According to the Lord Jesus Christ, His followers are the light of the world. Jesus is the light, the Light that shows the way to eternal life. Every other light is darkness. Men that are in sin emit light relating to sin, which is darkness. Every man emits light according to his nature. But, he who has the Christ emits the light of God. Christ shines forth from them revealing the nature of His body, the church. His body is Christians, who were called for the purpose of glorifying God. Therefore, by nature of their calling they must emit the Light. When a man or woman is called by God to possess His light, they are called to be the lamp that glows the Christ; a lamp that shines in the darkness that prepares the way for the glorification of God. Their symbolism can be drawn from the command that God gave to Moses. “Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you mount the lamps, the seven lamps will give light in the front of the lampstand’” (Num. 8:2).
When Aaron lit the lamps, the entire holy place was filled with light. He was commanded to keep the lamps burning from evening until morning. This obviously indicates only one thing – the purging of darkness. Darkness was never to be present in the holy place. Hence, God made the lampstand with the seven lamps an integral part of the holy place. It is for reasons such as this that the Law had only a shadow of good things to come. All who have Christ as light in them are the lamps mounted to purge the darkness. Wherever these lamps go or stand they emit light in front of them revealing the Christ in them. And, Christ also in turn reveals their holiness, the key to eternal life, to the world.
The simple knowledge surrounding light is that it brings awareness, joy and removes the gloominess created by darkness. We often realize the importance of having light in the places we live, work and travel to. Without it, it is impossible to survive. And so, as far as Christ is concerned God made Him the light without which it is impossible to live in His house. The riches of Christ are truth, righteousness and life eternal. Now, he who is a lamp mounted contains in him the riches. Without them there appears no blessings from God. And if one is being blessed by God, he or she is a lamp burning to purge the darkness. God reveals His fellowship with them to the world. They not only purge darkness from their lives, but also give the knowledge of purging it to those around them.
It is those that purged the darkness from them that emit the true meaning of the church. They have been called by God to emit Christ. They fill the holy place, the temple of the Holy Spirit, with Light. Therefore, God also wills for His Spirit to dwell in them. Where the Holy Spirit dwells, there exist God’s knowledge and wisdom. With these it is possible for them to continue in His commands and all that He wills; they understand the manner in which He works. Without them they would have performed what is not the will of God and what obstructs the glory of God. They have been saved!
Yet, many churches are living contrary to the nature of one who is saved. They allowed the darkness to supersede them. They procure everything from the world to understand, worship and praise God. The word of God, the Light, is not present that its essence is understood using the tools of the world. If this is so, the world itself is greater than the Light. Rather, it is present that the nature of world is revealed to men and that they having possessed the Light become His holy place. But, when belief in the word was superseded by the knowledge of the world, the churches suffered. “Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain” (Eccl. 1:18).
How great is such pain! It never leads one to solution. People get confused. Had they become the light of the world, they would have superseded vanity by now. It was the same mistake that Israel committed and they had to suffer greatly. God’s word overtook them. “Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever?” (Zech. 1:5). You cannot live forever when you do not become the light of the world. It is only when you believe in God’s word that you can possess His light, the Christ. Believing is the key to obeying. There are the plain things about God and there are the deeper things about Him. To have believed in the plain things will alone lead you to grasp the deeper things about Him. Knowledge, wisdom and the reasoning of this world do not compel you to believe in the plain things. For this reason, not all who preach the gospel and claim to be of God possess His light. When they did not believe the plain things, they faltered. God’s word will overtake them!
He who comes to Christ must first come to Him with a mind to believe. Or else, what good will his coming bring? It rather brings upon him a stringent judgment. But, if he comes to Him to believe Him, he has rejected the knowledge of the world; indeed, he has considered it as nothing. What is the advantage? It leads him to the riches of Christ. Therefore, the gospel must also be preached in such a way that it contains the wisdom and knowledge of God and not of the world. In other words, he who proclaims Christ must of necessity possess His riches.
It is amazing to see how the knowledge of the world is able to control the many churches. They truly have no foundation for belief. Therefore, they do not understand as well as do not accept the manner in which God can work. It is of utmost importance to know that God plays an integral part in the life of His believers. His believers’ lives revolve around His workings. Their going in and coming out, their rising up and sitting down are all done under His control. This, in reality, shows the difference between the children of God and children of the devil. Because He works in them so integrally, they continue to emit His light. By His works they proclaim His existence. “They were also to provide mounts to put Paul on and bring him safely to Felix the governor” (Acts 23:24).
Paul was rescued from the hands of his countrymen. Can a believer say this was not an act of God? Neither did Paul in his writings to the churches. In fact, he did mention that the Lord’s grace was sufficient for him. If you can go to the word and consider the manner in which Paul had to be taken to Felix, it almost seems unreal. But, to Paul, who believed in God in every walk of his life, it was an act of God. And, even to all who believe in God like Paul, because He makes them the light of the world through His Son. Remember the words of Christ when He said that no one lights a lamp and covers it with a container so that those who come in may see the light. When God calls you, he not only calls you for eternal life, but also uncovers the Christ in you that many may also see the Light. And so, Paul, who had to be taken to Felix, also became the lamp that shined Christ to Rome according to the Lord’s word.
God has many plans, in fact amazing plans, for those whom He calls. And, if you are willing to believe Him, He will call you out of the darkness and into His light that you become the lamp that will be set on a lampstand. For this is what He did with the believers to which the Spirit attested saying, “since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints” (Col. 1:4). It was Christ Jesus the reason in them that they radiated their belief in Him to far away places. They performed everything that belongs to belief in God. Their faith led them to fulfill the law of God wherein they loved the saints. No one can quench such love for it has been begotten by the Christ, the light in them.
Therefore, the Spirit gives a reasonable conclusion regarding the children of God. “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10). Believing God is righteousness. Being a lamp of God that shines Christ is righteousness. Righteousness compels you to fulfill the law of Christ. It reveals to you your brother by supplanting the darkness that comes across you. In summary, to be a light of the world as a follower of Christ is righteousness. God’s light in you is leading you distinctly.
The works of God are unnumbered. Once you have become His lamp to carry His light, the way to life eternal is revealed to you. The acts of God in your life are His manifestations to you for eternal life. You who were dead before Christ entered into you have now become alive by His marvelous work of making you a lamp for His light. Many things relating to God begin working in you and you shall be His marvel to those around you. It is for this reason that Light appeared i.e. to announce God’s presence among men. “Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, ‘A great prophet has arisen among us!’ and, ‘God has visited His people!’” (Luke 7:16). God has visited you, if you are shining Christ. This makes men glorify God.