Summary: Light and Dark cannot co-exist, we must flee from the darkness of this world and cling to the light of the Gospel.
Date Written: January 6, 2009
Date Preached: January 7, 2009
Where Preached: OPBC (Wed PM)
Sermon Series: A Study of John’s Letters
Sermon Title: The Incompatibility of Light and Dark
Sermon Text: 1 John 1:6-7
6 If we say, "We have fellowship with Him," and walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
The next section of this letter spans from v.6 here in chapter 1 to v.2 of chapter 2 and it deals with Christ and the Atonement He brings and provides to sinners. John uses the metaphors of dark and light to contrast the differences from God and ungodly… from Christ and Anti-Christ!
Tonight we are going to camp out in John 1:6-7 and focus on this light/dark metaphor of John’s and how it reveals some telling information about serving Christ and who we are called to be!
What we need to first understand is that in this letter John is emphasizing that those who make the profession of faith in Christ, must back that vocal profession with actions that reveal their decision… in other words ACT as if you are a believer, don’t just give it lip service!
And we can make NO mistake, the writer here is NOT going to allow anyone off the hook who believes that somehow the dark and light can peacefully co-exist! Light and Dark are totally incompatible and cannot co-exist where one is the other is NOT! They are polar opposite and actually repel each other.
The writer here is expounding on the message that a believer cannot live their lives and walk in Christ as he or she should when they have one foot on the path of righteousness and one foot in the path of darkness.
Thus the way he introduces these 2 verses in v.5 where he says, “God is light, in Him there is no darkness at all!” And what he is saying is that one cannot serve God, who is the essence and epitome of light and still dwell in the realm of darkness and sin… a realm that is hostile and a home to the enemy of God!
In this darkness God is rejected and a godly life is mocked, scoffed at and ridiculed! But understand that John is not simply saying that darkness is merely sin or wrongdoing… the entire premise of his argument is that this darkness he speaks of is a realm that is totally ANTI-God and is hostile towards the things of God!
This dark realm is characterized by disobedience to God’s commands and the lack of a true and intimate relationship with Christ as Savior. This is why John encourages his readers to NOT walk in this dark realm! He never tells them that they will never have any darkness in them…
John never alludes to the belief that Christians are perfect and without sinful behavior, a fallacy that many NON-believers think about Christians… they think that WE, as saved believers, actually believe that we are now perfect and without sin!
But John’s teaching here is just the opposite, in fact he says, “Hey if you say that you don’t have sin in your life…that you don’t have some darkness in your life… then you are fooling yourself and lying to others! John understood that believers here on this world would NEVER be without a trace of sin in their lives…
Again let us look to the term John is using for failing God… he uses the term ‘darkness’ which is a synonym for ‘walking in darkness’ or an indwelling sinful nature that leads us away from God and God’s relationship!
Let me share something that many of us don’t understand and that is that Darkness and Light are not 2 realities that are WITHIN each of us, but rather they are realities greater than us and OUTSIDE of us…
Darkness and light are 2 opposite forces that each make a claim on us… We are challenged by the Gospel to make a choice… to decide where we choose to dwell and walk in our witness… what circle we desire to be a part of…and then make the all out effort to live as Christ desires us to live!
There are many synonyms for this expression found in 1 John 2:17, things like do I please God in my actions! Do I always do what is right in every situation… do I always live my life by the Truth of God’s word!?
In 2:17 John emphasizes that we are to strive to do what pleases God… to live to please Him! Or what he says in 3:22 when he writes DO WHAT IS RIGHT! Basically he is telling us to live by the Truth of who we are in Christ!