“Again, therefore, Jesus spake to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who is following me shall not walk in the darkness, but he shall have the light of the life.’” ~ John 8:12 YLT
Again and Again
Have you ever noticed how many times in scripture certain messages are repeated over and over again? Why do you think that is? I believe it is because we can become dull of hearing, and we can get caught up in doing our own thing, and we can forget God’s Words he has spoken to our hearts before. And, so we need to keep hearing the same messages until we get it.
But, even if we do get it, and we practice it, for a time, there is no guarantee that sometime later we may not forget it again, and then need to be reminded once more. I know that I sometimes need refresher courses in things I have learned before, but then got lazy about, and then needed to be reminded again. And, I think this is because we are human beings.
And, so I find that this particular message (in John 8:12) is repeated over and over and over again all throughout scripture, Old Testament and New Testament. For, this truth is foundational to the gospel message and to our salvation. And, because we are still flesh and blood, we are capable of drifting away from the truth via making one little compromise at a time, until pretty soon we are desensitized to what used to convict us. I know.
Jesus is the light. So, he is all that is good and righteous and holy, and there is absolutely no darkness that is to be found in him at all.
So, if we are following (obeying, abiding in, mirroring) Jesus Christ actively, daily doing what he says, seeking his face, and going where he sends us, and if we are following his lead, then we will not conduct our lives in the darkness (in immorality, impurity, dishonesty, and unfaithfulness, etc.). It just isn’t possible. For, we cannot walk in the light and in the darkness at the same time, for the darkness snuffs out the light. It overtakes it (Jn. 12:35).
It isn’t as though we will be wholly evil or wholly good with no faults, or that we will never sin again, though (See 1 Jn. 2:1-2). For, if we could do that, Jesus would not have had to die for our sins. But, Jesus died because we could not perfectly obey the law, and so he became sin for us in his death so that we might become the righteousness of God through faith in him (Rom. 8:1-17; 2 Co. 5:21).
But, this faith in Jesus Christ is not a one-time decision we made or some emotional feeling or intellectual assent we had or did at one point in our lives. For, the scriptures are real clear on the fact that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. And, we are taught all throughout the New Testament that genuine faith in Jesus Christ is repentant, it is submissive, it is obedient, and it is persistent and enduring to the end.
So, if we are believing (actively) in Jesus Christ, it is the same as actively following him, for true faith dies with him to sin and lives with him to his righteousness. True faith leaves our old lives of sin behind us, and is transformed of the Spirit of God in the renewing of our minds away from what is sinful to walking in holiness. And, true faith in Jesus Christ conducts our lives according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh (See: Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Lu. 9:23-25).
But, Do We Get It?
When we hear these words spoken in scripture regarding how we must conduct our lives if we want to have eternal life with God, do we pass them over as irrelevant to us, since we prayed a sinner’s prayer one day a long while ago? Or, do we take them to heart in the very recesses of our souls and minds and hearts?
When we hear this message that says that if we are following Jesus with our lives – which is what it means to be believing in him – that we will not walk in darkness, do we slough that off? Or, does it convict our hearts and convince us that we do not want to live in slavery to sin? And, then do we surrender to the Lord and yield to the Lordship of Christ and repent of and confess our sins and then walk in the Spirit by faith?
This is serious business here. Yet, I know that so many people who call themselves followers of Jesus are still walking in the darkness. They are still regularly and consistently and willfully and knowingly choosing to do what they know is wrong. And, then they cover it up with lies and with false righteousness, which then tries to convince others that they are walking the walk when they know they are not. For, it is all for a show.
So, why is this message repeated over and over and over again? Because so many who profess faith in Jesus Christ still don’t get it. And, if they do, they are ignoring it, because they want to continue in their sinful addictions. But, we can’t possibly walk in the darkness and in the light at the same time. And, again, this is not speaking of being absolutely perfect or totally wicked.
What it is saying though, is that to walk in Christ’s light, which is what true followers of Jesus do, then we will not walk in the darkness, because the two don’t mix. We cannot hold on to certain sins and keep entertaining them and then giving Jesus our crumbs. We should never see our relationship with Jesus Christ as something we maybe do 5 minutes a day but the rest of the day is ours to do whatever we want.
Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, and take up his cross daily (die daily to sin) and follow (obey) Jesus. For, he says, if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self), we will lose them (die in our sins). But, if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin) for his sake, then we will live with Christ for eternity (See: Lu. 9:23-25).
Paul reiterated Jesus’ message here when he said that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. And, he went on to say that if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live with Christ for eternity (See: Rom. 8:1-17; cf. Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21).
So, if you are riding the fence, spiritually speaking, with one foot in heaven and one in the world, and you think that your lifestyle will not affect your eternal salvation, then think again. Scripture disagrees with you! For, if we are making sin our practice and we are holding on to sinful addictions, and we are not willing to yield to the Lordship of Christ, and then we tell lies to cover up our sins, and then we fake righteousness, hoping to fool others, then we are no different from the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.
For, the Bible tells us that we will reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap decay (death). But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8).
So, don’t play with fire, or you might get burned. Don’t take God’s grace for granted and continue in your pride and lust and unfaithfulness, and then think you will remain under the protection of God’s grace. What is at risk is not only your own peace, but your relationships with others, and your relationship with God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In other words, your salvation, too, is at risk if you continue on this way and you don’t repent.
An Original Work / August 29, 2018
Your bond is broken
With your Lord and Savior
And, your testimony is
Separate from Him.
Your words not matching
Your actions today.
Repent of your sin and
Bow down and pray.
Live what you testify
In truth always.
Purity’s lacking in
Your life and witness,
For you profess one thing,
But other you do.
Not moral, spiritual.
Still of the flesh.
Not living in truth to
What you confess.
Lying about it
Puts you in a mess.
Living a lie is your practice,
‘tis true of you.
Masquerade righteousness –
None of it true.
Your heart is not given
To your Lord God.
Because of how you live,
You are a fraud.
Turn from your sin and
Give your life to God.
Wednesday, December 12, 2018