Monday, January 21, 2013

January 21 - 1 John 1:6-7 - Tiffany

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 41-42, Psalm 15, Matthew 15
Today's scripture focus is 1John 1:6-7

The tough thing about living with a pastor is how easily it seems they come up with so much to say about two little verses.  When I told my husband what my verses my next post were to cover, he immediately said "oh yeah, I could do three sermons right now off of those.  And at least 2 off of verse 8."
And that made me frown a little because I couldn't think of a single thing to write about these two incredibly rich, life-changing verses in 1 John.
All I could think of was DC Talk's "In the Light" (video with lyrics here).

But after some prayer and reading and writing and re-writing, here is the clearest way possible I can explain these two verses:

If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

 In 2 Corinthians 6:14, Paul asks "For what fellowship can light have with darkness?"  Darkness in these verses refers to sin and unrighteousness.  God, as the perfect and sinless being, has no darkness (1 John 1:5).

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.

In his gospel, John writes "Those who live by the truth come into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God" (3:21). 
Later on in 1 John 2:6, John states "Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did."

Walking in the light means living as Jesus lived, living so that all our actions may be brought into the light without guilt or shame.
Living this way means we have fellowship with our Christian brothers and sisters.  It also brings the glorious message of cleansing from all sin.  When we walk in the light of God, Jesus's death covers all our transgressions, purifying us!
Paul writes in Hebrews 9:14: "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!"

In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers states "'But if we walk in the light,' we are cleansed 'from all sin'. It is a matter of obedience, and once we obey, the relationship is instantly perfected."

Isn't that wonderful?  That we merely have to turn from darkness to light, from death to life, from Satan to Jesus, and our relationship with the Trinity is instantly perfected.  Through our faith in Jesus's death and great love for us, we are saved.  We are offered light and life and love for all eternity.

And then, it is just a matter of following that light.  Not that it is easy - it isn't.  We all struggle, we all make mistakes, we all can find ourselves back in the darkness, but we also all get the chance to turn to the light again and again and again.

I prefer to look at my walk with Jesus this way - as the ending of a great movie, where the hero (Jesus) and his love (myself) go walking off into the sunset, following the light, and you know it is just really the beautiful beginning.

Tomorrow's scripture focus: 1 John 1:8-10
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Genesis 43-44, Psalm 16, Matthew 16



LaughingLady said...

I don't know if I listened to the right MacArthur sermon, but in the one I DID listen to, I liked the perspective he gave on "being in the light," and that once we are saved, we are forever in the light. Not that we never do dark things, but because we are in Him, they are done in full light; we can't hide them or hide from them. We recognize them as sin through the power of the Holy Spirit and a heightened conscience, God recogizes them as sin, and WE KNOW THAT HE KNOWS they are sin! (I'm paraphrasing a little!) But it is because we are in the light that we have the ability to recognize our sin, and we have the gift of guilt which should lead to repentence, which brings cleansing, healing, and restoration.

I like his way of explaining, too, why believers need confession and repentance ~ that it's not for salvation, but for relationship and fellowship with Him and with the body of believers, and also show non-believers one major way in which we live differently from the world.

Miriam said...

I like your visual image at the end about walking into the sunset.

My thoughts on these verses are similar. The other difference, I think, between being in the light and the darkness is that when you are in the light you can see. You may fumble around occasionally because your focus is in the wrong direction, but when you obey what the Bible says and pray and do your best to follow God's will, as you do (mostly) when you are in the light, you can see. Decisions are easier to make because you have guidelines about how to make them. When you are in darkness, you can't see anything. You don't know which direction to go, when you bump into something you don't know which way to get around it, and so on.

Curly-T said...

Great thoughts, Tammi and Miriam! I love both of those!

I'll confess I am not following MacArthur's series (just as I didn't follow the one for Esther), but I love the paraphrasing synopsis here. And I would agree.

It is a sticky issue, whether you can wind up back in total darkness (backslidden, sinner, away from God, however you want to phrase it) again, or if you are just good once you confess, repent and accept Jesus's sacrifice. I think the explanation that dark things are there (we are all human after all), and yet we do not have to be controlled by them (because we live by the grace of God, because we have a living/learning relationship with Him that shows us the way to live) is quite good.

I know I'm constantly amazed by God's love and grace and mercy - it is something to be thankful for each and every day!

TammyIsBlessed said...

Great thoughts by all of you!

True believers walk in the light, or make a habit of walking in the light. It is evidence of our faith. Those who continually walk in a pattern of darkness are not saved, no matter waht they say.

Pamela said...

Great thoughts everyone. We have the ability to choose the light, and through the grace of God, the ability to repent when we make a mistake and turn from the light.

Pamela said...
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TammyIsBlessed said...

Mark Driscoll was very direct, as always, in his sermon on this passage.

You simply cannot be a Christian alcoholic, a Christian adulterer, a Christian homosexual, or whatever. It is impossible to meet Jesus Christ and not come away changed. If you do not change, you have not met Him. Yes, we will still mess up, but we cannot come to Him without acknowledging our sinfulness, confessing it, repenting of it, and turning from it. If we don't do that, we're not Christians no matter what we say.