The following comes from a sermon handout distributed the morning the sermon was preached.
What is Light?
In the opening verses of his first epistle, John emphatically declares that their message comes directly from God. They (the Apostles) heard it from Jesus, the were eyewitnesses to His miracles and ministry, they beheld that He is God, and the even experienced and participated in His wonders. Finally, in verse five, John tells us exactly what that message is: “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.”
But what does John mean by light? When we read that God is love, it’s fairly clear (even if we could never fully understand it) at least generally what that means. When we hear that God is a Spirit, we know that it means, in part, that He has no body. But to say that God is light is more difficult.
The Bible uses light as a description of God often, and there are many different implications of that description. Here are a few including references:
- God emanates actual physical light (Exodus 13:21; Exodus 34:29; Matthew 17:2; Revelation 21:23).
- God provides spiritual illumination (Psalm 18:28; Psalm 119:105; Ephesians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 4:5).
- God’s light brings life (Psalm 36:9; John 1:4; John 8:12).
- Light describes the character of God, including His righteousness, love, wisdom, and faithfulness (Psalm 37:6; Psalm 112:4; Isaiah 5:30; Ephesians 5:9).
What is Darkness?
God’s light is often contrasted in the Bible with the darkness of the world or the devil. But what is this darkness? Darkness is everything that light is not.
- Darkness can be spiritual blindness, ignorance, or deceit.
- Darkness can be death.
- Darkness can be sin, evil, malice, foolishness, unfaithfulness, and anything else that God is not.