27 January 2019 PM – 1 John 1:5 – 1Jn2019 – Scott Childs
Introduction: As a boy, during summer holiday, I often went to a week of Bible Camp. One of the games we sometimes played was a Treasure Hunt. We were given one clue that led to another clue, then to another and another until we found the treasure.
Like a treasure hunt, John has told us that the treasure we are looking for is fellowship with God. Now he is giving us the main clue that leads to the treasure. He calls the clue, “the message”. As we study the message, we find the information that leads us to the treasure of fellowship with God.
Transition: In 1 John 1:5, when John gave us his message, he identified the message and then he detailed the message.
1. John Identified the Message
a. This then is the message
1) The word translated “message” refers to an announcement. The same word is later translated “promise” in 1 John 2:25. “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.”
2) John is about to give us an announcement about Jesus Christ, God the Son, the Word of Life, the Eternal Life whom He described in 1Jn 1:1-2.
b. Which we have heard of him,
1) John learned this message from Jesus Christ Himself.
2) Years earlier, while Jesus mentored John and the other disciples, John had heard and still remembered (perfect tense) this message about God.
3) This was NOT second-hand information. John himself heard it spoken by Jesus.
c. And declare unto you,
1) John now is declaring or announcing this message to us.
2. John Detailed the Message
John’s message was a simple yet profound statement about God that gives us information to the treasured fellowship. He said …
a. That God is light,
1) John did not say God is a light. He did not say God is the light. He said God IS light. God’s very being and character is light.
2) The word “light” comes from the Greek word phos, which simply means a light.
3) Robert Candlish notes, “Light is diffusive, penetrating, searching; spreading itself over all space, and entering into every hole and corner. It is quickening and enlivening; a minister of healthy vigour and growth to all living creatures, plants and animals alike, including man himself. It is pleasant also; a source of relief and gladness to those who bask in its bright and joyous rays.”
4) Albert Barnes reminds us that, “Light, in the Scriptures, is the emblem of purity, truth, knowledge, prosperity, and happiness.”
5) The phrase God is light pictures God’s holy, sinless character that radiates from His Person. Light is the opposite of darkness, which pictures sin and evil. Light uncovers things hidden by darkness. When light is present, darkness disappears.
6) God is the source of light. During creation, God spoke natural light into existence. (Genesis 1:3) “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”
7) During Israel’s wilderness wanderings, God’s presence in the pillar of fire gave them light. (Exodus 13:21) “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:”
8) When Moses was in God’s presence on Mt Sinai, his face absorbed God’s light. (Exodus 34:29) “And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.”
9) Because God is light, He sees all we do in the dark. (Psalms 139:11) “If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”
10) David wrote, (Psalms 27:1) “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
11) God is clothed with the purity of light. (Psalms 104:2) “Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:”
12) God’s Light pictures knowledge. (Daniel 2:22) “He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.”
13) James tells us that God is the Father [origin] of lights. (James 1:17) “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
14) Christians have been enlightened by the Lord to see the evils of sin. (Ephesians 5:8) “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”
15) John used this same word in 16 verses in his Gospel. By examining some of those verses, we may enrich our understanding.
a) In John 1:4, Jesus was the light of men.
b) In John 1:5, Jesus’ light shined in darkness but was rejected.
c) In John 1:9, Jesus enlightens (or offers light to) every man that comes into the world.
d) In John 3:19, Jesus, the Light, came into the world, but men love darkness more than the Light.
e) In John 3:20, evil-doers hate the Light and do not want their deeds revealed by His light.
f) In John 3:21, doers of the truth come to Him.
g) In John 8:12, Jesus declared Himself to be the Light of the world. Repeated in Jn 9:5.
h) In John 12:35-36, Jesus urged people to walk in His Light and to believe in the Light that they may be children of the Light.
i) In John 12:46, Jesus said He came as a Light into the world to remove men’s darkness.
16) John repeatedly described Jesus Christ the Light in his Gospel and now in his first epistle he says that GOD is light. This again affirms the deity of Jesus Christ.
17) What then is the central meaning of John’s message, “God is light”?
a) God IS light – its very source.
b) God’s very being is light. He wears light. He dwells in light. He radiates light. He will give light to believers.
c) As light, God is pure, holy and righteous.
d) God’s light exposes the hidden evils of darkness.
b. And in him is no darkness at all. [This is the second half of the message]
1) Darkness is the absence of light.
2) Darkness represents sin, corruption, falsehood, evil and all unrighteousness.
3) God possesses absolutely NO darkness. A literal translation of our text may read, “darkness is not in Him, not any at all.”
a) God has never sinned.
b) God has never done anything wrong.
c) He has never gotten angry in a sinful way.
d) He has never had a bad thought.
e) He has never said a bad word.
f) God is totally perfect in every way.
4) God cannot tolerate the darkness of sin.
5) Darkness results from being away from God’s light.
6) When God is present, darkness flees. When God is absent, darkness moves in.
Conclusion: The information that John learned from the lips of Jesus that leads to the treasured fellowship with God is the message that “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all”. Many Christians have very little fellowship or companionship with God because they do not take this message seriously. To fellowship with God, we must meet Him in His Light. He will not come to us in the dark. If there is any darkness of sin or disobedience in your life, you must confess and forsake it before you can enter God’s light. The treasure of fellowship with God is available to every Christian, but ONLY on God’s terms.
Song: Cleanse Me – 166