|1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (NASB: Lockman)|
Amplified: [So] if we say we are partakers together and enjoy fellowship with Him when we live and move and are walking about in darkness, we are [both] speaking falsely and do not live and practice the Truth [which the Gospel presents]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ESV: If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (ESVBible.org)
KJV: If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
NLT: So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Consequently, if we were to say that we enjoyed fellowship with him and still went on living in darkness, we should be both telling and living a lie. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: If we say that things in common we are having with Him, and thus fellowship, and in the sphere of the aforementioned darkness are habitually ordering our behavior, we are lying, and we are not doing the truth. (Erdmans)
Young's Literal: if we may say -- 'we have fellowship with Him,' and in the darkness may walk -- we lie, and do not the truth
|IF WE SAY THAT WE HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM AND YET WALK IN THE DARKNESS: Ean eipomen (1PAAS) oti koinonian echomen (1PPAI) met' autou kai en to skotei peripatomen, (1PPAS): (If: 1Jn 1:8,10 2:4 4:20 Mt 7:22 Jas 2:14,16,18 Rev 3:17,18)(fellowship: 1Jn 1:3 Ps 5:4-6 94:20 2Co 6:14-16)(walk: 1Jn 2:9-11 Ps 82:5 Pr 2:13 4:18,19 Jn 3:19,20 11:10 12:35,46)
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The interpretation of 1John 1:6 marks a "watershed" (Webster = "a crucial dividing point, line, or factor") among commentators and commentaries. The division is between those who feel that what John is saying does not relate to tests of one's salvation but relates to "tests" of fellowship in the sense of one's daily communion with God. In other words the first group says that John is not describing criteria by which one can discriminate between professors of Christ and possessors of Christ, those who really do know Him and are truly born again.
The second, far more common (and older) interpretative position is that John is describing the difference in behavior of those who claim to be Christians and those who are genuine followers of Christ. The reader should understand that these notes favor the latter interpretation as the most accurate. However, keep in mind that while Scripture can have only one true interpretation, it can have many valid applications and that is the approach taken by these notes.
Gary Derickson aptly summarizes the interpretative position held by the majority of scholars…
In summary, these notes are written with a prayerful attitude that they might rightly divide the Word of Truth accurately (2Ti 2:15). The reader is strongly encouraged to assume a "Berean-like" mindset, and read John's inspired epistle with great eagerness but continually observe the Scriptures daily for themselves, "to see whether these things" written in these notes are indeed an accurate reflection of John's original intent! (See Acts 17:11-note)
Remember that in order to most accurately interpret any portion of Scripture, one needs to repeatedly read (prayerfully and carefully with meticulous observation) the surrounding text in order to assure that the context (and the author's flow of thought) is clearly grasped. Otherwise, one is in danger of interpreting the passage erroneously. Those writers who favor John's purpose is to give the believing readers a series of tests by which they can evaluate their fellowship invoke 1John 1:3 to support that premise. Those who favor John's purpose is to give several tests of one's salvation refer to his purpose statement in 1John 5:13. Let's look at a few of the verses in the next chapter (the context). As you read these passages, ask God's Spirit to help you determine, does what this passage is describing relate to fellowship (sanctification) or to assurance of salvation…
Do you notice a pattern? John repeatedly associates what one says with what one does or how one behaves. John certainly seems to want to make sure we are who we say we are, as determined by how we live. Now, does that sound like John wants his readers to be sure of their fellowship or their salvation? How do you know what a person really believes? James would say the way to know is by their "works." John the Baptist and Jesus would say the way to know is by their "fruits." So if one's "works" or "fruits" include not keeping God's commandments, not walking as Jesus walked and hating one's brother, does that sound like a believer who is just "out of fellowship" or does it sound like one who professes to believe but has no evidence the new birth that would give him assurance of eternal life? If you're still not sure, then I would suggest reading First John over several more times, looking at the repeated words which give you a clue to John's flow of thought and his purpose for writing this letter. Then you can read the commentary notes and decide whether they are an accurate interpretation of the text.
