In the Light

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Romans 7:14-18

“For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate….So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.”


In Romans, the Apostle Paul is writing to the church in Rome but also speaking to you and I.

"Falling short of the glory of God,” as Paul says a few chapters earlier in Romans 3, is the inherent human struggle for each of us, is it not? Apart from God, we all fall short. None of us have the will power, strength or determination to avoid the trappings of sin and the death & darkness it brings. 

David wrote about this exact struggle centuries before Paul in Psalm 16:2 when he declares “I say to the Lord, You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”


Simply put — When we try to reconcile with God on our own, we, like Paul, “don’t have the ability to carry it out.”


And yet the gospel is good news! The gospel is a person, Christ Jesus! His finished work on the cross has replaced our death in sin with life everlasting. His victory over the grave has replaced our life filled with darkness and despair with the hope and light of Jesus’ free gift of grace.


Jesus teaches this in John 8:12 when he says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”


Jesus himself is the light and for those who are in Christ Jesus, he tells us that we will have the light of life in us. His righteousness becomes our righteousness. His holiness is now our holiness, fully realized in eternity. His inheritance is now our inheritance. And His light now becomes the light that shines in and through us for all the world to see, that we might glorify him with our words and deeds. 


Jesus goes on to make this point again and again, most notably in the Sermon On The Mount. Immediately following the Beatitudes which is the opening of the greatest sermon ever preached, Jesus begins to speak about light and darkness. 

In Matthew 5:14, he says to the gathered crowd “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”


It is clear in scripture: 


1. Jesus is the light of the world


2. For those who are in Christ, you are now shining the light of Christ for His glory.


3. Jesus demands that we shine that light for all to see


But there is an element of living life in the light of Christ that is the centerpiece of this song and is taken from John’s epistles that speaks about WALKING IN THE LIGHT. 


1 John 1:5-7, John writes this:

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we 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 his son cleanses us from all sin.”


Walking in the light — What does that mean and how do we do it? 

John is emphasizing an active, ongoing and persevering faith that is pursuing the light of Christ and longing to dwell in it. God is alive and active, speaking to us in his word. So to walk in the light, means we walk in the word on a daily basis and invite the Spirit of God to make much of Christ in our lives as we know God fully and worship him rightly.

It also means that we are in fellowship with other believers and in right standing with one another. To walk in the light as Christ is in the light, means that we seek the forgiveness of Christ, seek the forgiveness of others and forgive those who sin against us. True Christian fellowship is based on forgiving one another as Christ has truly forgiven us. 

Lastly, it means that walking in the light is a process. We are not made whole until we see Jesus face to face. This leads John to write about the active, ongoing cleansing of the blood of Christ in our lives — The blood of Christ paid the penalty for all of our sin — our sinful past, sinful present and yes, our sinful future.

Walking in the light of Christ is recognizing that sanctification is an everyday work in us — Christ is shining anew each morning with mercy that sustains and empowers us. 


What about you?

Are you in the light?

Is Christ shining in you or are you walking in the darkness of this world?

Is there fellowship that needs to be restored with others to truly walk in the light?


“I want to be in the light, as you are in the light. I want to shine like the stars in the heavens. O Lord be my light and be my salvation. All I want is to be in the light.”