A Light Afraid Of The Dark: Sermon By Deacon David Oyuke
God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.Genesis 1:26-27 (AMPC)
[Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation.Colossians 1:15 (AMPC)
Most Christians have become familiar with who Christ is.
The salvation of a Christian is born either out of religion or conviction.
The fruit of our faith in this day is tied to the material wealth a Christian can amass but this is not necessarily true. Seeing Christ from the perspective of God will help us to know if we are truly reflecting who Christ is.
He will be great (eminent) and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His forefather David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob throughout the ages; and of His reign there will be no end.
And Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I have no [intimacy with any man as a] husband? Then the angel said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [like a shining cloud]; and so the holy (pure, sinless) Thing (Offspring) which shall be born of you will be called the Son of God.Luke 1:32-35 (AMPC)
Christ is the image of the invisible God.
While he was still speaking, behold, a shining cloud [composed of light] overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My Son, My Beloved, with Whom I am [and have always been] delighted. Listen to Him!”Matthew 17:5 (AMPC)
Familiarity will have you physically present but spiritually absent. God was telling the disciples to listen to Christ: to learn, to lean on and depend on Christ.
And the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came from heaven, saying, You are My Son, My Beloved! In You I am well pleased and find delight!Luke 3:22 (AMPC)
Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.Matthew 16:16 (AMPC)
And [as to His divine nature] according to the Spirit of holiness was openly designated the Son of God in power [in a striking, triumphant and miraculous manner] by His resurrection from the dead, even Jesus Christ our Lord (the Messiah, the Anointed One).Romans 1:4 (AMPC)
God declares Jesus to be His son.
When suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them. And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues), as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression [in each tongue in appropriate words].Acts 2:2-4 (AMPC)
Therefore let the whole house of Israel recognize beyond all doubt and acknowledge assuredly that God has made Him both Lord and Christ (the Messiah)—this Jesus Whom you crucified.Acts 2:36 (AMPC)
So they laid hands on them (arrested them) and put them in prison until the following day, for it was already evening. But many of those who heard the message believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on Jesus as the Christ). And their number grew and came to about 5,000.
Then on the following day, their magistrates and elders and scribes were assembled in Jerusalem, including Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander and all others who belonged to the high priestly relationship. And they set the men in their midst and repeatedly demanded, By what sort of power or by what kind of authority did [such people as] you do this [healing]?
Then Peter, [because he was] filled with [and controlled by] the Holy Spirit, said to them, Rulers of the people and members of the council (the Sanhedrin), If we are being put on trial [here] today and examined concerning a good deed done to benefit a feeble (helpless) cripple, by what means this man has been restored to health. Let it be known and understood by all of you, and by the whole house of Israel, that in the name and through the power and authority of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom you crucified, [but] Whom God raised from the dead, in Him and by means of Him this man is standing here before you well and sound in body. This [Jesus] is the Stone which was despised and rejected by you, the builders, but which has become the Head of the corner [the Cornerstone]. And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved.
Now when they saw the boldness and unfettered eloquence of Peter and John and perceived that they were unlearned and untrained in the schools [common men with no educational advantages], they marveled; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus.Acts 4:3-13 (AMPC)
This is He Who came by (with) water and blood [His baptism and His death], Jesus Christ (the Messiah)—not by (in) the water only, but by (in) the water and the blood. And it is the [Holy] Spirit Who bears witness, because the [Holy] Spirit is the Truth.
So there are three witnesses [in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are One; and there are three witnesses on the earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree [are in unison; their testimony coincides].1 John 5:6-8 (AMPC)
And this is that testimony (that evidence): God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who possesses the Son has that life; he who does not possess the Son of God does not have that life.1 John 5:11-12 (AMPC)
Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me. If you had known Me [had learned to recognize Me], you would also have known My Father. From now on, you know Him and have seen Him.
Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father [cause us to see the Father—that is all we ask]; then we shall be satisfied. Jesus replied, Have I been with all of you for so long a time, and do you not recognize and know Me yet, Philip? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say then, Show us the Father?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? What I am telling you I do not say on My own authority and of My own accord; but the Father Who lives continually in Me does the (His) works (His own miracles, deeds of power). Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the [very] works themselves. [If you cannot trust Me, at least let these works that I do in My Father’s name convince you.]
I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father. And I will do [I Myself will grant] whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I Am], so that the Father may be glorified and extolled in (through) the Son. [Yes] I will grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in My Name [as ]presenting all that I Am].
If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever— The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you.
I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you. Just a little while now, and the world will not see Me any more, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. At that time [when that day comes] you will know [for yourselves] that I am in My Father, and you [are] in Me, and I [am] in you.John 14:6-20 (AMPC)
Christ testifies of Himself that no one can access the Father except through Him and that those who have seen Him have seen the Father.