Dr. Wayne Barber writes that…
As noted some writers like David Guzik feel that John's subject is "fellowship, not salvation." Then Guzik states that "The Christian who temporarily walks in darkness is still saved, but not in fellowship with God." While I respect Guzik's commentary, his statement "temporarily walks" cannot be substantiated from the verb tense John uses for "walk". To the contrary, John's use of the present tense pictures this hypothetical walk as continual and not just a "temporary slip" which characterizes even believers. In fact Guzik himself goes on to make another comment (with which I completely agree) on verse 6 observing that "a walk in darkness (indicates) a pattern of living. This does not speak of an occasional lapse, but of a lifestyle of darkness." (Bolding mine) Webster says that the word "pattern" is a "a reliable sample of traits, acts, tendencies, or other observable characteristics of a person"! Beloved, how can a person whose "pattern of living" is to continually walk in darkness be considered a child of the light? How can one who continually behaves this way expect to have any assurance of salvation, which John desires for his readers (1John 5:13)? It is important to note that John repeatedly and purposefully associates what one says with how one lives. John wants us his readers to know who they really are in the spiritual realm, by how they conduct themselves in the physical realm.
John Piper explains that
When you walk in darkness, you are controlled by the desires for the soft, warm underbellies of prestige and power and two-second pleasures (see Jas 4:14). This is the very opposite of what it means to have fellowship with God. Fellowship with God means that you see things the way He sees them and have the same desires He has. If we are controlled by desires for the world instead of desires for God, it doesn't matter whether we say we have fellowship with God or not; we don't have it. Instead we walk in darkness. (1 John 1:5-10: Let Us Walk in the Light of God)
The IVP Bible Commentary puts it like this
Light and darkness are opposites, and repel each other. One cannot have fellowship with God with one foot in darkness and one in light, since God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. Darkness and light are two opposing forces, each making their competing claims upon us.
First let us recall the context that John has just presented the truth that God is light. John is fond of emphasizing his statements by restating them in negative form and so he adds that "In Him there is no darkness at all." In other words John is stating as strongly as he can, the contrast between God and darkness. Note that John does not speak about the origin of the darkness. That is not his point. His main thrust is to emphasize that living in the darkness is absolutely incompatible with fellowship with God. John is using light and darkness primarily in the ethical sense. In other words, he is saying that "God is good and evil can have no place beside Him." (Howard Marshall)
Remember to whom John is writing and why he is writing. Some would say the letter is all about fellowship but notice what John himself states in chapter 5…
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life (1 Jn 5:13)
If (1437) (ean) is a preposition which serves to identify what is referred to in Greek as a third class conditional clause. It means "(If)… and it may be true or may not be true." There is a supposition (something that is supposed) where the reality of the issue is uncertain. A conditional clause in Greek is formed by combining a preposition with a certain verb mood. In this case ean is combined with the subjunctive mood which is the mood of probability ("we say" is in the subjunctive mood) which implies uncertainty. In the context of this letter, the most reasonable interpretation is that there were false teachers amongst the believers who were making and/or teaching these claims. Marshall adds that "It is probable that these claims were real statements made by people in the church to which John was writing, and that they reflect the outlook of the people who were causing trouble in the church."
This is the first of seven clauses introduced by “if” in 1Jn 1:5-1Jn 2:6.
Alfred Plummer summarizes John's uses of "if" writing that…
With great gentleness he puts the case hypothetically, and with great delicacy he includes himself in the hypothesis. This ‘if we’ continues in almost every verse until 1Jn 2:3, after which it is changed into the equivalent ‘he that’, which continues down to 1Jn 2:11; after that neither form is used. This is one of several indications that from 1Jn 1:6 to 1Jn 2:11 is a definite division of the Epistle, based upon the introductory verse, 1Jn 1:5. With 1Jn 2:12 there is a new departure.
The first two “if” clauses, (1Jn 1:6) If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness and (1Jn 1:7) but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, are in contrasting parallelism. 1Jn 1:6 expresses the negative and 1Jn 1:7 counters with the positive.
We say (2036)(epo) is the first person plural which indicates that John is including himself in this suppositional statement. Some would take this as evidence that what follows does not apply to the distinction of believers versus unbelievers.
