Summary: Part one of a series done on 1st John
“Dear John,” part 1 (Walking in the Light)
Story – Me and my friends used to love to play manhunt. We had a guy who lived on the 16th and 17th holes of a golf course and late at night we would go out and play manhunt for hours. It was always a fun time, but one time I can remember it had been really cloudy all day and then that night there was no moonlight, or stars to light our way. Once you left the lights of the houses and found the good hiding places it was pitch black. My team was doing the chasing first and right as we left the lights we thought we had found someone from the other team. So we began to run in that direction then all of a sudden “WHACK” we heard something hit a tree. When we got closer we saw that the guy hiding had run square into a tree with his face and was all cut up and bruised. The point, it helps to have light.
Tonight we begin a new series called “Dear John,” and no it is not about a break up letter, but it is a look into the book of 1st John. We are going to look chapter by chapter and find out what this book says. Many times pastors have an idea, and they then go to the Bible to help support that idea, But for this series we let the words of the book tell us the ideas and concepts. It will be a very challenging and encouraging series, and tonight we begin with a look at “Walking in the Light”
The book of 1st John was most likely written by the same author as the Gospel of John around 90 A.D. and it opens with this in chapter 1:
1 John 1:5 – 7 “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in the darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; 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.” NRSV
The first thing we see John talking about here is this idea of light and darkness.
The contrast he is making between the two is that God is the light, not only that, but he is a light that is so bright, no darkness can be present in him. In other words, God is all perfect, God is all good, and all of God’s decisions are just.
The darkness is the opposite, or absence of all of these things, or it represents sin. Sin is the opposite of being perfect, and good, and just. After John paints this picture of the light and darkness he makes some comments that we will discuss later about these two things having fellowship with each other,
But skip down to verse 7:
1 John 1:7 “but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light…” NRSV
What in the world is walking in the light? Simply, walking in the light means we are in fellowship with the one who is the light. Walking in the light is a relationship that you have with God. Notice something here though; it says that if we walk in the light… John does not say here to simply say we are walking in the light, or to sit in the light, He tells us if we walk in the light. Walking is important for us to be able to understand this verse because it means certain things that we need to know in this Christian life. For instance: walking is much harder than just talking about walking. I can sit and talk about walking, and can even talk the language of walking, but until I actually walk my words are cheap. It is when my feet back up what my mouth has been saying that it gains some value. The reason John uses the idea of walking here is for the same reason. If we talk the talk of a Christian, or we say all of the right Christian things, But our lifestyle does not back up what we are saying then this is the only conclusion we are left with.
1 John 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in the darkness, we lie and do not do what is true.” NRSV
In other words we are claiming to have a relationship with God, but in all reality we are still wondering around in the dark. It is not enough to just talk in the light… We need a real relationship with God, one that is proven by the witness of our life. If I had a relationship with the president of the United States, my life would be different. The same is true if you have a real relationship with God, your life will be different.