God is Light

“God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

God’s truthfulness and holiness are powerful motives not to sin.

Light and darkness are familiar metaphors in Scripture. Intellectually, light refers to truth, and darkness to error; morally, light refers to holiness, and darkness to evil.

Intellectually, the Bible reveals God as the God of truth. In Exodus 34:6 God described Himself to Moses as “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.” Both Psalm 31:5 and Isaiah 65:16 refer to Him as the “God of truth.” In the New Testament, Jesus called Himself “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

Not only is God true, but so also is His Word. In 2 Samuel 7:28 David exclaimed, “O Lord God, Thou art God, and Thy words are truth.” The Lord Jesus prayed to the Father, “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). The Bible, “the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15), imparts the light of knowledge. In the familiar words of the psalmist, “Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” (Ps. 119:105).

Morally, light describes God’s absolute holiness and separation from evil. Psalm 5:4 says of Him, “No evil dwells with Thee.” “Thine eyes are too pure to approve evil,” said the prophet Habakkuk to God, “and Thou canst not look on wickedness with favor” (Hab. 1:13). Because God is light in the sense of truth, He cannot lie (Titus 1:2). When His Word promises that things will go well with the righteous (Isa. 3:10) and that sin brings consequences (Prov. 11:5), we can be certain that is exactly what will happen. Because God is moral light, we know that He is neither the cause of any evil we encounter, nor the source of our temptation (James 1:13).

Understanding the truth that God is light is foundational to dealing with sin in our lives.

Suggestions for Prayer
• Praise God that He has revealed His truth in the Bible.
• Ask God to give you a deeper understanding of His holiness as you study the Scriptures.

For Further Study
Read Proverbs 11:3; 19:3; James 1:13-15. Based on those passages, how would you answer someone who blames God for the bad things that happen to him or her?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187


The Importance of Confession

“If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:10).

Confession is the first step toward defeating sin.

It is often true that the hardest part of dealing with a problem is admitting that you have one. Beginning with Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:11-13), people have denied responsibility for their sins, and our generation is no exception. To acknowledge that one is a sinner, guilty of breaking God’s holy law, is not popular. People call sin by a myriad of other names, futilely hoping to define it out of existence. They do so, motivated by their innate awareness that there is a moral law and that there are consequences for violating it (Rom. 1:32).

But God’s people have always recognized the necessity of confession. After committing the terrible sins of adultery and murder, David acknowledged to Nathan the prophet, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Sam. 12:13). Later he cried out to God, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Thy sight” (Ps. 51:3-4). Faced with a vision of the awesome majesty and holiness of God, Isaiah declared, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips” (Isa. 6:5). Daniel was a man of unparalleled integrity, yet part of his prayer life involved confessing his sin (Dan. 9:20). Peter, the acknowledged leader of the apostles, said to Jesus, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5:8). The apostle Paul, the godliest man who ever lived (except for Jesus Christ), wrote this about himself: “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all” (1 Tim. 1:15).

The examples of those godly men illustrate a fundamental biblical truth: constant confession of sin characterizes true Christians (1 John 1:9). Those who claim to be believers but refuse to confess their sins deceive themselves (1 John 1:8) and make God a liar (1 John 1:10).

Suggestions for Prayer
Confess and forsake your sins today, and experience the blessedness of God’s forgiveness (Prov. 28:13).

For Further Study
Read and meditate on Nehemiah’s masterful prayer of confession in Nehemiah 1.

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187