Jesus is the true light that enlightens every man.
We need spiritual enlightenment.
Our society is bathed in artificial light and submerged in spiritual
darkness. There is no lack of light except in the hearts of the people.
Two thousand years ago John the Baptizer condemned the
spiritual darkness of his time. He warned people to repent.
Thousands turned away from sin to serve God. They were
immersed in water, baptized, for the forgiveness of their sins (Mark
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He
came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe
through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the
light. The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the
world (John 1:6-9 RSV).
John the Baptizer was the forerunner of God’s Messiah, the
Christ, who would bring spiritual enlightenment and forgiveness of
sins to all mankind.
Jesus is the morning star,1 who has come to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death (Luke 1:79). In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:4, 5 RSV).
To be enlightened spiritually, one must find the light, believe in
the light, come to the light, put on the armor of light, and walk in the
Where can light be found?
Can you find spiritual light in a disco? I have never been to one,
but I understand that they often have hypnotic flashing lights, and
loud, deafening music. No, definitely not. Discos and dance halls are
dens of darkness, places to avoid if you want spiritual enlightenment.
The flashing lights blind you and the loud music deafens you.
When a former teacher of mine, Cecil T. Bailey, was a young
man, worldly young people kept trying to get him to go to a dance
hall. Finally he agreed to go, but he took his Bible along and sat in a
corner reading his Bible. Soon, he was asked to leave!
Can you find spiritual light in the universities? Paul wrote: The
wisdom of this world is foolishness with God (1 Corinthians 3:19).
Not much spiritual light can be found in the universities. Philosophy
and theology are human endeavors of limited value, but they are not
significant sources of spiritual enlightenment.
A professor asked his class, How many of you believe in
prayer? My father and two girls raised their hands. The professor
continued, You three, pray then that this glass beaker will not
break. He dropped it and it broke. He then smirked, How many still
believe in prayer? This time, only my father raised his hand. The
professor said, Well, Davison. How can you still believe in prayer?
My father replied, I didn’t pray. Without God’s permission, your
experiment was not valid.
Can you find spiritual light in the traditional churches? Some
light is there, but it is hidden under a basket of human dogmas,
ecclesiastical politics and financial interests.
To the pious traditionalists2 of His time, Jesus said: Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’ (Matthew 15:6-9).
To the religious liberals3 of His time, Jesus said: Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? (Mark 12:24).
Can you find spiritual light in a sect? Some are attracted to sects
because they require extreme devotion. A sect, however, is a human
system based on social pressure, brain-washing and mind control,
rather than spontaneous personal faith in God. A sect usually has one
powerful leader. He is sometimes called ‘father’. He is often
considered to be infallible, and members must always submit to his
authority. A sect usually uses hierarchical, army-like control.
Jesus said: You know that those who are considered rulers over
the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority
over them. Yet it shall not be so among you (Mark 10:42, 43).
All hierarchical religious systems are anti-Christian. Beware of
people who try to dominate you in the name of religion. Your service
to God must come from your heart. It may not be based on social
pressure, coercion or hierarchical control.
Jesus said: But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your
Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on
earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And
do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ
(Matthew 23:8-10). God is our spiritual Father and we may not have
any other father in a spiritual sense. Jesus is our spiritual Leader, and
we may not have a spiritual guide, mentor or ‘discipler’ other than
Jesus Himself is our source of light. We must go directly to Him
for spiritual enlightenment, and not allow the divine light to be
obscured by traditions and denominations of human origin.
Jesus said: 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).
Do we really want to find the light?
Although Jesus brought light, there is still much spiritual
darkness because most people prefer darkness: 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. But he who does the truth
comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have
been done in God (John 3:19-21).
Someone who wants to hid his sin, shuns the light. To find the
light we must admit our need for enlightenment.
But just finding the light is not enough.
We must believe in the Light.
Jesus is the light of the world, He is our God-given source of
spiritual enlightenment. But we must believe in that light. Jesus said:
While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become
sons of light (John 12:36). And: I have come as a light into the
world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness
Many people stumble along in spiritual darkness because they do
not believe in the light. Paul wrote: But even if our gospel is veiled,
it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this
age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the
glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For
we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves
your servants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light
to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light
of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ
(2 Corinthians 4:3-6).
But just believing in the light is also not enough.
We must come to the Light.
Many people have been deluded into thinking they can be saved
by faith alone. It is not true: You see then that a man is justified by
works, and not by faith only. ... For as the body without the spirit is
dead; so faith without works is dead also (James 2:24, 26).
Faith in the Light is the first step, but we must also come to the
Light. This means that we must turn away from sin and dedicate our
lives to God. This is called ‘repentance’ in the Scriptures.
For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come
to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed (John 3:20).
Many people have a superficial, standoffish faith. They know
exactly where the light is! But they keep their distance, to hide their
sin. We must come to the Light so God’s word can correct our lives.
Jesus sent Paul to the nations to open their eyes, in order to
turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to
God (Acts 26:18).
On the basis of our faith in the Light, we must turn away from
evil and come to the Light.
We must put on the armor of light.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast
off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us
walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in
licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy. But put on the
Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its
lusts (Romans 13:12-14).
We must put on the armor of light and put on the Lord Jesus
Christ. How do we put on Christ? For you are all sons of God
through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized
into Christ have put on Christ (Galatians 3:26, 27). We put on the
armor of light, we put on Christ, by being baptized into Christ.
This must be our own, personal decision. The so-called baptism
of babies is contrary to the word of God.
Just as John the Baptizer told people to repent and be baptized,
we too must repent, turn away from the works of darkness, come to
the Light, and be baptized. Peter said: Repent, and let every one of
you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins
When we put on Christ in baptism, God removes us from
darkness. We can then rejoice giving thanks to the Father who has
qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the
light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated
us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have
redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians
We must walk in the light.
After finding the light, believing in the light, coming to the light,
and putting on the armor of light, we must walk in the light.
Obviously, we may not walk in darkness. Paul warned: For you
were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as
children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness,
righteousness, and truth), proving what is acceptable to the Lord
We must expose works of darkness.4 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,5 but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light’ (Ephesians 5:11-14).
Jesus is our source of light. We learn about Him, we learn to be
like Him, not via some tradition or some sect, but through the
Scriptures: We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which
you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the
day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this
first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for
prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke
as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:19-21).
The Holy Scriptures are a beacon of light in a dark world. Through the Scriptures we learn about God. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 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 1:5-7). God has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).6 Christians are sons of light and sons of the day (1 Thessalonians 5:5).7
It is not easy to walk in the light, surrounded by a world of
darkness. We shine as lights in the world: Do all things without
murmuring and disputing, that you may become blameless and
harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and
perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
holding fast the word of life (Philippians 2:14, 15).
To be a church of Christ, we must be a congregation of believers
who have found the light, who believe in the light, who have come to
the light, who have put on the armor of light, and who walk in the
By the grace of God, you can walk in the light. If you believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, that He died for
your sins, that He rose from the dead the third day, if you are willing
to turn your back on the works of darkness and come to the Light of
God, if you desire to put on the armor of light, to put on Christ in
baptism, let us know, and we will help you.
The Scripture quotations in this article are from The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise. Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive