10 February 2019 PM – 1 John 1:7 – 1Jn2019 – Scott Childs
Introduction: None of us would ever be allowed to barge into the Prime Minister’s office without knocking, pull up a chair and say, “Hi, I came to fellowship with you over a cup of tea.” Guards would prevent such a visit. Why? Because that kind of fellowship with the Prime Minister has many requirements that we cannot meet.
In even a greater way, we cannot just barge into God’s light and demand His fellowship. Fellowship with God has several requirements that we must meet before He invites our entry. In 1 John 1:7, John identifies the main requirement for fellowship with God to be walking in the light. In the rest of the book, John will further explain the kinds of darkness that hinder fellowship with God.
Transition: Here in 1 John 1:7, God gives us His requirements for fellowship and results that will follow when we meet His requirements.
1. The Requirement
a. But if we walk in the light.
1) Note that John uses the word “we” to include himself in this statement. This applies to every Christian.
2) Remember, God sets the standard for light. He is light! He is always right. He is always holy. He is always pure. Darkness is anything that conflicts with God’s light.
3) Every true Christian is able to walk in the Light. However, not every Christian will. The verb “walk” is a subjunctive verb identifying a possibility if we meet the conditions.
4) Last week we noted that walking in darkness is not being willing to yield to God completely. The opposite is also true. Walking in the light is submitting to God’s holiness, yielding obediently to Him in every area, and immediately confessing our sin when we fail.
5) Walking in the light cannot mean walking sinlessly, for no human can do that. (Ecclesiastes 7:20) “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” We can, however, submit to God’s holiness, yield obediently to Him in every area, and immediately confess our sin when we fail. We can do that!
b. As he is in the light.
1) We are to walk in the light even as God walks in the light. That is a very high standard for in God is NO darkness at all (1:5). Before we can walk in the light as God walks, we must ask God to search our hearts for sin. (Psalms 139:23) “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” We must cleanse our hands and purify our hearts. (James 4:8) “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” We must obey Him in every area of life. (Psalms 86:11) “Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.”
² Robert Candlish describes walking in the light as God in this way. “To have the same medium of vision with God himself; the same translucent, transparent atmosphere of holiness and truth and love surrounding us; penetrating our inner man and purging our mind’s eye, our soul’s eye, our heart’s eye, that it may see as God’s eye sees; illuminating all space to us,—before, behind, above, below,—with the very illumination with which it is illuminated to him; causing all objects, actions, and events, all men and things, all thoughts, words, and deeds,—our own as well as those of others,—to appear to us exactly what they appear to him.”
2) To walk in the light as God is in the light, we must submit to God’s holiness, yield obediently to Him in every area, and immediately confess our sin when we fail. We can only walk in the light as God is in the light when we agree with Him. (Amos 3:3) “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
3) Walking in the light is a conscious choice. We must choose to move close to God and His light. If you are walking at night with a person who is carrying a lantern, as long as you walk close to that person, you walk in the light. The further you get from that person, the less you walk in the light. The same is true with God’s Light.
2. The Results
Walking in the light is conditional because I must choose to meet God’s requirements. That is my part. If I walk in the light, God will do His part. He promises two blessings.
a. We have fellowship one with another.
1) Fellowship is companionship. It is being in harmony with God. It is abiding in Him. It is resting completely in Him. It contentedly knowing that God is all you need. It is feeding on God’s Word and pondering its principles. It is frequently sharing your heart with God throughout the day. It is communing with God as you meditate on Scriptures you read. It includes singing hymns to God.
2) Walking in the light is a subjunctive verb with a condition I must meet. Having fellowship with God is an indicative verb or statement of fact. When we walk in the light, the fact is that God promises to share companionship with us.
3) This fellowship is between us and God. I fellowship with God and God fellowships with me. When we are in fellowship with God, we also share fellowship with other Christians who are in fellowship with God (1:3).
b. And the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1) The word “cleanseth” is also an indicative verb or statement of fact. This is another blessing God promises us if we will walk in the light.
2) For years, this phrase confused me. It seemed to me to be out of place. Why would God speak of cleansing us from all sin here and then say something similar in verse 9? However, now that I understand that walking in the light is submitting to God’s holiness, yielding obediently to Him in every area, and immediately confessing our sin when we fail, this phrase makes good sense.
3) God knows that until we get our immortal bodies, we will always struggle with sin. We will never be sinless this side of heaven. With God’s help, we can live temperate or self-controlled lives. By staying close to the Lord, we can flee many of the obvious temptations (e.g., anger, lust, dishonesty, lying, unkindness, stealing, swearing, disobeying, neglecting Bible and prayer, etc.). However, sins of the heart, thoughts, desires, attitudes, etc. constantly seem to plague us.
4) If we will submit to God’s holiness, yield obediently to Him in every area, and immediately confess our sin when we fail, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son will cleanse us from all sin. We will be able to walk in God’s light and remain in it with Him.
a) Only the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, can cleanse our sin.
b) The same blood that washes us clean when we trust Christ to save our souls, keeps us clean when we confess our sin.
5) If we are walking in the light and do not immediately confess our sin when it happens, we step out of the light and lose our fellowship with God. The next three verses (1:8-10) explain how this works and we will examine that next week.
Conclusion: If you are a Christian, it is possible for you to walk in the light and have fellowship with Him. If there is any area of your life that you are unwilling to yield to God and obey Him, that is an area of darkness that will keep you from God’s light. That is not God’s will.
It is true that walking in the light is a constant challenge because we are sinful creatures and we live in a sinful world. Walking in the light never happens automatically or accidently. By daily spending quality time studying the Bible, allowing God to speak to you, examining your heart, yielding to God, confessing every sin that the Holy Spirit illuminates, and obeying the Lord completely, you can walk in the light.
Song: Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord – 337