” John 12:46
Jesus spoke these words just before He was crucified. John records them as well as giving his description of Jesus coming as a man to dwell among us as the true Light that gives light to every man in John 1:9-12 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was gong to come into the world. But although the world was made through him, the world didn't recognize him when he came. Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
What does it mean that if we believe in Him we will not abide in darkness? Well, we can better understand that if we look at the biblical definition of darkness.
Darkness – Greek word scotia – means darkness, gloom, evil, sin, obscurity, night, ignorance, moral depravity. The New Testament especially uses the word in a metaphorical sense of ignorance of divine truth, man's sinful nature, total absence of light, and a lack of spiritual perception. Scotia as spiritual darkness basically describes everything earthly or demonic that is at enmity with God.
In looking at that definition we see that darkness in a biblical sense refers to man's inability to live above his sinful nature without living in the light that Jesus Christ offers. Abiding or dwelling in relationship with Jesus Christ through accepting Him as your personal Lord and Savior opens your heart to His light, His illumination, His truth and ways. His light floods your soul with spiritual perception of who He is to you, what He has come to give you through His crucifixion on the cross for your sins, and the life that He wants you to live with Him at the center to lead, guide and direct you.
1 John 1:5-9 NLT This is the message he has given us to announce to you: God is light and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness. We are not living in the truth. But if we are living in the light of God's presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin. If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every sin.
Walking in the Light has a beginning and that is accepting Jesus as your own personal Lord and Savior. Many people believe that if you mentally believe in God that you are okay with Him, but the word tells us it takes more than a simple mental assertion that God is God because even the demons believe and tremble.
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble.
They believe that God really is God! But mental assent is not heart belief. Heart belief is tied to trust. To believe, by biblical definition, means that you place your trust in God for your salvation from sin and all the other benefits that salvation provides. This morning we will simply talk about walking in the Light for salvation from sin. This is the initial trust that a person needs to begin a relationship with Jesus Christ so he can walk in the Light and be forgiven of his sin. This is the essential first step to living above sin and all that the sinful nature brings out in a person's heart.
Believe – Greek word – pisteuo – means to trust in, have faith in, be fully convinced of, acknowledge, rely on. This word expresses reliance upon and a personal trust that produces obedience. It includes submission and a positive confession of the lordship of Jesus.
So we see from the biblical definition of “believe” that it is not just a mental assent of who God is, but that it goes much further into trusting Him to be who He is to you, personally. That trust begins in the heart by placing your faith in Him by confessing Him to be your Lord and Savior. We gain further understanding of that by looking at what the scripture says in Romans 10:6-10 NLT:
For Moses wrote that the law's way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands. But the way of getting right with God through faith says, “You don't need to go to heaven” (to find Christ and bring him down to help you). And it says, “You don't need to go to the place of the dead” (to bring Christ back to life again). Salvation that comes from trusting Christ – which is the message we preach – is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
Mental assent simply understands that God is God, but heart belief recognizes personally that He needs to be accepted into your heart and confession by the mouth is necessary to secure personal salvation. Walking in the Light for salvation means that you place your trust in Jesus Christ for your forgiveness from sin and confess Him as being personally crucified for you to be your own personal Lord and Savior. The seal is confessing that personal trust with your mouth.
Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
You might think that you can be saved by going to church regularly or doing good deeds, but according to the word of God we are all sinners by birth and by nature. We all start off on the same level playing field. No one of us is any better than the other when it comes to beginning our walk in the Light. And in order to receive God's gift of salvation we must do it His way. Our works of righteousness cannot cleanse the sin that courses through our veins through mankind's bloodline. Sin's only antidote is the blood of Jesus that cleanses sin and its effects on man.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Sin came into our lives through the bloodline that we have from our first earthly father, Adam.
Romans 5:12 NLT When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.
But Jesus's blood brings life and freedom from the curse of sin that we couldn't avoid or wash away through our own works of righteousness. The only antidote for the death that sin brings is the blood of Jesus.
Romans 5:8, 9 NLT But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's judgment.
We are saved through the blood of Jesus and applying that blood to our own sin through believing that God sent Jesus to die for us personally and then confessing Him as our own personal Lord and Savior. It's so simple and yet many do not know that the way of salvation is through Him and Him alone.
Jesus is the only name under heaven by which a man can be saved. (Acts 4:12)
Have you placed your trust in Jesus for your eternal destiny? Have you asked Him to come into your heart to be your own personal Lord and Savior? That's the beginning step to walking in the Light. In my next blog we will talk about living in the Light. But before you can live and abide in the Light you must receive Jesus as the true Light and place your trust in Him for salvation.
Father, I pray for those today who have not received Jesus as their own personal Lord and Savior. I pray that You will tear down the blinders off their minds so they can see Him as the Light of the world and receive Him as Savior and Lord. I pray that You will illumine their hearts and minds to the sin that is theirs through the bloodline of mankind and that they will receive the antidote for that sin, the blood of Jesus that washes them clean and gives them a place in the family of God. Father, show them the truth of Your word that leads them to Jesus as the Savior that You provided to set them free from sin and it's effects upon their lives. Draw them by Your Spirit to Yourself and give them salvation. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
If you have never received Jesus as your own personal Lord and Savior that is where you must begin your walk with Him. The light that He gives for all of life begins with a personal relationship with Jesus. Won't you pray right now and ask Him into your heart?
Father, I come before You recognizing that I need Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. I see now that I am a sinner by birth and the only freedom from that sin is through the blood of Jesus. I ask You to forgive me from my sin, to come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and to be my own personal Savior and Lord. I believe that You, Father, gave Jesus to die for me personally and I receive His salvation into my heart right now as I pray. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is my Lord and I thank You for saving me and for living within my heart. From this moment on I will live for You. I will walk with You in the light that You provide for my life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.