There is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding in the world about who God is. His nature and character are often misunderstood. Here, we will examine a powerful biblical truth which should help us understand His character more clearly. This is the truth that God is light.
1 John 1:5
:5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
We get to know God through the Word, and here in 1 John 1:5, we are told a very foundational fact about who He is.
Most Christians would agree with you if you said that God is light. It is generally not one of the issues that gets argued with and debated in the church like some other truths.
However, there are many issues that Christians are confused about and do argue about that could get solved if we would really understood what it means that God is light.
Knowing the phrase, God is Light, and understanding the depth of what this truth means to us are two different things.
There is so much truth in this principle that will strengthen and establish you in your faith in God and that can set people free from confusion and struggles. There are answers to issues the church has debated over for many years right here in this verse of scripture, contained within the truth that ‘God is Light and in Him is no darkness’, if only we would see what this phrase communicates to us.
You may not think right now that there are any great answers to areas people have struggled with in this phrase, but as you read these articles and see what the Bible has to say about this whole issue of light and darkness, you will understand why I say that.
We are going to look at this step-by-step but by the end of it, I hope you will be jumping up and down with excitement at the truth that God is light and there is not darkness in Him, as you see how powerful and liberating this truth is.
Light in the Bible
Light is a word which speaks so much in both natural and spiritual terms. It is used in the Bible to reveal many important truths that are relevant to the Christian life.
– it is essential for life
– it exposes things that could not be seen (Ephesians 5:13)
– it is connected to warmth
– it helps guide people in the dark. To see where you are going you need light.
Jesus is spoken of as ‘The Light’ (John 1; 8:12, 9:5)
We are called ‘sons of light’ (John 16:8, Colossians 1:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:5).
Jesus said we are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14)
We have been called out of darkness and into light (1 Peter 2:9)
We are told to walk in the light (John 12:35; 1 John 1:7), to walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8) and to put on the armour of light (Romans 13:12)
The gospel is referred to as ‘the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ’ (2 Corinthians 4:4)
God Word is said to be a Light to our path (Psalm 119:105)
God brings light to our darkness (Psalm 18:28)
Light in the Bible refers to a number of things including revelation of truth, direction from God and understanding of the Word. It is used to refer to the things of God: His kingdom, His people, His ways and His Word.
On the other hand, the Bible speaks of the devil and his cohorts in terms of darkness.
Darkness in the Bible
Colossians 1:13 speaks of us being delivered from the power of darkness.
The way of the wicked is like darkness (Proverbs 4:19)
Darkness causes people to stumble and fall (Proverbs 4:19)
Darkness is connected to trouble and sorrow (Ecclesiastes 5:17, Isaiah 5:30; 8:22)
Darkness is a place of prison (Isaiah 42:7)
Darkness is connected to death
Because of what these words speak, ‘light’ really sums up all that is of God, while ‘darkness’ sums up all that is of the devil.
In the Bible, light is associated with good and dark is associated with bad or evil. Many people have understood this in connection to sin. They know that walking in sin is walking in darkness, but this principle is far broader than that.
Light and Dark are opposites
Once again, the point I am about to make may seem elementary and obvious, but getting it established in our thinking right at the start of this article will help us as we progress.
Light and Dark are opposites. Like ‘dry’ and ‘wet’, they do not mix!
You cannot say I am so dry right now, but I am also wet! There are some phrases that do not mix together. You cannot be both at the same time. Light and Dark are like that. You can’t say, ‘Wow it is so light in here, but I can’t see anything because of the darkness!’ That statement is nonsense. It does not make any sense at all, because the two cannot and do not exist together in the same place at the same time. When the light comes on, the darkness goes away. Darkness can only exist in the absence of light.
There is NO Darkness In God
Notice the phrase from 1 John 1:5, ‘… in Him is no darkness at all…’
The Amplified Bible puts it this way: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [no, not in any way].
There is a note in the margin of the Amplified Bible which says that last phrase, ‘no, not in any way’ is the literal translation of that phrase. This is making a very clear and blunt point! It does not want to leave us with any uncertainty or confusion on the issue.
How much darkness is there in God?
