Summary: Walking in the light is conditioned on following Christ. John 8:12 “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.” The Epistle of 1 John lays out several conditions for walking in the light.
Walking in the Light
Before a person comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ the Bible says that that person is in total spiritual darkness. When one comes to Jesus that person no longer needs to be in darkness but in following Christ they have the light of life. As such they are instructed to no longer walk in darkness but "as children of light", to walk in the light – the light of Christ and His Word. Note that Christ says in John 8:12 “...I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Walking in the light is conditioned on following Christ. The Epistle of 1 John lays out several conditions for walking in the light.
I. In order to walk in the light we must be willing to see our sins as God sees them.
A. 1 John 1:8-10 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
B. We must recognize what sin is. F. F. Bruce described sin when he wrote that “There is something in man—even regenerate man—which objects to God and seeks to be independent of Him.”
C. Our sense of sin is in proportion to our nearness to God. -Thomas Bernard
D. Before an individual can be saved, he must realize that he is lost and that he cannot save himself. It is when he sees himself as a sinner in need of the Savior, confesses his sin to God and confesses Christ as his Lord, and receives Christ’s forgiveness and cleansing that he becomes a child of God.
E. As believers we have received Christ’s forgiveness and cleansing but as we go through our daily lives we soil our garments. We do not want to think of these actions and inactions as sin.
F. Far too many Christians don’t see their sin as the evil that it is. They believe that their sin is nothing more than mistakes, frailties, errors, being human – “anything but sin”.
G. Paul apple says that confession of sin for the believer means to say the same thing that God does about that sin, to agree with God as to all the implications of that sin as it relates to the Christian who commits it and to a holy God against whom it is committed.
H. Confessing sin includes two actions - saying and doing -- it is saying the same thing about our sins and it includes a forsaking of our sin.
I. The records of wars sometimes tell of officers who lost their rank and were dropped from the rolls of the regiment in disgrace, but afterward by heroic conduct won back their lost rank. There is always in the soul of the believer who has wandered that possibility of reclaiming and regaining the honors and the righteousness it has lost. No matter how deep into the far country the son has wandered, there is always a path that leads back to the Father's house. There is a robe kept in readiness for you, O wandering son! There is a ring that will never be put on any finger but yours, O wandering daughter! There is a welcome for you, O hardened sinner! Christ receives sinners! He likes to go out and meet them on the way back. He delights in remaking them and redeeming them.
J. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
K. 1 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.”
II. In order to walk in the light we must be willing to listen to and obey God’s commands.
A. To walk in the light is to be obedient to God’s instruction just as Christ lived a life of perfect, absolute obedience to the Father
B. 1 John 2:3-6 “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keeps his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”