By common usage, in Bible times as well as today, light is figuratively associated with things that are good. In like manner darkness is usually associated with things that are bad (Job 30:26; Ps 112:4; John 3:19-20; see DARKNESS). In particular, light is associated with God. He is clothed in light, he dwells in light, he is light. Because God is separate from all creation, and especially from all things sinful, light is symbolic of God’s holiness (Ps 104:2; Dan 2:22; 1 Tim 6:16; 1 John 1:5).

It is also symbolic of the holiness that should characterize God’s people. As light can have no partnership with darkness, so God’s people should have no partnership with sin (Prov 4:18-19; Isa 2:5; Rom 13:12-13; 2 Cor 6:14; Eph 5:8-11; 1 John 1:6-7; 2:9- 10; see HOLINESS). Just as the uniqueness of God is symbolized by light, so is the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, who is God in human form (Matt 17:2; Acts 9:3-5; Rev 1:16). Jesus likened his coming into the world to the coming of light into darkness. He is the light of the world, who brings the life and salvation of God into a world that is dark and dead because of sin (Matt 4:16; John 1:4-5; 3:19; 8:12; 12:35-36,46; 2 Cor 4:6; cf. Ps 27:1). Those who turn to Christ for salvation are, by God’s grace, transferred from a kingdom of darkness into a kingdom of light (Col 1:12-13; 1 Peter 2:9). They become lights in the world, as they take the good news of Jesus Christ to those who are still in darkness (Matt 5:14-16; Acts 13:47; Phil 2:15; Rev 11:4; see WITNESS). God’s Word is also a light, as it guides them along the path of life (Ps 119:105; Prov 6:23; see LAMP).

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