1 John Part 1: Walking in the Light
Over the next 8 weeks I will be leading us through a study of 1 John. Grab a Bible or open your Bible app on your phone.
Author: The Apostle John
Date: 90-95 AD
Theme: True Fellowship
Although 1 John is a letter, it reads more like a written sermon. John is writing to the Church to address the issue of false teachers, who were spreading Gnosticism throughout the region.
Gnosticism comes from the Greek “gnosis” which means knowledge. Heavily influenced by Greek philosophy, the Gnostics taught that:
- Matter was evil, spirit was good
- Jesus did not have a physical body
- “Special knowledge” was necessary
Throughout our study we will see John addressing these issues while outlining the mark of true fellowship with God and the Church. How do we know who is really part of the true fellowship of God and who is not? This letter is going to expose the real from the fake, and it will center around two main truths about the nature of God: God is light, and God is love.
Read 1 John 1:1-4
From the beginning the writer is addressing the issue of Gnosticism. The message he is about to bring does not come from special knowledge, study, deep meditation, or philosophy. But from physically seeing, hearing, and touching.
Our faith is not founded on special knowledge, philosophy, or religious thought, but on eyewitness testimony.
We saw Jesus. We heard Jesus. We touched Jesus. We are eyewitnesses to his death and resurrection. And we are the ones that have true fellowship with the Father and the Son.
Read 1 John 1:5-10
How do we know if we have true fellowship? The answer is tied to God’s nature as light. God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space.
God is light. Meaning He is holy, righteous, and perfect. Nothing is hidden from His eyes. If we confess our sins, then nothing is hidden in our lives. We are effectively walking in the light with God.
Those who walk in darkness conceal their sins. They cover them up. They hide them. They may appear to be nice people, even good Christians. But they are walking in darkness because they either do not confess their sins, or they claim to be without sin.
To walk in the Light with God is to live a life of continual confession.
Is there sin in your life that you need to confess? Verse 9 says that if we confess our sins, he will forgive us and cleanse us. Don’t let another minute go by without confessing your wrongdoings.
In law enforcement the only way to clear a dark room of threats is to search it with light. Without light, we would never be able to locate the threat. God desires to fellowship with us, but He cannot step into the darkness. It’s against his nature. We must join Him in the light. We must clear our inner room of threats by confessing our sins to God, and He is faithful and just to forgive us. Amen