You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. (Ephesians 5:8)
On Monday we looked at Ephesians 5:8 and God’s command to live in the light. Today I would like to return to this same verse and show you some of the cosmic contrasts contained in the Word of God. I pray that these contrasts, such as “once darkness . . . now light,” will be a source of great comfort to you. They come from the God who is faithful to finish what He has started.
In the beginning everything was very good. God placed His most special creation, the two who were His image-bearers, in a garden, a perfect paradise, and all was well until that terrible day when Adam and Eve chose to turn away from serving God and started satisfying themselves. In that one dreadful moment, sin stained everything and brought God’s judgment upon all creation.
But even in God’s judgment, we also see His mercy and grace displayed in His promise to redeem sinful rebels on the run. For He is truly righteous and just, and at the same time the One who graciously justifies those who trust in Christ for their redemption (Romans 3:26). With that truth in mind, please look at and rejoice in the cosmic contrasts found in the two books that act as the Bible’s bookends, Genesis and Revelation:
When you eat this, you will die (2:17) No more death (21:4)
You will experience intense pain (3:16) No more pain (21:4)
I have placed a curse on the ground (3:17) No more curse (22:3)
Adam and Eve banished from God’s presence (3:23) We will see His face (22:4)
The sinless life, sacrificial death, and supernatural resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ completely reversed the curse that resulted from sin. Because Jesus has done for us what we could never possibly do for ourselves, everything has changed. The original heavens and earth that God created will be recreated as the new heavens and the new earth. And the most stunning transformation of all is that by trusting in Christ alone for our salvation, we, who were rightly and justly under a sentence of death, are now recipients of the promise of everlasting life. We, whose lives have been marred and distorted by sin, will one day be like Christ!
And if that somehow is not enough to light the fire of your faith, consider this: In the beginning there were just two people who were saved by grace through faith, but in the end there will be a multitude that no one except the Lord can number, all of us rejoicing in the grace of God, and there will be no possibility that our sin can ever separate us from our Savior. For no one and nothing can snatch us out of His nail-scarred hand (John 10:28).
Are these cosmic contrasts not a comfort to you today? “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” But remember, until we cross the Jordan and arrive at the other side, these contrasts will not be experienced in their completed form. In this life we still deal with the effects of the fall in the garden, and that means we will still deal with sin – the sin of others and our own sin – as well as the corruption of the creation itself, which is manifested in destructive storms, fires, droughts, and the like.
Christian, keep these cosmic contrasts in view as you continue fighting the good fight of faith, and be fully confident that He who began the good work will in you and in this world will one day bring it to completion.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!