Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 3. The Glory of the Logos . The Logos in relation to darkness (Part 2)

. The Logos in relation to darkness (Part 2)

THE LOGOS IN RELATION TO DARKNESS (PART 2)

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.”

Today we shared around the Lord’s Table in communion once again, and the theme of “the relation of the Logos to darkness” is so appropriate to communion. The very table of the Lord celebrates our coming out of darkness into the marvellous light of God.

Last week we looked at the meaning of darkness and the meaning of light. Today we complete this sermon by looking at two more thoughts, firstly we will see the struggle between darkness and light and then we will look at the continuous presence of light.

3. The struggle between darkness and light.

Why is there this struggle between darkness and light? Another way to put it is why do those none-Christians at work or even your non-Christian family and friends not understand you? Last week we saw that people prefer darkness to light, but there are two more reasons that we see today.

3.1 Darkness does not understand the light.

The answer is in verse 5. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome (understood) it.” Some translations use the word ‘comprehend’ or ‘understand’ and other translations use the word ‘overcome’. The reason some translations have the word comprehend is because the Greek word  'katalambano {kat-al-am-ban'-o}' can mean either.

One can make something your own, by understanding it, but also by overtaking or taking it. The issue here is really; is it an ‘intellectual’ seizing that we are talking about or a ‘physical’ seizing like we see in John 8:4 when they seized the woman caught in adultery? Dr D.A. Carson one of the commentators on my shelf calls it a “masterful planned ambiguity.” So one idea would be that the light came into the world but the darkness, (the world of mankind in sin) did not know Him, did not understand Him, and were not able to grasp the truth about Him. It could be translated that way and that is right and a truth. Verse 10-11 teaches (ESV) 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. Look at verse 11 “11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.”

Just imagine if you came home to your own people and they did not recognise you, they ignore you, they hate you and they eventually crucify you. By the way you would be in exactly that same position if it was not for God’s love that was bestowed upon you. We see this in 1 John 3:1-2 (ESV) "See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is." Christ is so unlike the world and darkness and you and I are so unlike the world and darkness that they do not make sense of us.  They think we are crazy, because we are not like them.

So, the reason they do not know us is because they do not know Him. He has given us His life; He has given us His light therefore the world cannot make sense of us.

So the one option is that ‘katalambano’ can mean that darkness does not understand the light. There is a second option.

3.2 Darkness seeks to overthrow the light.

Many translations use the phrase ‘and the darkness did not overcome it.’ There are places in the New Testament where 'katalambano' is translated ‘to overtake.

For example in John 12:35 (ESV): “So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going." The very same word 'katalambano' is used, this time to refer to overtaking or overcoming you. Christ is talking here to His disciples. They need to understand that it is only in the light of Christ that we are safe from darkness. Ignore the light of Christ and darkness will have power over you and anybody in darkness has no clue where they are going.

Back to verse 5. Darkness did not and darkness will never overcome Christ. He came as a great conqueror as a great victor. He stripped the authorities of their power as we saw earlier. He accomplished what He set out to do and made sure of the salvation of all those given to Him by the Father for salvation before the world was ever made. If Christ was defeated by darkness then you and I today are lost as much as those still living in darkness. John 8:12-13 (ESV); “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.” So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.”"

John 12:46, (ESV); "I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness." The question is. If you are in darkness, dead in your trespasses and sins, blind, how do you recognise the light? How did we ever come to recognise Him as the light? Because the very one who is light has delivered us from our darkness.

2 Corinthians 4:6 (ESV); "For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." How did we see the glory of God in the face of Jesus? We saw Jesus as glorious God.  Remember when Thomas bowed before Jesus and said: “My Lord and my God”. How was Thomas ever able to say that, and how are you and I ever able to say that? Remember there was a day when Jesus was transfigured that Peter made that statement. How was Peter ever able to make that confession of Jesus? In Matthew 16:16 (ESV); "Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” How did Peter make it?  Listen what Christ says in verse 17: "And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven." The good news believer is this. A preacher can preach Christ with all of his heart and all of his energy, but he cannot reveal Jesus to you.

Only the Father who is in heaven and the God who in creation said: ‘let there be light’, is the God who in the new creation can say: ‘let there be light’, and He shines into the dark heart of mankind when He saves someone and there is an understanding given by God of the glory given in the person of His Son.

So "the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." This speaks of the glorious powerful nature of the Son of God. He accomplished His missions and all the powers of darkness marshalled against Him but they could not stop Him and they will never stop Him. Nice to be on the winning side, isn’t it? This brings me to one last thought.

