Biblical Perspective of Light & Holy Life
Dr. Sam Skariah
Christians must be a unique people in every society in which they live. Nations and philosophers appear and then fade away, but in every age, Christians should retain their uniqueness that distinguishes them from the society they live in. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case. At times Christians have so enmeshed themselves in the world system and they no longer distinguish between the kingdom of the world and the kingdom of heaven nor can society distinguish them as representatives of Gods Kingdom. As a result they cease to be the light of the world and impact society by their distinct Holy life. The attempt here is to, briefly, examine the biblical perspective of the Concept of Light and Holy Life.
Light as a Change Maker
One of the biblical perspective of light, I strongly believe, is Light as a change maker. Nothing can bring spectacular change as light makes. Nothing is as exciting as the dissaparence of darkness in the light. Jesus explained the unique role of Christians in society by calling them as “light of the world.” You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand , and gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way they may see their good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5: 13-16).The biblical perspective of light is explicitly clear through this example. Christians, through their unique character and actions, must be in a position to exert great influence on society that dispels the evils of darkness. Bible says Christians are like light that exposes evil and illuminate what is right and wrong according to God’s standard. Just like people in a dark room need the light of a lamp to see objects around them, society needs the moral instruction and godly examples of Christians to see God’s standard of justice and righteousness. To effectively illuminate God’s standard of righteousness and justice, they need actions that correspond with their words. This should ultimately bring a difference in society and result a quality change which no one else can bring.
Every one is responsible for lighting the world..
Second Biblical perspective of light to be noted is its universality. You are the light of the world. Bible says every one of us is responsible for lighting the world with our deeds. As per the Bible every Christian is entitled to enlighten the world. Nothing can prevent you from enlightening the world, but a refusal on your part to perform good works. If you perform good works men will see them. If they see them they will be constrained to glorify your Father which in heaven. If men are not enlightened, it is because you do not perform good works Christ is the light of the world but we are the ones who bear responsibility for the extent to which it lights. A bulb can not give us light no matter how much we might wish this to be so; we must first directly connected to Christ. As per the biblical perspective the light we radiate has three requirements: it must never be hidden, that it exists for the benefits of others and it exists solely to glorify God’s name through Jesus Christ.
Biblical Perspective of Holy Life
The problem with most people’s concept of “ holiness” is that they think it is some state of spiritual depth that makes them more spiritual than others, or that it is some negative constructive life style that is boring and uninteresting. In reality how ever, holiness in the Bible is action concept. Holiness is not just what we don’t do; it is very much what we positively do! Holiness in the Bible is almost always connected with actual lifestyle, not just with some state of mind. It is very powerful, and very practical and very positive.
Holiness : Distinct and unique
The primary meaning of the word holy is separate. When Bible calls God holy it means primarily that God is transcendentally separate. In the Old Testament holiness means that Israel was associated with God. This set them apart from the other nations. Today this matches with the residence of the Holy Spirit in the person of the believer, and is seen in Paul’s description of the believer’s body as a temple of the Holy Spirit. It is a matter of distancing from things God wants us to leave alone.
Holiness: Active , not passive
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1: 13. Peter here describes the holy life as one who prepares his mind for action. Preparing for Holy life begins in the mind. Holiness is not some spiritual state of ecstasy; it is a verb of action. Notice what Peter’s call to prepare the mind for action; (a) “be self controlled..” it is in the imperative tense, the man or woman who demonstrate the characteristic of self control in all areas of their life! (b) “set your hope fully on the grace to be given…” meaning :as you expect Jesus coming at any minute live as though He would be here any second! Purity is the idea here, being always prepared for Christ’s return.
Holiness : Being a light
As Israel was invested with God’s presence,” that it may represent it and mediate it to others.” Hence, Israel was a “light to the nations”. We must be holy, because this is the most likely way to do good to others. We cannot live to ourselves only in this world. Our lives will always be doing good or harm to those who see them. They are a silent sermon which all can read.
Be the light of the world by leading a holy life that is what is expected from the Christian. Henri J.M. Nouwen said” The spiritual life does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it.”The only way to penetrate in to the present society is by shining as light conceived in the Bible and live a holy life as per the standard of God which is distinct and unique.