I am the light of the world
Jesus declares Himself to be the light of the world. What kind of light is that and what does it expose? On this inspiring sermon, Pastor Adrian challenges us to reflect on sin confession and exposure, the importance of forgiving as we have been forgiven, and the role of the Holy Spirit in shining in the darkness.
Well, as Dylan mentioned earlier we are working through our IM series um at the moment and the leadup to Christmas day which is on Monday this year and so that's why we're able to do some really cool things on the Sunday uh and I'm sure you'll remember those service times that we've got um couple of things I just want to mention Dylan talked last week about Jesus saying I am the bread of life what happens if you're a Celiac and you can't have gluten I'm serious so if you're in the 5,000 okay and you're you're hungry and you've been listening to the master teaching and it's been great um but now he's handing out fish and bread and you're like I'm not sure I can have that stuff I mean on one hand I'm going to going to die if I don't eat but at the same time anyway you didn't get that joke it's fine poor old Jesus trying to make gluten-free bread I am the light of the world John 8:12 says again Jesus spoke to them saying I am the light of the world whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life and our first hearing this you might think that if I follow Jesus there's going to be a bright physical light everywhere that I go and I don't have to be scared of the dark I don't have to use headlights when I'm driving and I don't need to have lights on in my house is that true that's not what it means right so kids if you're in here this morning Isaac I know is especially listening this morning that's not what Jesus is saying he's not saying that if you follow me there's is going to be this this bright physical light all over the Earth wherever you go and you're going to be able to see with your eyeballs what's happening okay that's not what he's talking about although this was a teachable moment that he had see what he was doing at this point in time was he was standing in the temple you see the Feast of booths had just about finished wrapped up and the Feast of Boos was a a a festival essentially that reminded the Jews of about their Wilderness wanderings especially when they were camped out in tents okay that's what booths were is these this idea of tents and if you recall from The Exodus story um when they were wandering around in the wilderness God provided bread for them didn't he in the form of Mana which literally translated means what is this you see they had no idea what that that was that was falling out of the sky but but God had given them instructions on what to do with it right so they collected up this manner and they they baked it into bread and they would have that and God had told them you will have enough for one day do not collect more than enough for that one day because it will go bad and it was it's going to spoil and it's going to be rotten and you're not going to be able to have it except for day the sixth day because you had to collect enough for the Sabbath as well okay so that that lot wouldn't spoil and so you would have enough for the two days pretty Specific Instructions right now Dillan reminded us last week that when God said I'm the bread of life it's because we should be going to him for bread every day remember the Lord's Prayer says give us this day our daily bread not our fortnightly bread not our weekly bread not our monthly bread Our Daily Bread the implication being that we would go to Jesus on a daily basis and partake of the the nourishment the spiritual nourishment that he has for us that's not dependent on what century we live in it's not dependent on how busy we are it's dependent on Jesus and Jesus is our Eternal Supply and just like God did not fail to provide for the Israelites as they want in the wilderness day by day providing Mana so much so that they got bored of it remember that they were like God I mean Manor is great but we want some meat right all the carnivores were like I mean Bread's fantastic but uh we want some meat and so he provided some Quail for them as well didn't he how good is God here in the temple Court in the treasury of of the temple Jesus was standing and these candleabra were lit they great big golden lampstands that had a whole multitude of other lamps lit up on these things right and what they were supposed to symbolize was the pillar of fire you remember the pillar of fire that would was present with the Israelites as they wandered around in the in the wilderness so they would make camp in their booths in their tent and the pillar of fire from God the god 's presence in the camp would be there as an everpresent reminder that Yahweh was with them if they woke up in the middle of the night they didn't have to worry about finding the way to the toilet because they could see right true facts um the other thing was uh in the day time that Pillar of Fire turned into a pillar of cloud didn't it and it moved with them it showed them the the direction in which they should be going almost like God knew where they should be going and how they should be doing it and they just needed to trust and follow his lead does that sound familiar church right so this is this is kind of the situation that we're in Jesus is standing in the temple and he's standing in front of these massive golden lampstands that would have been lit okay and they were supposed to represent this this this golden fire lit Cloud pillar in the middle of the night that the Israelites would have been very familiar with and so what they would do is at the end of the festival they would all celebrate in front of these great big golden lampstands and after the evening sacrifice and so that's where Jesus was and he was a teachable moment because he was like hey there's a pillar of light here there's some golden lampstands and he comes out and he says I am the light of the world you see we need that don't we we need that Association because we're so quick and easy to figure remember the bread the the feeding of the 5,000 people started following Jesus after that not because he was an amazing teacher but because they figured they could get a free feed from him and so that's why Jesus said you follow me for the physical bread to provide for you but I'm the bread of life I've got something so much more to offer you and often we're just so focused on the physical right we're focused on our physical needs how am I going to put food