Jesus is the true light that enlightens every man.

We need spiritual enlightenment.

Our society is bathed in artificial light and submerged in spiritual darkness. There is no lack of light except in the hearts of the people.

Two thousand years ago John the Baptizer condemned the spiritual darkness of his time. He warned people to repent.

Thousands turned away from sin to serve God. They were immersed in water, baptized, for the forgiveness of their sins (Mark 1:4).

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world” (John 1:6-9 RSV).

John the Baptizer was the forerunner of God’s Messiah, the Christ, who would bring spiritual enlightenment and forgiveness of sins to all mankind.

Jesus is the morning star,1 who has come “to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death” (Luke 1:79). “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4, 5 RSV).

To be enlightened spiritually, one must find the light, believe in the light, come to the light, put on the armor of light, and walk in the light.

Where can light be found?

Can you find spiritual light in a disco? I have never been to one, but I understand that they often have hypnotic flashing lights, and loud, deafening music. No, definitely not. Discos and dance halls are dens of darkness, places to avoid if you want spiritual enlightenment. The flashing lights blind you and the loud music deafens you.

When a former teacher of mine, Cecil T. Bailey, was a young man, worldly young people kept trying to get him to go to a dance hall. Finally he agreed to go, but he took his Bible along and sat in a corner reading his Bible. Soon, he was asked to leave!

Can you find spiritual light in the universities? Paul wrote: “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Corinthians 3:19). Not much spiritual light can be found in the universities. Philosophy and theology are human endeavors of limited value, but they are not significant sources of spiritual enlightenment.

A professor asked his class, “How many of you believe in prayer?” My father and two girls raised their hands. The professor continued, “You three, pray then that this glass beaker will not break.” He dropped it and it broke. He then smirked, “How many still believe in prayer?” This time, only my father raised his hand. The professor said, “Well, Davison. How can you still believe in prayer?” My father replied, “I didn’t pray. Without God’s permission, your experiment was not valid.”

Can you find spiritual light in the traditional churches? Some light is there, but it is hidden under a basket of human dogmas, ecclesiastical politics and financial interests.

To the pious traditionalists2 of His time, Jesus said: “Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’” (Matthew 15:6-9).

To the religious liberals3 of His time, Jesus said: “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?” (Mark 12:24).

Can you find spiritual light in a sect? Some are attracted to sects because they require extreme devotion. A sect, however, is a human system based on social pressure, brain-washing and mind control, rather than spontaneous personal faith in God. A sect usually has one powerful leader. He is sometimes called ‘father’. He is often considered to be infallible, and members must always submit to his authority. A sect usually uses hierarchical, army-like control.

Jesus said: “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you” (Mark 10:42, 43).

All hierarchical religious systems are anti-Christian. Beware of people who try to dominate you in the name of religion. Your service to God must come from your heart. It may not be based on social pressure, coercion or hierarchical control.

Jesus said: “But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ” (Matthew 23:8-10). God is our spiritual Father and we may not have any other father in a spiritual sense. Jesus is our spiritual Leader, and we may not have a spiritual guide, mentor or ‘discipler’ other than Christ.

Jesus Himself is our source of light. We must go directly to Him for spiritual enlightenment, and not allow the divine light to be obscured by traditions and denominations of human origin.

Jesus said: “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Do we really want to find the light?

Although Jesus brought light, there is still much spiritual darkness because most people prefer darkness: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (John 3:19-21).

Someone who wants to hid his sin, shuns the light. To find the light we must admit our need for enlightenment.

But just finding the light is not enough.

We must believe in the Light.

Jesus is the light of the world, He is our God-given source of spiritual enlightenment. But we must believe in that light. Jesus said: “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light” (John 12:36). And: “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46).

Many people stumble along in spiritual darkness because they do not believe in the light. Paul wrote: “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone 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).

But just believing in the light is also not enough.

We must come to the Light.

Many people have been deluded into thinking they can be saved by faith alone. It is not true: “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” ... “For as the body without the spirit is dead; so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:24, 26).

Faith in the Light is the first step, but we must also come to the Light. This means that we must turn away from sin and dedicate our lives to God. This is called ‘repentance’ in the Scriptures.

“For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:20).

Many people have a superficial, standoffish faith. They know exactly where the light is! But they keep their distance, to hide their sin. We must come to the Light so God’s word can correct our lives.

Jesus sent Paul to the nations “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18).

On the basis of our faith in the Light, we must turn away from evil and come to the Light.

We must put on the armor of light.

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13:12-14).

We must “put on the armor of light” and “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” How do we put on Christ? “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:26, 27). We put on the armor of light, we put on Christ, by being baptized into Christ.

This must be our own, personal decision. The so-called baptism of babies is contrary to the word of God.

Just as John the Baptizer told people to repent and be baptized, we too must repent, turn away from the works of darkness, come to the Light, and be baptized. Peter said: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).

When we put on Christ in baptism, God removes us from darkness. We can then rejoice “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:12-14).

We must walk in the light.

After finding the light, believing in the light, coming to the light, and putting on the armor of light, we must walk in the light.

Obviously, we may not walk in darkness. Paul warned: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), proving what is acceptable to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10).

We must expose works of darkness.4 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,5 but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light’” (Ephesians 5:11-14).

Jesus is our source of light. We learn about Him, we learn to be like Him, not via some tradition or some sect, but through the Scriptures: “We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:19-21).

The Holy Scriptures are a beacon of light in a dark world. Through the Scriptures we learn about God. “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. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and 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 Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7). God has called us “out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).6 Christians are “sons of light and sons of the day” (1 Thessalonians 5:5).7

It is not easy to walk in the light, surrounded by a world of darkness. We shine as lights in the world: “Do all things without murmuring and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life” (Philippians 2:14, 15).

To be a church of Christ, we must be a congregation of believers who have found the light, who believe in the light, who have come to the light, who have put on the armor of light, and who walk in the light.

By the grace of God, you can walk in the light. If you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, that He died for your sins, that He rose from the dead the third day, if you are willing to turn your back on the works of darkness and come to the Light of God, if you desire to put on the armor of light, to put on Christ in baptism, let us know, and we will help you.

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise. Permission for reference use has been granted.


1 Revelation 22:16.

2 The Pharisees.

3 The Sadducees.

4 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

5 “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

6 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9, 10).

7 “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-8).

Published in The Old Paths Archive