And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
The evening was "darkness," and the morning was "light," and yet the two together are called by the name that is given to the light alone! This is somewhat remarkable, but it has an exact analogy in spiritual experience. In every believer there is darkness and light, and yet he is not to be named a sinner because there is sin in him, but he is to be named a saint because he possesses some degree of holiness. This will be a most comforting thought to those who are mourning their infirmities and who ask, "Can I be a child of God while there is so much darkness in me?" Yes; like the "day," you do not take your name from the evening, but from the morning; and you are spoken of in the Word of God as if you were even now perfectly holy, as you will be soon.
You are called the child of light, even though there is darkness in you still. You are named after what is the predominating quality in the sight of God, which will one day be the only principal remaining. Notice that the evening comes first. Naturally we are darkness first in order of time, and the gloom is often first in our mournful apprehension, driving us to cry out in deep humiliation, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner."1
The place of the morning is second; it dawns when grace overcomes nature. It is a blessed maxim of John Bunyan, "That which is last, lasts forever." That which is first yields in due season to the last; but nothing comes after the last. So though you are naturally darkness, once you become light in the Lord, there is no evening to follow; "your sun shall no more go down."2 The first day in this life is an evening and a morning; but the second day, when we shall be with God forever, shall be a day with no evening, but one, sacred, high, eternal noon.
1) Luke 18:13
2) Isaiah 60:20
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.