Out of Darkness, Into the Light

The human eye and how it works is a fascinating study, is it not? First, light passes through the cornea (the clear front layer of the eye), which then bends light to help the eye focus. Some of this light enters the eye through the pupil, then through the lens (a clear inner part of the eye), which works together with the cornea to focus light correctly on the retina. When light hits the retina (a light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye), special cells called photoreceptors turn the light into electrical signals that travel from the retina through the optic nerve to the brain. The brain then turns the signals into the images you see. Fascinating!

      The fact is, without light, we cannot see; we will be in darkness. Darkness is, in fact, defined as “absence or deficiency of light.” Keep that thought in mind as we consider what God’s word says about light and darkness; the principles of light and darkness are used by the inspired writers to give us a true picture of where we stand in the estimation of God — the one whose judgment matters most of all.

      Darkness. Throughout the Scriptures, the world is described as a place of darkness; that is not coincidental, nor is the use of the term done without intent. The wise writer tells us, “The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble” (Prov. 4:19); in those words we find an apt description of the spiritual condition of those without God! A world without God is a world without light, and all that comes with an absence of light will be true in a spiritual sense. If you are in darkness, you will stumble for lack of light, and will not know what makes you stumble because you cannot see [spiritually speaking]; as John wrote, “But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:11). Jesus also said, “he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going” (John 12:35). In darkness, you are ignorant of the truth of your spiritual condition and as long as there is no light, you will never know your true state.

      This fact is worth noting, too, for some who live in spiritual darkness would rather it stay that way. Jesus once said, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:19, 20). Light exposes what is hidden in darkness and, for some, that is exactly what they do not want! Some would rather remain hidden [though God sees all] and want nothing to do with light because they practice evil and want to continue practicing evil. Let us not overlook the reality that those who love practicing evil hate the light!

      But, while one may not be among those who hate the light, if he remains in darkness, he is no better, spiritually speaking; one who is in darkness is still where there is an “absence or deficiency of light.” Plainly stated: If we are darkness, we are not in the light; we are still spiritually lost — without forgiveness and without salvation. The reality of our spiritual condition is that, outside of Christ, we were all in darkness, for “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

      Light. As a contrast to man’s spiritual condition of being ones who walked in darkness, we have light — the antithesis of darkness; where one exists, the other cannot. And since darkness, as used within Scripture, refers to ignorance and the place where sin and evil exist, light is the exact opposite. Light is where righteousness and knowledge [truth] can be found.

      The Scriptures teach us about that light, and where it may be found. First, John tells us, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5); that is only logical, since darkness cannot exist where light is present. Second, Jesus tells us, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), and further reveals, “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46); His purpose in coming to this Earth was to provide mankind a way out of darkness!

      Third, the psalmist refers to God’s word as light when he wrote, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psa. 119:105). In this sense, God’s word is a light, for it is the means of eliminating ignorance, exposing a man’s true condition, and showing to us the safe path. For this reason, God’s word is invaluable, for without it, we would remain ignorant of our true spiritual condition and we would continually stumble, not knowing the path we followed, or where it would eventually lead us (Matt. 7:13). With this being the case, it is inconceivable that some would hate the light, but it remains that some do, and some will.

      Out of Darkness, Into the Light. If you are reading this and wondering how one can come out of darkness and come into the light [remember, there is no middle ground here], let us first say that is a good question and its answer is important if we care at all about our eternal destination. Eternal condemnation awaits those who remain in darkness, but eternal salvation for those who walk in the light. Before we get to how the transition is made possible, let us first acknowledge that it is possible, for God does not desire that any man remain in darkness [a state of condemnation], for He “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:3, 4); that is, He desires we come out of darkness and into the light.

      With that being the case, we should also know that not only does He desire this, He has also made it possible. [It would be grossly unjust for God to desire something for us that would not be possible.] Let us first note that the saved have been called “out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). And when Paul wrote to the Christians in Colossæ, he reminded them that God “has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light” and “has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:12-14). If he has “delivered us from the power of darkness,” then we are no longer under its power; we are now in the light, if we are Christians.

      But having been delivered from darkness, we must continually choose the way of light. Paul admonished the Christians in Ephesus, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8); in other words, live like a Christian should live! He further admonished these Christians, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. 5:11); here, the warning is to not go back to that way of life they had once lived [in darkness], but be the light they should be and instead expose the evils of this world for what they are.

            John put it this way: “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 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 1:6, 7). Walk in the light! — Steven Harper