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Walking in God's Light -- Part One (1 John 1:5-7)
Sermon Notes
Sunday, 19 May 2013 00:00

The subject of John’s letter is the fellowship that believers are intended to enjoy in our family relationship with God our Father. So John sets forth the grounds on which the readers (“you”) can experience the fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, about which he has just spoken in his Prologue (1:1-4).

John’s concern is that his readers might have fellowship with the apostles (“we, our, us”) and thus with the Father and the Son (1:3). So John now discusses the nature of true fellowship with God. Living in fellowship with God involves staying on the path by walking in God’s light (1:5-2:2) and thereby reaching our goal of more intimately knowing the God of light (2:3-11).
There are those whose teachings threaten a believer’s ongoing fellowship with God.
Unless a believer really knows how to have fellowship with God, he or she becomes an easy target for Satan’s efforts to undermine a believer’s harmony with the Father and the Son.
So the apostle begins with a declaration (This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you,) about the character of God: that God is light. This simple, yet profound message about God is crucial to all fellowship between Himself and His creatures.

(1) To declare that God is light is to point to the fact that He is free from every moral defect, unblemished by any degree of moral impurity whatsoever, and in Him is no darkness at all. God is completely holy.
(2) To declare that God is light points also to the revelatory aspect of His being and nature. God reveals Himself in and to His creation, but in doing so, He also reveals the wickedness that plagues those very fallen creatures to whom He reveals Himself.

God’s word reveals that all of us have sinned (Romans 3:23) and our human tendency is to hide from the light (Genesis 3:8) in order to avoid exposure of our evil deeds by the light (John 3:20).
But to have fellowship with such a God, a believer must choose to not hide from the light.

To do so is to forfeit this fellowship. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. The term, we includes both the apostle and his readers. Whether an apostle or a Christian reader makes such a statement, the simple fact is that the statement is a lie. If John had felt himself to be impervious to such failure, he would have written, “If you say …” Believers are always subject to the temptation to justify sin and yet to claim fellowship with God at the same time, perhaps to preserve their public image with fellow Christians, or as a way of rationalizing what they are doing, or both.

To say we have fellowship with Him is a false claim, if at the same time we are walking in darkness. Since God is light and totally free from darkness (1:5), a person who walks in darkness is moving in a moral and spiritual sphere from which God is absent. That person is moving in the realm of evil, while God remains in the realm of holiness. Thus, the believer who walks in sin has lost touch with a completely holy God. If we do so and yet claim fellowship with God we lie and do not practice literally, “do”) the truth. To do so is to act inconsistently with the truth of God’s revealed nature and character. It is to live a lie! There’s an alternative!

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another (us with God and He with us); and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (is cleansing) us from all sin. So to have fellowship with God we must walk in the light!

How can a perfectly holy God have fellowship with us, even in the light, since we remain sinful people?
Because when we walk in the light, two things take place:
(1) we experience fellowship with God and He with us, and
(2) we are being cleansed from all sin by the blood of Jesus Christ.

How then do we walk in the light? If I enter a lighted room and walk around in it, I am walking in the light; I am moving in a sphere which the light illuminates as it shines not only on me but upon everything around me. To personalize the light, I could also say that I was walking in the presence of the light.
To walk in the light is to live in God’s presence, exposed daily to what He has revealed about Himself through our openness to His revealed Word and time spent in prayer with Him.

Precious, precious blood of Jesus, Shed on Calvary,
Shed for rebels, and for sinners, Shed for me!

Precious blood that hath redeemed us, All the price is paid!
Perfect pardon now is offered, Peace is made.

Though thy sins are red like crimson, Deep in scarlet glow,
Jesus' precious blood can make them White as snow.

Precious, precious blood of Jesus, Ever offered free!
O believe it, O receive it, 'tis for thee!

Precious blood, whose full atonement, Makes us nigh to God!
Precious blood, our song and glory, Praise and laud!


 

 

 

 

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