“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. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” 1 John 1:5-6 ESV
The message the apostles heard was given to them directly from Jesus Christ who is the Son of God, and he is God. And, they passed along to us the message they heard from Christ, from God. So, this was not something they made up in their own minds. It would be a lot like us teaching the scriptures by quoting the scriptures, which are God’s words to us.
So, the message is that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. God is pure, he is righteous, he is holy, he is truth and everything wholesome. And, in him is no darkness, no lies, no deception, no immorality, and no wickedness at all, absolutely none!
So, if we claim to have fellowship with God, it means that we claim to believe on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives. And that means that we claim to partake of God’s divine nature, and to be partners with God in his righteousness and holiness, and to participate with him in his kingdom work, and to share commonality with him in his heart, his passion, and his purposes for us. It means, too, that we claim we are walking with him daily in his righteousness, we are in His Word, we are in communication with Him, and we are consistently following him in obedience to his commands.
But, if we claim to have such an intimate and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, through God-given faith in him, but we walk in darkness, we are liars who do not practice the truth.
So, does this mean we have to be living in sinless perfection and that we have to never once sin ever again or we are practicing lying? No! And, this is why, in the scriptures, they use the words “walking” and “practicing,” or they use verb tenses which say the same, which are not always communicated (translated) well into English translations, for we don’t have all the same verb tenses as did the Greek language.
Basically, what this is saying is if we make a practice of what is evil, immoral, dishonest, untrustworthy, and deceptive, and yet we claim we are walking in fellowship with God, in the light that he gives to us, then we are those who do not practice telling the truth. We are hypocrites, in other words, who claim one thing while we live another. We are two-faced. And, to walk in something or to make it our practice, it means it is our habit, our go to, what we consistently and regularly do as our normal course of conduct.
“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.” 1 John 1:7 ESV
So, we must walk in the light, as God is in the light, as Jesus Christ is in the light. So, purity, righteousness, holiness, truthfulness and morality must be what we practice. And, submission to Christ and obedience to his commands must also be what we practice. They must be our “go to,” our normal and regular course of conduct. They must be our habit, what we do without even thinking about it. And, we do so in the power and wisdom of God now dwelling within each one of us who is in Christ Jesus by genuine faith in him.
If righteousness and holiness are what we practice, and if immorality and lying are not what we practice, then not only do we have fellowship with God, but we also have fellowship with one another.
And, what should that look like? Well, it is not a group of people who call themselves Christians getting together and eating food until they are stuffed silly. And, it is not them getting together and talking about all the things the world talks about, either, or lying to one another, or gossiping, or telling course or off-color jokes, or mocking others, or viewing inappropriate material together. It is not them laughing about how they wormed their way out of having to pay for a crime or an offense they committed, either.
Christian fellowship should look just like our fellowship with God, for the commonality we have with one another is Christ and his righteousness, his purity, his forgiveness, his honesty, and his morality.
So, if we are first of all like-minded with Christ in all these ways, then we who are like-minded with Christ will also have unity of mind and heart with one another. And, our fellowship with one another will stem from our relationship with Jesus Christ and not from the world and all the things that are in the world.
And, if we have fellowship with God, because we are walking in the light and not in the darkness, THEN the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. And, we need to get this! Scripture is real clear that our relationship with Jesus Christ is not solely based on a confession of faith in Christ, but it is based on a walk of faith and obedience to Christ. And, it must continue until the very end with this same consistency for us to have eternal life with God.
[Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Eph. 5:3-6; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Col. 1:21-23; Heb. 3:6, 14-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11]
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9 ESV
I think that most people will admit that they have sinned, that they have not lived perfect lives. But, I could be wrong about that. But, what stands out to me here is the word “deception.” Many people who know they are sinning against God will deny that they are sinning, or they will call it something else. For, sin works like that. They want to hide the fact that they are sinning, because they don’t want others to know what they are doing.
And, so they will lie to themselves to convince themselves that what they are doing is not sin, but that it is something less than that. They are just “relaxing,” or they are just being “entertained.” Or, it is ok to take in just a little bit of filth for the overall benefit of being entertained. Or, they have a right to do such and such because of what others have done or are doing. So, it is as though they have this entitlement mindset that gives them permission to sin because they feel somehow that they deserve it.
So, I think that a lot of this saying that they have “no sin” is not so much saying that they have never sinned, but it is denying that what they are presently doing is sin because they want to continue in it, and so they call it something other than sin or they make excuses for it and then they cover it up with lies so that no one else knows that they are sinning.
So, the opposite of that would be to own up to the sin, to call it what it is, to confess it to God and to those to whom a confession is required. But, it isn’t just confessing it with our lips that is required. For, some people are really good at the “sin confess sin confess” routine, but nothing ever changes. They just go on, business as usual. So, this isn’t only owning up to the sin and being honest to those whom honesty is required, but it is repentance.
So, what God requires is not just a verbal confession, though it begins there, but what he requires is the turning away from the sin, and the turning to him to follow him in obedience. For, if the confession is outward only, forgiveness does not follow suit. Our sorrow must be godly sorrow which leads to repentance, to changed hearts, to changed attitudes and to changed behaviors. Otherwise, it is just a lot of hot air that goes nowhere.
So, we need to understand here how this works. We have to walk in the light as our Lord is in the light in order to have fellowship with God and with one another and in order for the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from all sin. For, our faith is not past, but present. And, we have to truly repent of our sins if we want forgiveness of sins and to be cleansed from all unrighteousness.
So, this is not a one-time deal. This is a daily walk of faith in Jesus Christ whereby we die daily to sin and self and whereby we daily walk with him in his righteousness and holiness, and only then are we guaranteed eternal life with God. For, this is what the scriptures teach (see scripture references above). So we need to know the truth, and we need to live the truth.
Only in Him
An Original Work / February 19, 2014
Based off Isaiah 30
Woe to those who look to man’s help;
Who turn away from Jesus Christ;
Forming an alliance not in step with God;
Making their own plans, and praying not.
Willing not to listen to truth,
They close their ears to what is right.
Pleasing words are all that they’ll hear;
Feel good messages that bring cheer.
Trust in your Lord; turn from your sin.
Put your faith now ONLY IN HIM.
Do not turn to idols. They’ll not satisfy.
Jesus will save you. That’s why He died.
Your Lord will be gracious to you.
He cares all about you, ‘tis true.
He forgives you all of your sin
When you give your life up to Him.
Oh, how truly gracious He’ll be
When you bow to Him on your knees;
Turning now from your sin; walking in his ways.
He’ll lead and guide you all of your days.
Now you will sing praises to Him.
He delivered you from your sin.
You’ll tell others now of His grace,
So they may see Christ face-to-face.