Day 3: 1 John 1:4-7
We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in him. If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” and yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth. If we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
1. John writes his first general letter to the earliest churches to address some very bad ideas. This begins his address of the first: that there is a “darkness” in God or a “dark god” in contrast to the light that comes in Christ. John wants to cut this lie off at the knees. God is light. There is no darkness in him. John’s point is simple: God is good by definition, not merely by comparison. There is no “good god” and “bad god,” and so our association with the light and the darkness is based on our nearness to God’s person and character. Humans who claim they are somehow drawing closer to God through actions that are contrary to his nature are lying and not practicing the truth. True fellowship, with God and one another, is walking in him.
2. Jesus is the full expression of God nature and goodness. Access to fellowship with God is exclusively through his blood which cleanses us from all sin.
3. The believer in Christ must be careful with their understanding of God, Sin, and morality. We look to the blood of Christ to cleanse us, but in being cleansed we walk into fellowship, both with God and one another. As we are in fellowship, we will act in accordance with the character of God revealed in Christ. If our actions are not in accordance with the character of Christ, it is a break from our state of fellowship. We are in no way cleansed by acting like Christ, but we act like Christ if we are cleansed. When we fall into confusion on this point, we becomes either legalistic (believing that our good actions cleanse us from sin), or licentious (believing that after being cleansed we may sin in whatever way we want to no affect.) John wants his readers to know that these are equally dangerous pitfalls which we must avoid. He strongly implies the solution to this problem: fellowship with one another. The spiritual state of the believers is one another’s business, and they may hold one another accountable to walking in the image of Christ.
4. The transformation of those in fellowship with God and one another is proceeding based on being saved from the punishment for sin and being cleansed from the power of sin. This points us forward to a day when God’s presence fills the world and brings light to every corner of it. Then we will be free from even the presence of sin.