From Darkness to Light

David Norczyk
5 min readDec 9, 2023

Christmas is a paradox. At the darkest time of the calendar year, we celebrate the birth of the One identified as the Light of the world (Jn 8:12). Light shines in the darkness; and darkness does not comprehend it (Jn 1:5). Stated another way, Jesus entered the world and people did not recognize His true identity or the reason for His advent.

It is the devil’s work to keep people in the dark. The sons of Adam abide in darkness, having been blinded by Satan (2 Cor 4:4). As the ruler of this world (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11), the evil one has power over the whole world (1 Jn 5:19), which is aptly named “the domain of darkness” (Col 1:13). Simply put, humanity possesses darkened hearts (Rom 1:21; Eph 4:18) in a dark world. Without intervention from God, the eternal home of sinners is outer darkness.

The natural man, void of the Spirit of God, cannot accept the things of the Spirit (1 Cor 2:14). In addition to his spiritual blindness, he has a hardened heart. He is dead in sin and dead to God (Eph 2:1). The Apostle Paul identifies the unregenerate as sons of disobedience and children of wrath (Eph 2:2–3). They are haters of God (Rom 1:30), haters of Christ (Jn 7:7), and haters of Christians (Jn 15:18–25).

As children of the devil (Jn 8:44; 1 Jn 3:10), reprobate sinners are vessels of wrath being prepared for destruction (Rom 9:22). Their eternal home is the hell of the lake of fire, to which they are sentenced on the Day of Judgment (Is 13:6; Mt 10:15; 12:36; Rom 2:5; 2 Pet 2:9; 3:7; Rev 20:14–15). Appropriately, eternal punishment is executed in outer darkness, the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Mt 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30).

The transfer from darkness to light is God’s sovereign will and work in salvation. Salvation belongs to our triune God (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1). God is our Savior (1 Tim 1:1; 2:3; 4:10). He delivers He chosen people from dark to light, from lies to truth, from death to life. He turns them from the wide way leading to destruction, and onto the narrow way that leads to life (Mt 7:13–14).

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14:6). He is the divine agent of mercy and grace; and He demonstrates God’s love in redemption (Rom 5:8), by saving His people from their sins (Mt 1:21). It is His perfect sinless life of loving sacrifice that illumines faith, hope, and love.

Just as heaven receives its light from the glory of God, so those on the earth who have seen His great light are also recipients of His light. When the Spirit of Christ, sent from the Father and Son, causes one of God’s elect redeemed people to be born again (1 Pet 1:3) — they become lights to shine before others (Mt 5:16).

Christ’s church is like the illumination of a city on a dark night (Mt 5:14). The light given to each Christian is conjoined with other believers to add brightness. This is why the Christian ethos and influence is stronger in certain geographical regions. As lampstands are removed from local churches, under our Lord’s discipline, the light fades. Once vibrant Christian communities, today, are all but void of the Gospel light.

The return to darkness is a travesty from our perspective; but God’s ways are higher than our ways. He is the sovereign Lord who is always willing and doing His good pleasure (Phil 2:13) — and causing all things to work together for good for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28). We have His promise that nothing can separate us from His love (Rom 8:38–39); and that all His elect redeemed people will be saved…and none lost (Jn 10:28; Titus 3:5).

It was fitting that in the dark night of human history, the star of Bethlehem appeared to the magi in the east (Mt 2:1–16). The shepherds worked in the night, keeping their flocks, and God gave them a heavenly display, too (Lk 2:8–14). It was the same in the exodus of His people from Egypt — being guided by a pillar of fire by night (Ex 13:21–22). God was with the Israelites; and He was with us in the birth of His only begotten Son. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us (Is 7:14; 8:8; Mt 1:23).

When the Holy Spirit is sent to a sinner walking in darkness, today, it is light that reveals the beauty and glory of Christ. We see the face of Christ with the spiritual eyes of the heart (2 Cor 4:6). We love Him, in response to His demonstration of love for us (Rom 5:5; 1 Jn 4:19).

The new life given to us by the indwelling Spirit comes with more and more light (2 Cor 5:17). We see truth, as it is in Jesus, who is Himself the truth (Jn 14:6; Eph 4:21). Children of light walk in truth (Eph 5:8), which is the way of abundant and eternal life (Jn 10:10; 1 Jn 5:11–13).

It is God’s grace, granted to the saints, which bestow all of these spiritual blessings upon us (Eph 1:3; 2:8–9). We are given light, truth, and life by God’s sovereign will. We know we are recipients of the blessings because they manifest faith, hope, and love.

Light from heaven is a marvelous blessing because it helps us to see Jesus and to know the salvation that is ours in Him (1 Pet 2:9). In Christ, we are beneficiaries of God’s will. By virtue of our being positioned in Him, Christians have a worldview that informs us of the two kingdoms in conflict with one another.

The kingdom of this world remains in spiritual darkness in this present evil age (Gal 1:4). The kingdom of God’s beloved Son is the marvelous light that brings hope to those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as God’s Law was given as light to show us sin, so the Light of truth, manifest in the Gospel of grace, is illumination for us to see Jesus Christ.

It behooves all people to come out of the darkness, and by God’s grace, they do. To see, know, and love Jesus Christ is reason to rejoice and give thanks in great humility. Only those who have had their spiritual eyes opened by Him can actually see Him. If you remain in the dark to this reality, call out to the only One who ever gave sight to the blind — Jesus Christ.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

December 9, 2023

--

--

David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher