So I’ve decided to not label the post name as “Theology Thursday”. I’m just going to have Thursdays as the assumed day in which posts will be more in-depth Biblically and such (though they’ll still be labeled under “Theology Thursday”).
Anyways… Yet again we’ll be continuing where we left off in 1st John, starting in chapter 1 verses 5-7. Some very convicting and challenging verses! They read:
“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. 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.”
I’ve actually been thinking about these verses a lot this week. The idea of “walking in the light as he is” (namely, living our lives for Christ, and not ourselves) has been very thought-provoking lately. I’ve heard some (very liberal) renditions of this phrase such as “we must walk in the light, but learn to love the darkness as well” (not referring to the lost, mind you). This was said in a local First Congregational Church (a lot have gone very liberal as I keenly noticed during the “solstice service”, but not all have). The statement, made in context with comments about the recent Duck Dynasty craziness as being all about “those far-right-conservative” and that we should just “lovvvvvveeeee” everybody bothered me because of such a mis-representation of Christ throughout the service! (not to mention the lack of any reverence towards scripture!)
So “loving the darkness” and “love” really meant (to her at least) that we must accept all practices aforementioned as sinless, and God-glorifying, even though His word clearly says otherwise! That isn’t the Biblical view of love. But I’m not getting into that today.
So we clearly see that God has no darkness. This is a very key verse because it denotes to God something that He is. Namely, perfect. So it lays out the groundwork for the next points John lays out for us.
The first point being that since God is perfect, then someone who claims to have “fellowship” with Christ (as false teachers in Johns day were claiming) or in other words, someone who God transforms the heart of, should show a change. Not perfection, but a change of heart toward things like sin (repenting) and trusting in Christ to grow them. So when those attributes of the fruit of the spirit (Gal 5:22-23) don’t show themselves and the said people show absolutely no heart change whatsoever, then “we lie and do not practice the truth”.
Those are very big statements in today’s passive Christian culture, where many like to let things slide and not challenge people on a deeper level when fruit isn’t seen. But John continues with one of the loveliest words in the Bible, “but”. He says,
“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.”
So we see a much more hopeful note in that when we do see a Christian growing in Christ and fighting against sin and treasuring Christ, we see some valid indicators that they are indeed a Christian. But, as a very important disclaimer, this isn’t cut and dry. You can’t assume someone is a Christian just because they “go’s through the motions” and you can’t assume someone isn’t because they struggle (<– key word!) with a sin that may seem “bigger” from your point of view. God does know the heart, and he also calls us to be discerning and be a disciple towards them (Matt 28:19).
So what does this mean? Do we do good things and act for God so he’ll forgive us? By no means! These verse never indicate this. If they did, they’d say something like “If we walk in the light then God will cleanse us…“. But no! It clearly says that those who God has genuinely transformed are already cleansed or, justified. Where do I see this?
Well in verse 7, John says: “if we walk in the light”. So there’s the first point, so the “then” would be: “we have fellowship.. and the blood of Jesus.. cleanses us from all sin”. It doesn’t say you “will” have fellowship and forgiveness if you show signs of believing, he says that you “have” fellowship and forgiveness already! So the Christian life isn’t performance based, it’s Grace based. How encouraging is that?!
We don’t have to “do” things for God to love us. We “do” things for God because we want to! Just like when we love someone special, we want to do things, not so that they’ll keep us around, but because our service is an overflow of our heart towards them!
So go serve Christ! why? Because you want to!
Thanks for reading!