“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)
The apostle Paul said that all believers in Jesus Christ have ‘surpassing [divine] power’ in their hearts, and that we must learn to live by that power and not by our own soulish self powers. Each apostle tell us the same thing,
John says, “Greater is He who is in you and he who is in the world.”
The apostle Peter said, “[We] are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Living With a Glow for 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 ‘in the beginning’ Light that is now shining in the heart of a believer.
Paul is drawing on an ancient belief among God’s people that the original Light of creation that shown forth was the light that creation was to live by. The ancients called this Light, ‘the Light of Life’.
The Hebrew people said that ‘Light‘ is one of the names of Messiah, that God Himself is called ‘the Light of the world.’ Even the term ‘sun‘ was sometimes metaphorically used 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)
And so we have…
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.
But many in Israel believed that Jesus was God’s Messiah. These believing ones would become partakers of God’s new creation in Christ. Jesus called His kingdom, ‘a kingdom not of this world.’
This new life world would begin in this present life and culminate in the life to come. This is why the apostolic writer said that true believers are partaking of the powers of the age to come. Paul said that we have this treasure in earthen vessels.
Listen carefully 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)
This brings us to…
Our Redemption in the Light
When the Light of Jesus enters the human heart, the believing one receives a new Christ-like spiritual nature.
There is a burst of new life. There is joy! There is peace! There is wonderment! Grace flows like a river. But the new believer does not forfit his human nature. There will be trials and temptations to deal with.
Paul said that when these temptations begin to cloud the mind, the believer must learn to draw on that ‘surpassing power’ that is part of our inheritance in Christ. The believer is to look to Christ rather than to himself.
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 power of new life does not disappear because we had a failure or a hundred failures. It is a truth is to be realized 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)
The Redeemed Person is a Son and Daughter of God
Our relationship with the heavenly Father is not that of a servant. We are sons and daughters of the living God. Angels know the Spirit’s seal upon God’s children. The seal says, ‘Sealed for the day of redemption.’ (Eph4:30)
The Holy Spirit’s work is to present us safely before the throne of God. This work of the Spirit is so powerful, that He can 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.” Paul explains God’s purpose as our final glorification together with Christ.” Rom8:28-30
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
Reaching Across History
Every believer’s 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)
Take time for this song.