1 John 1:5
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
Light is used to illustrate holiness. John is declaring that God is perfectly holy and without sin. This creates a problem, since we are all sinners. In this text, John explains how sinful people can have a relationship with a holy God. In the opening verses of the chapter, he refers to Christ becoming a man and making fellowship with God possible. That was accomplished through the cross, where Jesus died as a substitute for us. The sinless, in place of the sinner, so we might be saved. John is now writing to the one who recognizes his sin, and begins to follow Christ.
1 John 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
Coming to Christ involves more than raising your hand in response to a message, or walking forward at a church service. John declares, the one who has received Christ will have a life change. If we continue to live unchanged by the experience, then we have not truly experienced Christ. The Bible speaks of a young man who had an encounter with Christ, but was unwilling to truly commit to following Him. He walked away from the experience, unchanged and unsaved. We call him the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-23).
1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin”
On the other hand, the one who has truly met Jesus, will begin to change the way he is living. Instead of choosing to invest in the things that lead away from Christ, he will take steps toward growing in Christ. Notice he writes “walking in the light as He is in the light.” This refers to living the way Christ lived.
The Bible is more than a religious book, it is the owner’s manual. It explains how to live a life well pleasing to the Lord. John does not suggest that we will be without sin, but that as we walk with Christ, there is a continual flow of forgiveness when we stumble.
1 John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
I have yet to meet a person who truly believes they have never done anything wrong. We know that we sin. The problem is, we attempt to move things out of the sin category, and into the acceptable-to-God category. This is all too common for couples who are not married, and yet, get involved physically. They attempt to excuse their sin with words like, “we are in love” or “we are married in God’s eyes.” The truth is, sin is sin, and it interrupts fellowship with God. If we are to walk with the Lord, we must get sin out of our lives.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
The word confess has two meetings. First, it means to be in agreement. Instead of arguing with God about what He says is sin, we simply agree with Him. Second, the word means to admit. When we sin, we must admit it to God. We confess our sin and ask for His pardon. John promises the result will be both forgiveness and cleansing. If there is anything you need to confess, do it now. Don’t take another step down the wrong road; instead, begin to make steps toward a restored relationship with Christ.
Questions for 1 John 1
1. John starts this chapter with talking about the message that we have heard from the beginning. He ultimately answers what that message was in verse 4. What is the message that we have heard from the beginning?
2. It is easy to claim fellowship with God. How do we know if we are truly having fellowship with God?
3. What is the way in which we can have fellowship with God? verse 7
4. The topic of sin is always one that is uncomfortable, especially when we are saying that someone is a sinner. John tells us that we are sinners, and if we say we don’t we make God a liar. It is very important to know that we are sinners. But because of Jesus blood, as John stated, we are forgiven of sin. Take time to thank God for His forgiveness.