“This then is the message which we have heard of him and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
1 John 1:5
I like how this verse ends with “at all.” John wants to make sure that we know for sure that there is not one hint of evil in God. He is only good. That means that everything that God thinks and does is always for the general benefit of mankind.
When John talks about ‘light’ here in this passage he is referring to God’s righteousness. Or, once again, that God is only good, and not evil. And, of course, John uses the word ‘darkness’ as a symbol of evil. This passage made me think of another passage that talks about how the ‘goodness of God’ leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Throughout the ages many preachers and many christians, as well, in effort to lead other people to Christ have resorted to using condemning speech: “You’re a sinner! You’re going to HELL!!!!” And despite their good intentions, they tend to turn off more people than they attract. As a matter of fact, there are lots of people who loath religion and religious people because their experience with it and them has been such. And I must admit that I was also one of those zealous and ignorant condemners, and I did a pretty good job of turning people off. But after reading passages like this and others, I began to see the ‘light’ and also see how condemning speech can be soooo counter productive.
But here’s what I realized: People in darkness don’t think or realize that they are in darkness. Have you ever been in a dimly lit room? When you first walk in you can’t see very well, but after a while your eyes began to adjust. Imagine if you lived in that room and never left that room. Your eyes would be so adjusted to that darkness that you wouldn’t think that it was very dark at all. And then imagine someone walking into that room and saying to you, “You are living in great darkness! It’s so dark in here!” You would think that they are nuts, because you can see just fine. They could rattle at you all day and you would eventually get extremely annoyed. You would wish that person would go away. But what if that same person, instead, took you by the hand and walked you outside into the glory of the sun? Would you need him to tell you about the darkness you were in? No, you would understand it yourself!
This is exactly what happened to me when I finally gave my life over to Christ. God opened my spiritual eyes to the light of His goodness and to the light of His Love, and I saw that my ways were darkness compared to His Glory. I vowed to turn from my ways and follow Him, not because someone told me how bad I was, but because God shined His light into my heart to give me the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Co 4:6).
I mean, look at what happened to Isaiah. God never said anything about him being a bad person or a sinner. As a matter of fact, Isaiah was probably a much more righteous man then you or me. But look what he said when he saw the light of God’s Glory: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.”
If we can help the people of this world to have their spiritual eyes opened, then they too will speak as Isaiah did. Then they will fall down on their face and report that God is truly among us.