Summary: 2nd in the series "Love Notes: A Letter from John." About living a life of love and holiness and seeking forgiveness when you fail.
President Calvin Coolidge went to church, and afterwards was asked by a friend what the minister spoke on. “He preached on sin.” The friend asked what the preacher had to say about sin, and was told, “He’s against it.”...
That’s sort of the bottom line of today’s message—that sin has no place in the life of the believer. John tells us that if we are followers of Jesus we will walk in the light.
This morning I’d like us to consider what it means to walk in the light.
1. If You’re Saved and You Know It then your Life will surely show it…
1:5-7 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But 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[b] sin.
2: 3-5 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
Here are two strong declarations, back to back that genuine Christianity is marked by a life of obedience to God’s commands. We should not kid ourselves that because our sins are paid for our sins don’t matter. While it’s true that our sins are covered by the blood Jesus shed on the cross, it is also true that those who have genuinely trusted in Jesus and received forgiveness will respond to that forgiveness with a changed life. That we will walk as Jesus walked, or in other words, If you are in step with God you will desire to be obedient to Him.
Illustration: someone once told Mark Twain, “Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the Ten Commandments aloud at the top.” Mark Twain said, “I have a better idea. You could stay in Boston and keep them.” (Illustration 105 in Something to Think About)
Walking in the light means taking not only the ten commandments but all of our Lord’s commands seriously in a life of obedience, and obedience as an instinctive way of life.
Thomas a Kempis wrote, "Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience. Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from Grace."
In other words, God’s grace to us is dependent upon our willingness to be obedient—that is intentionally living contrary to God’s commands is incompatible with the life of faith.
If we are walking in the light our life will also show it…
2:9-11 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 10Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him[c] to make him stumble. 11But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
Illustration: When Jesus shared the story of the Good Samaritan it was in reference to this principle. Jesus raised the question of brotherhood. (Lk. 10:27-37) Jesus raised the question of authenticity. Legitimate faith reflects legitimate love.
This love is a challenging love. Jesus loved the lepers. Jesus loved the immoral. Jesus loved people of different cultural backgrounds.
- He taught us to love those who mistreat us.
- He taught us to love our enemies.
- He taught us to love people who are a different ethnicity.
- He taught us to love people of differing moral values.
- He taught us to love the un-loveable.
But of course the term “brother” here refers primarily to those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ—those who are part of the church. Maybe this is the most difficult of all—don’t laugh, I’m serious. It’s easy to love theoretically the cannibal in South America and more difficult to love those who sit across the sanctuary from you and actually think the carpet in the new fellowship hall should be pink.
To dwell above with the saints we love
Oh that will be glory
To live below with the saints we know
That’s another story! (Source Unknown)
This love is a supernatural love. It is reflected in a person who is sold out and submitted to God. When Jesus faced the cross he prayed an unbelievable prayer, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” When God indwells your heart you will find yourself loving in a supernatural way.