Summary: An encouraging Segmented Narrative Sermon which focuses on love and lighting our world with love.
LOVE IN THE LIGHT
INTRODUCTION… BOAT STORY PART 1
Once upon a time there was a world that was totally dark. No light. No light at all. No sun. No moon. No stars. The only lights in the whole world were lamps, candles, fires, and other man-made lights. The super-rich people had flashlights, but that was more of a legend that most people only dreamed about. Light was a commodity often missed in this world.
In this world that was totally dark was a man that lived in a town a lot like Venice in Italy. There were no roads in this town because the town was built on canals, rivers, and lakes. Everyone’s house was on some kind of water. Everyone used some kind of boat to get around. Our story centers on a man in a boat making his way through the dark city canals. It was more of a gondola or canoe really, but sufficed to say that is was a small 2 or 3 person boat. It had a place in the back/stern for a person to row and a place in the front/bow where a lamp was hung. The lamp would light the way of the man in the boat.
READ 1 JOHN 2:7-11
Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. 9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
I. ALL ABOUT THE DARKNESS (VERSES 7-11)
In the first part of the passage we read this morning, the Apostle John speaks a lot about light and darkness. Light and dark are opposites much like east and west, rich and poor, chocolate and spinach. Because light and darkness are opposites, light is often used to symbolize goodness or God and darkness is often used to symbolize badness or Satan. Right is light. Wrong is dark. Good is light. Evil is dark. It is no different for the Apostle John as he writes to us.
John is reminding us about a command that is old and new all at the same time. What John will talk about has been true since the beginning of time, but has been added to in fullness and meaning since Jesus Christ appeared. Jesus Christ was the ultimate example with His life and death and resurrection of what light really is and what a life surrendered to God actually looks like. The life of Jesus once and for all defined what light and dark are for us. The old command that is new again is that we walk in the light and follow God. That has been the command from God since the beginning and has been His desire for us. God has always wanted us walking along with Him. Once Jesus arrived, we had what walking in the light looks like in flesh and blood.
John reminds us that the world is darkness. Darkness is sin. Darkness is what makes us stumble in relationships. Darkness is what makes us stumble within ourselves and betray our morals. Walking around in darkness is continual decisions that lead away from God. John specifically mentions in these few verses that darkness is hating our brother. Hatred comes from sin-filled attitudes and emotions which feed our decisions, words, and actions. Galatians 5:19-21 defines for us the acts of the sinful nature and define darkness for us, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” I have always noticed that the Apostle Paul says that the acts of the sinful nature are “obvious.” It is obvious what darkness is to people who have seen light.
John reminds us that for those of us who are believers, we have a light inside us. We have Jesus Christ in our hearts which gives us the spiritual power of light in our lives. We have the power of light on our side which fills us and enables us to walk away from darkness and live in the light. John specifically mentions in these few verses that light is loving our brother. Love is part of the fruit of the Spirit which feeds our emotions, decisions, words, and actions. Galatians 5:22-23 defines for us the working out of the Spirit in our lives, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”