Video Lesson Transcript:
Welcome back to “My Walk with God.” I’m your host, Phil Stroud. We began this spiritual adventure together by looking at the nature and some of the characteristics of God. I think that is a good place for us to start because how can I ever really fall in love with God, or learn what it means to walk with Him if I don’t really know anything about Him. In our first lesson we looked at an important fact about God shared with us by the Apostle John in I John 4:8, where he tells us, “God is love!” So, if we know that God is love, then as we begin to understand more of what love really is, we begin to understand more and more about the nature and character of God. We also looked at a passage of scripture shared by the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians, chapter 13, where he gives us a very practical and applicable definition of love; and how love conducts itself on an everyday basis. He says, “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails“ (I Corinthians 13:4-8). Now, if we know that love is all these things, and we know that God is love, then we know that these things show us the very heart and character of God. But, of course, Paul’s list in I Corinthians 13 is by no way exhaustive. While the ideas and concepts Paul shared do give us a little glimpse of what love really is, and how love conducts itself, there is much, much more that could be said about the nature of love; and there is certainly a whole lot more that can be said about the character of God. In fact, I think it is important to point out that while “God is love,” love is not God. As Christians, we are not into magnifying, or glorifying, or idolizing a particular abstract concept, such as love, and turning it into God. We do not worship the idea of love. We worship a real, living being—the only true and living God, maker of heaven and earth, giver and sustainer of life, our Creator. And while God is love, God is many other things, as well. For example, the Apostle John also tells us:
“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” (I John 1:5, NASB).
So, what does THAT mean, that “God is light”? Well, let’s look at a few glimpses of God’s nature as presented to us in scripture.
“The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain snares; Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup. For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face.” (Psalm 11:4-7, NASB)
In scripture, “light” is always associated with righteousness, with holiness, with purity. Light is also contrasted with darkness which represents ignorance, immorality, violence, and iniquity. We see in this passage that God hates violence and wickedness, but He loves righteousness. The psalmist goes on to say:
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defender of my life; whom shall I dread?” (Psalm 27:1, NASB).
“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! … For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.” (Psalm 36:7-9, NASB).
“No longer will you have the sun for light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light; but you will have the Lord for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory” (Isaiah 60:19, NASB).
In these beautiful verses, we see that light is not only associated with righteousness, but with enlightenment, guidance, and protection. God’s people do not have to rely only on the physical resources of this material world for their security, or as a source of knowledge and wisdom. There is a higher power, and a greater wisdom, that can only be found through a personal, intimate walk with God.
Now, I want us to take just a moment to consider an Old Testament prophecy from the book of Ezekiel that helps us understand something of the beauty, splendor, and power of God’s holiness and righteousness. In this passage, Ezekiel shares his vision with us, saying:
Now over the heads of the living beings there was something like an expanse, like the awesome gleam of crystal, spread out over their heads. Under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward the other; each one also had two wings covering its body on the one side and on the other. I also heard the sound of their wings like the sound of abundant waters as they went, like the voice of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army camp; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings. And there came a voice from above the expanse that was over their heads; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.
Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man. Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around Him. As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face… (Ezekiel 1:22-28, NASB)
This amazing passage presents a prophetic snapshot of what it is like to stand in the very presence of God. The full radiance of God in all His divine glory, His holiness, and His righteousness, is so great that even the angels must hide their faces. The presence, power, and holiness of God is so inspiring that Ezekiel is immediately compelled to fall on his face to the ground in reverence. Well, coming on over to the New Testament we learn some things about the only begotten Son of God, Jesus our Lord, who is also described as light:
“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 came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:1-5, NASB).
“There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:9-12, NASB).
“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life’” (John 8:12, NASB).
So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light” (John 12:35-36, NASB).
Two fundamental truths are reinforced in these four passages. The first truth is the affirmation of the identity of Jesus—He is no mere man, but rather He is divine; He is God in the flesh. And the second truth is the fact that Jesus is light. Remember, light symbolizes all that is holy and righteous. Since it is in God’s nature to be light, it is no surprise that this quality would extend to God the Son just as it exists in God the Father. The earthly life and ministry of Jesus brought God’s light directly into the world in a way that had never happened before.
The Apostle Paul also shares with us the idea of God being light when he writes in his first letter to Timothy:
“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” (I Timothy 6:15-16, NASB).
God is so powerful, His character so holy, His purity so radiant, that nobody in this present world has ever truly witnessed it. In fact, it would even be impossible for that to happen because God’s holiness means that He will not tolerate any sin, or wickedness, or darkness in His presence. But, though to stand in the very presence of God’s glory may be impossible now, one day it will be possible for us to truly dwell in God’s light. The Bible says:
“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (I John 3:2).
Finally, let’s look at a picture of God’s character, His holiness, as seen through the Apostle John’s vision recorded for us in the Book of Revelation. Look at how similar John’s vision is to that of Ezekiel recorded hundreds of years earlier:
…and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads. Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.” And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created. (Revelation 4:2-11, NASB)
Well, all these verses that we have looked at in this lesson only serve to give us a little glimpse of the glory, and the majesty, and the radiance, and the power, and the righteousness and holiness of God; and of that of the only begotten son of God, Jesus, in His eternal splendor. I hope these Bible verses have also helped us see a little more of God’s heart; something of the nature and character of God. God is Light! My prayer for you is that you will continue to walk in the light of God’s love during your brief sojourn upon this earth.