“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:1-5
This is the true message of Christmas! Jesus Christ is Life and He is the Light of men. However, the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, came from Heaven to earth 2,000 years ago. He appeared as Light in a world filled with spiritual darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. God has called all of His children, true followers of Jesus Christ, to be spiritual light that shines in the darkness around us.
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” Philippians 2:12-16
God wants Christians to understand the importance of their role in the world. He is working out His Will through us. We are the sons and daughters of God living in the middle of a crooked and perverse nation. God has something extremely important to say to this world and He’s saying it through us!
Paul wrote to the Christians in Philippi because the light they were shining in their world was not as bright as it could or should be. Paul expressed his deep love and affection for them and encouraged them to be unified and filled with God’s joy. He also warned them about false teachers who would try to rob them of their unity and joy.
Paul addressed this powerfully when he reminded them that they shined as lights in the world. Paul used the Greek word phainesthe to describe the Philippian Christians. It’s in the passive voice and means “are seen, appear.” Believers living in Philippi (and everywhere else for that matter) appear to unsaved people as “lights in the world.” The word lights is the word phosteres. It means “luminary, star, heavenly light.”
Christians appear as “stars” to the unsaved in the world. The Apostles Paul and John each used the word one time in their letters. John used phosteres in Revelation 21:11 to describe the Light that lights the New Jerusalem. John learned that Light is Jesus Christ. The same Light that will light the Holy City of Heaven is the same Light the unsaved see in Christians! Why? Because the Spirit of Christ lives in us.
The Philippian Christians were seen as “lights” in the midst of a “crooked and perverse generation.” That’s a description of people living in the 1st Century A.D. – crooked and perverse (perverted, distorted, twisted). Are we any better 2,000 years later? We are not. The human heart has been crooked and twisted since Adam plunged the race into sin thousands of years ago. Christians today continue to appear as lights in a crooked and perverse generation.
You and I are lights in this world. May we shine brightly for His glory!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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