There is no darkness in God at all, absolutely none in any way whatsoever!
This principle gives us a very foundational and fundamental truth about God. It tells us something about WHO He is and who He is not. It shows us what He is associated with and involved in and what He has nothing to do with.
So let’s think this through clearly:
Does God have a ‘dark side’ to his personality?
Are there aspects of God which are Dark?
Is there any way that God associates, teams up with or works with darkness?
Does He sometimes do dark things?
Does God have a dark, naughty and evil side?
Is He a combination of good and bad, light and dark, good and evil?
All of the above questions can be answered by understanding that God is Light, in Him there is no darkness at all.
No, God does not have a dark side, there are no aspects of him which are dark, He does not associate with darkness and He never does dark things! He is not a combination of light and dark. He is only light. There is no darkness in Him.
If we can identify anything as being of darkness, then we can know for sure that God has nothing to do with it because there is no darkness in Him.
This may be getting a little repetitive, but I want to drive home this point, as it will really set you free in your thinking. We need to understand that anytime we accuse God of bad, we are accusing Him of darkness, and we need to be very careful about claiming God is involved in something that He actually has nothing to do with.
The Bible makes it very clear that there are two sides to this.
There is the side of light and the side of darkness. They are not two parts of the same team!
Light and Darkness do not work together as team mates. They are separate spiritual kingdoms that do different things. In spiritual terms, they are sworn enemies and will never team up. They work completely contradictory to each other, and neither side helps the other. God is not team mates with the devil in your life. God does not work with the enemy ‘to perfect you’.
God’s Kingdom is the Kingdom of Light and there is no darkness in it. Darkness is of the enemy and anything associated with darkness is of the enemy.
Don’t accuse God of darkness
So we have it clear now: there is no darkness in God. This is a defining principle about God that makes it clear what is in Him and what is not. We better watch out what we accuse Him of. When we say things about God, are we accusing Him of darkness?
Be very careful about associating God with anything that is of darkness. If we do say that God is involved in anything that is of darkness, we are saying that He associates with darkness and has darkness in Him.
People who don’t know God accuse Him of darkness all the time.
Anytime we accuse God of bad, we accuse Him of darkness.
We need to get our definition and understanding of Him correct.
When people associate God with death and suffering, they are associating Him with darkness. If they could only see Him for who He really is as light.
It is such a shame when people misunderstand God and His character and accuse Him of making people sick or wanting them to suffer. These are things of darkness, so how could people claim that God is involved in them?
Let me ask it this way:
Is sin connected to darkness?
Most definitely yes! People who walk in sin are said to be walking in darkness.
Well, would God sin? Does God sin?
Does God associate with and team up with sin?
Any person who has the slightest bit of correct theology should easily know the answer to that question! God does not team up with sin. Sin is not of God and has nothing to do with God, because sin is of darkness.
Why is it that we can see so clearly and easily that God and sin do not go together, but when it comes to other things of darkness, we are not so convinced?
Sickness, death, poverty etc are all part of darkness, yet we associate them to God.
We ought to be just as repulsed when God is associated with sickness as we would be if He were associated with sin. People who think God is a mixture of good and evil don’t know Him at all. There is no darkness in Him at all, not even a tiny little bit in one corner of His personality. Oh that people would get the revelation that God is light.
We have so many muddled up ideas about our God.
We cross the boundaries between good and evil and we define it all as God
We look at sickness and suffering and think that God, the Healer is involved in them!
Even some preachers have this idea that ‘somewhere’ in God there is a little corner of darkness at least! They claim that He may be ‘mostly good’ but there is a bad / dark side to Him and that sometimes you see His ‘dark side’. They may not say it exactly like that, but what they do say carries that thought and implication.
That is so far from the Bible. There is no darkness in Him, so we had better be very aware of what we are claiming is Him, when the Bible says ‘that thing’ is darkness.
The truth that God is light is foundational in understanding His character.
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This article, along with others by the same author can be found at www.exceedingfaith.com
Unless otherwise stated, all scriptures used are quoted from the New King James Version of the Bible.
© 2008 Exceeding Faith Ministries International & O. Walton.
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