on the table how are we going to pay the bills how are we going to exist on this plane of existence on this Earth but Jesus says look that's that's valid that's important for sure and so that's why he fed them and that's why in this instance as he's standing there in the temple treasury he says look it's valid that you celebrate this because this is what the the law commands us to do right we need to remember how the Lord provided for us but remember something else this light that you remember from your forefathers that guided them in the Darkness and protected them in the wilderness is the same light the spiritual light that you need to guide you now because see you don't know where you're going you're living in a world of darkness and the people I'm sure sitting there would have gone I mean it's night time but I can see it's pretty bright what do you mean Jesus and I'm sure he would have stood there in front of those golden lampstands and says I am the light of the world and I'm going to get into what that actually means right now because you see Darkness According To Jesus is death ignorance and sin in John 3:20 it says for everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light lest his Works should be exposed in other words if you have to hide it it's probably sin it's probably not a good thing I mean that's a very general statement but as a rough rule of thumb if you have to hide it why are you hiding it is it because you're ashamed of it is it because it's something that you know you shouldn't be doing if you have to delete your internet history if you have to go into a dark room if you have to keep it a secret from other people from the people who care about you is it right and so this is this is kind of the the correlation right if you have to hide it or if you have to try and justify it it's probably not a good thing see light always exposes sin and not because it's judgmental but because it reveals the darkness you see just before this story of Jesus standing in the temple with with the great big golden lampstands there's another little story and the Pharisees had come to Jesus and dragged a woman in with them as he's standing there in the temple in front of the crowds teaching they dragged this woman in with them that they said they had caught in adultery now I have questions where was the man and how did these guys catch them in the ACT did they know that that was going on so why did they not do anything I have so many more questions but for the sake of argument this morning this is what's happening right so Jesus is standing in front of this crowd of people teaching them and the Pharisees because they wanted to trap him okay they wanted to trap him and trick him so they brought this poor woman in and they said and they threw her to the ground they said look we've caught this woman in the act of adultery questions anyway what are you going to do because you see the Lord of Moses said that anybody caught in adultery both the man and the woman need to be stoned to death but you see also Jesus had gained this reputation of being someone who forgave sins so if he forgave sins then he was going to be breaking the law but if he if he followed the law then he would not be the forgiver of sins and so that's what they were going for like we're going to trap him now we're going to get him in front of everybody and what did Jesus do well he wrote some stuff in the dirt no one really knows what he wrote lots of conjecture about that but what was his statement to them that he who is without sin cast the first stone and one by one starting from the oldest of the Pharisees that were there to the youngest they all left and after they'd left Jesus turned the woman and says where are your accusers woman and she says well they're not here she said okay well then I can't accuse you go away now and sin no more you see he knew that she was doing the wrong thing and that doesn't mean that that Jesus is soft on sin that he's soft on adultery that's not what that means at all but you see these Pharisees had come to expose the sin of this woman but in the Light of Christ their own sins were exposed Ed so the light doesn't discriminate if it's sin it will show it up it will reveal it that's what light does and light didn't judge in that instance did it it just revealed the sin of everybody and so it's important for us to understand that the Pharisees weren't prepared for what happens when you step into the line so the light is a great leveler if anybody any if any one of us was to go up and do something similar and say hey you got this problem in your life that's a good thing for us to do but remember we also have sin in our lives and so what we can do is do that with a whole lot more grace and mercy right it's very easy to go and judge someone a lot more difficult to go and say gracefully and mercifully to someone someone in the right way hey I have a problem you have a problem let's work on this together that's not what the phes were trying to do they were trying to expose this woman they were trying to trap the Messiah of all people and yet in the Light of Christ their sins were exposed and they couldn't their consciences made them walk away tells us in Ephesians 2 that the Lost Sinner lives in darkness and will spend eternity and darkness in Matthew 25:30 if they reject Christ see the spiritual light again we are such sensory people aren't we if we can't touch taste feel or see it or hear it then it doesn't exist right and we know that the spiritual realm exists we know that there is an incredible influence there we know that God is Spirit we know all of these things but because we can't sense them with our physical senses we are so quick to forget and so that's why Jesus was so clear on this if you don't follow the light if you don't step into the light the spiritual light then you are essentially living in darkness what he was essentially saying is there is no gray there is no gray see you're for him or you're against him if there's a little bit of gray it's black because it's not white right Siri is trying to talk to me stop it Siri go away apparently it's about Beyond her abilities right now anyway it's so true there is no gray okay well is life and knowledge and Holiness let me read to you something from 1 John chapter 1 from verse 5 it says this is the message we have heard from him and proclaimed to you that God is light and in him is no Darkness at all if we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness we lie and do not practice the truth but if we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness