Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 3. The Glory of the Logos . The Logos in relation to darkness (Part 1)

. The Logos in relation to darkness (Part 1)

THE LOGOS IN RELATION TO DARKNESS (PART 1)

John 1:1-8 (ESV) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.”

Introduction.

We continue our series on the Glory of the Logos. We have looked at the relation of the Logos to time, to God, to creation and to man. With every one of them I stand in awe at the glory of the Logos as He is revealed to us. This morning we will look at the Logos in relation to darkness and even in that we see the Glory of God.

Look at verse 5: 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Or as we see it in the NIV “5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

There is a lot of talk about evil and how it came into being. People speculate on why God in His decrees had a place for evil. I know there is no way that we can fully unravel that mystery. Every time you try and unravel something that God has not clearly unravelled for us in Scripture, we just confuse ourselves and demonstrate how little we know. What we know for sure is that God takes no pleasure in evil, and I can tell you for sure that there is no darkness in God. I can also tell you this morning that God is sovereign, so that even that which is evil when all is said and done will so be overruled by God that even the darkness demonstrates His glory.

There are 4 observations I want to make from the text and due to time we will again do it over two weeks even though it is one sermon. Today we will look at two aspects of the Logos in relation to darkness namely the meaning of darkness and the meaning of light.

  1. The meaning of darkness.

Where I want us to begin today is firstly to ask a question; what is John referring to here when he says the light shines in darkness? What does he mean with darkness? In short, darkness means anything that is opposed to God. Darkness is evil. We can also say that darkness refers to the devastating effects of sin. Before there was sin in the realm of angels there was no darkness. 1 John 1:5 (ESV) 5This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” So back before the angels were made. Back before the world was made, back before man was made, when there was nothing but God there was no darkness. He lives in unapproachable light. In 1 Timothy 6:15-16 (ESV) Paul shares with Timothy regarding Christ: “—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”

So there was a time when there was no darkness. The first thing God gave to this earth in Genesis 1 was light but then there came sin, and the result of sin upon mankind has been darkness. Now what kind of darkness is there?

1.1 There is darkness in the angelic realm.

There is darkness represented in the Angelic realm seen in the fallen angels, namely Lucifer and those who followed him in his rebellion. In fact there is an organised darkness. There are rulers and authorities and powers in this kingdom of darkness. Colossians 1:13 (ESV) 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,” Do we realise that if you are a born again believer here today that there was a time in our lives when we were in the domain of darkness. You were in a kingdom of darkness and God in saving you transferred you from that power of darkness into the kingdom of His beloved son.

There was even a time in the earthly ministry of our Lord when it seemed that darkness was gaining a victory when Christ was given over to God’s enemies, the ones who did not understand the light. Luke 22:52-53 (ESV)52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

We know full well as we see in Ephesians 6:12-13 (ESV) that we:12 … do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” There is therefore an expression of darkness seen in the kingdom of darkness with Lucifer and the rest of the fallen angels.

Every now and then in the Scriptures when you see a demon possessed person it is as if God in that life and event draws back the veil that we can see what evil is all about in it’s raw detail But do not be mistaken, they were not the only ones who were in the kingdom of darkness, all those who are not in Christ are the children of Satan. That is the very reason God’s command to Paul in Acts 26 verse 17-18 (ESV) is:17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

1.2 There is darkness in the human realm.

Not only is there a structure of darkness in the universe but there is darkness in man, and no matter how cool they look, what nice people they seem to be, how high their morals are, how ethical they conduct themselves. If they are outside Christ they are in darkness. Sometimes I think we underestimate what we are facing in the preaching of the gospel. As I said last week, men are not sick, they are dead, they do not simply need more information as they are blind and do not see the light of the Glory of God as revealed in Christ.

The redeemed nature cannot bear darkness, but fallen nature loves it. Romans 1:21-22 (ESV) 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,” Here you see this downward trap that sin follows. Man is already darkened in his understanding, but as he rebels against God, God lets him go and he goes further and further into his own depravity. If God just lets mankind do what is in his heart, he goes further and further into darkness.

Do we realise that the original sin has affected every part of man’s personality. Sin has affected the way we think. The emotional disorders are because of sin. Hatred, depression and suppression of truth are all because of the original sin. We are worried about a ceasefire in the Middle-East, but what about a ceasefire in marriages, or between children and parents, children and children, even a ceasefire between fellow believers? Why must you shoot the last shot? Should we not rather give in to light? Sin has caused all of this.

I am astounded at the Billions of Dollars that are spent on trying to understand a little more of what is out there in space, but do we realise that it is going to make no difference to the corruption and domestic issues that we are facing in society.

So when John says the ‘light shines in darkness’ he is picturing this world that we live in and he says it is a place of darkness, a place where the devil and demons are at work, a place where man lives in the arrogance and ignorance of the darkness that has come to his soul because of sin. It is a place where there are expressions of the darkness being acted out in the way men think, in the way men speak, in the way they feel, in the things they choose and all around us are the miserable physical effects of that.

