The Importance of Sunlight
ABF – March 2016
Background: According to the Mayo Clinic, decreased sun exposure has been associated with a drop in serotonin that can lead to SAD, seasonal affective disorder. SAD is a form of depression that is triggered by changing seasons. You’re more likely to experience SAD in the winter when the days are shorter and the nights are longer.  Exposure to the ultraviolet-B radiation in the sun’s rays causes a person’s skin to create vitamin D. According to a study
, in a 30-minute period while wearing a swimsuit, people will make the following vitamin D levels:
  • 50,000 international units (IUs) in most Caucasian people
  • 20,000 to 30,000 IUs in tanned people
  • 8,000 to 10,000 IUs in dark skinned people
The vitamin D made thanks to the sun plays a big role in bone health. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to rickets in children and bone-wasting diseases like osteoporosis and osteomalacia.  It seems obvious that mankind is designed to live in the light. One of the first things that God created was light.  Genesis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
  • What are some of the characteristics of light?
  • Which of these characteristics are necessary for life?
  • Which of these characteristics are good for man, which are harmful?
  • Were these characteristics harmful when light was created?
(Note: God veiled some of the harmful forms of radiation and rays through the firmament. Did God have a lesson for man in that veil?)
When God created the light, God saw the light and it was good. God created us to have fellowship with Him. In the same way that God created man to need sunlight, He also created man to need the light of the Son. The further we get from God’s Son and His light, the darker our life will become and the more depraved we will act.
When man was created God walked with that man in the garden of Eden. God is light.  Since he abides in the light, in order for us to have fellowship with God, we also have to abide in the light. In fact, we are commanded to walk in the light. 
Ephesians 5:8
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
1.  The Choice of Darkness
Once again, sin causes God’s plan not to be carried out in our lives. Sin is very serious because it forbids us from approaching the God that dwells in the light. 
1 Timothy 6:16
Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
  • How does God’s light affect this world?
  • Can His light be harmful to man?
  • What happens when sin approaches God’s light?
The fact that He is light and we are sinful bars all of mankind from coming into His presence. If we would try, we would die. Many tried in the Old Testament and they died immediately. Over fifty thousand men of Bethshemesh looked in the ark of the covenant and they died immediately.
1 Samuel 6:19 And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.
When God came down upon the mount Sinai, he told Moses to make borders so that the people could not come to the mountain lest they would die.
Exodus 19:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.
God dwells in a light that makes Him inaccessible to man. That was not God’s plan. When He created man, he created light for man to live in. When man sinned, God sent His Son into the world. When He was in the world He was a light to the world. We read that He was the “true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world
Immediately after Jesus gave us the promise of John 3:16, “That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,
” he shared the reason that man would be condemned.
John 3:19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved dark-ness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
  • Has God given man choices?
  • Why would man choose to love darkness?
  • What does darkness give man?
  • Why does man reject light?
Men loved darkness more than light. The word rather shows a choice that man makes. He would rather have the darkness than the light. Man is far more comfortable in darkness, where no one can see his sin, where he does not feel condemned.  God did not leave us in that state. We read a second command that was given by God to allow light to shine, 
2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Instead of on the earth, the light now shined in our hearts. We were able to see our sin. We were able to see God’s glory and we knew that the glory was in the face of Jesus Christ. God wanted us to be in the light. When we received Jesus Christ as our savior, a change takes place within us. We are no longer the children of darkness. God calls us our of that darkness into His marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
2.  The Choice of Light
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Even though we are called to live in the light, and even though we are commanded to walk in the light, we are not forced to obey that command. God gives us a choice. Christians have light. They are commanded to let their “light shine so others might see our good works and glorify their Father,” but there are many Christians who do not abide in Him. They are not living in the light of the Word of God and they are not in fellowship with God.
One of the characteristics of light is that light shows sin. The unsaved do not like to come to the light because they don’t want people to see that sin. The light manifests sin in believers as well as unbelievers.
Ephesian 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
That is not an issue is your room is clean, or if your hands are clean, but if they are dirty, light is not something that is desired.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
We are talking about the prescription of a healthy church. The unsaved avoids the light because their deeds are evil, and the light reproves them. The same is true of Christians. It is clear in the Bible, that even Christians can dwell in darkness.
  • Why would Christians choose to avoid coming into the light?
  • Is there a reason why some Christians don’t want to come to church?
  • As a Christian, does sin affect our salvation or our fellowship?
1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
This passage is talking to believers. The author includes himself in this possibility. He says that we can say that we have fellowship with God, but it isn’t true. We can deceive our-selves into thinking that we are close to God, that God is blessing us and that He approves of our lifestyle. Many who are living in sin do not know that they are displeasing God. They still come to church, sing songs of worship and feel that God is with them. But it isn’t true.
Truthfully, God is light. If we walk in darkness, we do not have fellowship with God. The feeling that we have is simply a false emotion. We can feel close to God and yet be totally blindsided when God rejects us for His service.  Notice that when we meet God, there are many unsaved that are surprised that they haven’t pleased Him. They will say,
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
But God does not agree with their assessment. He replies,
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The same is true of some saved. Even though we can’t lose our salvation, and we will ultimately dwell with Him, the Bible gives a possibility of being ashamed when He returns.
1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming
There is an exhortation for little children to abide in him. If we are not abiding in Him, where are we abiding? If He is light and we are not abiding in Him, we must be abiding in darkness. If that is truth, then we will be ashamed at his coming. The fact that we are not ashamed until he comes indicates that we are lying to ourselves and not seeing our souls out of fellowship with Him.
  • What could cause us to be ashamed when He comes?
  • What will Christ do to make us ashamed?
3.  Prescription for a Healthy Church
The prescription is for sonlight. We need to spend time in the Son.
  • How much Sonlight do we need?
  • How often should we be in His light?
  • If we find ourselves in darkness, what should we do?
  • What does confession do for us? Do we need daily confession?
Once again, the key word is abide. Abide is a very important word for a healthy church. The health of the body is derived from the health of each individual member. If we have an infection in one part of the body, it will affect the entire body. The entire body needs to abide. The parts that do not abide, are those parts that adversely affect the health of the church. When body parts fail to abide, these will be true of the church:
  1. Members will not be in prayer for one another.
  2. Members will not be receiving direction from the Spirit of God.
  3. Divisions and disagreements will affect the unity of the church.
  4. People will not be concerned for lost people.
  5. The church will not be loved, and will not show love to each other.
  6. The world will not see a difference in the church.
  7. The world system will permeate the vital organs and functions of the body.
The health of the church is dependent on time spent with our Lord. It is not a matter of time, but a matter of desire for the one who loves us more than any other. It is not a box that we check. It is not a deed to be done, but a person to know and love.