if we say we have not sinned we make him alive fire and his word is not in us the point is walking in the light is about facing our sins and confessing them that is not a comfortable thing to do is it facing your sins head on and confessing them out loud is not a comfortable thing to do it's like when you're in the movie cinema and the lights are out and all of a sudden you have to go out side because there's a fire drill it's uncomfortable in your eyes and it's sore isn't it it's like if we darkened this room right down turned all the lights off closed all the windows up shuted them up so it was completely black in here and there was no light and then all of a sudden turn the stage lights on it would hurt your eyes wouldn't it right sin is like that because the light is so bright it exposes sin and when we have to face it it's painful it's uncomfortable because we love our sin we do we love our sin see if we didn't love our sin we wouldn't keep doing it if we could stop if we had the will to stop we probably would but we love it so that's why we keep doing it and this is what John is talking about In this passage it says if anybody here says that they're without sin they're a liar there is no perfect people and we know that and that's why it is difficult for us to walk in the spiritual light because it confronts us with our sin it's difficult it's uncomfortable it's not convenient and we've got to do something about it but here's the interesting thing and often I guess get asked by people well how do I know what God is really saying to me because I want to do what God wants me to do right I don't want because I know that he's got a plan I know he's the pillar of fire that I should be following right I wanted to go in that direction how do I know it's him and not the devil or just me or or something else I'll show you how it's very very obvious and easy because it's a voice that you already know it's a familiar voice the light of the Holy Spirit does not condemn but rather reveals let me say it again the light of the Holy Spirit does not condemn it doesn't make you feel guilty think about that scenario that Jesus had with the woman in adultery did he make her feel it feel guilty no he didn't the Pharisees did she was ashamed to be dragged in front of all these people but the Messiah the only person who could really judge her stood before her and did not make her feel guilty he knew her sin he knew everything about her but her guilt was not because of him see the devil loves to get in your ear doesn't he you can't do it you've never done this before you you you had that thought you're disqualified you haven't got the skills you don't look pretty enough they're going to laugh at you have you heard that voice yep there's another voice God has forgiven you you're forgiven I've revealed your sin so that you can confess it and bring it to me isn't that what the holy spirit says so there's two voices if there's a voice of condemnation and guilt that's not the Holy Spirit if there's a voice that says that you can't that you failed I mean it's right it's true but that voice of condemnation that's not God God says you already know all that stuff I know you're disqualified I know you're weak I know you can't do it I know you have sinned I know you're an adulterer I know you're a liar you're a cheat you're a thief you're all of these things I know that that's why I died for you that's why I've given you my Holy Spirit that's why I have given you my Holy Spirit who is the light of life in you so that he will reveal the sin in you and remind you of how much you have been saved and from that we can walk in grace and mercy with others can't we right Ephesians 58-14 some great verses here for at one time you were Darkness the Apostle Paul speaking but now you are light in the Lord walk as children of light for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord let me just pause there see even the Apostle Paul had to say try to discern what is pleasing so if you don't always think you know what God's doing it's okay you're just like Paul okay but you always know what the devil's doing cuz his voice always sounds like guilt and condemnation and pain and death because God never does that right and so if you looked at that title beforehand light is life knowledge and Holiness and death uh darkness is death ignorance and sin see Guilt is death because if you're guilty you're not going to heaven true but if you're forgiven if you're redeemed you have life read on take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness but in instead expose them for it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret but when anything is exposed By the Light it becomes visible for anything that becomes visible is light therefore it says awake o sleeper and arise from the dead and Christ will shine on you that was Paul's exaltation to the Ephesian Church the stuff that we're facing is not new it's something that Christians have faced for generations and so I want to introduce this light to you because Jesus said in that passage in John 8 that he is the light he said I am the light of the world I mean that's great but Jesus has gone back to heaven to sit on the throne of his father so how does that help us well it tells us in John one this is five of my favorite verses in the whole of the Bible I love this because this is God flexing okay this is really really cool get a of this in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God he was in the beginning with God all things were made through him and without him was not anything made that was made is that clear God is God he is powerful he is the great power he is the great Authority there is no other Authority or power on this Earth or in this universe that even comes close to who God is he can unthink Us in an instant right in him was life we're talking about Jesus now because the word okay in him was life and the life was the light of men the light shines in the darkness woo and the Darkness has not overcome it the darkness has not overcome it if this was a Marvel movie can you imagine it epic oh my goodness so I've put this into Adrian speak cuz I needed to clear this up in my head in other words in him that's Jesus was life which is the Holy Spirit and it is he the Holy Spirit who reveals the way for people in other words the father's will the Holy Spirit casts out darkness and he has never and will never be defeated that's the holy spirit that you now bear with you that Holy Spirit that comes directly from Jesus who is the light