God is Light

“This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” I John 1:5

God has many facets to His character, but the Apostle John’s proposition is that we must start with the holiness of God: “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”  In other words, if we are to grasp an understanding of the Creator, we must not start with His power, or His greatness, or even with the fact that God is love, even though all of these traits are stupendous truths in and of themselves.

Why must we start with the holiness of God rather than with the love of God?

It is by considering His holiness that we can understand God’s plan of salvation for mankind, a strategy achieved only through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary.  If God’s attributes were limited to love, mercy and compassion, then the cross would have been inconsequential because all God had to do was to forgive our sins.  But the whole message of Christianity is that the cross is vital and central, and apart from Christ’s sacrifice, our sins could not be forgiven, and the deep chasm would still persist between our sinful human nature and God’s absolute and perfect holiness.

Why was Christ’s death on the cross absolutely essential?  Because God is light, He is just and righteous, with such purity that He cannot behold and look upon iniquity. (Habakkuk 1:13). “It is the holiness of God that demands the cross, so without starting with holiness, there is no meaning in the cross.” 1

If we start with the holiness of God, we realize that Christ’s incarnation, death, and resurrection had to take place.  And we recognize that fellowship with God, communion with Light, is only made possible in and through the Lord Jesus Christ, Who has reconciled us to the Father by His great sacrifice on the cross.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Safe in the World: The Assurance of Our Salvation”, Crossway Books, Illinois, 1988,  p. 108

*** References:

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Safe in the World: The Assurance of Our Salvation”, Crossway Books, Illinois, 1988, pp. 99-110.

Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity, “The Holiness of God”,  www.fivesolas.com/watson/wat_holi.htm

*** Photography: The Hand of God by Rich Goldman

10 thoughts on “God is Light

  1. Well said, Dee…God is pure Light, pure Life, pure Right(eous). Where sin occurred, a penalty had to be paid; otherwise God would have denied His own righteousness. And, in His pure Love, He sent our Lord Jesus to pay it on our behalf, because He knew we couldn’t…what’s more, He didn’t want us to have to. Thanks for this spot-on perspective.


    • Thank you, Lester, for adding more insight into this post. Truly, in His pure love, He found a way when there was no apparent way for us to be saved — He sent His only begotten Son Jesus that through Him we can be saved. Dee

  2. I love this, Dee because it moves me to thought. Is God holy because He is love; or is He love because of His holiness? How can one be separated from the other? The cross was essential for our own salvation, but the sacrifice was one of love for us. Of all I know of God, there is more that I do not…but I know Him as father, holy, and love. Where one begins and another ends is grander than my vision, but yet truth I would die to defend. Beautiful. Love you…… ~ Bobbie

    • Dear Bobbie, I share your sentiments which you describe in words so beautifully. Yes, truly God’s attributes are infinite, way beyond what our human understanding can fathom, even though we get glimpses of revelation of His character in the Bible. I love how you say “where one begins and another ends is grander than my vision, but yet truth I would die to defend.” Thank you so much for enhancing this post with your thoughts and perspectives. Love you, Dee

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