Sunday, January 12, 2014

Genesis 1:4

"And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness."

Meditating on a verse, even a brief verse, can yield some rewarding understanding about God and how He relates to us. Notice first that God, in the beginning, divided (or separated) the light from the darkness. For as the Scripture declares: "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). And so this principal of God separating that which is good (i.e. light) from that which is not (i.e. darkness) is a principal that runs throughout the Scriptures. Especially as this relates to us His people, who being sanctified by His Person, are now light in the Lord (consider Exodus 19:5; 33:16; Lev 20:26; Matt 13:47-50; 1 Thess 5:23-24). And so when God calls us to Himself through the Lord Jesus Christ, He does so with the intention of not only delivering us out of darkness (Matt 4:16), but also releasing us from the powers of darkness (Acts 26:18; Col 1:19-20), so that He might bring us into His glorious light (1 Peter 2:9), and we might live as His people of light (Phil 2:14-16). Though this is not isolation from the world and its problems, it is separation from the sins within it (John 17:15-19; 1 Cor 5:9-13, vs. 10). And so God, in delivering us from the darkness, does not want us now as His children to continue having fellowship with darkness (2 Cor 6:14-7:1; Eph 5:8; 1 John 1:6).

For though we live in a world deceived by, and held captive too darkness. We are not of the night, nor of the darkness, who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Rather we are children of light (1 Thess 5:5). Therefore as children of light, rather then having fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, we are too expose them (Eph 5:11). For that is how sin and Satan's works are thwarted. By exposure to God's light from His Word which penetrates the deepest recesses of the human soul and mind (Heb 4:12). For the powers of darkness and their deceptions in people's lives, and in this world, only operate unencumbered until they are illuminated, then disarmed, by the truth of God's Word.
For truly God's plan for humanity is not just the salvation of all who will believe, but also to fill the world with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the seas (Hab. 2:13-14).

And so every believers battle in this world is not with the people in this world (John 3:16). Though we who are chosen by Christ will be hated and persecuted by those people of this world, just as they hated and persecuted Jesus (John 15:19-25). Therefore though unregenerate people often become agents of Satan's agenda in this world, they are not the "enemy", per say (Titus 3:3-7). Rather it is the worlds "values" being rooted and grounded in "the lust of the flesh", the "lust of the eyes", "the boastful pride of life", that are (1 John 2:15-17). And so in contrast to those failing and fading things that end in death (Rom 6:23), every believer is to put them away, so that the true light and glory of God in Christ can shine clearly through us all who believe in Jesus (Matt 5:16).

As well a believers warfare is not with the lawful authorities and institutions that are given by God to govern the affairs of mankind (Rom 13:1-7). As if governments are the enemy". Therefore we must always remember that lawful authorities are first and foremost to be obeyed (2 Peter 2:13-17). Lobbied yes, when necessary changed by vote yes, and hopefully held accountable by believer and non-believer alike. As we both have this privilege and responsibility from God. That said, let us always remember that the churches' business is not political, (as if regeneration of the individual or this world will come through politics) rather it's spiritual. And so each and every believer, as well as every congregation, will have to work out their own strategic balance as too how much time, resources, and energies they are going to commit to invoking societal change through the political process, or even humanitarian efforts. For though some change can come through the political process, (and or through our efforts to bring relief to the poor from their poverty and or the ever present and seemingly changing social aliments that plague this broken world) ultimately the heart and soul of the individual is not changed (and thus society) until the individuals heart is regenerated. And that is what we, as God's people are about. Living and declaring the soul saving, life transforming power, that is Jesus Christ's Person who comes to live in us all who believe in Him. And thus we are too illuminate Him to a lost and perishing world, that the salvation and glory of God is freely available to all who repent and believe in Him. For when received by faith, the Lord Jesus Christ changes everything. Both in individuals, as well as in nations. And that is our primary focus and agenda. To preach the Good News, that God in Christ saves souls from eternal damnation and transforms persons, lives, and nations here and now. For our King Jesus and the Kingdom of heaven, must be lived out and preached by us all who have received Him as Lord and Savior, here and now. So that His Holy Spirit life, power and love can be both seen, as well as imparted into as many as will believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, Crucified for their sins remission, and Risen from the dead for our justification, here and now. And so our message and agenda is not a political one, as if attaining worldly power transforms anyone into Christ-likeness, and thus restores the image of God in them. Rather it is Spiritual. Therefore as ambassadors of Jesus Christ we must not become entangled in the affairs of this life (2 Tim 2:4) so as too lose sight of our calling and focus for Jesus Christ in this world. And thus neither alignment with, nor war against, the political entities of this world, whose agendas are only political, whereas ours are Kingdom centered, valued and focused. And so we work, we lobby, we vote, we pray for all those in leadership, as well as for change (2 Tim 2:1-6). But we do not align the Lord Jesus Christ's work with that of governments, or the political entities within them.

Finally, our warfare is not with human creativity, as if expressions of music, dance, art etc., in all their various forms, styles, and formats are the enemy. Since every form of music, dance and art is essentially morally neutral until they are made to express something that is not. Yet sadly more and more what is being expressed through them, is just giving more and more evidence to the degenerating nature of this world. And so it is always good, right and sound to be a sound voice of reason against those things in this world that are morally degenerating, and or degrading of humanity and human dignity, and thus ultimately degrade or deny God (2 Cor 10:4-5). Nonetheless human expressions of creativity through the innumerable mediums, formats, and styles in of themselves again, are not the enemy. Rather our warfare begins first within our own sinful hearts and minds (Jer 17:9; Mark 7:20-23; Rom 12:2), and then extends outward to the powers of darkness, who have seized this world, and are working their agendas through it, and the people they have taken captive within it (2 Tim 2:24-26). And so that is the battle the every believer faces in this world. Not with art, science or technology. Rather we are to be resisting and rejecting the degenerating morals and godlessness that is in this world, and thus the growing darkness within it. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Eph 6:12 And so we the body of Christ and the people of God within, must hold fast to His Word, and the moral and spiritual truths within God's Word, so as to disarm Satan's lies and be true Gospel messengers and light bearers in this very dark and at times dangerous world (Isaiah 8:20). Declaring Jesus Christ's Person crucified unto death, and risen from the dead, for everyone who believes in Him sins and transgressions, so that whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom 10:9-10, 13).

For that is absolutely fundamental and critical. That the Dayspring of God, that is Jesus Christ's Person, be made known to all, so that all might have a chance to repent and believe in Him. For when anyone does they will have remission of all their sins and new and everlasting life the moment they believe in Him! For the Lord Jesus Christ said: “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 Therefore if you have not yet made that critical decision to receive what Jesus has done for you to save you from your sins, and bring you into a personal and everlasting relationship with God the Father through Himself I urge you to do so now (John 14:6). By a simple prayer of faith in Jesus' Person He will come into you ,and change you, just as He has said: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." Rev 3:20

Therefore if you believe and would like to receive the Lord Jesus simply pray something like this: Dear Lord Jesus I know that I am a sinner and have sinned against You. Yet I know that you were crucified for me so that You could both pay for my sins as well as restore me back to God. Therefore I now invite You into my heart and life to be my Lord and Savior. In Your Name Lord Jesus I pray this, amen.

Scripture Citations
The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982

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