- Sermon Notes
Walk In The Light
1 John 1:5-10
August 16, 2020
1 John background: The book of first John was written by John the Elder and is believed to be the apostle John who wrote the gospel of John, the letters, and later the book of Revelation.
John is a very important character in scripture. John was apart of the Jesus inner 3 (Peter, John, and James) and he was an eyewitness to much of Jesus ministry. Many scholars believe that John, being the author of the gospel, is indeed the disciple referred to as “the disciple Jesus loved” or “his beloved disciple.”
As we read his words we need to think about the man that is putting pen to paper.
John was there when:
- Jesus walked on water,
- Fed the thousands
- Rose Lazarus from the dead.
- Cast demons out
- Transfigured and revealed his glory
- Leaned his head against Jesus chest during the last supper.
- Stood with Jesus’ mother while Jesus died.
- Raced to the tomb with Peter after Jesus’ resurrection and saw the empty tomb and was spoken to by angels
- Was one of the 7 disciples to catch a great multitude of fish and sit and have breakfast with the resurrected Jesus
- He is the the witness and accountant to the entire revelation of Jesus we see in the book of revelation.
John has seen, heard, tasted, and felt what we can only in faith hope for and trust in. Now as he writes keep that in mind because as we read his words we are going to feel this sense of profound knowledge of the person of Christ and John’s hope for us in it.
When John is writing this letter he is now an old man. As a young guy in the church I have grown to love conversations with my elders of the faith. Why? Because they are straight forward and blunt. I have learned as a young man the power of the words of the wise.
John makes very powerful statements… that are simple.
But as deep as the ocean.
1 John 1:5-10 5 “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out 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, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”
A. God is light!
Verse 5- God is light and in him there is no darkness at all
Light and Darkness are such a deep contrast. Light was such an important part of ancient culture. There are whole culture built around the worship of the son and the sun determines so much of our calendar. But John is talking about something real while also talking about something so much more spiritually deep. Light and Dark probably the most relatable contrast we can find because we all have a story where we have experienced the extreme of light and dark.
Story about darkness- SAU underground story!
- Darkness is crushing
- Darkness leaves room for the imagination to run wild
- Darkness can be crippling, numbing, and terrifying
- Light in the same right has serious power
- Light in contrast reveals and lays bare everything
John understood this contrast and knew how it relates to the character of God. We could honestly spend hours just on this one statement. John is painting us a picture of who God is. He is light. This should set off alarms for us from Genesis and many times throughout the old testament but let’s focus on John for second.
Light is a big deal to John. He referenced it in his gospel often. The reason is because the nature of God, of Christ, for him is wrapped up in the concept of light.
John 1:1-9— In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
John 8:12— Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 12:35-36—Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.”
Paul wrote about this also in
Ephesians 5:8— At one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.
Christ is the light! His life, his love, his power, his mercy, it breaks thru even the darkest of nights. It shines upon those who look to it. And it transforms everything! For John God/Christ being light really means that God is pure, holy, good, and as John later will write God is the definition of LOVE.
Christ comes and wants to be the light of our lives. Now we will experience the darkness but we get to watch as it runs for hills in sight of the power light of Christ.
John wants us to know that with Christ kingdom advancing that darkness is passing away!
John will continue this thought later in the book…
1 John 2:8— Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
Darkness is passing away. Jesus is working things out! His glory magnifies and is the ultimate source of light! John understood this because John would be the one to give us the book of Revelation. We see in the end of revelation when all things are new.
Revelation 21:23— The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
So God is Light and that light is his purity and his goodness. He is, clear as the noon day sun, HOLY and RIGHTEOUS.
Verse 6— If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.
Verse 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, purifies us from all sin.
B. If we walk in darkness then we are not friends of God
So if we claim we are a followers of Christ and we are united with Him yet we “walk in darkness” we are a liars. But if we walk in the light then we have fellowship with one another (meaning believers and God) and the blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin.
So if we are not walking in the light, we are not purified of sin, and therefore knowing if we are walking in the light is a salvation issue! Without purification of sins we cannot stand before a just and righteous God and not be condemned!
