Walking in the Light
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice 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 cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1: 1-10 ESV
Our pastor just started a series in 1 John and he has been unfolding for us that John unfolds in the little letter the “true marks” of a Christians. John is rebuking the heresy of the day, Gnosticism which is still prevalent in our day today is various forms. I am not going to explain the Gnostics views, what I am going to do here is to reveal the one of the true marks of a follower of Jesus Christ.
Passage states that God is Light and there is no darkness in him at all. What John is telling us and what Pastor Jamie reminded us of was that since Christ is our life, and he lives in us, He dispels the darkness that is in us. You know as I think about this truth it comforts me that Jesus exposes the darkness in me by his presence living in me. Now the trick for us is to admit it when it is exposed. Look at verse 6, if we say we are in fellowship with Him yet walk (live our lives) in darkness, we lie and do not practice (live in) the truth.
Can you see what John is doing here? Listen, he is not saying to us, that we are to reach sinless perfection, no, no, no. What he is saying is that as He reveals to us the darkness in our lives (we all have it and will have it until we get home), we need to own it, confess it and repent of it. For many of us we make living in sin a habit. John says, that if that is you MO, then you are not walking in the Light, actually you are a liar (which is darkness).
Problem #1 – We get comfortable with our sin. We hang around sin. See the word John uses is “walk” which means, ongoing, planning, enjoying being around sin. One of the traps that those in early recovery have is that they do not change the old friends (who are still practicing sinful living) and we go around to check on them. Hey, we have to be smarter than that. Many of us know, through failure, that our old friends on their territory will bring old memories and emotions to the forefront and we will long for that which we ate back in Egypt because we are comfortable around sin.
Problem #2 – After we begin hanging around sin and get comfortable with it, we the start to get hardened by it. You know what I mean by this. You lose your sensitivity towards sin, that which once was off limits you do not even consider that it is sinful. Many Christians today are looking for the “grey” areas and looking for the loopholes. Pastor reminded us of some who say things like, “I going to go ahead and do this because eventually God is going to have to forgive me”. Ever been there?
Problem #3 – Once sin hardens us, we get a distorted view of sin. As stated above, we start calling things slip ups, character defects, and things like that which may have some truth but they are never-the-less sin. Pastor reminded us of Galatians 6, where Paul said, “God will not be mocked”. You see part of the Gnostic’s belief was that what we do in the flesh does not affect our spirit. This is so far from the truth and John was exposing the falsehood of that belief.
Finally, there is hope for us. John encourages us to choose to walk in the light. This is a choice that we have to make. We must walk under the leadership of the Holy Spirit who is in us, shining the light because he is the light. Then when darkness is exposed by the light, instead of covering it up, we need to confess it. We need to do this immediately, do not delay, God is faithful and just to forgive and to cleanse us. Confession must be made to God and for most of us, to others for accountability sake. You see when we choose to walk in the light and confess sin when it is shown to us we conqueror sin before he happens.
So, are you walking in the light? Do you have true fellowship with God and others? John says, that if you are a true believer, you walk in the light and if you are walking in the light you have fellowship with God and with other believers. Have a great day and remember it is the King of kings and Lord of lords that you are walking with. He has already conquered our sin, we just need to walk in the victory He has won for us. – Doug Barger served as Administrator of the Colony of Mercy and is now the Director of Men’s Ministry at Bethesda Mission outside of Harrisburg
Think About This: No one is more influential in your life than you are, because no one else talks to you more. —Paul Tripp
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:20