Monday, February 25, 2008

Walking In The Dark

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.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.

Last time we looked at what it means that God is light; today we are going to see what it means to walk in darkness, and then how each of us can walk in the light as He is in the light.

1. What does it mean to walk in darkness?

John begins today's passage by writing, "If we say we have fellowship with Him and we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." As we saw in the previous verse light is a metaphor for holiness and perfection, and here by John using the metaphor of darkness he is telling us that without us being holy and perfect ourselves we cannot have fellowship with God. Light and darkness can never occupy the same space, so John says, if you say you are in a relationship with God and you continue in darkness then you are a liar. Because God is holy and pure He cannot fellowship with darkness and sin. In other words, since God is light and cannot live in darkness it is up to us to walk in the light to have fellowship with Him. We cannot continue to walk in darkness and claim to have fellowship with Him because light drives our darkness and by continuing in darkness we prove that we are not in the light. So this then brings up yet another question: in what ways do we walk in darkness?

In his letter to the Galatians (among other places), the apostle Paul gives us a list of actions that we are to avoid as Christians. and this list would be a good place to begin to see what it means to walk in darkness. Here he writes:
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

So here we have a list of the things people do that show that they are walking in darkness; these are the practices that we can look at and according to 1 John know for sure that if we are practicing these things we are not walking in the light. In fact, John goes so far as to say that if we say we are in fellowship with God and we are doing these things then we are a liar and we are not practicing the truth. In John's mind a person is either walking in the light, or they are walking in the darkness; the very nature of light and darkness do not allow for a person to be in both places at the same time, so John then writes. "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." This brings us then to our second question:

2. How can we walk in the light as He is in the light?

As we saw last time, light here is a metaphor for the holiness of God, who commands each of us to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). In fact, Hebrews 12:14 tells us that without holiness no one will see God. So we have a dilemma, we are sinful and God is holy, and he requires that for us to have fellowship with Him we must also be holy. God is light, he cannot come into the darkness so for us to be with Him it must be us who moves into the light. But even if we take the list above and commit to not do any of those things ever again we are still not holy, because we are all sinners and Jesus told us that sin comes from within us and causes our actions, not the other way around (Mark 7:20-23).

But if we keep reading here John gives us the answer to our greatest problem; he concludes today's passage by reminding us that, "the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." This is the greatest news we could ever receive; we can be cleansed from all of our sin. And how do we get this cleansing? It is by the blood of Jesus. In Galatians 3:27 we are told that those who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. In 2 Peter 3:10-14 we are told that those who are in Christ will be spotless and blameless at the coming Day of the Lord. Ephesians 5:25-27 tells us that Christ gave Himself up for us so that we could be presented to Him with no spot or wrinkle, but that we would be holy and blameless.

What this means is that as we repent of our sins and put on Christ, His blood cleanses us and we become holy, not because of what we have done, but because of what He has done. In Christ we can now walk in the light, and in Christ we can now have fellowship with the Father.

What does this look like? Just as we looked at Scripture to see what it looked like to walk in darkness we can also look to Scripture to see what it looks like to walk in the light; in the very next verses from the passage we looked at earlier in Galatians, Paul wrote:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

So just as Galatians 5:19-21 shows us what it looks like when we walk in darkness, verses 22-24show us what it our life will look like when we are walking in the light. He then concludes with:
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
So we can see here that the life that is lived out in the light is the life that is being actively lead by The Holy Spirit, and it will take on the characteristics of the Holy Spirit which are given to us here. So take some time today and ask the Spirit to reveal any sin you have not repented of, repent of it, and move into the light where God is and where we can have fellowship with Him.

Next time we will look at 1 John 1:8-10 and what it means to confess our sins. Print This Post

1 comment:

Carol said...

Excellent, excellent post! Love it! I got convicted on something that I'm guilty of - causing strife. Well I didn't cause it but I sure did feed it. Not good.

Nice blog - good topics. I wonder why I never saw it before?

Thanks again for this excellent post. I obviously needed to read that list from Galatians. :(