by Richard Mansel
Light and darkness are common Biblical themes throughout Scripture. They express vividly the chasm between Christ and Satan. We would all do well to mine its depths in our own personal study.
We understand clearly physical darkness and light. Sighted people witness it daily. Darkness, dawn, daylight and dusk frame our lives. They hide or irradiate our existence. The lessons from them are bountiful.
Someone steps out of physical darkness into light. The contrast is clear in our minds. We are in one or the other. When mixed in between, we characterize it as being shaded in darkness or some such phrase. However, we do not say they are standing clearly in the light. Sometimes, we ponder what they are hiding. We sense danger when someone is remaining partially shadowed in darkness.
Criminals, like some vicious animals, use darkness as a cloak to hide their predatory behavior. Rebels who seek a break from proper society often employ an air of darkness and mystery.
Darkness obscures truth and clarity, replacing them with confusion and deception. Shady deals are those that employ the latter to steal money from their victims.
God brought physical light into the world through Christ (Genesis 1:1-4; John 1:1-3). “God divided the light from the darkness” (Genesis 1:4, NKJV). The creation of light was an astounding moment that still reverberates.
God brought spiritual light to the world through Christ (John 1:1-5). “Jesus spoke again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life'” (John 8:12). Humanity will never be the same.
Christ throws open the shutters on the clandestine methods of Satan and his dark kingdom. Satan is the father of lies, an adversary that seeks to devour and deceive all of us (John 8:44; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:9). He remains shrouded in darkness, leading people to think he is a fairy tale while empowering them to do his will. His deception leads billions astray (Matthew 7:13,14; Psalm 82:5; Proverbs 4:19).
Christ offers life through the light (John 1:4). The path to heaven opens up before us. “Your word is a lamp to my feet [a]nd a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). We learn of Christ through Scripture and it becomes the path to salvation (John 12:48; Romans 10:17).
James Stewart writes, “Christ is the redeemed man’s new environment. [The Christian] has been lifted out of the cramping restrictions of his earthly lot into a different sphere; the sphere of Christ … His spirit is breathing a nobler element. He is moving on a loftier plane.”
Salvation is only in Christ (John 14:6; Acts 2:47; Ephesians 1:22,23; Hebrews 9:11-15). “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). Grace through faith and the sprinkled blood of Christ saves us from Satan’s clutches (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 5:6-11).
Christians must be actively faithful and obedient to God’s Word (Ephesians 2:10; John 14:15). “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). We are to walk worthy of Christ every day as we show his light to the world (Ephesians 4:1; Matthew 5:14-16).
We cannot try to stand in darkness and in light simultaneously. It will only be shady and deceptive. Christ demands that we follow him exclusively.
Darkness brings death while light brings salvation. Which path will we choose?
by Richard Mansel