Christ, the Light of the world, dwelling in the hearts (sanctuary) of His followers, constitutes them the Light of the world. Their light comes not from themselves but from Christ, who dwells in them. Their life is not from themselves, but it is the life of Christ manifest in their mortal flesh.
“Christ in you, the Hope of glory !” Colossians 1:27. This is what it is
to live “a Christian life.”
The marginal rendering, “overcame,” gives us the exact meaning of the text and conveys a message of great comfort to the believer. Let us see what it is.
Christ is the Light of the world. See John 8:12. But His Light is His Life, as the text quoted states. He says, “I Am the Light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the Light of Life !”
The whole world was in the darkness of sin. This darkness was due to lack of knowledge of God . . .
Note: the ‘knowing‘ of Jehovah’s character and righteousness. So often when men look upon GOD, they are blinded to His great love, to His mercy and longsuffering. When Moses asked of the LORD, “Shew me Thy Glory (Thy Face),” the Scripture tells us that the LORD told Moses that, although He could not yet permit him to see His Face, He would, because of His great love for mankind, permit Moses to see His back parts (His shadow). And as the LORD passed by before him, He proclaimed His righteous character.
“The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and Truth (faithfulness). Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sins . . . !” Exodus 33:14 through 34:7
It was the LORD’s provision and willingness to pardon and forgive every sin, if only the children of Israel would express their faith in His Promise, by bringing a lamb as an offering and sacrifice. What love is this, that through the blood of a dumb animal, the Almighty Creator GOD of the universe would cancel a debt of transgression through the simple act of faith in an innocent victim.
And this is what the apostle Paul speak of, when in II Corinthians 4-4 he tells us of this first glory (manifestation of Jehovah’s character); and how small and temporary it really was, when compared to that Glory which has now been revealed in GOD giving His Own Son forever, on our behalf !
“For GOD, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light (revealing) of the knowledge (knowing) of the glory (righteous character) of GOD in the Face of Jesus Christ !” II Corinthians 4:6
As the apostle Paul says that the Gentiles are “darkened in their understanding, alienated from the Life of God because of the ignorance that is in them because of the hardening of their heart.” Eph. 4:18, R.V.
Satan, the ruler of the darkness of this world, had done his utmost to deceive men as to the true character of God. He had made the world believe that God was like men — cruel, vindictive and passionate. Even the Jews, the people whom God had chosen to be the bearers of His Light to the world, had departed from God and while professedly separate from the heathen, were enveloped in heathen darkness (fear, doubt and unbelief). Then Christ came, and “The people which sat in darkness saw a great Light, and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, to them did Light spring up.” Matt. 4:16, R.V.
His name was Emanu-El’, God with us. “God was in Christ.” God refuted the falsehoods of Satan, not by loud arguments, but simply by living His life among men so that all might see it. He demonstrated the power of the life of God and the possibility of it’s being manifested in men.
The Life which Christ lived was untainted by sin. Satan exerted all his powerful arts, yet he could not affect that spotless Life. Its Light always shone with unwavering brilliancy. Because Satan could not produce the least shadow of sin in the life, he could not bring it within his power, that of the grave. No one could take Christ’s life from Him; He voluntarily laid it down. And for the same reason, when He had laid it down, Satan could not prevent Him from taking it up again. Said He, “I lay down my life that I might take it again.
No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father.” John 10:17, 18. To the same intent are the Words of the apostle Peter concerning CHRIST: “Whom God hath raised up having loosed the pains of death; because it was not possible that He should be holden of it.” Acts 2:24. Thus was demonstrated the right of the Lord Jesus Christ (Adoni Yehushua ha Moshiac) to be made a High Priest “after the power of an endless life.” Heb. 7:16.
This endless, spotless Life Christ gives to all who believe on Him. “And this is the name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS !” Jeremiah 23:5-6
“He that believeth on the Son (The Word of GOD) hath everlasting Life ! and he that believeth not the Son
shall not see Life; for the wrath of GOD yet abideth on him !” John 3:36
“And this is the record (testimony, evidence), that GOD hath given unto us eternal Life, and this Life is in His Son (The Word)!” I John 5:11-12
“For the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and the are Life !” John 6:63
“As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal Life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is Life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only True God and Jesus Christ Whom thou hast sent!” John 17:2, 3.
“O, taste and see that the LORD (Jehovah, Yehuwah) is good; Blessed is that man who trusts in Him !” Psalm 34:8
Christ dwells in the hearts of all those who believe on Him. “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Gal. 2:20. See also Eph. 3:16-17.
Christ, the Light of the world, dwelling in the hearts of His followers, constitutes them the Light of the world. Their light comes not from themselves but from Christ, Who dwells in them. Their Life is not from themselves, but it is the Life of Christ manifest in their mortal flesh. See 2 Cor. 4:11. This is what it is to live “a Christian life !“
The living Light comes from God in a never-failing Stream. The psalmist exclaims: “For with Thee is the Foundation of Life; in thy Light shall we see Light.” Ps. 36:9. “And he showed me a pure River of Water of Life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Rev. 22:1. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take of the Water of Life freely !” Rev. 22:17.
“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, ye have no Life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood hath eternal Life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:53, 54. This Life of Christ we eat and drink by feasting upon His Word, for He added, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life.” Verse 63. Christ dwells in His inspired Word, and through it we get His Life. This Life is given freely to all who will receive it, as we read above; and again we read that Jesus stood and cried, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink !” John 7:37.
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious Promises; that by these we might be made partakers of Divine nature (the Life of Christ) !” II Peter 1:4
This life is the Christian’s Light, and it is that which makes him a Light to others. It is his Life; and the blessed comfort to him is that no matter how great the darkness through which he has to pass, no darkness has power to put out that Light. That Light of Life is his as long as he exercises faith, and the darkness cannot affect it. Let all, therefore, who profess the name of the Lord have the confidence that can say, “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a Light unto me !” Micah 7:8.
E. J. Waggoner – Bible Echo, October 15, 1892
Note: added text and Scripture references have been added in italics !