In the scriptures light is used as a symbol of goodness and righteousness. Darkness, on the other hand, is used as a symbol of wickedness. In Gen. 1:3 we learn that the source of physical light is God. The scripture says, “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” In the same way, God is the source of spiritual light. In the gospel of John this light is described in this way, speaking of Jesus: “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines into the darkness, and the darkness does not comprehend it.” In 1 Tim. 6:15b-16 Paul added this description of the Lord: “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”
God our Father, and Jesus His Son, are the source of spiritual light. They are the epitome of all that is light in a spiritual sense. They are sinless and perfect in every respect, and there is not one shred of darkness even remotely connected with them. Their presence in light, and as light, is in Paul’s words, unapproachable for us as human beings, except for the grace of God which makes this light available to us. We enter into this light when we obey the gospel by being baptized into Christ to have our sins washed away, just as Paul himself did. In Acts 22:16 the preacher Ananias told him, “Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.”
As children of God, washed clean by the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 1:5), we live in the light of God as we travel through life. The scriptures contrast our life in the light to the darkness in which the unbelievers and disobedient live. This is why our daily lives are characterized as walking in the light. In 1 Jn. 1:5-10 John said, “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”
With these words John captures the essence of what being a Christian is. We are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, because we still sin (vs. 7-10). We are not perfect, but we are forgiven, because we walk in the light. That is, we are striving every day to follow the example of our Lord (1 Pet. 2:21), and we are trying to grow and mature in the faith as the inspired word requires (2 Pet. 1:5-9). Our intention each day is to live in such a way that others will see us and glorify God in heaven. This is what the Lord commanded in Mt. 5:14-16. He said, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Therefore, let us keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2). If we commit ourselves to His way, and to the leading of His word, which is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psa. 119:115), then we will walk in the light all the way to heaven.