John made it clear in the first four verses of his letter that he was sharing a first-person message—one he’d heard directly from the source. He was there with the Christ. He saw him, walked with him, and listened to him. And as a result, he has a message to share, so let’s get started:
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 5-7 CSB
God is light.
Why does this fact matter? Because it mattered from the beginning. Without the reality of God’s essence as light, we would not be around. It took light to get things started. You know the story:
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” There was an evening, and there was a morning: one day.Genesis 1:2-5 CSB
Without the light of God, there would be no creation, no distinction. Light was required to dispel the darkness.
The light that is God correlates directly with his holiness. Light cannot be light with any darkness, nor can holiness by holy with any sin or imperfection. Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection opened the way for us to share in the holiness of God—to be in the light as he is in the light.
This is why John goes on to say that our fellowship with God means we avoid association with darkness. If God equals light, then the world equals darkness. I cannot live in the light and love the ways of the world at the same time. As John says, that would mean we’re liars and not practicing the truth.
Are you practicing the truth?
I like that phrase, practicing…or walking in…the truth. Does the way I live reflect the truth of my confession of faith in the God of light?
Thankfully, by using the word practicing, we understand that it doesn’t mean we will never sin or be swayed by the darkness. What it does mean, however, is that in Christ, we have forgiveness of those sins when we do confess them to him and find cleansing through him. Only Christ can wash the darkness away. John will have more to say about that in later verses.
What are the benefits of walking in the light?
- Fellowship with other believers.
- Purification by the blood of Christ.
These are two constants we enjoy as Christ-followers. Through faith, we gain access to a family that can be found around the world, no matter where our road may lead. And also, through faith, we gain access to forgiveness that enables us to live free from bondage.
Are you grateful for the benefits of the light of Christ? Share those benefits with a friend and spread the light!
Grace and Peace