Summary: Exposition of 1 John 1:5-10
Text: 1 John 1:5-10, Title: Can You See Where You Are Going? Date/Place: The Road, 5/16/16, AM
A. Opening illustration: Never know how much you miss things until they are gone. Talk about interior dome lights. There’s an old story of a man who was walking at night, and saw another man searching for something near a lamp post. Approaching, he asked the man what he was looking for, and the man, without looking up, replied, “My watch”. The first man asked, “Well, precisely where were you standing when you dropped it?” Continuing his search, the man pointed a finger in the distance and said, “Over there somewhere.” Incredulous, the first man said, “Well then sir, why are you looking for it here?” Finally looking up in frustration and meeting the first man’s gaze, the searcher replied testily, “Because sir, the light is better here!”
B. Background to passage: The heretics have left the building to go and spread their dark, deadly teachings amongst the churches and believers of Asia minor. The Apostle John is protecting his children and the churches that he feels a sense of responsibility toward from false teaching, false assurance, and a false mentality about Christ and his church. As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the main two heresies he is dealing with are about the nature of Christ, specifically his eternality and incarnation. He takes up the practical side of heresy in general, and this one in particular—it’s affect upon your life. He gives some helpful and discerning ways of self-examination (as he does in the entire book), as well as a warning to those who may be walking in the light (in Christ) for protection. This theme comes up over and over in 1 John.
C. Main thought: Two ways to tell if you are in Christ.
A. What’s Your Practice (v. 6-7)
1. John begins with an underlying principle for the whole paragraph—the nature of God (fitting because of the heretical nature of Christ teaching of the dissidents). God is complete purity and holiness. In fact, John notes the same truth in the opposite; no darkness at all. Although as I said before this is not a full treatment of a theological topic, but of the practical nature of our lives that flows from that truth. So, John uses if…then statements to help us. He gives us more insight to those who left, indicating their stance is that they can live in “darkness” and have a right relationship with God (idea of koininea from above and below is the link). To that, he says that we are lying and not practicing the truth. The lie is that you cannot have fellowship with the Father and live in/walk in/perpetuate in a sinful life. The truth is this: the gospel application to our lives is transformation. Those who are born again have their desires changed from the inside out. The key to this whole text is living their lives different from their confession. If we walk in the light…fellowship with one another because Christ has forgiven sin, and we join in fellowship with each other because of that truth. And remember we are mainly focusing on behavior at this point—horizontal. Those who left had left their brethren, again the warning, not under the blood…John 3:20:21