5) Furthermore, the gospel illumines minds.
6 For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the KNOWLEDGE…
If the god of this age blinds unbelievers in their minds (v4) so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, then it makes sense that when the light of the gospel shines, it illumines minds. And by having our eyes opened to the light of the gospel, our minds, too, have been illuminated to the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
This ties in directly with the next part. Because the light has come and eyes have been opened and minds illumined to true knowledge…
6) Lastly, the gospel frees us to pursue the glory of God.
6 For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
It’s fitting that knowledge and glory are mentioned because they go together. The light of the knowledge of God’s glory. Because God created everything including knowledge, non-believers can still participate in the benefits from a God who turned the lights on. Apart from the light of the grace of God in Christ, there would be nothing but darkness. But because God said, let there be light, everyone benefits, believers and non-believers.
But if your minds have been illumined to the knowledge of the glory of God, it changes your approach to your secular pursuit of knowledge. If Brother DY successfully establishes his Physics experiment in the lab and he has a breakthrough in his study of laser beams, he can give glory to God who created lasers and all wavelengths in the light prism. If Brother Andre has a breakthrough in mathematics and develops a new algorithm to create a computer simulation of the ocean that looks like the real ocean, he can give glory to God for not only creating the vast oceans in nature but also the mathematical concepts behind the computer simulation that approximates the movement of the ocean waves. If Sister Audrey can work with fish in her experiments, she can kill them and advance knowledge in her field of bio-pisces-fishiology for the glory of God.
For the believer, all of our pursuits of knowledge should cause us to glorify God. Because there is no intrinsic glory in biology or physics or mathematics, although some may want to argue me on that point. Those things are pointers to the One who created biology, physics and mathematics. When you see the complexity of a single atom, we are supposed to give glory to the God who created the atom. When you see the complexity of the brain or the human eye, we are supposed to give glory to the God who fashioned us out of the dust of the earth. When you witness the grandeur of the Grand Canyon or the innocence and purity of a newborn, we are supposed to exclaim, My God, you are glorious!
How do you know when your secular and vocational pursuits have become idols? You stop giving glory to God. Instead, you clutch onto whatever you are pursuing so tightly that you are unwilling to let go of it even if it is destroying your love for God. May you pursue whatever you want to pursue because through your career, you want to bring glory to God. Along the way, you may find yourself failing to glorify God. That might be a sign that it has become an idol and you need to let it go.
Sin makes us crave darkness, produces ignorance and causes us to pursue self-glory while the gospel shines light, illumines minds and frees us to pursue the glory of God.
When you pursue science, I pray that it would be a regular occurrence for you to stop and say, God, I can’t believe what I am learning about, it is so complex yet so elegant. Only you are smart enough, O Lord, to create something like this. God, you are the Creator of science. God, you are amazing. As you pursue your career, I hope you can regularly stop and give thanks to God–God, you are amazing. You are my Provider. You’ve given my everything. You’ve provided for all of my needs in abundance. Help me to be generous. Help me to steward well the resources you have given to me.
As you pursue a life of service to others, may you serve, not because you are serving me or serving the church, or bringing glory to yourself or to this group, but because you want to serve and please God. You want to glorify God alone.
We should never forget this one thing. God NEVER shares his glory with anyone. Ever. REPEAT. We have to be committed to God’s glory and none other. Everything we do, may it be in response to the God who said…
6 …“Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.