Now you may be experiencing some discomfort with the message because while many of us who say we love Jesus seek to honor him and follow him… we see dark days and we know there is something about darkness that pulls at us.
Like we were explaining earlier… John witnessed the light of the world. He had a front row seat to the ministry and works of Jesus. Yet you know who else had a front row seat.
The Pharisees, the Roman leaders, and the people who shouted “Crucify him.” But just because they saw does not mean that truly saw the light. Like we read in the book of John. They saw the light but they did not recognize it. Jesus came to place that was his own but his own did not receive him.
Our sin and ways of darkness don’t want to be revealed
Just like many of us don’t like to have a light shine in our eyes when we have been sitting in darkness.
We may be well acquainted with Jesus yet allow ourselves to still walk around in darkness. Because many of us… we love darkness. We love the to conceal our sin. We want to hide away in our own selfishness, lust, and pride. We have made a place for darkness and sin to reign. John understood this because he wrote about it…
John 3:19-21 The light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
Many in the world will hear the message of Jesus and they will refuse to embrace it because in the process it would require them to step into the light and allow their sin to be seen for what it is. It is convenient to walk in darkness!
But what is John trying to say then because if we sin then I guess we are not in fellowship with God. If we allow darkness in then we must not be really saved. Is perfection the real expectation!
That is not the point! John wants that to be so so clear!
So he says it explicitly:
Verse 8— If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
Verse 9— If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Verse 10— If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”
When John calls us to walk in the light he is not saying for us to be sinless because if we say we are without sin we are also a liar!
If we walk in darkness we are liar.
If we claim to be sinless we are also a liar.
But what does it hinge on for us as believers.
What does it mean to walk in the light?
ANSWER: It is to be so clear and real about our sin and that we constantly are in confession that we need more and more and more of God’s grace.
- Walking in the light requires confession
Verse 9 helps us add it up. Our confession of sin results in his faithfulness and forgiveness to be poured out in our lives.
We need to bring into the light the sins of our hearts and be willing to admit GOD I NEED YOU! This is the challenge of our world today because we really don’t like to talk about sin as sin.
GREAT CHALLENGE OF YOUTH WORKERS— We live in a world where truth is growing ever fainter and greyer by the day. And an issue I am seeing arise more and more in young people is a backlash to idea that darkness is even dark and that wrong is wrong. Common phrases are “well that id only wrong for you” and “you are entitled to your opinion but its not for me.”
Walking in the light is not walking in perfection but the word is telling us here that we are going to sin in the light. Meaning our sin is going to be in the light and therefore can’t be hidden but is brought before God and called out for what it is. We are convicted
The world doesn’t love that because they don’t want to admit that they have done something wrong. They want to justify what they are doing. And that is what WE ALL DO with our sin! It wasn’t gossiping but prayerful Christian concern
It wasn’t anger because I needed to make a point
It wasn’t divisive because they need to know what I think
It wasn’t selfish because sometimes I need something for me
It isn’t an addition because I feel like I know my limit
I only raised my voice so they could hear me more clearly.
We should love righteousness church. We should desire holiness church.
But many times in the church I feel like we spend way to much time trying to pretend like we are have it all together!
Being holy and righteous is being willing admit that we are sinful and to continuously seek grace and united with others in the light of God’s glory and goodness.
I think this will help to walk in the light because we know that in the light we will be in a fellowship of LOVE!
- Walking in the light requires a life of love!
John touches on this later in this book…
1 John 2:10— Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.
1 John 4:20— Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
Walking in the light is therefore wrapped up in mercy. As we are seeking mercy for ourselves in confession of our sins we are also seeking give mercy to those around us.
C. When we walk in the light we in turn become a reflection of his light to the world!
Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun. We become a vessel of his glory by our testimony and by our good works and that breaks thru the dark.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining they just shine- Dwight L. Moody
Church will walk in the light.
- Will you look to Jesus as the light
- Will you step into the light of his glory and grace and confess
- Will you then seek to right wrongs and be a transformed by his light in your life.
- Will you then lead a lifestyle of shining for him.
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. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 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. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.