Thinking about Light

When a person becomes a Christian, they are “born again” and become a “new creation” in Christ.  From this point on the Spirit of God leads us out of sin and into a life that is an increasingly accurate reflection of the righteousness of Christ.  The righteousness that we have before the Father came from Christ and His work on the Cross, and all righteousness we have here and now is from His hand.  When the light of His Spirit shines forth on others through us, it is truly His doing, and we are highly blessed for it.  But what reaction do those around us have as we become more and more like our savior?  The Bible describes two reactions.

First reaction…Persecution: Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12

Second reaction…brings God glory:   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 a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

So sometimes people will notice Christ’s work in us, and give glory to God.  This may even be what God uses to draw a person to Himself (but, please don’t be confused into thinking that living a clean life IS the Gospel.  Forgiveness of sins through Christ is the Gospel.  A life cleansed by God is simply an effective advertisement for the Gospel).  The other result of Godly living is persecution, and the wording in Scripture makes it quite clear that it is to be expected as a certainty.

So, with these Scriptures pointing us to the two reactions we will experience as we display outward fruits (brought about by Christ as we grow closer to Him) we must ask ourselves, “What reactions am I seeing in those around me?”  If everybody likes you and you suffer no persecution whatsoever, then your outward life probably isn’t becoming more like Christ, it is probably becoming more like the men and women around you.  Godliness offends.  Darkness hates light and can’t stand to be around it.  So if all those around us love us (believers and unbelievers alike), there might be a problem.  On the other hand, if it seems everybody you meet dislikes you and you are sure it is because you are a Christian, that could be a sign of trouble, too.  Maybe it isn’t Christ’s righteousness they are seeing, for Scripture states that some people will give glory to God for that.  Maybe they are seeing self-righteousness, which is idolatry and pride, and they find it offensive.  Some people were attracted to Christ, some people hated Him, but nobody liked the Pharisees.

So…Is the righteousness of Christ shining forth in your life?  How are others reacting to it?

Think about it.

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