Light & Darkness

When one believes Christ died for the debt and penalty of their sins on the Cross our Father wants the believer to be equipped to share the same glorious news that saved them.

Being made aware of certain events, details, and other random information is a part of our everyday life. Gaining knowledge and exercising knowledge begins as soon as we wake up in the morning. We do this particularly in specific areas of expertise. In other words, in our jobs, while on the job, and doing business. Most of the time we exercise existing knowledge: certain knowledge we have already gained by education or experience; however, at times our occupation demands further training and education.  The companies and businesses we work for take the time to train and educate their employees. This includes an array of things such as how to do your job better, how to do a specific part of your job better, or how to do a new aspect of your job that is being implemented. Simply put, learning and receiving, as well as, exercising knowledge is routine at work and in our lives.

At the moment one trusts Christ as their all-sufficient Savior there is training God our heavenly Father wants them to receive. When one believes Christ died for the debt and penalty of their sins on the Cross our Father wants the believer to be equipped to share the same glorious news that saved them. As our Father begins to train us as “ambassadors for Christ” it could be said, “the eyes of our understanding” begin to be enlightened; in other words, 1) we begin to learn the dark predicament we were in before we trusted in Christ, and 2) the dark predicament the world is still in. In Romans 1-3 our Father equips us to be effectual “ambassadors for Christ” as part of His business and it is in Romans 1:18-32 where we are made aware of the world’s worthiness of God’s wrath. We are made aware “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” , so that, we can make “men” effectually aware of God’s wrath being against them.

LIGHT

All throughout scripture when God’s “glory” is being expressed and explained it always is manifest by a bright light. In fact Paul writes about this very issue in 1 Tim. 6:16, in context of the Lord Jesus Christ,

“who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen”

God through the express person of Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the image of the invisible God and the brightness of His glory (2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3) is “dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto”, that is, no man in Adam with an unrighteous standing before God. Now, the brightness of God’s glory is only the represent manifestation of the glory. His glory consists of His God-ness; the characteristics and attributes of who He is such as His “eternal power and Godhead” (Rom. 1:20).

These characteristics of God that make up His God-ness, especially the two previously mentioned, are the very things that God has made known of Himself to every man. God not only left a fingerprint trail in every man, but He also manifests the things that can be known of Him “from the creation of the world”, which “are clearly seen”. This is what Paul says in Rom. 1:19-20,

19, “because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.”

20, “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly see, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”

Simply put, every man can and does understand the “invisible things” of God by the consciousness of Himself that He has placed within everyone, as well as, the creation manifesting and bearing witness to God. Therefore, it can fundamentally be said that mankind knows God. This knowledge is not intimate; however, according to God manifesting the things that can be known of Him it can be said, “mankind knows God.” They know of His “eternal power and Godhead” and thereby “the glory of the uncorruptible God”.

AMBASSADORS

This point of the light of God-consciousness is where we begin to function as “ambassadors for Christ” as we present the “gospel of Christ”. As an ambassador we make men aware of our Sovereigns existence and the testimony of His God-ness from understanding the things that are made in creation. This will be the first point in our presentation of “the gospel of Christ” that will test and challenge the heart and mind of the unjustified. As we present this “truth of God” to them they are left “without excuse” and thereby challenged with the effectual working of God’s Word that is designed to lead them to change their mind. They will respond in one of two ways. If they in the honesty of their heart will respond positively to the light of God-consciousness we then can present the next point that will test their volition. If they decide to respond negatively to the light of God-consciousness and oppose the truth of God it is testimony of God’s wrath being against them.

