God is Light and Christ is the Way


by Mike Ratliff

1 Ὃ ἦν ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς – 2 καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν καὶ ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν – 3 ὃ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν, ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν, ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινωνίαν ἔχητε μεθ᾽ ἡμῶν. καὶ ἡ κοινωνία δὲ ἡ ἡμετέρα μετὰ τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ μετὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. 4 καὶ ταῦτα γράφομεν ἡμεῖς, ἵνα ἡ χαρὰ ἡμῶν ᾖ πεπληρωμένη. (1 John 1:1-4 NA27)

1 What was from the beginning—which we have heard, which we have seen, with our eyes, which we beheld and touched with our hands—with respect to the Word of Life— 2 indeed the life was manifested and we have seen it and we give testimony and we proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—3 what we have seen and we have heard we proclaim also to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed fellowship with our Father and with his son, Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write that our joy may be made full.  (1 John 1:1-4 a personal translation from the NA27 Greek text)

While there is counterfeit Christianity all around us, let us stay focused on the “real deal.” How do we do that? We look to God’s Word as his truth and from it we learn of Christ’s divinity, his incarnation as the God-man, and his saving death on the cross. We also learn about our role in God’s Kingdom while we are still on this side of eternity such as intercessory prayer ministry. The Word of God teaches us about God’s Holiness and his standard for being in his Kingdom and the ubiquity of human sin, which disqualifies all of us, but then we have our Lord’s substitutionary death on that cross that purchased a people for himself. In this “equation” we must learn that our salvation was all of God’s doing, not ours. He is the one who keeps us as well, but we do have a part to play and this is to walk in repentance for the rest of our lives. Some make the mistake of teaching that we can become perfectly holy and sinless in this life, but as we shall see, this is unbiblical and puts people in bondage for those who teach that invariably are the same ones who also teach that we earn our salvation in so doing so we can also lose it. Continue reading