God promises that our light shines the greatest in the midst of gross darkness.
Isaiah 60:1-3 says, "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For the darkness shall cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord shall rise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you. The nations shall come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising."
This amazing passage illustrates the principle that God sometimes displays His glory the most in the midst of the most challenging times in a culture and society.
The apostle Paul put it another way when he said "Where sin increased, grace abounded much more" (Rom. 5:20).
Truly, those who understand God's ways know that every challenge is an opportunity to elevate our capacity.
I believe John 1:1-7 gives seven reasons why light will eventually overcome all darkness. (In this context, we understand light to be a metaphor for God's truth and darkness a metaphor for the distortion of truth through the evil one and his fallen systems of earthly governance.)
My objective in this article is to give apologetic concepts that can encourage and equip believers. The follow shows seven reasons why light will ultimately overcome darkness (John 1:1-7).
- The logos (truth, logic, wisdom and language of God) is the foundation for all creation reality. John 1:1 says "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
The word "beginning" (Arche in Greek) was a classical Greek term that referred to philosophers trying to define the "stuff" out of which emanated the material universe.
In Greek, the "Word" is logos, which in classical philosophy referred to the wisdom, logic and idea that underpins the cosmos.
Scripture teaches us here that the origin of all living and nonliving things is Jesus, who is the logos or wisdom of God; hence—underpinning all reality is the knowledge and language of God who spoke and created time and space.
Even our human DNA is comprised of the language (logos) of God, which determines our cellular structure and who and what we become; hence, each individual is the result of a prophetic word spoken over them by Messiah. Consequently, since you exist, you have a purpose. Thus, you were not merely born—you were sent!
The light will overcome the darkness because—as knowledge and learning increase—logic and reason will eventuate in the dissipation of atheistic evolution and the worldwide scientific embrace of the creator.
- Creation reflects the glory of God, whose complexities in design point to the Creator (see Ps. 19, Rom. 1:19-23).
"All things were created through Him, and without Him nothing was created that was created" (John 1:3).
As scientific disciplines in the field of geology, anthropology, cosmology, biology, zoology and so on .... get more acute and sophisticated— the complexities and beauty of creation design will overthrow (anti-supernatural) materialistic presuppositions, resulting in a wave of scientists converting to a belief in intelligent design.
Consequently, the light will overcome the darkness because new scientific findings will be broadcast on the internet (since present day laws cannot forbid the free exchange of information on social media that the universities and cultural elites suppress) it will awaken a new generation of God seekers resulting in a global revival of young people coming to Jesus.
- All (biological and spiritual) life arises out of Christ.
In him was life.
The Greek word for life is zoe, which in Scripture refers not just to biological but to the (eternal) spiritual life that originates in Jesus. Spiritual here signifies not just conscious existence but connectivity to God, out of which emanates power, purpose and meaning, which ultimately point to and exist only in Jesus (which points all the way back to when God breathed His Spirit into man, and he became a living soul; see Gen. 2:7).
Consequently, light will overcome the darkness because all who earnestly seek for deeper meaning and significance will find the Son (see also Jer. 29:11-13).
- "The life was the light of mankind" (John 1:4).
Jesus is the light of all men—not just saved men; hence this is pointing again to creation grace (or common grace) whose path leads to Christ. Consequently, creation grace is the divine gift that grants civilization the illumination needed for the laws of logic, public administration, economics, politics, the sciences, music, art, education and more.
The light will overcome the darkness because the laws of logic, natural law and creation grace ultimately lead to Jesus since the created order doesn't make sense without a wise creator/designer.
- The essence and nature of light is greater than the essence of darkness.
"The light shines in darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:5).
(KatalambanÅ, the Greek word for "overcome," means "to grasp; lay hold of, win, attain; catch up with, seize; catch; understand, grasp or overcome.")
We know that in its essence, light is by nature more powerful and substantive than darkness. This can be demonstrated by the fact that if you light a match in darkness, it easily pervades and pierces through it.
The light will eventually fully overcome the darkness since darkness cannot fully grasp or attain to the light; hence, the light is more sophisticated, cunning and greater than darkness.
- The prophetic voice of people grounded in the light.
" There was a man sent from God whose name was John. This man came as a witness in order to testify concerning the Light, that all men through Him might believe. He was not this Light, but was sent in order to testify concerning the Light" (John 1:6-8).
John the Baptist represented the culmination of the Old Testament prophets and as such was the bridge to the Lord Jesus. John also represented all those who have had an experiential encounter with God for the purpose of being a witness of Him (see Acts 1:8).
John, as the last of the Old Testament prophets, also represented the power and truth of the inspired words of these prophets as recorded in sacred Scripture. He even claimed to be the one Isaiah prophesied about as the voice crying out in the wilderness preparing the way of the Lord; thus, he had a high view of Scripture (see Isa. 40: 3-5).
So, included in this point is the amazing accuracy, profundity and authority of the recorded Word of God (recognized by the historic Christian church as the 66 books included in the canon of Scripture).
Peter calls Scripture the more sure word of prophecy (see 2 Pet. 1:19-21). The greatest proof of the Bible is the impossibility of the contrary, which means it has the only world amid life view that makes rational sense of human existence and the created order.
Even the functional and intellectual atheist and agnostic has to borrow from the biblical worldview of Christian theism to live their life, debate their views and justify their understanding of goodness, grammar, the laws of logic, categories, the existence of evil, morality and concepts of right and wrong.
Furthermore, every person living an autonomous life of rebellion against God is a spiritual fugitive and will be held accountable on the Day of judgment for living an autonomous life inconsistent with revealed truth and reality.
The light will eventually overcome the darkness because the prophetic voice of the church grounded in the power and fidelity of the Scriptures will overcome all opposition to King Jesus.
- "That all men through Him might believe" (John 1:7b).
John's mission in life was that everyone who heard his preaching would believe in Messiah. However, since he represented all of the Old Testament prophets and Scriptures, his mission also pointed to the meta-narrative of Scripture, pointing to the consummation of human history when all things in heaven and earth will be aligned under Christ (see Eph. 1:10) and when every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (see Phil. 2:3-12).
The Light will overcome darkness because one day, there will be a groundswell of people believing and pointing to Christ that will result in the restoration of all things spoken by the prophets (Acts 3:21).
The light will overcome darkness in our present experience to the extent that we reflect Jesus because, in His essence, He is more powerful than darkness and will ultimately and in totality overcome darkness on the day all creation is consummated In Him.
Dr. Joseph Mattera is an internationally known author, interpreter of culture and activist/theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence nations. He is renowned for addressing current events through the lense of Scripture by applying biblical truths and offering cogent defenses to today's postmodern culture. He leads several organizations, including The United Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (uscal.us). He also has a blog on Charisma News called "The Pulse." To order one of his books or to subscribe to his weekly newsletter go to josephmattera.org.
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