1 John 1:5 – This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
Light represents what is good, pure, true, holy and reliable. Darkness represents what is sinful and evil. God is light means that God is perfectly holy and true and that He alone can guide us out of the darkness of sin. Light relates to truth in that light exposes whatever exists, whether it is good or bad. In the dark, good and evil look alike; in the light they can be clearly distinguished.
Just as darkness cannot exist in the presence of light, sin cannot exist in the presence of our Holy God. If we want to have a relationship with God, we must put aside our sinful ways of living. To claim that we belong to Him but then to go out and live for ourselves is hypocrisy. Christ will expose and judge such deceit.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
1 John 1:6 – If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
Here John is saying that no one can claim to be a Christian and still live an evil and immoral life. We cannot love God and live and desire sin at the same time.
Many declare they have fellowship with the Lord, that they love Him, that they are serving Him, yet are living in sin! John says they are lying. They are deceiving themselves by continuing to live the old life and walking after the desires of the flesh, while professing to have new life in Christ.
1 John 1:7 – But 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.
New life in Christ brings us out of darkness and into the light and true fellowship with each other in Jesus. Therefore, fellowship with God is possible because of the everlasting worth of the blood of Christ.
A genuine Christian walks habitually in the light which equates to truth and holiness, and not in darkness, which is falsehood and sin. Their walk also results in cleansing from sin because the Lord continually forgives His children. Since those walking in the light share in the character of God, they will be habitual characterized by His holiness (3 John 11), indicating their true fellowship with Him (James 1:27). A genuine Christian does not walk in darkness but only in the light. Jesus is the light. If we walk in the reflection of His light, we will fulfill the Scripture that states you are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)
1 John 1:8 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Here we see John addressing the falsehood of the belief that we have no sin. Denial of the existence of sin in our lives is self-deception and blunts our ability to repent of sin.
Sin always breaks fellowship with God. Rebellion against God’s truth always leads us into self-deception and error. We fool no one but ourselves. We need to be honest about the sin that is in our lives so that we can deal with it effectively. “For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Galatians 6:3)
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When we walk in the light, abiding in Jesus, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Confessing our sins before God opens the door for His forgiving and cleansing light to purify our hearts and restores our fellowship with Him.
1 John 1:10 – If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.
To deny one’s sinfulness is not just a matter of deceiving ourselves, it is to make God a liar by denying His Word. Both the Old and New Testaments stress the universality of man’s sin.
“There is no one who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:3)
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
When we have true fellowship with the Lord, we will walk in the light. When we become a Christian, we must not live in sin because we realize that: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)