DARKNESS

Romans 1:18-32 is our Father’s indictment against mankind. It is His substantial evidence that ultimately deserves and warrants just judgment. The nature of this substantial evidence against the world begins when the “course of this world” was charted and catered to by mankind. It was at this time God gave the world over to “the power of darkness” . God consigned the world over to the Adversary, because mankind consigned themselves over to it, by aligning their hearts with the wisdom of this world rendering their hearts foolish. In Romans 1:21, God characterizes mankind’s heart for what it now became, according to the “the power of darkness”;

“because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was DARKENED.” {EMPHASIS ADDED}

Their hearts were darkened and the light of God-consciousness was covered by its’ power. In other words, they “hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18b). This ultimately led to ungodly and unrighteous conduct and behavior that warrants justice. God uses this case when He consigned the world over to the Adversary due to their compliance with “the power of darkness” as the substantial evidence to prove man’s ungodliness and unrighteousness that deserves God’s wrath. It is this standing and predicament the world is still in today. This world is characterized by being: “vain in their imaginations”, “foolish hearts are darkened”, “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools”, “changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things”, “vile affections”, women changing “the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly”, not retaining “God in their knowledge”, and doing “those things which are not convenient”. This list of man’s offences is on many accounts; yet, there is more. God concludes what is an already lengthy list of “ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” in Rom. 1:29-32. Romans 1:29-32 is the final piece of God’s indictment toward mankind. The strength that these verses give His indictment is remarkable and one would think this is God’s closing statement, but the truth of the matter is, He is just getting started. With the final piece of God’s opening statement it leaves the world and mankind “inexcusable” (Rom. 2:1). Romans 1:29-32,

“Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

The strength of God’s charge toward man’s ungodliness and unrighteousness does not only leave mankind “inexcusable”, but it is also inescapable. The rest of the case is formality and although man will produce tactics to escape the charge, there is no escape of God’s wrath being against them due to their “ungodliness and unrighteousness”.

We truly live in a dark world and to not recognize this as such is to not see the world through God’s eyes. This world and the unjustified men in it need to be delivered from “the power of darkness” and be declared righteous in the sight of God. As an ambassador one of the amazing privileges we have is the nature of the message we are graced with to share.

AMBASSADORS OF LIGHT

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

The glorious gospel of Christ is the light that shines in the hearts that are darkened being consigned to “the power of darkness”

It is in this passage that our Father explains in wonderful detail what He does to an unjustified person through the gospel of Christ. As ambassadors this passage explains the honour and grandeur to partake in sharing the gospel we are given. And it is in this passage that explains the glorious nature of the gospel. In 2 Cor. 4:6 there is a comparison of the words He spoke during creation that brought light to shine out of darkness to the words He has given us to speak that brings forth light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ to shine in man’s foolish darkened hearts. The glorious gospel of Christ is the light that shines in the hearts that are darkened being consigned to “the power of darkness”. The glorious gospel of Christ is the power of God to change man’s predicament, to satisfy the justice of God against them, to forgive all their sin, to impute His righteousness, and to give an “inheritance of the saints in light (Col. 1:12).”

As we continue in our presentation of the gospel and make unjustified man aware of God’s wrath being against their ungodliness and unrighteousness, Romans 1:18-32 is the passage that is designed to effectually work and challenge their volition in connection with God’s wrath: both the reality and truth of it. At this point they can respond in one of two ways. They can honestly and positively respond to the truth of the wrath of God being against them and change their mind in connection with it, or they can respond negatively. Usually at this point a negative response is formulated through tactics to try and escape the wrath of God. There are only so many excuses the human soul can come up with and our Father in Romans 2 educates us as ambassadors to make us aware of them and also how to respond to each of them.

TRAINING

It is a truth that our Father teaches us to co-labor with Him in His business today in the dispensation of the grace of God, by training us and equipping us to effectually share with others as ambassadors, the gospel of Christ; the message that we have believed and are beneficiaries of. As in any business that further educates its’ employees to be effective and efficient, it is expected that the knowledge and education gained will be appreciated, received with zeal, and implemented. May we esteem the training and education we receive in Romans 1-3 as much as God our Father does and thereby appreciate it, receive it with zeal, and implement it to the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Look Up,

Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher

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