Truth for the Soul
Truth for the Soul
Fellowship with God: Living in the Light
An attribute of God: Perfect Righteousness
And this is the message we have heard from Him [Christ] and announce to you, that God is light (phos), and in Him there is no darkness (skotia) at all. (1:5)
“God is light” is a description of the being and nature of God or an attribute of His essence, indicating that He is absolute in all His glory, truth, and holiness. He is perfect righteousness.
The essence of the gospel message is that God is:
Every person is born a sinner (Rom 5:12; Rom. 3:23). Therefore born condemned (Rom. 6:23) and separated from a Holy God who revealed His holiness to Israel through the law.
God loved us so much that he provided a way for His righteousness and Justice to be satisfied so that we may be forgiven and receive eternal life (Joh 3:16; Rom 5:8; 2Co 5:21). God the father satisfied His demands through the cross.
Forgiveness is available for all mankind because of the work of Christ on the cross. Through faith in Christ men are saved, forgiven, and receive eternal life. (Joh 1:12-13; Act 10:43; Eph 1:7)
After salvation, God’s plan is that we walk in the light as children of the light (Eph 5:8, 2Th 5:5). Since God is light (pure, righteous) believers should live in the light (righteousness) and not in darkness (sin, unrighteousness). We are related to Him by faith and it makes sense that we should be like Him.
The moment we were saved God called us out of darkness and into the light (1Pe 2:9). When we are living in the light it shows that we are enjoying fellowship or close association with God who is light. We have put aside our agenda for His.
It is false doctrine to say that you are enjoying close fellowship with God while living habitually in darkness (sin and unrighteousness). The Apostle John makes this clear in the following verse.
If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 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. (1:6)
Requirements for enjoying fellowship
Koinonia (fellowship) means close association involving mutual interests and sharing; close relationship. The word indicates the setting aside of private interests and desires and joining in with another, or others for common purposes.
“If we say”
Here is the Greek conditional clause Eav introduced followed by the first person plural aorist subjunctive verb lego meaning “to say or speak”. The Greek subjunctive mood indicates what is possible. Fellowship with God is possible. Fellowship with God may be possible but that doesn’t mean that all are having fellowship with God. The conditional clause can be translated “If we are saying” or “If we are claiming”.
“That we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in darkness; we lie and do not practice the truth”.
“Have” here is the Greek verb echo in the 3rd person pl. present active indicative. Present tense indicates continuous action in the present. The verb can be translated “having”. “If we are saying we are continually having fellowship with Him” or “Fellowship we are having”,
“Yet walk in darkness”
The word translated walk here is the 1 person pl. present active subjunctive of the Greek verb peri-pa-teo meaning “to conduct one’s life”. We see this verb also in Eph. 4:1; Col. 1:10; 1Th 2:12. This verb can be translated “but in the darkness we are living” or “but we are living in darkness”.
It is used here in the sense of practical, ethical dealing. The present tense indicates an habitual manner of life- “to live habitually in darkness’’- an attitude of mind issuing in specific acts of wrongdoing, as well as a determination to choose sin (darkness) rather that God (light), as one’s constant sphere of existence. “habitual living in darkness (sin)”.
The word lie here is 1st person pl. present middle indicative (deponent) of the verb pseu-domai meaning to lie or deceive by falsehood. It indicates deception. The phase can be translated “We are lying”.
“And do not practice the truth”
The word translated practice here is the 1st person pl. present active indicative contract verb from the verb poi-e-o meaning to do, to practice. Poi-e-o indicate being faithful and committed to obligations giving to us in the word of God.
The word translated truth here is a-le-theia, which means the deeds that truth demands.
In Jewish writings “to do the truth” indicated doing right, or being faithful especially concerning the truth as revealed in the law; but for us as Christian it means being faithful in applying the doctrines of the church age habitually. It is a life of doctrinal orientation and grace orientation. The church age is all about grace.
The apostle John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says that if we as professing Christians are claiming we are enjoying close fellowship with God and yet we’re continually (habitually) living in sin or the sphere of darkness, we are continually lying and not practicing the deeds that truth demands.
