The Bible, the Light Source
Introduction: Alas, not a few are groping about in utter darkness. They constantly find themselves in destructive situations and relationships as a result of their lack of judgment. Hence, they stumble along (Jn. 11: 10). Hear the Psalmist: "Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Ps. 119: 104, 105).
I. The Bible illuminates
A. The Bible is the greatest book man has ever known because it contains the revelation of God (2 Tim. 3: 16). God gave the Bible to us through the agency of about forty men, whom he inspired (2 Pet. 1: 21, I Cor. 2: 13). The final and consummate section of the Bible is the New Testament, the final will of God as given through his Son, Jesus Christ (Heb. 1: 1, 2). The Bible contains much practical and directional teaching. "For the commandment is a lamp," wrote the wise man, "and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life" (Prov. 6: 23).
II. Jesus is the light
A. John introduces Jesus, the Word, as having been with God from the beginning (Jn. 1: 1). The Word (Logos) is also presented as being God (deity, Ibid.).
B. He is declared to have been the Creator of all things created (Jn. 1: 3). John also wrote of Jesus, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men" (vs. 4).
a. The light of Jesus is more powerful than darkness (vs. 5). Jesus is the "true light," "which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (vs. 9).
b. Many, however, refuse the light of God, because they "loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (Jn. 3: 19). Jesus said, " I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (Jn. 8: 12).
c. The question is how is this light made accessible and what does it mean to follow Jesus?
III. Re-emphasize the words of the Psalmist (Ps. 119: 1104, 105)
A. God's precepts and word serve as the light source. Beloved, the same is true regarding Jesus. The Bible tells us of Jesus, his birth, life, and his sacrificial death (Matt. 1: 18 ff.; Matt., Mk, Lk; Jn.; Matt. 26, 27).
B. The Bible contains the teachings or gospel of Jesus (2 Jn. 9-11). This is precisely the thought the apostle Paul is presenting when he wrote of Jesus, " and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1: 10). To follow Jesus, then, means we adhere to his teachings (Jn. 8: 31, 32; 9: 27-34).
IV. The Bible illuminates many vital subjects
A. As suggested, the Bible as God's final and complete revelation to man contains practical and directional teaching which offers light and understanding (Jude 3; 2 Tim. 3: 16, 17).
a. Light regarding life and immortality. The scriptures tell us of the light, its reality, nature, and how to access it (Jn. 3: 19 ff., 8: 12). To come to God, the light and life source, we must be "taught," "hear," and "learn" of the Father (Jn. 6: 44, 45).
b. The Bible tells us of the eternal destiny of the souls of men (Matt. 25: 46). The Bible is the only source that reveals heaven, the inheritance of the saved (I Pet. 1: 4; Rev. 21, 22).
c. Light regarding God, his identity, nature, and will. Man can surely know there is a Creator apart from the Bible (Ps. 19: 1, Rom. 1: 20 ff.). However, only the Bible tells man that God is love, just and strict, and desires the salvation of all men (I Jn. 4: 8; I Jn. 1: 9, Rom. 11: 22; 2 Pet. 3: 9, see "The Godhead" in the subject index).
d. Light regarding how to be saved. The greatest question man can ask is "what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16: 30). Indeed, there is something man has to do to enjoy salvation (cp. Acts 2: 40). Man, the none-Christian, must believe, repent, confess Christ's deity, and be baptized for the remission of sins (Jn. 8: 24; Acts 17: 30, 31; Rom. 10: 9, 10; Acts 8: 37, KJV; Acts 2: 38, 22: 16). The child of God also has responsibilities relative to his salvation (Phili. 2: 12, 2 Pet. 1: 5-11, see "Salvation" in the subject index).
e. Light regarding the church. The Bible informs us Jesus promised to build his church and that he succeeded (Matt. 16: 18, 19, Acts 2: 47, KJV, 5: 11, etc.). Salvation is in Christ or the church and the church is the support of the truth (2 Tim. 2: 10; I Tim. 3: 15). The Bible tells us of the work, nature and government, and identity of the local church (see "The Church" in the subject index).
f.Light pertaining to how to live. The grace of God teaches us that "denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world " (Tit. 2: 12, 11). The Christian is to "perfect holiness in the fear of God" (2 Cor. 7: 1).
Conclusion: Without the Bible, there is no light. Jesus said, "But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him" (Jn. 11: 10). To the converse, Jesus also said "but he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be manifest, that they are wrought in God" (Jn. 3: 21).