1 John 1:5 – This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
I’ve recently been reading through a lovely work on the holiness of God called Before the Throne by Allen Nelson. As the author reminds his readers of significant components of what it means that God is holy, readers are challenged to think of God as he has revealed himself, as the thrice holy God. And part of what it means that God is holy is that God is endlessly, uncompromisingly perfect.
Here in John’s first epistle, he gives us a simple image for what it means that God is perfect. God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. There is no shadow over God’s goodness. There is no hidden flaw. There is no missing piece. God is perfect, complete, utterly good, absolutely right.
Apply this. God is flawless. That means that all that God has ever done or ever commanded is right. Do you cringe at some of God’s laws? Be careful. God is without flaw, without the darkness or stain of sin. Thus, if anything God commands is offensive to you, the offense, the darkness, the stain of sin is in you and not in the act or command of God. Thus, we submit to Scripture knowing that it is inspired by a God who has no darkness at all in him.
Add to this the picture of how far short of absolute perfection we fall. God is 100% perfect. What is your percentage if left to yourself? Are you 50% good? Are you 80% good? Guess what, in comparison to 100% good, your best number is nothing. There is an infinite gap between my goodness and that of the Lord. He has no darkness at all. Any darkness in me is an insurmountable hurdle if God does not bridge the gap for me. This should make you love Jesus more the more you think of it. That God who is perfect would rescue you who are not, that is glorious and stunningly gracious.
God is good. God’s word is good. God’s ways are good. God’s standards are good. All these are perfect, because God is light with not a hint of darkness. All god has ever done is flawless. This is a God worthy of worship, worthy of gratitude, worthy of praise, worthy of angels singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord!”