Advent 2023: Authentic Light

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John 1:1–13 NASB 2020
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind. And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not grasp it. A man came, one sent from God, and his name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. This was the true Light that, coming into the world, enlightens every person. He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, and yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not accept Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of a man, but of God.
Authentic Light compared to inauthentic light...
The origin of Christmas and the significance of lights.
Hanukkah- The festival of lights.
Commemorates the dedication of the second temple.
Happens in the general time frame of Advent each year.
Significant because Christ came as the true and better light, inaugurating His temple the church which is not made by human hands but by the hands of God Himself.
The Roman Winter Solstice
Stephen Mansfield put out a great podcast on this topic which Pam shared with me. I did some research on this for myself and was able to confirm that this is true.
There is a Roman document from the 330s which is the first to claim December 25th as the birthday of Jesus.
This is significant because it shows that as Christ conquered much of the Roman empire through conversions to faith in Him, the Romans began to replace the fake light of the sun god with the True Light of the Son of God who has come into the world.
Today, Jesus is still doing this work all over and He has done it in many of us. There are many false sources of light around us which are actually nothing but darkness masquerading as light. Christ is the only true and authentic Light from Heaven and every place He touches has the potential to become enlightened and restored to the glorious place which He envisioned from the beginning.
Today, we will be exploring Christ as the Light and the power He has to make everyone and everything new in this dark and broken world.
Revelation 21:5 NASB 2020
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”


I. The Reality of the Light

The Light is not a mere conceptualization or mythos, but is an enduring truth.
The Light is the very person whom we call Jesus the Christ. (1-3, 9, 14)
Christ is not merely a child who was born in a manger. He is the very God who spoke all things into existence. (3)

II. The Power of the Light

The Light is the source of all life whether that is acknowledged or not. (4-5)
The Light is able to enlighten every person. (9)
Light is not able to be contained. There is no depth of darkness which is able to absorb it. Rather, light cuts through darkness.
Once light is present in a previously dark place, darkness has no shot. Christ is the light which has come into the world. He gives light to every heart who will receive Him.
Have we received Him? His desire is to set us ablaze with His light.
The Light is able to make sons and daughters for God out of anyone who believes in Him. (12-13)
As a lighthouse isn't self-lit but must have the light applied, we likewise are not self-lit.
We must have the fire of His light applied to us in order to be all that He has made us to be.
Many of us have had our darkness washed out by His light shining upon us and that is a wonderful thing.
Being cleansed of our sins is only meant to be the beginning. Christ has a purpose and a mission of doing good works in His name planned for each of us.
Ephesians 2:10 NASB 2020
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Every Christian has the potential of being lit in this way, but far too few are actually living in the reality of His light as an abiding truth in our lives daily.
Too many have allowed the light to be snuffed out in us. Do you want to radiate His light into this dark world? Dear brothers and sisters, we must yield ourselves entirely to Christ or this can never happen for us.
The Light has the power to decrease us for our good.
John said, "He must increase, I must decrease." That is the posture of a person ready for His light.
Many don't have abounding light simply because they refuse to decrease. They demand that God increase them rather than decreasing them that Christ might shine in them.
Even more demand that God do it their way or meet them on their terms rather than being willing to yield to God.
Are you surrendered to Christ dear friend? Are you ready to come God’s way even if you look foolish or silly to people?
There are David’s who dance like fools for the glory of God and there are Michal’s who ridicule the dancers. Unrepentant Michal’s often miss the Light entirely.
One of the enemy's favorite strategies is to get us thinking too much of ourselves.
Sometimes it is an over fixation on our problems, thinking it's up to us and we much overcome.
Jesus wants us to stop looking at the storm and look at Him instead. The way to freedom isn't through focusing on self. It is by looking to Jesus and letting self go. We must decrease so that Christ can increase.
John the Baptist's ministry became more significant when he fell out of the spotlight and Christ arose.

III. The Witness to the Light

John represents the entire witness of the cloud of the prophets who came before Him.
It was indeed God who witnessed to the reality of the Light through the hands of men. (6-8)
The witness to the Light is a sign of God’s care and concern for all people.
We, like John, are called to be witnesses of the true light who are reflecting His glory into every dark place.
Matthew 5:14–16 NASB 2020
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
The church, enlightened by His glory and filled with the Spirit becomes a beacon which casts His light all over.
Acts 1:8 NASB 2020
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and as far as the remotest part of the earth.”

IV. The Tragedy of the Light

The tragedy of the Light is that although Christ has come into the world and has clearly made himself known, many choose darkness and doom over Him anyway. (5, 10-11)
Though He is our creator and indeed the creator of our entire world, and though the natural world reflects His glory and has His fingerprints all over it, most people are blinded by sin and cannot see Him. (10)
Even many who know His word, are familiar with the prophecies about Him, and who have heard His commands will miss Him. (11)
“I believe there are many accommodating preachers, and too many practitioners in the Church who are not believers.” -C.S. Lewis
Were you born into a Christian home? Were you raised in church? It isn’t automatic that you are a Christian. You must recognize Him for yourself. Have you personally repented of you sins and professed Christ as Lord of your life?

Gospel Application

Christ is the True Light who has come into the world. He lived as True Light for all to see. He died as Light to dispel our darkness. He rose as Light to irradiate us all.
Because of Christ, we can be empowered to live as lights in the life of the True Light. We have a hope and a purpose in Him, but only in Him and it’s easy to miss if we aren’t paying attention.
For those whose eyes are on Christ, everything is ours in Him. We may know the reality of the Light. We may walk in the power of the Light. We can be a witness to the Light. We can avoid the tragedy of the light… so long as we remain in Christ.
1 John 1:5–7 NASB 2020
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.


See the Light and respond to Him in faith.
Do not hide His light which is in you, but broadcast it out for all to see.
Fan the flame of His light in you through engaging the Scriptures, prayer, and through ministering to others.
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