Summary: This sermon compares the man who walks in darkness with the man who walks in the light.
Lab Rats, Light, and Hope
A group of graduate students did a very bizarre experiment. They took lab rats and put them in a tank of water and placed the tank in a totally dark room. They went into the joining room and monitored them with video equipment. The rats swam for almost six hours before giving up and drowning. The students then took another set of lab rats and put them in a tank of water and placed that tank in a room where there was a small lamp. Their hypothesis was that the light would give the rats hope and they would survive longer. As it turns out, the rats swam almost 17 hours. Much longer than the rats in total darkness. Something about the light enabled them to survive longer.
Let’s think about the contrast between light and darkness and what God’s word has to say about both of them.
Light versus dark has throughout history been a popular theme. Whenever I would go to my grandpa’s house after church on Sundays we would sit around and watch westerns. You could always tell who the good guys and the bad guys were. The good guys wore white cowboy hats and the bad guys wore black cowboy hats. Even in modern times...In the popular movie series “Star Wars” you have the dark and light side of the “force.”
Many times in scripture we see God tied to the light:
Psalm 18:28 My God turns my darkness into light.
Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Psalm 76:4 You are resplendent with light.
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a light unto my path.
Many times the lost and the devil are tied to darkness:
Matthew 6: “You are either full of light or full of darkness”
Satan is the prince of darkness.
The unsaved will be cast into darkness.
We decide where we will walk.
Remember when Jesus was getting ready to go the cross and he told his followers in John 12:25 “You will have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of the light.”
We are instructed to walk in the light. The decision is ours. Will we obey Jesus and walk in the light?
Jesus knew if his disciples did not follow him and walk in the light, Satan would chew them up and spit them out. The same is true today. As Christians, if we do not walk in the light and stay close to Christ, Satan will pick us off and lead us astray.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son purifies us from all sin.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
1. The first contrast between light and dark is our relationship to God: (verse 6)
Verse five tells us that God is light, and Satan is darkness. You either belong to God or you belong to Satan. There is no middle ground. There is no straddling the fence. You are either a disciple of Christ or a child of Satan.
He who walks in the light has a close relationship with God. You can tell that because his walk matches his talk. His life is full of “light.”
He who walks in the darkness may claim to have a relationship with God but his lifestyle does not match his claims. He may play church and think he is fooling everyone. But he does not fool God. He is walking in darkness.
The man walking in light is very real, very transparent. He has nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of.
He is close to God and that is all that matters.
The man walking in darkness is living a lie and will do any thing to keep it a secret. He works hard to keep up the image of “holiness” and keeps God and others away from him.