Summary: There is a difference is between being a Christ-follower and being a church-goer. We can go to church as regularly as Old Faithful, listen to as many sermons by the greatest of preachers from all over the world. We can do all sorts of things in the name o
Walking in the Light – 1 John 1:5-10
Heavenly Father, thank You for this opportunity to look into Your Word and share in the truths You have here for us tonight. Open our ears to hear from You this evening. Open our minds to understand what You are teaching us. Open our eyes to see what it is You are trying to show us. Open our hearts to receive Your message:
5This 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 sin.
8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (NIV)
How can we describe God? How can we possibly put into words exactly what His character is like? We read all through the Bible different descriptions of God. God is love, He is our Father. He is our Rock. He is our Provider. He is the Creator. He is the Great Physician. He is our Refuge. He is our Fortress. He is our strength. He is Lord. He is Judge. He is King.
John gives a very simple, yet profound description for us in this portion of his letter to the churches. He simply puts it like this: God is light.
Light is a beautiful definition of what God is like. Now remember, John is not saying that the light we see around us is God. It is just a description. We could go into great depths trying to define light and its make-up. The fact that it is waves of radiation in a spectrum of colours in what we call visible light. There is much more to light that we cannot see. X-rays, Gamma rays, ultraviolet, radio & TV, microwaves; all of these are part of what ‘light’ is. But we don’t worship light, thinking that light is God. People have worshipped all sorts of things, believing them to be god. People have and do worship the sun, the moon, the stars, the trees, the rocks, the earth, etc, etc, etc. But these are NOT God. Light is a metaphor of God’s character, and John goes on to explain that as we continue to read.
‘In him, there is no darkness at all.’ This speaks of the purity of God. God is holy, God is perfect, God is not tempted, God doesn’t have an evil thought in Him. Pure, perfect, light. Some people might think that God has it in for the human race; that we are all just pawns in some kind of chess game that He created, and He inflicts His will upon us and there’s nothing we can do about it. That is not the truth at all. The fact that there is evil in this world is not God’s fault, it is ours. We are each created with a free will to choose to follow God, or our own desires. God is not bent on destroying the human race, if that were so, He would not have created us in the first place. God was once grieved that He had made man. You can read all about it in Genesis 6, the story of the flood and Noah. But He promised never to destroy the world again (with water anyway).
Darkness is found in the heart of man. Darkness is a description of being apart from God. The book of Job uses the word ‘darkness’ 25 times, describing the separation between God and man, how nations grope in darkness with no light at all. Being in darkness is being alone. How many of us like the darkness? I don’t. The Norris’s did cardboard mazes at the church in the past. Long tunnels of fridge boxes and stove boxes, all big enough to crawl through, were taped together in long mazes with dead-ends, slides, twists, turns, and only one exit. This wouldn’t be so bad except that all the lights were turned off, and you had to find your way through the maze in utter darkness. Basically, you had to feel your way through the tunnels. For me, it was not a good situation. Add to that blaring music and the smell of a lot of sweaty kids in the maze; it all added up to a very unpleasant situation for me.