Walk In The Light
1 John 2:1-14
1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 3And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 7Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. 8Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. 9He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. 12I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. 14I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
John, toward the end of the 1st century, writes to a church in danger of being infiltrated by false teachers whose purpose is to seduce, deceive and lead them astray. Like today’s cults, their real authority was not God’s Word but human ideas and philosophies. Their teachings came from man, not from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
John’s letter was written to accompany his Gospel, The Gospel of John, located near the Book of Luke in your Bible. In John’s Gospel we read the words of Jesus, that He will ask of the Father to send them another Comforter, not from men, but from the Father. This Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, would guide them into all truth.
These to whom John writes had received an anointing from the Holy One, (verse 20 below), that had quickened the truth of the Gospel to their hearts, so they really knew what it meant. John had confidence that if they would let that anointing abide and continue to live in them they would not be deceived or led astray.
1 John 2:20
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
An important motivation, for this, is our hope in Christ’s coming in the clouds for us and our longing to hear His spoken word, “Well done.” If we’re not obedient, we will be disappointed by His “Depart from me; I never knew you.”
While not afraid to die, let’s search our hearts and see if our efforts in serving Him have been half-hearted or are we ashamed to meet Him, bearing nothing but “leaves” instead of “sheaves” to lay at His feet?
John was known as the apostle of love because in his Gospel and his epistles he gives such prominence to this subject. The commandment God gave through Moses to “Love one another” stands at the top of the list. God knew that His people are not perfect and would sometimes need to repair broken fellowship with Him. He, therefore, made provision for the continuation of fellowship. The first provision is confession.
Some people don’t believe that they have any sin, claiming that the principle of sin is absent from their lives. Sin is always present until forgiveness of sin is asked for from God and given by God. When we sin later, and we will, we sincerely ask for God’s forgiveness and turn from that sin. God answers that sincere prayer. A sincere prayer of repentance means I turn from that sin and do not repeat it. I mean business with God!
1 John 1:8
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we claim this, however, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. The Bible says the sinful nature is alive in all of us.
Psalm 14:1-3 (David’s description of the corruption of a natural man)
[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.] 1The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. 2The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
9What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17And the way of peace have they not known: 18There is no fear of God before their eyes.
19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Confession is necessary for everyone. When we confess our sins, we have God’s promise that He will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We must come to Him in genuine repentance, with a desire to forsake each sin. When we come to God this way, He is faithful and just to forgive. God is always trustworthy and He keeps His promise to forgive.
Every form of life has its enemies. Insects have to watch out for hungry birds and birds must keep an eye on hungry cats and dogs. Even human beings have to dodge automobiles and fight off germs. The Life “That Is Real” also has an enemy. This enemy is sin. Neither in the Old Testament nor in the New Testament does the Bible whitewash the sin of God’s people. We, as well as they, serve a forgiving God, a loving Heavenly Father.
We cannot cover our sins. He can. We must confess and He is more than able to forgive us our sins, for the price has already been paid for our redemption and forgiveness. John makes it clear that Christians do not have to sin.
I John 2:1
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
The secret of victory over sin is found in the phrase “walk in the light.” To walk in the light means to be open and honest, to be sincere, without offense.
That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
It seems that in Roman days, some sculptors covered their “mistakes” by filling the defects in their marble statutes with wax, which was not really visible until the statute had been exposed to the hot sun for a while, but more dependable sculptors made certain that their customers knew that the statues they sold were without wax. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse us, cover our sin.
John 15:19 (Jesus speaking)
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
The believer’s citizenship is in Heaven.
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
All of our effective resources for living on earth come from our Father in heaven.
Unquestioning faith is the secret to happy Christian living. The anxieties that plague believers stem from lingering doubts.
Have you ever been driving through strange territory when you began to wonder if you were on the right road? Enjoyment of the trip turned to worry, then in an agony of uncertainty, you consulted the road map and finally exclaimed, “Yes. I’m on the right road.” We need to consult our road map, the Bible, frequently.
John’s epistle gives three outstanding marks of the false teacher who is controlled by the spirit of the Antichrist. Not everyone who is part of an assembly of believers is necessarily a member of the family of God.
The antichrist denies the faith. If you investigate the history of the false cults and antichristian religious systems in today’s world, you will find that in most cases their founders started out in a local church somewhere. They were with us, but not of us.
Lot of people believe in God but not in Jesus. Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.”
John 10:30 (Jesus speaking)
I and my Father are one.
