Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Light

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). This chapter presents such wonderful truth! The truth in this verse is predicated on the statement in verse 5: “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

Although I am seated in a well-lit room, there is darkness in the room. How do I know? Because if I look outside I can see the brightness of the sunshine in the yard, and this room is not that bright. However, there is darkness outside where shadows are cast. There is always a place of more light, except in the presence of God. God is light. He is the very essence of light. “In Him there is no darkness at all.” This is absolute light, pure light, the source of all other lights.

Then we have the conditional if. “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light...” How is He in the light? In Him is no darkness at all. The kind of light we are to walk in is pure and absolute. It is a “no darkness at all” kind of light. It is not a candle or a lantern that emphasizes the darkness with its flickering and casting of shadows.

If you and I walk in the “no darkness at all” kind of light, two things happen: 1) We have fellowship with one another, and 2) the blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin. This is real fellowship; not the fun and food variety, but the kind described in verse 3: “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).

Walking in the light means that you and I have fellowship with each other and with the Father and the Son and all others who are walking in the light. We also have continual purification from sin. Walking in the light does not mean that we cannot sin, but that if sin occurs there is no place to hide. The sin is immediately shown for what it is, and the blood of Jesus purifies it.

There are contrasting statements in this chapter. Let’s call them positive verses and negative verses. The negative verses are verses 6, 8, and 10: “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth…. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us…. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives” (1 John 1:6, 8, 10).

Notice that each of these verses begins with “If we claim,” and that all of the claims are dishonest. That is not walking in the light. However, people who make such claims generally believe them. Consequently, many people who are not walking in the light are absolutely convinced that they are.

The positive verses are verses 5, 7 and 9: “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all…. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin…. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:5, 7, 9).

These verses begin with God and move to our relationship with Him and the good consequences of that relationship based upon His actions and His faithfulness. These consequences include fellowship, purification from all unrighteousness, and forgiveness from our sins. This is the climate, the atmosphere, that is set up for us to live an obedient life. We see this in chapter 2: “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin” (1 John 2:1).

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