of the world and so that's why when in one John when he was talking about go out and be the light he could say that not because we're little Jesus is but because we bear the Holy Spirit right and if we bear the Holy Spirit we're not going to go out there and start telling people hey you've sinned and you've sinned no no no the Holy Spirit tells us that we've sinned right and what that should call us to do is go man God I'm so thankful for your forgiveness how grateful are you for your salvation you know what you've been saved from you don't know what other people have been saved from but you know you that's what the Holy Spirit does doesn't he he reveals inside you all the stuff that you know is not right that you've been keeping hidden if you were an internet browser you would have deleted that history so many times over now you know you and the Holy Spirit comes into your life and he says you know that's not right confess it before the Lord because God has forgiven you and because of that gratefulness I can now look at my brothers and sisters and go oh I am so thankful that Jesus saved me let me help you see there's no judgment in that room right there's an exposure of sin if someone's caught doing the wrong thing hey man look I get the struggle let's work on this right it's not a how dare you you dirty rotten sinner because sometimes we can have that attitude can't we we can we think we're doing the right thing we can call someone sin out think about how that feels for you how uncomfortable that was for you how painful that is for you did Jesus do that to you he just sent his holy spirit convicted you said hey this is the standard this is where you're at you're in the path to Hell confess your sin because the Lord the Savior has died for you so don't let the guilt the condemnation the doubts the troubles the worries lull you into thinking that you're not good enough because you'll never be good enough but Jesus is so the light of the world doesn't condemn it just reveals just reveals and the Darkness would like to tell you that it is just as powerful as the light right the darkness would like to to to tell you that wouldn't it again let's take that story and we go let's just close off all the windows turn out all the lights completely dark in here okay and we just let one candle put up in the back corner do you reckon you be able to see it if one candle can defeat all of that Darkness who's more powerful and this is why Jesus took that teachable moment in front of the golden lampstands there a light was hitting all the people and he was like I am the light of the world this stuff this this lamp here only lights a certain way but you want Eternal Light your forefathers were only lit through the Wilderness and they came to the promised land but I have eternal light that would guide you for eternity I reckon that's pretty encouraging would you agree we're coming into Christmas and um the birth of a baby the light of the world but John 1 tells me that he was there before the world even had a beginning that's the greatest Miracle God ever did make himself small can you imagine that bigger than the universe more powerful than that we can even conceive of makes teeny tiny in the small size of a baby like how does that work that's a miracle and that's why we Proclaim him that's why he is the sum of everything we talk about and everything that we do and that's why it must be because the True Light which gives light to everyone John 1 says in verse 9 was coming into the world he was in the world and the world was made through him yet the world did not know him he came to his own and his own people did not receive him but to all who did receive him who believed in his name he gave the right to become children of God who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man but of God God willed it God decided to choose you and for no other reason you and I can be called children of God he the light chose you oh my goodness you won the lottery people and and not so that he could condemn you because he's holy and perfect right he didn't want to condemn you he's like I already know all the stuff man I've I've I've made a way for you I've I've saved you I've chosen you so that you can see now what I've saved you from because so many so many people who aren't Christians they don't know that they need saving do they right it's called The Blind it's called being blindness living in the dark being dead in your sins if you don't know you need saving you're not going to go and try and get saved it's a great lie but you who live in the light we don't just celebrate Christmas because of the birth of a baby we celebrate Christmas because of the Fulfillment of God's promise see Christmas means that there's an Easter that's what I celebrate Christmas for the birth of Jesus means that he's going to die for me right and so this Christmas season for me goes from December through to the end of May whenever Easter is going to be right and then we start gearing up again because how good I am so grateful cuz I know what I've been saved from you know what you've been saved from he is the light he doesn't need your agreement he doesn't need your understanding his kingdom is the kingdom and he will reveal sin not because he's judging you but that's what light does but he's made a way for you with his holy spirit to confess your sin come to the foot of the cross and say thank you Jesus you don't have to beg for forgiveness by the way he's already forgiven you you get to go to the cross and say thank you and in that gratitude in that overflow of mercy and Grace how does that change your attitude towards other people and do you think maybe there's some people out there who need to hear that because there are lots of folks who have lost all hope isn't there there are lots of folks who are angry and tired and depressed and just down I don't know what to do with this life I think this life is all there is bit of a shame I'd be depressed too but Jesus is Lord he is the light of the world we bear that light will he shine on others as the Overflow of what he's done for you amen Heavenly Father we we thank you Lord for just once again revealing to us how chosen we are how special we are in your sight we thank you Lord that you reveal our sin not to condemn us but rather to bring us to confession and repentance so that we might be right with you and father we pray that you would help us to demonstrate the same grace and mercy to others as as you have demonstrated to us we pray these things in your son's precious and holy name. Amen.