All you need to do is to pull out a newspaper in South Africa to see how radically depraved man is. Just look at the South African news for one week and you will see the effect of sin and the extent of darkness. Farm killings are regularly in the news; people are killed for something as cheap as a cell-phone. Rape occurs on a daily basis. We even see fathers abusing their children and so the list goes on. Isn’t it amazing how far down a man can go?

Why does man do all these things? Ephesians 4:18 (ESV) 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” You can follow that backwards and see that man has a hard heart and his heart is hard because of an inborn ignorance and the reason why there is an inborn ignorance is because man is naturally alienated from the life of God and because there is no life man is also darkened in his thinking.

By God’s grace man has been able to retain some of the sparks of light through God’s general revelation, but that light has been turned to darkness and when man is allowed to run on the road he wants to run, that light just simply gets darker and darker.

So there is darkness in the realm of angels and there is darkness in the realm of men. There is also darkness in the works of men.

1.3 Darkness in the deeds of men.

Thoughts, words, attitudes and lifestyles all reflect this present darkness. Romans 13:12-15 (ESV) 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Here believers who are in the light have the potential to live according to the deeds of darkness, but are encouraged to live differently. We have been set free; we do not have to live according to the indwelling sin that is in us. We are now children of the day. We are no longer in darkness and therefore we do not reflect the deeds that belong to darkness.

That is the life we have been saved out of and Paul is reminding us that we have the very potential to still live like that and should not.  Ephesians 5:11-14 (ESV) 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

When someone has been saved, what characterises their life is not secrecy but a life that is visible and a demonstration of light. We live lives that are set on pleasing the Lord.

So we have darkness in the angelic realm, darkness in the human realm and in deeds that express that darkness.

2. The meaning of Light.

Turn back to John 1 where we see John saying in verse 5 that “the light shines in the darkness.” So, into this world of darkness came a great light. Then look at verse 9 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” Isn’t this glorious, think about it, there is darkness in the angelic realm, there is darkness in man and there is darkness in our deeds, and now we see that the true light that enlightens everyone was coming into the world. But you know what the sad thing is? Look at John 3:19 (ESV) 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”

Let me translate this verse in the light of my pet hate. Wendy puts me on a Brussels sprouts diet, Brussels Sprouts and yogurt for breakfast, Brussels Sprouts on toast for lunch and Brussels Sprouts and pasta for supper, with a Brussels Sprouts smoothie on the side. Mike sees me in my prediction and invites me to a lekker braaivleis, and for some stupid reason I now love Brussel Sprouts rather than steak. You have an opportunity to choose between a brand new BMW X6 and an old Nissan 1400 Bakkie, and you take the bakkie, and so you can choose between light and darkness and we go for darkness. Is it not sad that men will love darkness rather than the light?

Do we have a choice? Look what is on offer. John 8:12 (ESV) 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 9:5 (ESV) 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

John 12:46 (ESV) 46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”

So when Jesus was born in Bethlehem? The light came into this world of darkness.

Was there therefore no light in the world until Jesus came? Was there no Old Testament revelation, was there not the Law, was there not God’s speaking through the Old Testament prophets, was there not the covenant with Abraham? Was that not light? Yes it was light, but what you had with the coming of Jesus was not just light but ‘the Light’. The Old Testament clearly reveals God as light all over the show.

All that you have in the Old Testament comes from God who is light, but the coming of Jesus is God Himself coming into this world of darkness. ‘The light’ came into the world of darkness. He came to confront darkness, to strip the spiritual forces of darkness of their power. He came into this world to accomplish salvation, the salvation promised to the Old Testament saints. That was light given to them in view of what Christ was coming to do. Salvation that we now enjoy is based on what Jesus has already done.

Jesus came at the proper time, the appointed time, to accomplish salvation for all those who would ever be saved. He accomplished what He came to do. The battle is won, it is over.  Hebrews 2:14-15 (ESV) 14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”

Through Christ’s death he destroyed him who held the power of death. Colossians 2:15 (ESV) 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”

The slave holder of darkness was stripped of his power over the men and women who have been delivered from his kingdom. His only power is still over those in darkness. Satan’s seeming triumph at the cross was his ultimate defeat. He has no claim on us, he has no right to us, and he holds no authority over us, because he has been disarmed by our conquering King.

So you have the darkness, and then you have the light coming into the world to confront the darkness. It is that relationship of light to darkness and what happened that speaks to the glory of God. Do you realise that apart from the darkness there are certain things of our glorious Lord we would never have known? So God allowed the darkness to demonstrate something about Himself and something about His son.

Amen!

Logos Community Church:- 29 June 2012



a Or darkness, and the darkness has not overcome