“For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” (2Co 4:6-7 nasb)
Sometimes I find it very worthwhile to reaffirm an earlier journal entry. This entry draws largely on an entry that I provided in March, 2011. It was titled, ‘Finding Your Way Home.’ (Year and a half ago.)
The apostle Paul said that all believers in Jesus Christ have a ‘surpassing [divine] power’ in their hearts, and that we must learn to live by that power and not by our own soul’s self powers. Each apostle tell us the same thing,
“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1Jn 4:4)
“[We] who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1Pe 1:5)
Living in the Glow of Jesus
But before I go further I want to give a better perspective on why Paul called attention to the opening of Genesis, where God said, “Let there be Light.” Paul is saying that it is this ‘Light‘ that is now shining in the heart of every true believer. (2Co4:6)
Paul is doing is drawing on an ancient belief among God’s people. They believed that when God said,“Let there be Light,” this was the original Light that that creation was to live by. The ancients called this Light, ‘the Light of Life’.
The Hebrew people had other names for the original Light. They said that ‘Light‘ is one of the names of Messiah, in that God Himself is called ’the Light of the world.’
Even the term ‘sun‘ was sometimes used metaphorically to speak of God and His Messiah.
You hear a bit of this from the Prophet Malachi:
“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.” (Mal 4:2)
“I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, and I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon and those who dwell in darkness from the prison.” (Isa 42:6-7)
Now let’s take this on and talk about…
The Light that shines in the darkness
When Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world,” His words did not fall on unknowing ears. Many of the Jewish leaders knew exactly what Jesus was drawing from, and they did not like it.
While His words fell on those unbelieving ears that loved the darkness, they also fell on believing ears.
Those in Israel who believed in Jesus were being prepared to enter into God’s new creation. Jesus called His kingdom, ‘a kingdom not of this world.’
This new world would be the heavenly Israel of God, that is, God’s holy people, the church of the new covenant. (This is what the analogy of the Vine and the branches is about. The Vine represents God’s true heavenly Israel.)
It would be a world of pure grace. It would be a world of unqualified love. This new world life would have its beginning stages in this present life but would culminate in the life to come. This life would be a journey of life. We are on our way home.
The Powers of the Age to Come
This is why the apostolic writers said that true believers today are actually partakers of the powers of life that belong to the age to come. Paul said that we have this treasure in earthen vessels.
Listen to the apostle John:
“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. …
“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (Cf. John 1:5-14 NASB)
What does this have to do with ‘finding our way home? Good question. This brings us to…
The Redeemed Believer
When a person is born again a number of things happens. As the Light of Jesus enters into the believer’s heart, the Christian is given a new nature. But a problem remains. The believer becomes a spiritual being. Yet his or her personal life (soul) has to be redeveloped with spiritual values. And this is where the believer must learn to focus his attention on Jesus.
Here what often happens. When a new believer first enters the realm of salvation, there is a burst of spiritual life. There is joy! There is peace! There is wonderment! Grace flows like a river. Then somewhere along the way this feeling of joy may start to wane. Temptations begin to cloud the mind. The struggle of life becomes more difficult. A stumble. Another stumble, and then?
What is happening? Paul said that believers must learn to draw on that ‘surpassing power’ that is part of our inheritance in Christ. (Our spiritual DNA.) This is a learning experience. The believer who fails to keep his focus on Christ, is going to have many mistakes, misdeeds, and extra bits of misery in life.
The Greater is He, Principle
And this is why it is so important to understand this principle of ‘Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.’
The principle of ‘greater is He’, doesn’t just disappear because we had a failure or even a hundred failures in our life. It is a truth that needs to become an active principle in each believer’s walk with the Lord.
The Old Testament writer said:
“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” (Pro 4:18)
This is also where we need to understand what the term ‘truth‘ means in the new covenant experience. In the Scriptures, the term ‘truth’ does not refer simply to a doctrine. The Greek term is used in the new covenant for experiencing the realities of Christ. Paul said the letter kills where the Spirit gives life. No believer can live in victory by trying to live by the letter. Yet it is so easy for a Christian’s life to get bogged down in ‘letterism’.
Letterism says we need all the laws we can get to get saved and to stay saved! This is bad thinking. Paul said that every person born of God’s Spirit remains eternally under the life supervision of the Holy Spirit. This means that every failure we make will be attended to by the Spirit of God.
It is the Spirit of God who births us, seals us, tutors us, educates us, places us where we need to be, refreshes us, turns our trials, temptations, and failures into victories, helps us escape bad teachings, keeps the glory of Jesus before us and in us, and many such things. Our final presentation in heaven is a thing of the Spirit.
This is what truth is all about. Jesus explained this in His response to Thomas:
“Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?’
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” (Joh 14:5-6)
The Redeemed person is a son or a daughter
Our relationship with the heavenly Father is not that of a servant. We are sons and daughters of the living God. Angels know and recognize the Holy Spirit’s seal upon every one of God’s children. The seal says, ‘Sealed for the day of redemption.’ (Eph4:30)
The Holy Spirit is to present us safely before the throne of God. This work of the Holy Spirit is so powerful, that He can and does take every situation of our life, and turn it into part of our reshaping in Christ. This is why the apostle said,
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28)
Paul also says,
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image (inward spiritual likeness) from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” 2Co3:18
The question is not, ‘How do we find our way home?’
Yes, the title of this blog could be challenging. That was simply to get your attention. No believer has to find his way home. You are on your way home. You are already guaranteed an entrance into heaven. Believe it or not, your name was recorded in the Lamb’s book before the foundation of the world.
So when God said, ‘Let there be Light,’ that statement reached across prophetic history and at the right moment, that Light entered into your heart. And inside you were given a shining heart.
Now, can you let your soul relax in the knowledge that Jesus is going to see you through? Can you let go of bitterness? Can you lay your past failures and mistakes where they belong? In the sea of forgetfulness.
Can you be quiet in His rest?
Can you take to heart what David said in this ascending Psalm? Listen:
O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me. O Israel [Christian], hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever.” (Psa 131:1-3)