04 January, 2017

John 1:9—“… the true Light, which lighteth every man …”

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world (John 1:9 KJV).

This verse is sometimes alluded to as teaching a “common grace” of God operating throughout the whole world, as the source of all rationality, conscience, intelligence, morality etc.


Robert H. Gundry

[Source: Extracurriculars: Teaching Christianity Outside Class, p. 187]

John 1:9 says that the Word enlightens every human being. But the context deals with the incarnate ministry of Christ as providing light, and John later shows awareness that the disciples need to be sent in order for the saving effects of that light to be felt (John 20:21–23). Furthermore, the gaining of Christ’s light links with believing in Christ (John 1:9–13; 3:16–21; 8:12–30). We do better to say that John jumps from the old creation at the beginning (1:1–3) to the new creation, dating from the incarnation (1:4–18), than to think that he writes concerning a preincarnate and continuing general ministry of the Word through the light of reason and conscience. Therefore, John 1:9 means that Jesus the Word as preached in the gospel brings the light of salvation to everyone who hears and believes.



More to come! (DV)

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