“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. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 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.” (I John 1:5-7)
John wrote to a church steeped in a polytheistic culture. The Greco/Roman gods had dominated the thinking of the then known world for close to 800 years. The Apostle John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
John uses the singular form of the word God. This means that God is not one of many but rather the only, true God of the universe (Isaiah 45:1-5). Additionally, John says that in God’s nature and being is light and no darkness at all. Metaphorically, light and darkness refer respectively to holiness and un-holiness. The polytheistic gods of the first century were just as sinful and depraved as human sinners. The One, True God of Scripture is completely holy with no trace of unrighteousness within Him.
Therefore, the apostle’s conclusion is that if we say we are children of God, or that we have communion and fellowship with Him, then it stands to reason that we should live in the light of His holiness and not sinful darkness. In other words, believers in Christ are to live holy lives unto God and before other people. The Christian is never to live in blatant and unrepentant sin.
Dr. John MacArthur writes that, “In Scripture, light and darkness are very familiar symbols. Intellectually, “light” refers to biblical truth while “darkness” refers to error or falsehood (cf. Ps. 119:105; Prov. 6:23; John 1:4; 8:12). Morally, “light” refers to holiness or purity while “darkness” refers to sin or wrongdoing (Rom. 13:11–14; 1 Thess. 5:4–7). The heretics claimed to be the truly enlightened, walking in the real light, but John denied that because they do not recognize their sin. About that basic reality, they were unenlightened.”
Dr. MacArthur continues by stating that, “John forcefully affirms that God is absolutely perfect and nothing exists in God’s character that impinges upon his truth and holiness (cf. James 1:17).”
Our fellowship with God in many ways depends on our desire, and practice, of living in obedience to His commands. Fellowship means intimate communion. God never strays from us, but we often stray from Him by our disobedience to Him and attraction to the world (I John 2:15-17; Romans 12:1-2).
Let us resolve today to live like Jesus Christ today in holiness, righteousness and obedience to the commands of God.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!