Sacred Winds Ministries

Christian outreach through music and education.

Overcoming Darkness

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5

Darkness is subtle. It often occurs gradually and seductively. As the sun goes down, the brightest daylight gives way to dusk until the night finally takes hold. In many ways, there is a romantic element in the darkness that attracts people for socialization and solitude. To aid vision in the night, people use artificial lights while they are navigating the events of an evening. The same principle is true in the spiritual realm. Spiritual darkness is subtle. It often occurs gradually and seductively. Where the Son is not worshipped and held high in the life of people, all is spiritual darkness. To aid spiritual vision in the darkness, people use artificial spiritual lights while navigating the dim and dreary of life. The Apostle John knew this to be true. In his Gospel, John declared of Jesus, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5). 

Not all embraced John’s profession of Jesus of Nazareth to be the Son of God. One of the many artificial spiritual lights to be embraced by the first century culture was a belief system known as Gnosticism, which came from the Greek word gnosis, meaning knowledge. Gnosticism was a mixture of oriental mysticism and Greek philosophy. The ‘knowledge’ was more than intellectual assent; rather it was a secretive, esoteric status of spiritual enlightenment. Two of its main points of belief were as follows: 1) Knowledge, rather than faith, marked knowing Deity; and 2) Matter was inherently evil. The spirit, which is good, and the body, which is evil, were independent of each other; therefore, the body could indulge itself in all things because the spirit was not bound to any morality. The gnostics, who also taught that Deity embraced both light and darkness, were entering the Christian fellowships or early local churches, attempting to promote their belief system and redefine the meaning of Christian belief.

It was in this historical context that John wrote a series of letters to combat these heretical teachings and clarify without any doubt the teachings of Jesus Christ:

That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. This is the message that we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:3-5). 

Within these verses, John attacks the basic tenets of gnostic thought, especially the nature of God the Father and God the Son. It was John’s purpose to declare God’s relationship to light. God is self-revealing light; He illuminates His people; He makes Himself known in the bodily person of His Son Jesus Christ. God is pure light; He bears no taint of sin; God is utterly perfect light with no hint of darkness at all. God is always true to His own attributes; He never waivers but is always the same. John affirmed that those who have fellowship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ, will experience true light because they worship the Son. Darkness is overcome because God is perfect light, and His light always dispels darkness. 

The Apostle Paul wrote the following words in his second letter to the Corinthian fellowship: “For all the promises of God find their yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory” (2 Cor. 1:20). God never oscillates from His own attributes, nor does He speak with two faces. God is always perfect to His own being. This is why John said, “We proclaim…so that you may have fellowship with us,” and “We are writing so that our joy may be complete.” Because we live and walk in the light of God’s glorious revelation of Himself in his Son, Jesus Christ, we confess him to be true, and we declare “our Amen.”

May all who witness this musical presentation from my dear brother in Christ, Dr. Scott Bersaglia, and the Sacred Winds Ensemble be strengthened and encouraged as each note says ‘Amen’ to the glory of God who is light, truth, and love. Sola Deo Gloria.

Robert E. Burnett (DMin., Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary; PhD, University of the Cumberlands) is Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church in Carroll, OH.

Testimonials

Your recording of "Voyage" is brilliant!!!

Jody Nagel
Composer, Voyage of Discovery