It is impossible for a Christian to have fellowship with God while habitually living in sin (darkness). That is equal to living a lie or making false claims to spirituality.
Spirituality is when the believers are fulfilling the command to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18) through a life of obedience to the word of God. This is how we are experientially sanctified (Joh 17:14-17) or set-apart unto God for His use and purpose.
The Christian is in darkness when living a life of disobedience to the Word of God. He is not in fellowship with God. Darkness and light can’t exist together or in the same place. If we are walking in the light, darkness has to go. If we are practicing sin or disobedience, the light goes out and we are in darkness.
We can talk Spiritually, pretend to be spiritual or claim to be spiritual but that don’t make that a fact. We are deceiving ourselves and others. Many of us are pretenders. We want others to think we are spiritual, so we go around trying to make a favorable impression on them. We want them to think we are walking in the light, though in reality we are walking in darkness. We are living a lie.
What does darkness have in common with light? See 2Co. 6:14
Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, forbids believers having close association with unbelievers.
The unbeliever is an enemy of God, and doesn’t have a relationship with God or fellowship. He carries out Satan agenda and not God’s. He seeks not to glorify God but live independently of God. He doesn’t accept divine truth but oppose truth.
The believer is also not to have close association with believers who have reverted back to their old unbelieving lifestyle. When a Christian sins he grieves the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30) and under the control of the sin-nature (flesh) that indwells Him. The sin-nature is that nature that tempts us to serve sin, self, and function in life without God. The believer controlled by the flesh is in a state of carnality (1Co. 3:1-3).
When a believer is in carnality he is sharing the interest of and joining sides with Satan and unbelievers. He is acting as an enemy of God (Jam 4:4).
Therefore God disciplines (inflict pain on) the believer to get him back into fellowship so that he will not participate in what Satan is doing with Him. Satan’s activity in the world is to lead man in rebellion against God through a life of independence of God.
The believer enjoying fellowship with God has nothing in common with the believer living in darkness thus he is to separate from him and not become intimately involved with Him. The Bible says in dealing with church discipline that we are to treat a habitually sinning brother as an outcast (Mat. 18:15-17, 2Th 3:6). He has determined to exist in the sphere of darkness.
The Apostle Paul in writing to the Corinthians says we are to remove that wicked person from our mist (1Co 5:1-13). He also tells us to forgive the brother if he repents and welcome him back into the fellowship (1Co 2:5-11) and reaffirm our love for him. Paul here forbids excessive punishment when applying church discipline because this may cause the offender to be overcome by excessive grief.
The believer living in obedience is in fellowship with God and God with him. The Christian who says he is in fellowship with God (who is light) but who is disobeying Him (living in darkness) is lying.
There is no Sinless perfection
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1Jo 1:8 NASB)
Cleansing Is available for Fellowship
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1Jo 1:9)
“Confess” here introduced by a conditional clause is the 1 person pl. present active subjuctive of the verb homologeo meaning to admit. The present tense speaks of continuous action and subjunctive mood speaks of possibility or probability. Homologeo is admitting that something is factual and true. Here it indicates agreeing with God. The present tense indicates a repeated acknowledgement of sins. We are to habitually acknowledge and admit our sins.
If we hope to continually enjoy fellowship with God we must constantly admit our sins when we fail. The more we study the word God the more the Holy Spirit reveals sins in our lives and we are to agree with God by admitting that we have sinned and disobeyed His word.
Dikaios indicate the righteousness of God. God acts according to the standard of His holiness and can forgive sins because its penalty has been paid by the death of Christ.
Jesus Christ is our Advocate or defense attorney (1Jo 2:1-2)
He made atonement for the world’s sin to satisfy the righteousness and justice of God.
Christ defends us when we have sinned. Christ plead that He died for the sins we committed. Therefore there is no room for condemnation because of His work. We are forgiven on the basis of Christ’s work. Praise God for His grace through Christ!
Keithian L. Starling
Grace Prison Ministries