John 1:1-5 Part 2: A World of Darkness

John 1:1-5 Part 2: A World of Darkness
by Paul Sanders
(NOTE: I would encourage you to click on the hyperlinks for more in depth study on each particular subject highlighted, God Bless!)

ESV: John Chapter 1
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. [4] In him was life, and the life was the light of men. [5] The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

ESV: Matthew 4:16 the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”
“In our sin, we are worse off than we know, but in God’s grace we are more loved than we can ever imagine.” — Tim Keller

The Dark World That Jesus Came Into: How Did this Happen?

John tells us that the world that Jesus came into was a world full of sin, death, and darkness.  However, in Genesis, we saw the Spirit of God moving and speaking to bring life and light to the world.  God repeatedly called His creation, “good” and even at times “very good.”  Now, back in the book of John, we see God by His Spirit sending the Divine Word, His Son, to bring life and light into the darkness and chaos of lost, sinful humanity.  How did this happen?  How did the good world that God made become a place filled with spiritual death and darkness?\

Back to Genesis: Darkness Falls on the Creation

Genesis 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat [4] of it you shall surely die.”
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Adam’s Disobedience and The Resulting Curse

In the verses above, we see that God commanded Adam to work and keep the garden.  He was told that he and his wife could eat of every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Theologians call this transaction between God and Adam the “Covenant of Works.”  If Adam simply obeyed God’s command, he and his descendants would live on forever and enjoy unbroken fellowship with God.  However, the serpent came and tempted Eve to eat of the fruit that God had forbidden.  He began his temptation by questioning God’s command and implying to Eve that God was keeping some sort of hidden wisdom from her.
In her response, Eve misquoted God’s Word to the serpent (compare Genesis 2:15-17 to Genesis 3:2-3).  She then gazed at the fruit, was tempted by it and ate.  Her husband, who was supposed to be the protector and defender of both her and the garden, simply stood by and watched as all this took place.  He then took the fruit from his wife, ate, and in so doing, broke his covenant with God (see Hosea 6:7).  As federal representative of the human race and designated protector of creation, Adam brought on himself, all of his descendants and the creation as well, the penalty of the Curse for disobedience to God’s command which includes both physical and spiritual death.  Adam’s sin brought darkness and death on creation and the human race.
Adam and Eve had been given everything by God; they literally had the whole world at their fingertips.  God had forbidden them to eat the fruit of only one tree out the hundreds, if not thousands, they were allowed to eat from.  Adam failed miserably to protect the garden and his wife by passively standing by and letting the serpent tempt his wife.  Eve failed to “hide God’s Word in her heart that she might not sin against Him” and spurned God’s goodness by rejecting everything else that He had graciously given to her and coveting the one and only thing that He had not permitted.  This “original sin” brought to Adam, Eve, and in them, all of us as well, the judgement of spiritual and physical death, the moral depravity and inability of our nature to be able to please God, and the enslavement of our will to sin.
It’s not politically correct to talk about sin or judgment in our day.  Many popular “preachers” avoid these topics altogether making Christianity nothing more than a self-help program to enable you get what you want and live your best life now.  I actually heard a preacher say from the pulpit, “well, he’s a really good guy, he just needs to get saved.”  Statements like this are cruelly misleading and a far cry from a true Biblical assessment of humanity’s condition.

Jeremiah 6:14: “They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace. ~New American Standard Bible

Lamentations 2:14: “14 Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes, but have seen for you oracles that are false and misleading. ~English Standard Version

The world that God originally made was good.  But, John and other New Testament writers drive home the point that thanks to Adam and his sin, this world is dark, humanity is fallen, and that by nature we are creatures born into utter spiritual death and darkness.  Our need is much greater than we could ever imagine.  It is vital for us in order to properly understand the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to also deeply be aware of the Bad News of man’s condition as descendant’s of Adam.  The truth is our condition in Adam is so dire that in order for any human to be saved, Jesus Christ had to live a sinless life of obedience to God’s law and suffer and die under the outpouring of God’s wrath as mankind’s sin was placed on Him as the perfect, atoning sacrifice.  Our sin separates us from God, our hearts are needy and full of spiritual death, deception, and darkness and nothing but the sacrifice of the Divine Son of Man, Jesus Christ, was and is our only hope.

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