If false teachers were content to just believe false doctrines themselves and attend their meetings, that would be bad enough, but the tragedy is that they try earnestly to convert others to their doctrines. They rarely try to lead lost sinners to their false faith. Instead they spend much of their time trying to convert professing Christians and church members to their beliefs and doctrines.
Satan is not an originator; he is a counterfeit. He imitates the work of God. He has counterfeit ministers who preach a counterfeit gospel that produces counterfeit Christians.
2 Corinthians 11:13
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
6I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
John 8:43, 44 (Jesus speaking)
43Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
1Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 5For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
In the parable of the tares Jesus and Satan are pictured as sowers. Jesus sows the true seed, the children of God, but Satan sows the children of the wicked one.
Matthew 13:24-30 (Jesus speaking)
24Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
The two plants, while growing, look so much alike until the fruit appears. It’s important that we are able to detect the counterfeit and separate the teachings of Christ from the false teachings of the antichrist.
It is unfortunate that some churches and Bible classes have been invaded by insincere people, people whose lives cannot stand to be tested by God’s light. God is light and when we walk in the light, there is nothing we can hide. To walk in the light means to be honest with God, with ourselves and with others.
Obedience to God’s Word, the Bible, is proof of our love for Him. There are three motives for obedience. We can obey because we have to, because we need to or because we want to. A slave obeys because he has to. If he doesn’t, he will be punished. An employee obeys because he needs to. He may not enjoy his work but he enjoys getting his pay check and his family needs to be clothed and fed.
A Christian is to obey His Heavenly Father because he wants to obey Him. The relationship between him and God is one of love.
John 14:15 (Jesus speaking)
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
It is impossible to imitate the life of Jesus Christ with the proper equipment we have as mere human beings. This is why John uses the word, “abide”. The only way to walk as Christ walked is to abide in Him.
1 John 2:6
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
He explains it is His illustration of the vine and its branches. Just as the branch gets its life by remaining in contact with the vine, so believers receive their strength by maintaining fellowship with Christ.
It is a living relationship, one you work on daily and as Christ lives out His life through us, we are able to follow His example and walk as He walked.
Christ is making intercession for us.
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
The Holy Spirit is also making intercession for us.
Romans 8:26, 27
26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
We are part of a fantastic Heavenly party-line. God, the Son, prays for us in Heaven and God, the Spirit, prays for us to God the Father on our behalf.
When we are walking in the light of the truth of God’s Word, the seed of the Word can take root and bear fruit and the first cluster the Spirit produces is love, but love does not live alone. Love produces joy.
When we blend love and joy we will have peace and peace helps produce other fruit of the Spirit. There is only one fruit but with various manifestations.
A man walking down a dark street one night saw a small light coming toward him in a faltering way. He thought perhaps the person carrying the light was sick or drunk but as he drew nearer, he could see a man with a flashlight, carrying a white cane.
Why would a blind man be carrying a light, the man wondered, and then he decided to ask. The blind man smiled and said, “I carry my light, not so I can see, but so that others can see me. I cannot help being blind, but I can help being a stumbling block.” What an application to living the Christian life, avoiding being a stumbling block to others.
A group of first graders had just completed a tour of the hospital and the nurse who had directed them was asking for questions. Immediately a hand went up and a little fellow asked, “How come people who work here are always washing their hands?” After the laughter had subsided the nurse gave this wise answer, “They are always washing their hands for two reasons. First, they love health and second, they hate germs.”
In more than one area of life, love and hate go hand in hand. A mother who loves her children is certainly going to exercise a hatred for what would harm her children.
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
The Bible tells us in 1 John 2:15 to “love not the world.” He wasn’t talking about the beautiful world God created. Christians ought to appreciate the beauty and usefulness of the earth God made. To “love not the world” is talking about a lifestyle that honors the world’s earthly system, its desires, rather than worshiping God with our soul, body and strength.
I Timothy 6:17
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.
The “world here” as our “enemy” is an invisible spiritual system opposed to God and Christ. The “world” in the Bible is Satan’s system for opposing the work of Christ on earth. Jesus called Satan the Prince of this world.
John 12:31 (Jesus speaking)
Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
The devil has an organization of evil spirits working with him and influencing the affairs of the world.
Ephesians 6:11, 12
11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Just as the Holy Spirit uses people to accomplish God’s will on earth, so Satan uses people to fulfill his evil purposes. Unsaved people, whether they realize it or not, are energized by the prince of the power of the air.
The best way to help other Christians who are struggling with life is to love them. Love makes us stepping-stones. Just as the fruit trees and flowers need sunshine to grow, so God’s people need love if they are to grow.
Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.