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Living in the Light
October 12, 2009
by Pastor Robert Ramphal, Oster First Covenant Church, Waverly

We read the following in the Epistle of First John, chapter 2; 9-11, “The one who says he is in the light but hates his fellow Christian is still in darkness. The one who loves his fellow Christian resides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his fellow Christian is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

There are many organizations within the Christian church, and each organization or church body has tenets by which we live or are governed. As a result, there are many disagreements about how to serve God.

We each believe our organization is right, and generally, that is why we are members. Holding this position can be a positive or negative thing.

We have to put first things first. To be a Christian church, Christ must be the head of the church, and those who follow Him must believe that He came into the world, died on the cross for our sins, rose from the dead, and is now sitting at the right hand of God.

Jesus Christ did all this in love, where He forgave our sins in each one of us as we actually confess with our mouths all the wrong thoughts and sinful deeds we have committed. Now, we have hope of life to come with Him when our earthly life will have ended.

Based on what was just said, we have an obligation to love our fellow Christian regardless of what other beliefs they may have. But to love them does not mean that we have to agree with beliefs that are contrary to ours.

Jesus loved us unconditionally, but it does not necessarily mean we can walk and live in a way not befitting to His teachings and His Kingdom. We have to be like Jesus, imitating His example, and loving people who do not like or agree with us. When we do this we truly reside in the light.

We know it is difficult for each one of us to be the same in all of our beliefs, but this diversity of beliefs can be a good thing provided that we believe that fundamental truth stated above about Jesus. Many of us are of a different race, culture, and background, and as such we believe and do things differently. But we know we have one thing in common – Jesus Christ, who is the one Lord and Savior of our souls.

Those who hate their fellow Christians are living in darkness, and are really blind. They cannot lead, because they do not know where they are going. To become a Christian, we have to know where we are going and our destination in life. The blind cannot lead the blind.

We are searching constantly for more meaning in life and when our life is Christ-directed, we become more fulfilled. People are searching, and if we are going to help them, we must be established in Christ.

Hate has no part of His church. When we live for Christ, people will see and want what we have, because we are reflecting Jesus who dwells in us.

Lastly, if other Christians believe differently from us, we must still show them love. We do not have to agree. However, our main concern for everyone must be that they know Jesus personally and that they are living a righteous life according to the Holy Scripture.

When the Day of Judgment arrives, it is God who will decide our future with Him. We cannot preempt God’s authority, and we cannot change God’s Word, which is valid for all times.