Yesterday my pastor preached a sermon about walking in the light of God out of 1 John 1:5-2:1. The main point of the passage is that God is light and there is no darkness in Him at all–meaning there is no sin in God at all. Several things my pastor said struck me to the heart.
First of all, he spoke about how the Bible uses the concepts of “light” and “truth” interchangeably. Earlier in the week I had read this verse in James:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
I knew that our pastor was going to be preaching about “walking in the light” this weekend and wondered if he would bring this verse into play. He didn’t directly, but I still thought about it when he spoke of the relationship between light and truth. One of the characteristics of God, we know, is immutability. This is easier understood by the statement: “God is unchangeable.” I believe this is what James 1:17 is talking about. God is light, but not like a flashlight or a spotlight or even like sunlight because His light is unchanging. It never moves, so it never casts a shadow. Wayne Grudem’s Christian Beliefs gives a working definition of immutability: “God is unchangeable in his being, attributes, purposes, and promises” (p. 23). In light of this, I can rest assured that God’s being, attributes, purposes, and promises are all true. God is light, light is truth, and the truth never changes.
Our pastor also spoke about how light is meant to illuminate our path (Psalm 119:105). Simple as it may seem, it struck me that lighting a path in the dark would only be beneficial if sight is among your faculties. “Light is meant to bring certainty instead of doubt,” my pastor said and I found myself thinking, “Yes, as long as you can see. A blind person wouldn’t be helped much.” And isn’t that exactly what we are before the Holy Spirit quickens us? The light of God’s truth is right in front of our faces, glaringly so (Romans 1), but we’re completely blind to it. In fact, we’re dead to it. We can neither see, nor smell, nor hear, nor feel, nor taste the sweetness of God until we are called out of darkness into light (1 Peter 2:9). We were corpses in sin, not even knowing we were blind; but when God makes us alive then we can truly see the path ahead of us and the world around us. What a glorious truth!
Lastly, when my pastor was explaining 1 John 1:9, he used a powerful analogy. The verse says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” My pastor explained:
“God is in covenant with us. That means he is not moody. He never wakes up on the wrong side of the bed.”
So convicting! God is not like me. He is in covenant with us just like I am in covenant with my husband, but unlike me He doesn’t decide not to forgive us on a whim. It goes back again to God’s immutable character. God is so stable. I need not worry that He’s not going to be there when I wake up tomorrow. And not only do I need not worry about His presence, but the Bible tells me I need not worry about His mercies! They are there afresh every morning! If I confess my sin, He is faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me–that means always, every time, no matter what. And that’s how I should be to my husband. I should be present, merciful, faithful, loving–always, every time, no matter what. May God give me the grace to be a living testimony to His covenant in my marriage.
Thank you pastor for a challenging and Gospel-rich message. Food for my soul!
Photo credit: MB Photography
I have linked this post to “Grace Laced Mondays” here: