God Is Light
1 John 1:6-9
6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:5
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
God is light. Light symbolizes purity and holiness and that describes God’s very essence. One function of light is to provide illumination. God provides illumination to the mind of man by revealing to him His will.
In Him is no darkness at all. Light and darkness cannot exist side by side. When light shines, darkness vanishes. In verse 6, above, John makes a practical application of the fact that light and darkness are incompatible. No compromise is possible between the demands of God for holiness and the call of the forces of darkness that lead to worldliness.
These verses deal with five things:
1. A relationship
2. A fellowship which produces joy
Walking in the light leads to fellowship with God. It also takes us one step farther. It results in fellowship with each other. This fellowship, of course, is grounded upon our fellowship with the Father and the Son.
3. A love, in charity, which the Holy Spirit produces in the heart of a yielded saint, a love that impels the one loving to sacrifice himself for the benefit of the person loved.
4. A spirit – our attitude
5. A faith - loyalty to Christ, no matter what it may cost.
1 Timothy 4:11-16
11These things command and teach. 12Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15Meditate upon these things: give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Timothy was younger than many of the people to whom he ministered. Sometimes we allow age to be a barrier. Either we think people who are much older do not have anything to share or people who are much younger do not have enough life-experiences. Instead of looking at age, we need to look at a person’s Christlikeness.
Timothy had been given the gift he needed to fulfill the ministry to which he had been called. The person whom God has entrusted with a responsibility must be absorbed in his work and calling and there must be progress.
A good servant of Christ must have a dual concern:
1. He must be concerned for his own spiritual well-being since
he is the channel through which the gospel must pass to others.
2. He must be equally concerned with the spiritual well-being of
those whom God has given him to love and minister to them.
Paul’s letter to Timothy carried a message for his day and for future generations. The warnings given in these passages are as appropriate today as they were when they were written.
Paul listed a number of areas where this faithfulness should be evident:
1. In word - conversation, which is communication
2. In behavior and conduct
3. In acts of purity
Purity is not limited to addressing sins of the flesh but covers motives as well as acts.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Although our victory is not the result of our work, our work is the result of the gratitude we feel for what God has done for us.
We are not saved by our good works, but we are saved to do good works. We don’t work to gain salvation, but in order to show God that we are appreciative and have deep respect for what He has provided for us; therefore, let us share the Gospel of Christ with the lost, those who do not yet have a relationship with God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 4:7-11
7But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 9Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 10As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Witnessing to the world is perhaps never more powerful than during persecution. Peter now emphasizes three traits that should characterize the lives of Christians, especially in difficult times.
Verse 7, above, Christians should be characterized as prayerful, consistent, conscientious, in communication with God.
To face a fearful present and an unseen future with prayer, Christians must be sober and watchful. Having a mind settled and certain and a life under control are essential for prayer during unsettling times of trial. God has given to every believer some endowment, some gift, which he is to use in service to others. We are called upon to be efficient stewards of the manifold favor of God.
Each individual must determine what his gift is and how he can employ it for the benefit of others. God has distributed among the membership of every believing community all the gifts necessary for their spiritual growth.
The gifts we have came from God, and we will answer to Him as to what we do with them.
What a responsibility!
Because as Christians we are all to be soul winners, we are required by God to speak the truth boldly. Although the words are spoken by man, the message is God’s.
The service to God must not be rendered in the strength of some enthusiasm of our own, but as God directs and energizes so that God will be glorified.
No doubt we are living in the End Times. Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled. We no longer wait for perilous times to come. It is a perilous time for the world; it is a perilous time for the family and for the church.
The apostle Paul pointed to signs of the last days which are prevalent today as evidenced in Scripture.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
The “Golden Text” in our lesson today is one of 319 references in the New Testament concerning the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to this earth.
2 Peter 3:14
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
This is an earnest appeal and admonition to Christians, as they watch for the signs of Christ’s return for His people, to live above sin and not be spotted by the world, and not be blamed for having not obeyed His Word but instead always abiding in His wonderful Word.
God meant for His people down through the centuries to live in the expectation of our Lord’s return.
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.
Denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
God has never promised an easy road for the Christian. The Bible makes it clear that in the last days we can expect times that are difficult.
As we approach the end of this age and look for the return of our Lord Jesus, we should expect Satan to double his attacks; however, the Lord has promised to be with us.
The doctrine of humanism fills modern society. The cry is what about me? My rights, my privileges? The Bible teaches that compassion and consideration for others must be paramount in the Christian’s life. We must, in honor, prefer our brother.
Secondly, as we approach the end of this age, mankind will be without natural affection as mentioned in these two verses:
Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
2 Timothy 3:3, 4
3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Society is caving in to the pressure being placed upon it by the “prophets” of the homosexual life-style. Television programs promote illicit sex, vulgarity and violence.
The Word: Sin
The word “sin” has gone out of style. In earlier generations a minister could preach with such force that his hearers outwardly shuddered and inwardly began a self-examination that often led to tearful repentance.
But sin, seemingly to some, has become a social maladjustment, a minor indiscretion. Homosexuality is not considered a sin by society, but an alternate lifestyle. Marital infidelity is no longer adultery, but an open marriage. Alcoholism is now a disease to which no moral responsibility may be attached. Giving them names that society finds more acceptable does not change the nature of those practices. Calling evil good is a form of self-deception and a denial of sin.
The evil forces of the world are preaching that we must come to accept all this as normal for the times, but the Christian knows better. The way of God is as pure today as ever.
Thirdly, as referenced above in 2 Timothy 3:4, it is obvious that we are living in a pleasure-mad world. We as Christians must get our spiritual house in order. We must make sure our priorities are in line with the will of God. We must value a prayer-filled life. Prayer is the key to the kingdom. The private closet of prayer must be firmly established and maintained if we are to have the joy in our lives we desire. There is no substitute for prayer.
We must practice obedience to God and His Word. The first lesson a child must learn is obedience. This is also true of every Christian. We cannot have God’s favor and be disobedient to Him. There is power in obedience. It opens the way for God to fulfill all His promises to us. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” This is for living in the end times!
The number of sinners in the world today is much greater than at any time in the history of mankind and this, viewed from the standpoint of the Christian, presents quite a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is to live a Christian life in a very sinful world. The opportunity is to appeal to the unsaved to come to Christ, but to be effective witnesses of Christ in the end times, we must live as Christians ought to live.
In today’s lesson we looked at the perspective of three apostles: John, Paul and Peter.
John introduces us to the possibility of fellowship with God and with one another. If we walk in the light, meaning that we hide nothing, that we are open and honest before God and man, we reap two benefits. We have fellowship with God and with men by walking in the light. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.
Paul warns us against a life of apostasy. He points out some of the false teachings that were prevalent in his day. He also calls for diligence in Christian service and assures us that faithfulness will be rewarded. He tells us that our labor for the Lord is never in vain.
Peter deals with the gifts and opportunities that God gives us. Whether it’s preaching the gospel or ministering through service together, we are admonished to do all to the glory of God.
Author: Nannie Mae Jordan
(Transcribed by Joyce Carter Transcribed and Formatted by Jerry Knight)