This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 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. 1John 1:5-7 (NIV)
The apostle John in the opening verses of his first epistle makes sure his audience understand that the things he is about to say are not fabrications, but is the truth given by Jesus Christ whom he and the other apostles interacted with daily for more than three years. He is giving his audience these truths for the purpose of them having fellowship with Jesus and with each other.
John’s main points in verses 5-7 are:-
- There is no darkness in God; He is all light.
- We cannot walk in darkness and have fellowship with God at the same time.
- Walking in the light brings us into fellowship with each another and shows that we have been cleansed from our sins.
God is light and we have been called to walk in that light. Before we knew God we lived like Gentiles. Our understanding of God and his ways was darkened and we were separated from the life of God Eph.4:17. Paul in Eph. 5:8, makes it clear that we were once darkness but are now light in the Lord. His admonition to us is to live as children of the light. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness.
A Christian is expected to walk in the light as Christ is in the light, but how is this done? The apostle John gives some practical advice.
The Christian obeys the commands of God 1John 2:3. We must be determined to please God in everything. Christians who live as they please and claim to be in a relationship with God are simply fooling themselves. Those who obey God’s commands live in Him and He in them 1John 3:24. Obedience to God is a sign that you are walking in the light.
A Christian loves his brother. Loving one’s brother is abiding in the light. Hating one’s brother is abiding in darkness. There is no grey area here that can be debated. This is clear. Just take it or leave it. Hating a brother is murder. The person who hates his brother does not have eternal life dwelling in him. We cannot love God without loving our brothers. 1John 2:9-11; 1John 3:11-19; 1John 4:19-20
Walking in the light necessitates that the Christian not love the world or the things therein 1John 2:15-17. The world consists mainly of the pride of life (boasting in what we have accomplished), the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes. Paul in Romans 13:12-13 classifies sexual immorality, jealousy as deeds of darkness. When we were saved we were rescued from the dominion of darkness Col.1:13. God has freed us from this dark world that we may enjoy fellowship with the Father, the Son, and with each other.
Let’s keep walking in the light.