STUDY 3 OF 8 / 2016 PASTOR BARRY/ THE GATHERING CHURCH
LIGHT of the WORLD John 1:1-14, John 8:12, 9:4, Matthew 5:14-16. Jesus is called by many names throughout the Bible, today we will look closely at one of those names which He called Himself. (to see a list of Jesus’ names throughout the Bible and their references go to http://bibleresources.org/names-of-jesus/ ) What makes this name of special interest is that he named His followers the same thing. This name is “Light of the World”.
Firstly, The Apostle John introduces Jesus as the “Light of the World” in the first chapter of His gospel. John explains clearly how Jesus came as a light into the world and makes it clear that John the Baptist was not the “Light” but came to proclaim Jesus as that light.
Next we find Jesus introducing Himself by this name in John’s gospel and explaining that anyone who followed Him “would never walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” Jesus was speaking here of spiritual truth being light (You will remember that Jesus also said that He was the way, the truth and the life and that no one could come to the Father except through Him. John 14:6).
In the very next chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus healed a blind man and afterward He proclaimed once again that He was the “Light of the World.” He also told His disciples that while it was “day” “we” (including His disciples) must do the works of “the one who sent Him.” He added that “night” was coming when no man could work. Jesus was speaking of light as being spiritual truth once again, but this time He exclaimed that there was a time limit on proclaiming that truth and included His disciples as workmen that needed to help Him.
Lastly, In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus proclaimed that we, His followers, are the “Light of the World”. In verse 16 He also tells us about the “work” that He expects His followers to do.
Make no mistake…Jesus is the only spiritual truth in this world. He, like a lighthouse torch, illuminates the path of everyone who follows Him. He also ignites everyone who confesses Him as Lord and expects that they become lighthouses in this world to people too. We must work while time allows, for that time will come to an end.
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46
Work! Colossians 3:23-24 What good would a lighthouse be if there were no workers in it? What good is a church in a community full of darkness if it is filled with people who will not display God’s light?
In our last two lessons we have learned firstly that Christ, the Solid Rock, must be our foundation in life and the master architect who directs us as we carefully build our lives.Secondly, we learned that we must stand on His promises as we build our lives and face the obstacles that come our way…”He who has promised is faithful”. Hebrews 10:23
Notice… Step one and two require work on the part of the believer. Building is our job and holding onto God’s promises in the face of trials is too. Remember … Christ has given us a firm foundation but we must build and we must stand. That work is not without a purpose… we must also work with Him to be a light to those lost in the worldly sea of sin. Jesus has made us a lighthouse…so shine!
In 1 Corinthians 10:31 we read that whatever we do should be to His glory. The term glorify means “to give an accurate representation.” Therefore, work done by Christians should give the world an accurate picture of God in righteousness, faithfulness, and excellence. The work that Christ invites us to do in John 8:12 is just that kind of work. Although we will certainly do work for which we are paid and make our livings from, the work of the evangelist is every believers job. We are all to shine the light Christ gave us and bring His truth into this dark world. Everything we do is to be done as “unto the Lord”.
The command to witness is given to all followers of Christ… Acts 1:8 reads, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” This verse gives a command from the risen Lord to all his followers. Jesus also reminds us, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required” (Luke 12:48). We have been given no greater gift than the gospel, and we have no greater stewardship than to share that message of good news with others.
Grace Ephesians 2:1-10 Some might say, “Now wait a minute! I do not have to do any work as a Christian because I am saved by grace!” As you will clearly see by the passage that has that very phrase in it, we are not excused from the work of sharing the gospel. In fact, it is God’s active grace in our life that compels us to do so. As the passage concludes, we see that “good works” is the very reason for which we have been created.
Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8
Lighthouse John 3:17-21 Jesus said in John 3:19 “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”
When a person has died the working day of the gospel is over. What has been said and done is final. When the end of an unrepentant sinners life is over, darkness falls and “no man can work” (John 9:4). That is why we, under the guidance of Christ, must do the work of the evangelist now. He is our great lighthouse and He has called us to be lighthouses to this sin tossed world. Build on the Rock, Stand on the Rock and let your light shine from the Rock into the dark sea.