I hate cockroaches. I know, sounds weird coming from someone who studied Biology in college. I just think they are dirty and disgusting. And what’s the one thing they are known to do, besides survive a nuclear holocaust? They love to roam in the darkness. But when the light turns on, they scatter and hide. I guess you could say that the light defeats the roach, but in reality, they are just waiting for another opportunity to crawl in the darkness.
God is Light
The Apostle John writes much in his Gospel and letters about light and darkness. He makes the grand declaration in 1 John 1:5--God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Jesus, the true God-man, declared in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” The Spirit is said in 1 Corinthians 2 to be the Revealer of truth who searches everything, which points to two essential functions of light--to reveal as well as to search.
So God (Father, Son, Spirit) in His essence is light and contains no speck of darkness or blemish. When we pay close attention to John’s context in 1 John 1, he is mostly referring to the purity and holiness of God. God is holy, morally separated from sin and incapable of sinning or leading others into sin. And according to John, Jesus came into the world to in order to take away sins, because in Him there is no sin (1 John 3:5). Putting it all together, Jesus came to remove the darkness of sin in our lives and shine His light which leads to life and flourishing in Him.
Darkness Lovers to Light Walkers
It is a good thing that Jesus came to remove the darkness. Jesus said in John 12, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” He also said in John 3 that our natural born inclination is to love darkness even though the True Light (Jesus) has come into the world. Why? Because like cockroaches, we think that in the darkness we are free to roam and do whatever evil deeds we desire. Yet, while we may seem as if we are free, we are under God’s judgment, awaiting the punishment of being cast into outer darkness for eternity (Matt. 8:12)
One picture of salvation, then, is being called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9), or being delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of his beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). Paul told the Ephesians that “at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8)
The outcome of this great salvation? Paul encourages us to walk as children of light, or as John states we are to walk in the light as He is in the light. To walk in the light is to walk in the holiness that is ours through Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. To walk in the light is to repent and confess the darkness of sin that still resides in our souls. To walk in the light is to pursue Christ as we are being conformed to His image by the study and application of His Word. To walk in the light is to delight in obeying the commands of God for our good and the good of others. To walk in the light is to shine by our good deeds so that people can glorify our Father in heaven. To walk in the light is to evidence that we will be in glorious light of the Lord in the new creation for all eternity.
As believers, we should not scatter and flee at the light of God and His Word, but embrace it and reflect it unashamedly. Our distaste and disgust of the darkness should always be growing along with our hunger and thirst for the Light of Christ to lead and guide us into the truth, revealing to others how great, glorious, and gracious the Father of Lights is, in whom there is no shifting shadow due to change (James 1:17) and the Light of Christ who has come into the world (John 1:9) to bring salvation to all.