I’ve heard this set of verses many thousands of times, being its part of the liturgy, and it never hit home before. What would cause one to claim fellowship, and not live in the truth? I’m wondering if the allure of the law is so strong, it blinds folks from the Gospel?
1 John 1:5-7 5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But 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.
So whats up with the walking in darkness deal? Its interesting to note Isaiah 50:10 Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. Certainly in this passage from Isaiah, obedience is not the issue, nor is unbelief. Granted, it is possible 1 John 1 and Isaiah 50 are not inter-related, but I think the immediate context of 1 John 1 serves as key. The kicker is lieing, and not walking in truth… not unbelief, nor necessarily any of the myriad of other sins one might want to pick and choose from.
I wonder if Matthew 6-7 ripples throughout this. Ie, putting on a show, individuals doing the pietist thing in public, acts of righteousness, prayer, fasting, and. Storing up treasures on earth, judging, building faith on sand etc.
Jesus is pretty hardcore with Matthew 7:21-34 21″Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
It is however way cool, that 1 John 1:7-10 provides an answer. It is not to say we are without sin, It is not to shy away from fellowship, it is not to throw the law out the window. Its a lot simpler than any of that. 7But 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 every sin.
8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives