Light and Darkness, Sin and Forgiveness
SCRIPTURE: 1 John 1
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.
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.
The books of 1-3 John are called epistles. An epistle means it is a form of a letter that is addressed or directed to a specific person or to a specific group of people. The author of 1 John 1 was not clearly identified but early Christians claimed it was written by John the apostle, whom they knew personally.
According to bible scholars, John wrote this epistle in his old age and it was addressed to the group of believers in Ephesus whom he was overseeing (so he was probably like a pastor there). What would have motivated the apostle John to write this book? As background, John’s epistles were written at a time when there was a false doctrine (called
Gnosticism) that was going around trying to lead away from the Christians from believing in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and as the Son of God. Gnosticism challenged the teaching that salvation is received only through faith in Jesus Christ. We can notice in the apostle John’s introduction that he is trying to remind and encourage the believers to stay true to what they already believed in - that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God. He was telling the believers that what the apostles have proclaimed to them before are true and can be relied upon. He said - “we saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of Life.” He reiterated that what they have actually seen and what they have actually heard, they have passed it on to the people so that they may have fellowship with the believers and that their fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. APPLICATION: Fellowship means there is relatedness or connection. From verses 5-10, the apostle John talked about Living in the Light. If we have fellowship with God, we ought to Live in the Light. In this world today, we have a lot of distractions - a lot of confusion, a lot of false teachings that people are forced to believe because they don’t have the true source of Light to guide them through. Especially in the midst of a pandemic, in the midst of war, in the midst of calamities - it is so hard for us to believe that there is hope. It is so hard for us to see that God is in control because we are not tapping into the main source of peace and light which is Jesus Christ.
As David read to us earlier, God is Light and in Him, there is no darkness at all. If we continue to have fellowship with the One True source of light, we ourselves can carry that Light and be true witnesses of and also share God’s saving grace to a dark world, just like how the apostle John had testified to the believers in Ephesus. And if we fall into sin, God exposes those sins into light as He is light, and He offers us forgiveness. Verse 9 says: If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your word this morning. Thank you for reminding us that You are the Light that leads and guides us to get through each day no matter what troubles may come our way. We pray for everyone who is listening to this podcast today that they will be encouraged to trust You more especially for those who are going through tough times. Let your presence bring light into our darkness and may your peace be the anchor that keeps us safe as we continue to declare that Jesus is the Lord and Saviour of our lives. We give you all the glory, all the honour, and all the praises, in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.