YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
BY: HARRY ROBERT FOX
FEBRUARY 4, 2007
The following essay was written by Harry Robert Fox, who has been my friend and mentor for over thirty-five years. His deep insight into the Gospel of Christ, has been an invaluable help to me in my journey. He was asked to write a 500 word essay for the quarterly edition of Sunstone Symposium Magazine. So, it is short, but very deep and rich, like a small morsel of chocolate. To make it relevant for the Saints at Medicalodge, I included a list of New Testament Indicatives which have been a comfort to me personally. They are attached at the end of Harry’s writing. JA +++++
This statement was made by Jesus to a group of disciples on whom He had just bestowed His “beatitudes” as recorded in Matthew 5:1-12. Notice, He did not say, “You OUGHT to be the light of the world,” but rather, “you ARE it’s light.” Yet most preachers on this subject have treated Jesus’ statement as an “imperative” (authoritative command), rather than as an “indicative” (statement of fact). So, we must ask why was Jesus able to speak thus to His disciples?
The answer must be found in the beatitudes-context which preceded the statement in question. Those beatitudes were spoken in the indicative mood rather than in the imperative. That is, instead of telling His hearers what they ought to be, Jesus, in His beatitudes, spoke and related to His hearers so lovingly and graciously that they were transformed into radiant lights, “all lit up,” with joyful gratitude for what Jesus had just said and done for them!
It was to these radiant, lit-up hearers that Jesus proceeded to deliver the remainder of His “Sermon on the Mount” in the imperative mood. Only after He had richly bestowed on them His indicative beatitudes did He then tell them what God required of them, even to loving their enemies! Thus someone has observed that all of God’s imperatives are based on His indicatives. This applies even to the Ten Commandments as recorded in Exodus 20. In the first verse of that chapter, God reminds His people of all He had done for them in delivering them from Egypt before commanding them to obey His commandments. Thus God consistently bestows His Grace-gifts on us BEFORE He commands our Faith-obedience.
Notice how this order operates in the Epistles of Romans, Galatians, Ephesians and Hebrews, each of which is divided into two sections: the first section is devoted to an articulation of God’s Gospel of Grace while the second section is devoted to the Faith-response which is elicited by that Gospel. In this connection we are reminded of the Apostle Paul’s question in I Corinthians 4:7, where He asks, “What do you have that you did not receive? If, then, you received it why do you boast as if it were not a gift?”
The most impressive of God’s gifts is the astonishing truth that long before any of us had adequately believed in God or repented of our sins or asked for forgiveness God forgave us at the precise moment in which we crucified His Son on the Cross! In other words, per Romans 5:10, “While we were (His) ENEMIES we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son” (not when we were His obedient friends but were His disobedient enemies)! Could there possibly be any other information that would light us up more than this? And transform us into His obedient children? Such lit-up people are indeed the Light of the World, so sorely needed in today’s world!
WE ARE CHOSEN IN HIM:
Eph. 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Eph. 1:5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will,
Eph. 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
WE ARE SEATED IN HEAVENLY PLACES:
Eph. 2:6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
GOD DWELLS IN US:
Eph. 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE, NOT WORKS:
Eph. 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the
gift of God,
Eph. 2:9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
WE ARE GOD’S TEMPLE:
1Cor. 3:16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?
1Cor. 3:17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
1Cor. 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
WE ARE A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST:
2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
WE ARE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD:
2 Cor. 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
WE LIVE OUR LIVES IN THE FLESH, BY HIS FAITH:
Gal. 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
WE ARE HOLY AND BLAMELESS IN HIM:
Col 1:22* he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him,
WE ARE SONS OF GOD!
Rom. 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Gal. 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,
WE ARE HEIRS OF THE PROMISE GOD MADE TO ABRAHAM!
Gal. 3:29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Gal. 4:7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
WE HAVE BEEN SET FREE FROM THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH:
Rom. 8:2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
WE HAVE BEEN PREDESTINED TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON:
Rom. 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Rom. 8:30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS:
Rom. 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
NOTHING DEPENDS UPON OUR SELF EFFORT, OUR WORKS, BUT ONLY UPON GOD’S GRACE AND WILL:
Rom. 9:16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
Rom. 11:5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
Rom. 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
GOD IS RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE!
Eph. 1:11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
Rom. 11:32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
Rom. 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
YOU ARE the LIGHT of the WORLD [Harry R. Fox] 11-4-07 1