A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
Special Study: RADIANT LIVING
The Lord expects believers to always look up to Him. When He wants to mend lives through His teachings, there is always a necessity to look up to Him. In the process, the believer develops the characteristics that are painted in the Sermon on the Mount. The Lord repeated the word, “blessed ”, in the beatitudes to emphasise the importance of what He was teaching. Just like He expected a change in the attitude, comportment, lifestyle of His immediate audience, He still expects changes in those that listen or read His Word today. Christ’s followers are those who have been transformed by His Word to live radiant lives. They have repented of their sins and do mourn for the sins of others. They are humble, lowly and meek; they thirst and hunger after righteousness. They are merciful and pure in heart; they do make peace, rejoice in persecution and live like salt in their communities.
Our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ is the light of the world (John 9:5). What Christ is to the world, He calls the believer to be also. This calling is not a new concept. In the Old Testament, this revelation was clear: God is Light and His people were called to be light (Psalm 27:1; 1 John 1:5; 2 Samuel 21:17; 1 Kings 11:36; Romans 2:19). All through Scriptures, we, as Christ’s representative are called to shine forth and radiate the gospel light to influence our world.
REFLECTING CHRIST’S LIGHT
Matthew 5:14; John 1:4-9; 8:12; 12:36,46; Ephesians 5:8,9; Romans 13:11-13; Acts 13:46-49.
Jesus is the true Light of life to everyone that comes into the world. Believers are to reflect that light to the world of darkness. Coming to Christ in repentance and faith creates the intimate relationship with Christ the Light. Those who have opportunity to believe in Him should not trivialise it, and those who have believed on Him should not abide in darkness but reflect the light of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Believers in Christ should not abide in the darkness of ignorance or sin; they are to “walk as children of light”. Having had their nature and character transformed by the Lord, they are to “cast off the works of darkness, and …put on the armour of light” and “walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.” They are to walk honestly so as to reflect the light of Christ. Every true believer has experienced a radical change from darkness to light. What a transformation that is!
Believers reflect the light of Christ. Light has peculiar characteristics. (i) Light penetrates and eliminates darkness in the community. (ii) Light enlightens and enlarges a person’s vision and knowledge of an area. (iii) Light reveals and opens up the truth of an area and clears up the way to the truth. (iv) Light guides and directs the way to go and leads along the right path. (v) Light differentiates between the right and wrong way. (vi) Light warns of the dangers that lie ahead a person’s path. (vii) Light protects a person from the dangers of stumbling, falling and sustaining injury posed by darkness.
RADIANT CHRISTIAN LIVING
Matthew 5:14; John 5:35; Job 11:13-17; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:5-9; 1 John 1:5-7; 2:8-11; 1 Peter 2:9; Daniel 12:3.
The Christian life should be so radiant that others would be able to take a good cue from it and go the right direction. It should be so useful to and influential on others that they would rejoice to take after it. When the penitent is cleansed from sin by the blood of Jesus, it becomes easy for him to bear the light of the gospel which will influence others. The radiant Christian holds forth the word of life. At every opportunity, he does “all things without murmurings and disputings” and lives as one of the “blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world ”. Those who are murmuring and disputing are yet in darkness. Honesty, faithfulness and frankness are some of the characteristics of radiant Christian living. The Christian is called to live the radiant Christian life; therefore, he is to always shine forth the marvelous light of the gospel. Those who live the radiant Christian lives are those who can positively influence others and in the end, shine as light forever.
Christians, like light, have a ministry of influence. They are like light. (i) Light is placed where its influence can be best used and felt. (ii) Light has different strengths. The more people to influence, the greater should be the strength of the light. (iii) Some places in the world are brightly lit up while others are dimly lit.
RENEWED CONSISTENT LIFE
Matthew 5:15; Proverbs 4:18; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Philippians 2:15,16; 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1,10; Luke 12:35-37; Isaiah 62:1-3; 60:1-3.
The Lord wants the believer to shine consistently. Having brought him into the light, the Lord will give the grace to not only live in that light, but also to shine more and more as he grows older in the faith. The time has come for the believer to “arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” He should continually renew his promise to shine consistently in this world of darkness and ensure that there is no room made for darkness or its works. With his sphere of proper and righteous influence, he should encourage others to spread the light further.
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