The True Light Now Shines— 1 John 2:7-11
Passed From Death to Life Series
We have come to another of the great evidences that we are God’s children. As our Lord gives this spiritual checklist of things that give evidence that we know the Lord, check each item in your life.
The Bible says in 1 John 2:7-11,
“Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning…Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth…He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now…He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him…But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”
Take special notice of the closing expression in verse 8. The Bible says, “the true light now shineth.” The true light now shines. Remember we are living in a world of light and darkness. Our lives are made of decisions. The Word of God says in the 19th Psalm that we are to number our days so that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Days are God’s gift to us so that we might make right decisions.
The goal is not to live a certain number of days, but rather to exercise wisdom in those days. One can live a long life without wisdom, and life becomes an absolute ruin. One can live a short life in the wisdom of God, and God considers that life to be a great success.
There have been many people in history who did not live a long life, but who now continue their influence in our day and time. Some have been dead for centuries, but because they lived lives of true wisdom walking in the light and making right decisions, they continue to influence us. May God give us an understanding of this.
God’s Word here is directed to believers. Notice how He begins in verse 7 of this passage saying, “…Brethren…” It is my responsibility on a daily basis to recognize that I am living in a world of spiritual darkness, and I am called to give spiritual light. I am to walk in the light and to make right decisions.
We know what God wants to emphasize by the way He places emphasis His Word. Certain things reoccur in the Bible. There is actually a “law of reoccurrence” in the Bible—when God mentions something to us and then later repeats that very thing. We are wise to place an emphasis where God places an emphasis.
Take notice of the word “commandment” that is found many times in this passage. John describes these particular commandments as ones that were given “in the beginning.” He is not making reference to the beginning of the world, but to the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ.
The Bible says in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another…By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
The Bible says in John 15:9-14, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love…If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love…These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full…This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you…Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends…Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
The language here is simple, but firm. It is not a suggestion. It is a commandment. God says, “I am giving you a new commandment. I command you to love one another. I want you to understand that by this all men shall know that you are My disciples.” This is His command that I am to follow and obey in every area of my life. God says, “I command you to love one another.”
Unfortunately, often we live our lives according to the way other people live their lives. This is absolutely against God’s Word. We are to live our lives in obedience to God no matter what other people are doing. We have a way in human nature of responding to people in the way people have responded to us. Our lives become echoes, not voices. We only echo back what we receive, what we hear, and how we are treated. The truth is we are to obey God’s commandment no matter what any other person does.
Read carefully 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 and notice particularly verse 6—“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Remember, “the true light now shineth.” Jesus Christ is the true Light, and the true light now shines in the life of the believer. You can go through the motions of obedience without having a heart of obedience. Obedience is not simply doing God’s will; it is delighting in doing God’s will.
We live in a dark, deluded, deceived world. Our minds are darkened; our thinking processes are darkened. The Bible says in Colossians 1:13 that God has “delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” God, who is the light, shines in our hearts to give us light, so that in the light He gives, we can see clearly what we are commanded to do. It is so important that we walk in that light and stay in obedience to God in order for God to give us more light so that we can see and obey Him.
The psalmist said in Psalm 27:13, “I had fainted, unless Had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” When you make right decisions, God gives more light to make more right decisions. God has commanded us to live this way. If you do not live this way, you are deliberately, willfully disobeying God. You ask, “What does this have to do with love?” You cannot have love until you have His light! His light enables us to see how to express our love. If we do not have this light, then we are not able to express our love.
“I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness” John 12:46