I and the Father are One.John 10:30 (AMPC)
As believers, we need to ask ourselves if the relevance of Christ has been reduced in our lives and if our walk is tempered with the revelation of God.
The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity]. To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound].
Then He rolled up the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were gazing [attentively] at Him. And He began to speak to them: Today this Scripture has been fulfilled while you are present and hearing.
And all spoke well of Him and marveled at the words of grace that came forth from His mouth; and they said, Is not this Joseph’s Son? So He said to them, You will doubtless quote to Me this proverb: Physician, heal Yourself! What we have learned by hearsay that You did in Capernaum, do here also in Your [own] town.Luke 4:18-23 (AMPC)
Reference: Isaiah 61.
There are Christians who are okay with Christ as Joseph’s son and not the Christ the Son of God. Jesus Christ, the Son of God has a mandate, which is to save humanity from sin.
Christ is a mystery that has yet to be revealed to many.
Today’s Christianity is geared towards making sure that we do not depend on God. However, we should battle to make sure that we never outgrow obedience.
For as long as we breathe, we still have a chance to be known by Christ.
Lack of truth of Christ will make you think that light and darkness are equal.
There is no such thing as the presence of darkness because darkness is the absence of light. We are to go to the dark places so that Christ is activated in us.
We want the kind of Christianity that removes us move from the darkness instead of the Christianity that brings light in the darkness. People sometimes separate Christ from Christians because of how we behave as believers.
Assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace (His unmerited favor) that was entrusted to me [to dispense to you] for your benefit, [And] that the mystery (secret) was made known to me and I was allowed to comprehend it by direct revelation, as I already briefly wrote you.
When you read this you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ. [This mystery] was never disclosed to human beings in past generations as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles (consecrated messengers) and prophets by the [Holy] Spirit.
[It is this:] that the Gentiles are now to be fellow heirs [with the Jews], members of the same body and joint partakers [sharing] in the same divine promise in Christ through [their acceptance of] the glad tidings (the Gospel). Of this [Gospel] I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s free grace (undeserved favor) which was bestowed on me by the exercise (the working in all its effectiveness) of His power.Ephesians 3:2-7 (AMPC)
People today seek for mysteries to gain competitive advantage over others in life.
Nowadays the gospel is reeking of spiritual apartheid where saints compare each other’s lights and yet fail to reach out to lost humanity.
The preachers of the gospel have tainted the gospel that is truly good. It has become more separatist in that it is for the select few.
The mysteries that are preached now are watered down to works of the flesh but the true mystery is found in believers being co-heirs in Christ. It is the mystery of mankind being reconciled to God.
If we are informed about Christ we will know about Him but if we receive revelation we will know Him. We are the light of the world and therefore we should not be afraid of the darkness.
If Christ is really who He says he is, then we who have Christ should be changed and transformed.
If you are to enter into darkness and nothing changes then we need to ask ourselves if we truly carry the light of Christ.
If our faith is based on superstition then we will have no power.
In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it].John 1:4-5 (AMPC)
Christ is regarded as the life that is the light of men.
You cannot increase the intensity of darkness but you can increase the intensity of light. Our call is to shine bright as light and fill the earth by showing up in dark places.
Darkness cannot overcome the light unless the source of light is snuffed out.
Our lamps need to be filled with the oil of the Spirit.
But he who hates (detests, despises) his brother [in Christ] is in darkness and walking (living) in the dark; he is straying and does not perceive or know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.1 John 2:11 (AMPC)
And try to learn [in your experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [let your lives be constant proofs of what is most acceptable to Him]. Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead [let your lives be so in contrast as to] expose and reprove and convict them. For it is a shame even to speak of or mention the things that [such people] practice in secret. But when anything is exposed and reproved by the light, it is made visible and clear; and where everything is visible and clear there is light.Ephesians 5:10-13 (AMPC)
To be lukewarm is the norm and being bold is offensive. The Gospel is an offence to they that are lost. Christians, however, prefer to be popular than offensive people who pray with zeal and act with hindrance.
When we do not walk in the Spirit there is a disconnect between our lives and the word of God. We will carry out spiritual practice having a dead spiritual life.
We must go the dark without fear. Our faith must not fear darkness. It will shine bright despite the darkness thereby dispelling it.
When we declare life in the darkness we harness the power of God into the situation.
We are sheep sent amongst wolves. How many wolves are you seeing? How much darkness are you seeing?
As believers we are sent out into the world to proclaim Good News and His light to the world. We need to ask ourselves what we are doing with the deposit of light that Christ has given us.