This is Part 2 of a two-part article on 1 John 1.5-7. Part 1.
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and 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 Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1.5-7).
God Sees Me
“And there is no creature hidden from [God’s] sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13) God knows every man and by Him every man’s self-righteous actions are weighed and found wanting. He sees the adulterer covertly managing his life to hide sin from his spouse and children. God sees the thief rifling through his father’s wallet left on the dresser. God is aware of the cheat who charges people for services not rendered. But more than that, God sees the heart. “Hell and Destruction are before the Lord; so how much more the hearts of the sons of men.” (Proverbs 15:11)
The Scriptures point out that God hates all workers of iniquity (Psalm 5.5). He is “of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness” (Habakkuk 1.13a). God abhors the darkness. There is absolutely no darkness in Him. We must walk in the light as He is in the light. That light comes through truth and manifests itself in our hearts purifying us.
God provides fellowship and acceptance as we conform to His holiness. Many look at the glory and pursuit of holiness as something to be avoided or something that removes joy from life. Yet holiness is the gateway to fellowship. Our dependence, diligence, and obedience please God because we are in Christ and behaving like Christ. God makes Himself known to us in a way that He does not make Himself known to the world. It is in this sense that we, as God’s children, are set apart. His love is shed abroad in our hearts. We are privileged to call God our Dearest Father. His wrath is no longer upon us.
Holiness provides acceptance before God. We are no longer like the unsaved sinner. Our sins are gone, the blood of Christ continually cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1.7). His blood cleanses us 24-7 so that we may serve God acceptably. That blood is able to keep you from falling away from God. It will present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24). When we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship and acceptance.
Faith and Works
Some strive for holiness through their self-righteous, legalistic works and disregard the finished work of Jesus Christ. Others believe that faith will save them but then that faith never produces holiness. They spiral into licentious and presume upon the grace of God. Both of these are deceptive tools of the devil. We cannot be holy unless we confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts that God has raised Jesus from the dead. But faith without the product of holiness is dead. The devils believe and shriek back in unholy fear at the name of Christ. Faith will always produce holiness in the believer when it is set upon the Spirit and the Word. Holiness is evidence that our faith is rightly placed. Thereby, we walk in the light as He is in the light.
Duty and Delight
We carry out our duties as believers not with drudgery but with delight. We shouldn’t expect the world to think that the pursuit of the glory and holiness of God would bring delight. They find delight in the darkness of sin. However, delight in life is found in our fellowship with God. And yet fellowship cannot be without conformity to His holiness. That’s why delight does not rest in a full bank account or a clean bill of health. We delight even in the face of death. We do so knowing that our pursuit of holiness will finally be perfected when we draw celestial air into our glorified lungs!
Give thanks to God the Father! He has qualified us as believers to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light (Colossians 1.12). We long for the glory of our inheritance in Heaven, but that’s not true for unbelievers. Unregenerate people would not be happy in Heaven. If you do not look forward to Heaven while on earth, you would abhor it if given the opportunity to enter. Men and women love the darkness and there is only light in Heaven. They hate God and God’s people; we love God and God’s people. They would clamor to tear Him away from His glorious throne while we stand amazed in worship before that throne. The throne is the same that we approached to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need on earth. It is familiar and we exalt the One who sits upon it.
Unbelievers don’t want God to exist and feel great relief when they mistakenly prove to themselves that He doesn’t. But we revel in the God who is. This is the message! There is no other. God is light!
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9–10)
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8)
“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13:11–14).