Week­end Bible Re­flec­tions With Jon

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Je­sus: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not over­come it” (John 1:4-5). It is said that com­mand­ing of­fi­cers mo­ti­vate their men in the heat of bat­tle by say­ing, “Come on, men! Do you want to live for­ever?” Friend, do YOU want to live for­ever? Do you want eter­nal life? Je­sus is where you get it. He is the source of eter­nal life and light. He is the light of men, the light of the world which shines in the darkness and over­comes it.

How­ever, have a ques­tion worth con­sid­er­ing by all of us. Are we see­ing His light? If we don’t know Je­sus like we need to know Him, are we see­ing His light? Be­fore the apos­tle I Peter died (2 Peter 1:14), the last com­mand the Holy Spirit in­spired him to write was this: “Grow in the grace and knowl­edge of our Lord and Sav­ior Je­sus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Friend, how well are you grow­ing in your knowl­edge of Je­sus? John wrote, “For ev­ery­one who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be ex­posed” (John 3:20). Those who let sin reign in their lives don’t re­ally care to get to know Je­sus bet­ter, be­cause Je­sus is the light and they hate the light be­cause the light ex­poses their evil deeds for what they re­ally are. So how well do you know Je­sus? How well do you see Him?

God told us how to grow in our knowl­edge of Je­sus and thus come to see Him and His light more fully. He in­spired Peter to in­struct Chris­tians to dili­gently add cer­tain traits to their faith (2 Peter 1:57): virtue (lit­er­ally in the Greek, striv­ing to be the best Chris­tian one could be), knowl­edge (of God’s will for us), the dis­ci­pline of self-con­trol, the long­suf­fer­ing of per­se­ver­ance, god­li­ness which comes from be­ing de­voted to God, broth­erly kind­ness which leads us to love our fel­low man, and love which causes ac­tive good­will to­wards oth­ers. God through Peter went on to prom­ise that “if these qual­i­ties are yours and are in­creas­ing, they keep you from be­ing in­ef­fec­tive or un­fruit­ful in the knowl­edge of our Lord Je­sus Christ” (2 Peter 1:8).

That’s how we come to re­ally know Je­sus and thus fully see the light He is shin­ing to guide us away from darkness and hell and to the eter­nal life of heaven. Get­ting to know Je­sus bet­ter is far more than sim­ply in­creas­ing our in­tel­lec­tual knowl­edge of Him. We need to have knowl­edge of what the Bible teaches about His life and teach­ings, no doubt. Yet if we do not be­come more like Him, hav­ing knowl­edge of what He said and did is noth­ing more than an aca­demic ex­er­cise. The only way we be­come more like Him is when we de­velop these Christ­like at­tributes Peter wrote about.

It starts with obey­ing the gospel through faith, re­pen­tance and baptism. When we be­lieve in Je­sus with all of our heart, we are prompted to re­pent of our sins and wash them away when we are bap­tized ( Acts 2:38; 8:35-38; 22:16). The act of baptism spir­i­tu­ally clothes us with Christ and places us within Him, within His body which is His church (Gala­tians 3:26-27; Ro­mans 6:1-5; 1 Corinthi­ans 12:13; cf. Eph­e­sians 1:22-23). That’s when God saves us and makes us a Chris­tian, a child of His. At that point, we be­gin to get to know Je­sus and see His light. We then grow to know Him bet­ter and al­low His light to guide us to heaven by grow­ing in our faith in the ways Peter de­scribed above.

Friends, how well do you know Je­sus? How well are you see­ing the light?

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