4. There is a continued presence of the Light.

When did John write his gospel, before or after the ascension of Christ? But notice that it does not say that the light ‘shined’ into darkness. It says the light ‘shines’ into darkness. The Greek word 'phaino' {fah'-ee-no} is in a present, active indicative tense. He keeps shining. Look at the second part of the phrase: “the darkness has not overcome it.” In other words the light is still shining, and the darkness has never overcome it, and will never overcome it. This is the glorious nature of the Son of God. He is still shining and the darkness is still unable and will always be unable to overcome Him. He is a powerful Saviour. Now how does the light continue to shine?

4.1 Because He has not left us.

The continuous presence of Christ is that which sustains us as believers. Though He is in heaven, He has not left us. Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:20, what did He say: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” He is at work right now in His church. He is at work right now in this place. The book of Revelation gives us insight in what goes on in the Lord’s churches. Jesus is not absent, Jesus is not at a distance, and Jesus walks in the midst of His golden lamp stands, His churches. Wherever the light is shining, He is the one who is at work.

4.2 Because the Light shines through the Word of God.

The Word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our pathway, and the light of the Lord continues to shine wherever His word is preached in the power of the Holy Spirit. That is why we are committed to Biblical preaching and not popular preaching. If you want to see the true Light, all you need to do is to study the gospels and you will quickly see that He was not just a good man, not just a prophet, but the Son of God who came to take away the sins of the world.  People sadly come to conclusions about Jesus and they have not even looked at Jesus. They have not even listened to Jesus. The light shines in the Word. Read about it, listen to Him, watch Him as He walks this earth for the years that He did. Listen to John’s testimony. He shines right now to us through the testimony of the Apostle John. There is another way the light continuous to shine.

4.3 Because the light shines through His people.

Look at Philippians 2:15 (ESV) which says: "that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world." You have the light of the world now shining through lights in the world. He is incarnated again in a different way, in His church. Tell me, how well are you shining? There is this race among torch manufacturers to design torches that can shine further. I wish we can do the same for Christians. Remember that he whose light shines furthest, shines brightest at home.

In the midst of a world engulfed in darkness there are lights, people who have been redeemed, people who have been saved, people who have the Son of God living in them and working through them. Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV) "“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." There are works of darkness, but there are also fruitful works produced by God, and we need to let our lights shine in such a way that this world can see Jesus in us.

The church is not a monastery trying to shut itself off from the world, no my friends we are the light of the world. We go into the world and we shine. I remember the song we always sang at Sunday School when I was a kid, ‘this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine, this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.’ John 20:21 (ESV) "Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”" The Father has sent His light into the world, now the Light is sending His lights into the world through our witness and the preaching of His Word and through the deeds that cannot be explained when God changes lives, the ways of thinking, attitudes, priorities and choices. God is making Himself known through His church.

How do we respond to all of this?

  1. We respond through our praise. Was God obligated to save us? Was God obligated to save anyone? No His light is because of grace and all for the praise of His glory.
  2. We respond through our humility. Is there any way we could have delivered ourselves from darkness, or did I have to have someone to deliver me, to save me? I cannot take one ounce of credit for my salvation. All glory belongs to God who through the appearance of Light into the world demonstrated His humility.
  3. We respond with joyful confidence about our future. Not only is it true to say that the darkness has not overcome the light, but the darkness will not ever overcome the light. Here I am, someone who has been rescued and redeemed by the grace of God, but I am still living in a dark world. It is true that all the powers of darkness are now marshalling against my faith. This world does not cooperate with what God wants to do in my life. It is all aimed against me. So how do we emerge from it all in the end? It is only by God’s power. His power saves us and His power keeps us till the end.
  4. We respond through our present obedience. “Live as children of the light”. Let me share a quote that I put on our website this week by a man called Frederick Temple, whoever he is: “While there is left in you a trace of ill-temper, or of vanity, of pride, or of selfishness; while there is left in you a single sin, or germ of sin, you must not rest from the battle. God does not require from you to be sinless when you come before Him, but He does require you to be unceasing in your perseverance. He does not require that you shall never have fallen; but He does require unwearied efforts. He does not require you to win, but He does require you to fight”. We know that our struggle is against the principalities of darkness, but what do we do, we put on the armour of God and we fight.
  5. We respond with a burden for the lost. We must have a burden for lost people of the world knowing this; that God will save all those whom He has chosen. I don’t have to live my life with fear and anxiety thinking that their eternal destination is in my hands, but at the same time I cannot love Him and not have a burden for the things that He has taught me to have a burden for.

If you do not know the Lord God as your Saviour this morning, my question to you is this. When is the last time you considered your own darkness, and what real benefit do you find in darkness, now and for eternity?

To Christians here this morning I want to ask: Do men see Christ in you? They will only see Christ the more you look to Christ and as He increasingly becomes your light and as He is reflected from your life to the lives of others.

Amen!

Logos Community Church:- 5 August 2012