Sunday School Material 12-23-12: Alive in the Light of Christ

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that believers should live as if they are guided by the light of Jesus. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live in accord with Jesus’ light.

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Body:

Read John 1:1-5, 14

I. Life-giving Light. In our Sunday School material John writes about Jesus being the Word or the Word being Jesus. In Jesus, the Word, humanity receives life and light. Jesus, the Word, was said to be full of grace and truth.

Applications –

- God the Son. Notice in vss. 1,14 that the Word was with God, was God, and became flesh and dwelt among us. Believers understand this text to support two parts of the Holy Trinity – God the Father and God the Son. Somehow, God exists in three separate personalities and yet there is only one God.

No matter how hard we try, all of our explanations come up short. The Trinity is a faith matter, more than something that can be explained. More important than explaining and arguing about the Trinity is our living like we believe that Jesus was and is God.

Such living should be known for loving God and others, as we love ourselves. Let’s work on living like we believe that Jesus was and is God.

- Creating power. Notice in vs. 3 of our Sunday School material that the Word/Jesus was involved in creation. As fascinating as Jesus’ involvement in historic creation may be, we should be thankful that Jesus still has creating power.

This should encourage us to know that when supplies seemed to be dwarfed by demand, Jesus can simply create more of whatever we stand in need of. Let’s live like we believe that Jesus still has creating power. Such living should be known for confidently obeying God’s will.

- Not overcome nor understood. Notice in vss. 4-5 of the Sunday School material that the Word/Jesus is pictured as light that is not overcome nor understood by darkness.

The Greek word being translated as overcome in the New International Version of the Bible has been translated as comprehended in the King James Version of the Bible. Both interpretations are true.

Jesus is surely not overcome by darkness and the sin of this world. Nor is Jesus understood by the darkness and sin of this world. The need for being born again and being transformed is nurtured by darkness’ inability to comprehend the light of Jesus.

The reason that some people just don’t understand something as simple as the Gospel should be clearer. Let’s be so thankful for the light and life of Jesus that we live in obedience to His will. We should never forget how important issues like studying, serving, and giving are in obeying God’s will.

- Grace and truth. Notice in vs. 14 of the Sunday School material that the Word/Jesus is full of grace and truth. We need the truth because falsehoods will not help us escape the penalty of our sins. But we need grace, because our efforts always come up short.

Let’s live as if we appreciate the grace and truth of Jesus. One way to demonstrate our appreciation is to share truth and grace with others. We need to work on gracefully and lovingly telling people about salvation and fulfillment found in Christ.

Read Ephesians 5:1-2, 6-14

II. Light-walking Life. Paul urges his readers to be godly. They are to live lives of love. They are to avoid being influenced by empty words and partnering with the ungodly, because such leads to God’s wrath. That which is done in the dark will be brought to the light.

Applications –

- Love. Notice in vss. 1, 8-10 of the Sunday School material the urging for believers to be loving. No matter how knowledgeable we may be of the Bible, how long we have been in church, and what titles we have gathered, without love, at best our Christian maturity is lacking, and at worse our Christianity is suspect.

Let’s work on being loving believers. Love responds to needs. Love is a verb and action word. It is not simply an adjective or description of how we feel; it is a verb that indicates what we do.

Perhaps a helpful way to think of love is to think of the phrase hospital care. Nurses and doctors care for patients, love them, without the necessity of liking them or having great affection for them.

- Avoiding and exposing ungodliness. Notice in vss. 6-7, 11 of the Sunday School material that believers are urged to avoid the influence of ungodly people, especially those in the church.

The commentator did a good job of talking about the difference between being in relationships with sinners for the sake of their salvation verses being in enabling relationships with people who have ungodly agendas in the church.

One of the great motivators for obeying this application is that God is known for punishment and wrath where there is disobedience. Furthermore, exposing ungodliness is lifted as a method of dealing with ungodliness in the church.

Let’s strive to avoid and even expose ungodliness in our church. The report cards and discipleship rosters are steps in this direction. On one hand, it allows us to celebrate those who are doing well. But on the other hand, it allows us to see who look good on the outside but are not meeting the expectations.

Conclusion: Let’s work on living in accord with Jesus’ light. God has much for those who obey His will.

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