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You Are The Light Of The World

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matt. 5:14-16, NIV

Jesus said His disciples are the light of the world.  Unlike when He said we are the salt of the earth, here He did use the Greek word ‘Kosmos’ for the world.   We are definitely talking about being light in the world around us.

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We will look at seven things the Bible teaches us about being light in the world around us, but first, we must be clear on what we mean by being light.  We do not have light in and of ourselves.  We are not good people trying to help other people live better.  We are saved disciples of Jesus Christ, glorifying God and revealing His love to a lost world.  Jesus is The Light.  Only to the degree that we reflect Him can we be light to the world.  In ourselves, we have nothing to offer but darkness.  A work of the flesh may bring temporary relief to people, but it can never bring true light.

With that in mind, what does it mean as disciples to be the light of the world?

1.  Believe In Jesus

Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord is the foundation of being a light to a world in darkness.

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”  John 6:28-29, NIV

This may seem self-evident, but it is not.  Some surveys show that over half the people graduating from conservative Bible colleges and universities do not have a truly Christian worldview.  From many church pulpits, darkness is spread in the name of Christ.  People are given false hope, false comfort and false teaching.  This is one reason we are to be salt in the church, as we saw last month.

Being a true light to the world, a true reflection of Christ, will likely bring opposition from both those inside and outside the church.  Darkness does not like exposure.  A genuinely Christian worldview and commitment shatters the lies of the enemy.

The next five points are taken from Luke 4:18-19, NIV: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

2.  Proclaim Good News To The Poor

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus defined the poor as those who are poor in spirit, humble, and know they need help. This is not an assessment of a person’s finances. There may be wealthy people who are poor in spirit, and there may be financially poor people who are proud and arrogant in spirit.

If someone doesn’t know they need help, they won’t look for it. This is one reason for preaching the Law of God. Anyone with even a small understanding of the Law of God knows there is no hope of salvation outside of Jesus Christ. God’s standard is perfection. 

The Good News is that God views us as perfect in Christ. We can have an intimate relationship with the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  We can be at peace with God and have friendship with Him.  The poor in spirit need to have this Light shined on them.

3.  Proclaim Freedom For The Prisoners

We can shine the Light of Jesus Christ into the dark dungeons of depression, fear, addiction, boredom and wherever satan has bound people.  They have been made prisoners, but Jesus Christ has shattered the works of satan [Heb. 2:14-15].  Those who accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour can experience that freedom.  We proclaim that freedom to them.  It is not a work of the flesh but a belief in Jesus from the heart and confession of Him with the mouth.  [Acts 16:31, Rom. 10:9]. This is not to say that achieving victory over these monsters is instantaneous.  For some, it can be, but for many, it is a process of walking in faith. Freedom is already won for those who will accept it.  We proclaim the light of this truth even as we walk it out in our own lives.

4.  Proclaim Recovery Of Sight To The Blind

There are a lot of blind people out there.  They are not physically blind, but they are blind to the Truth.  They are confused.  And the blind are leading the blind.  

How do we shine the Light of Jesus into the world of the blind?  Through the faithful declaration of the Word of God.  The Bible is the Truth about every subject.  Christians are to expose errors and lies wherever they occur.  It is a modern heresy to say that the Church is to only focus on so-called “spiritual” things.  This is my Father’s world.  And in any field satanic lies are found - politics, science, history, business, economics, family, whatever - the Truth must be declared for the blind eyes to be healed.  Yes, there will be opposition because darkness hates the light, but those who are poor in spirit will have their eyes healed.

We must be careful to stand firmly on the Truth of God’s Word in every area to which we are speaking.  Satan loves to dilute the Truth by getting people distracted with endless speculations.  These ideas can damage a person’s credibility.  Stick to the Truth. 

5.  To Set The Oppressed Free

Spiritual oppression is the greatest oppression, as people are kept helpless in sin and darkness.  The Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ shatters spiritual oppression, bringing salvation, hope and a restored relationship with God.

Oppression can take many forms, and many times, Christians are deluded into collaborating with the enemy. This often happens because they think Christianity is mainly evangelism. Did that shock you? Evangelism is a vital part of Christianity, but Christianity’s purpose is the glory of God.  

The idea of social justice sometimes has a bad name because it has been used to undermine the preaching of the Gospel and to promote socialism. True Christians are concerned and work against injustice wherever it is found because it insults God’s character and oppresses people. A misunderstanding of a couple of Scriptures has motivated some Christians to be passive or submissive to evil civil governments. Being God’s light means we work to break every oppression and restore God’s justice.

6.  Proclaim The Year Of The Lord's Favour

Now is the day of Salvation.  Now is the Year of the Lord’s favour for everyone who will turn to Him.  We don’t know the length of this “year” it ends with a person’s death or the return of Christ.  At both events, a person will be locked into their chosen destiny forever.  

As we proclaim the Year of the Lord’s favour, we expose Satan’s lies that God is harsh, uncaring, or cruel. We reveal God’s love, His concern for people, and His desire for their highest good. We show them who our loving Father really is and invite them to live forever under God’s smile.

7.  Proclaim The Vengeance Of Our God

In His sermon in Nazareth, Jesus did not quote from Isaiah 61 what comes after the Year of the Lord’s favour.  The reason was that Israel was in the Year of the Lord’s favour when He walked the earth.  They were given every opportunity to repent for three and a half years, but the majority remained in hard-hearted rebellion.  At the close of His ministry, Jesus gave them the “woes” of Matthew 23 and the predictions of the devastation of the Jewish War in AD 70 in Matthew 24.  He was then declared the vengeance of our God, as Isaiah said.

When we are light in the world, we do not hide the holy justice of God.  Hell is real and is an eternal, conscious existence in suffering that will never change and from which there is no escape.  If that doesn’t scare you, you haven’t understood it.  Everybody in Hell has the same thought: “I deserve this.”  In fact, we all deserve it.  Only God’s mercy and love call us from under His frown to live under His smile.  Now is the day of God’s favour.  Now is the day of opportunity.  Now is the time for genuine repentance.  

The year of God’s favour also applies to nations and civilizations. Many civilizations are in the dust heap of history. Western Civilization has been living under God’s favour, but it is fast moving across the line into God’s Vengeance. Once that line is crossed, it will implode, and a new civilization will arise. The only way to stop it is through genuine national repentance.

Let us be light to the world, shining a spotlight on both God’s mercy and His justice.  

If you missed the first part of this message, The Salt Of The Earth, you can read it here or view it here.

For more information about Glenn Davis, see our About Glenn page or visit Glenn Davis Books.

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Please note: We no longer have the commenting feature [maybe again in the future].  Joshua Institute students who have questions or comments on their courses can use the contact button and mention the course name and lesson number in the email.  Thank you.  Glenn

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