1 Timothy 6:16 “Who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”
The descriptions of Jesus can often be more than our ability to comprehend. Where else can we find a place that is bathed in unapproachable light? Imagine how intriguing it would be for a place to exist on earth that was so blinding, so powerful, not one could approach it.
If Jesus came down to earth right now in the fullness of His glory, our flesh would recoil in fear. These bodies cannot endure God, our position of sin prevents these weak vessels from being able to stand before a Just and Holy God. We would not be able to look upon Him, we could not even fall before His feet—our flesh would perish before His great and glorious power.
Understanding our weak position now is the pathway to recognizing God’s glorious position before His people. Contained within the feeble structure of a person born again is the very nature of God Himself. We are vessels, made with clay, and yet God has poured into us His pure, life giving water. The only way for us not to contaminate this water is for us to be made pure as well.
The righteousness of God has been imparted to His people. His perfection has become our perfection—not in our flesh but in our position before Him. I’m convinced that even those perfected in Christ Jesus would fall dead if they attempted to approach God in the flesh. There is a reason we shed this body upon death, and why God plans on giving His people new bodies one day—we are corrupt by nature.
Romans 8:8 “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Paul’s reminder of the ineptitude of the flesh is twofold. The world dwells continually in the flesh, it doesn’t know God nor can it know God apart from the Spirit of God. The world does not know the Spirit of God because it does not know Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.
Believers can walk in the flesh while ignoring the Spirit of God who leads. If the flesh rules over the believer in Christ, they become like the world and no manner of flowery talk or bible lingo can change the fact—they are living in disobedience.
Romans 8:5 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”
Can you hear the battle that rages in the life of the believer? This reminder of diligence is required for those who have been born again and is a reminder they are not perfect people in practice—they live by grace and have been given the mantle of perfection through Christ alone. Born again believers are not perfect people in substance, they have been given a perfect standing before God and can either draw from Him or give in to the flesh. The Spirit of God brings conviction and so for a person to continue in sin this becomes a practice in futility and frustration.
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
It is the light of Christ in God’s people that shines through them. The miracle of regeneration is how God can take His perfection and places it in an imperfect people.
John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Why does God do this? Why does He allow a people who are undoubtedly going to profane His name, a people who are going to diminish His glory and potentially damage His reputation, carry His presence into the world?
Acts 26:18 “To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
The light of God’s glory which is unapproachable, has become approachable in us. God’s people are tasked with the great responsibility to be Jesus to the world. This high calling is made available to the timid and the weak, for God gives power to the weak and to those who have no might, He increases strength.(Isaiah 40:29)
John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Jesus modeled what this approachable light looks like—He did it in a way that we can all aspire toward. It certainly wasn’t easy for Him and this pathway will not be easy for His people, but it is worth it. The message given to the people of light is the message of the Originator of Light, we simply strive to be vessels of His glory.
1 John 1:5-7 “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
A Light Draws
The light of God’s magnificent glory seems to be impossible to miss. For believers the clear and evident signs of God are everywhere, they are impossible to not see. For the one who walks in darkness, blindness has overtaken them where the light can shine directly in their face and they still don’t see it.
Luke 1:79 “To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
For the world to see God, they must first hear and believe. God’s people are of the flesh, the world can only see the flesh and so for the world to see Jesus, they must see Jesus in you. The Spirit of God moves in God’s people to mold them into the image of Christ, the process of sanctification is the process of this molding into God’s image—not just for the benefit of the people of God, but for those who walk in darkness with God’s people.
John 11:10 “But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
Why would God leave His people on earth after they were saved from sin and death?
Why not just take them to Heaven the moment they believe?
Philippians 2:15 “That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”
The people of God are left in the midst of a perverse world so they might draw others out of this corrupt world.
1 Thessalonians 5:5 “For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.”
God’s holiness is unapproachable in the flesh so He has placed His unapproachable light in vessels of dishonor, magnifying His glory to the world.
A star shines brightest in the midst of a black Universe. People look up to see the star because it stands out in the midst of a cold, lifeless, expanse. When Jesus shines in the midst of a people who are stained with sin, people see a light that seems out of place. The flesh is corrupt, dark, and lifeless–then Jesus comes in and like a lamp, the light pours out of something that was once void of light and reminds others there is something more.
How can purity exist in something spoiled?
The miracle of God’s redemption is how He can take something worthless and make it worthwhile.
Romans 6:12-13 “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”
Instruments of Light
If God’s people are to walk according to the purposes ordained for them, they must have a correct view of their role in His Kingdom.
2 Peter 1:2-4 “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.“
If you are a born-again believer, you have a divine purpose in Christ. It’s more than just saving yourself from destruction, it’s more than just looking the part in the church, it is a divinely ordained assignment to be light to a world that is perishing.
Cast off the old flesh, be renewed day by day and allow God’s strength to move you forward with an eternal perspective. The Lord promised that in these last days the world would go from bad to worse (2 Timothy 3:13), therefore His people will grow brighter and brighter until the day of their redemption.(Proverbs 4:18)
This is the promise for God’s people—accept it and walk in it today.