Of the various images used to speak of God in the Bible, one may stand out as a highly illuminating notion. Of course, God is light, is that very idea. We see this in the Psalmist‘s remarks:” the Lord is my light and my salvation” (27:1). Jesus also used this imagery of Himself in John 8:12 with the lofty claim: “I am the Light of the world.” John the evangelist already made similar affirmations at the beginning of his gospel concerning Christ as he referred to the Word as One who enlightens all men.
What is it that this notion seeks to portray?
I think we find that light serves to illuminate and so God is the great light without which we cannot see. I believe it was Calvin that said, “God is like the Sun, you cannot look at Him directly, but without Him you cannot look at anything else.” This emphasis on God as light needs reaffirmation in a day when the professing church is wandering into the shadows, and unless she finds a mid-course correction will no doubt stumble into darker avenues. This is seen especially in the realm of apologetics. Why would any church member seek to witness to a non-believer, skeptic, or adherent of another religion while abandoning the very gospel truth one is seeking to defend? Yet this appears to be the trend these days as pre-evangelistic apologetics as a highly specialized field has swept the land and its purveyors are the philosophically astute rather than your average faithful saint. Yet, Paul said that he was set for the defence of the gospel (Phil 1:16-17). The notion that we can defend or give an answer [apologia] for the gospel without the gospel is absurd and self-refuting. Apologetics as Paul and Peter would consider it was merely an answer to any about why we have a hope in Christ (see 1 Peter 3:15). To speak of this hope without reference to Christ and the gospel as a secure basis and presupposition is to concede too much to the opponent and inevitably to lose grounds for asserting anything meaningful at all. The Bible is God’s light for our path (Psalm 119:105), and it is the word that makes the light of Christ shine brightly revealing His absolute Holiness. And it is in His glorious presence that we find ourselves severly wanting. The light reveals our own sin and hence our need for salvation. Paul prays for the Ephesians that their minds would be enlightened (1:18) and this would allow a deep knowledge of the hopeful inheritance that awaits all believers. But one must notice that this filling and enlightenment comes “in the knowledge of him [Jesus Christ]” (1:17).
May God, Who dwells in inapproachable light, deem us worthy of seeing a glimpse of His glorious light in the only place where it shines: the evarlasting gospel of grace.