Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"First Light"

(Friends: I had indicated yesterday that I would write a second part concerning yesterday's theme, "Teach Us To Pray."  I forgot and wrote the following, so tomorrow I will return to yesterday's emphasis on prayer.  My apologies, Glen.)

     The light of God's Word accomplishes two primary purposes.  First, it reveals the perfection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Furthermore, the Bible also exposes the imperfections of humanity.

Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39).

    "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19).

    I've been reminded of this truth while reading a booentitled "The Age of Edison," which chronicles the invention of the incandescent light bulb.  Great societal changes occurred when electricity replaced kerosene and gas as the primary fuel sources for conveying illumination.  Thdarkness of night gave way to brilliantly lit city streets and parks, an experience not always enjoyed because the electrilamps that preceded incandescent bulbs cast such bright light that the imperfection of people's complexions stood forth in bold relief.  Many therefore avoided the exposure until incandescence made possible lamps that cast a softer and kinder illumination.

    If Scripture merely exposed humanity's waywardness, we would run from it no less than our ancestors avoided these prototypes of artificial light.  Thankfully, the revelation of our sin does not comprise the primary reason for the Bible's existence.  No, the revelation of God's saving grace in the Lord Jesus Christ forms and informs the most brilliant glimmer of Scriptural illumination.  Before sinners ever existed, our Heavenly Father purposed "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8).  God's first light thus first exposes the person and work of the Lord Jesus, and then reveals our desperate need for the grace that flows from the bloody sacrifice of His atoning sacrifice on the cross of Calvary.

    In our communication of the Gospel, this Divine order of supply preceding need must never be reversed.  Before shining necessary light upon human sinfulness, we must first proclaim the truth of Divine salvation in the Lord Jesus.  We bear witness to the Redeemer, and then to the sin from which He saves all who humble themselves to receive His free gift of forgiveness and a new life.  Thereby we direct the lamp of God's light toward the glory and revelation of the Savior, just as He declared that the Scriptures "testify of Me."  And thereby we illuminate the stark contrast between Christ and ourselves that reveals how much wrequire His mercy.  Yes, God's first light always shines upon the Lord Jesus, and then upon the sin from which He saves those who come to Him by faith.

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain."
(Acts 2:22-23)


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