1. The first verse in the Bible states: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." 2. The condition of the earth at that time is revealed in vs.2 -- "the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." 3. God began taking care of this situation in vs.3 -- He said, "Let there be light: and there was light." 4. God continued in vs.4-5 by making a distinction between light and darkness. 5. In our lesson we are examining passages that show how God provides light in times of darkness. 6. We will show how: a. God sent Jesus to be "the light of the world" b. the Lord wants His followers to be "the light of the world."
I. GOD SENT JESUS TO BE "THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD"
A. We learn from Matthew 4:12-16 that Jesus brought light into a world of darkness. B. John began his Gospel with the same message (John 1:1-5). C. During His ministry Jesus stated that He is "the light of the world" (John 8:12; 9:5). D. By bringing light into the world Jesus made it possible for us to escape darkness (John 12:46).
II. THE LORD WANTS HIS FOLLOWERS TO BE "THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD"
A. We learn from Matthew 5:14-16 that the Lord's followers are to radiate light before others. 1. It is important for us to do this because the world is in a state of darkness. 2. We radiate light through our good works. B. Other passages provide additional instructions that will help us to be "the light of the world." 1. Romans 13:11-14 a. Vs.11 shows that now is not the time to sleep spiritually. b. Since this is the case, vs.12 teaches us to "cast off the works of darkness" and "put on the armor of light." c. Vs.13&14 teach us what this involves. 2. Ephesians 5:8-10 a. Before a person becomes a Christian he is described as "darkness." b. A Christian's condition is described as "light in the Lord." c. Christians are responsible for walking "as children of light." d. Walking as children of light includes bearing "the fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-23). 3. Philippians 2:14-16 a. The Lord's people are to "shine as lights in the world." b. To accomplish this we must "do all things without murmurings and disputings" and hold "forth the word of life." 4. 1 John 1:5-7 a. Christians are to "walk in the light as He is in the light." b. One who claims to have fellowship with God while walking in darkness is a liar. c. Those who walk in the light as God is in the light: 1) have fellowship with God 2) are continually cleansed by the Lord's blood.
1. In the beginning the world needed light, and God created it. 2. The world needed spiritual light, and God sent Jesus to provide it. 3. The world needs light today, and the Lord's people are responsible for reflecting His light by doing His will.