Sam Storms addresses this question of how John can use "we" in 1Jn 1:6-10 in passages that describe the lifestyle of non-believers (since John is obviously not a non-believer)…
In support of the interpretation that "we" in 1Jn 1:6-10 is a reference to men in general ("applicable to all men equally") notice that John switches from we to other ways of identifying those who make false claims. In other words John gives us a number of descriptions of men who say one thing and do another. Observe that John's phrase "we say" occurs only in 1John 1:6, 8, 10. John then changes to "one who says" (1Jn 2:4, 6, 9) and to "If someone says… " in 1Jn 4:20. Observe that in each of these instances John makes a "positive" statement regarding the faith followed by a negative behavior which in effect "contradicts" this this person's positive claim. John repeatedly describes those who say one thing and do another.
McDermond writes that rather that "if we say"…
a better translation here would be when (or whenever) we say. This translation suggests, as many commentators recognize, that a group is actually claiming to be in fellowship with God even while their lives point to a different reality. Clearly John writes these opening words because some influential person or group is claiming to be a model of how to relate to God, and yet the reality of their lifestyle leads the believing observer to draw the opposite conclusion. (McDermond, J. E.: 1 John--Commentaries: Believers Church Bible Commentary) (Bolding added for emphasis)
Henry Alford explains that…
The first person plural ("we") gives to the sayings a more general form, precluding any from escaping from the inference: at the same time that by including himself in the hypothesis, the Apostle descends to the level of his readers, thus giving to his exhortations the “come,” and not “go,” which ever (always) wins men’s hearts the most. (1 John 1 Commentary) (Bolding added for emphasis)
The phrase practicing the truth means living out the truth in a lifestyle obedient to God. The most important parallel is John 3:20, 21, where we are told “Everyone who does [= practices] evil hates the light and does not come to the light…but the one who practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God.” The problem with the opponents lies not with their boast that they have fellowship with God, but with their contradictory behavior—they continue walking in the darkness.
The heretics claimed that fellowship was based on knowledge only (Ed: Gnosticism ~ gnosis = knowledge). This was an aspect of Greek philosophy from Plato. However, John asserts that Christians must live Christlike lives (cf. v. 7; Lev. 19:2; 20:7; Mt 5:48).
McDermond comments that…
The first portion of 1Jn 1:6 highlights this inconsistency. The claim is that some see themselves in fellowship with God. In just the previous verse (1Jn 1:5) the point is made that God is light, meaning authentic and good, and there is no darkness in him. Therefore one may (or might) assume that those people claiming fellowship are authentic and good as well. But as the author reflects on their lives, he concludes differently. They are walking in darkness. (McDermond, J. E.: 1 John--Commentaries: Believers Church Bible Commentary)
Fellowship (2842) (koinonia from koinos = that which is in common, belonging to several or of which several are partakers) describes the experience of having something in common and/or of sharing things in common with others. It describes a close association involving mutual interests and sharing or to have communion (Which Webster defines communion as "intimate fellowship") It denotes the active, joint participation, cooperation and/or sharing in a common interest or activity.
John's intended meaning of fellowship in this context is one of several keys which will guide our interpretation of not just this section of the letter and for that matter the entire letter. Fellowship in 1John 1:6 could refer either to the initial salvation experience or to the subsequent sharing of common interests that follows regeneration (the time referred to as sanctification). The question is whether there are any NT examples of koinonia which refer specifically to the initial salvation experience? Let's observe Paul's statement in First Corinthians…
God is faithful, through Whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1Cor 1:9)
Adam Clarke commenting on 1John 1:6 makes the point that
Having fellowship, koinonia, communion, with God, necessarily implies a partaking of the Divine nature.
Listen to what the venerable preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon has to say about fellowship…
Marvin Vincent writes that
The true life in man, which comes through the acceptance of Jesus as the Son of God, consists in fellowship with God and with man." (Vincent, M. R. Word studies in the New Testament)
Tyndale Bible Dictionary succinctly defines fellowship as…
Communion with God, which results in common participation with other believers in the Spirit of God and God’s blessings. (Elwell, W. A., & Comfort, P. W. Tyndale Bible Dictionary. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers)
With Him - with God. The unique fellowship between Father and Son began in eternity, was manifested itself in time through the incarnation of Jesus, was introduced to the apostles, and then introduced to every believer via the ministry of indwelling Spirit of Christ (2Cor 13:14; Phil 2:1, Ro 8:9).
As John Stott explains the believer's fellowship with God is
W E Vine
Monty Mills comments that…
Jim Bomkamp lists the following indicators or marks of a genuine believer from John's first chapter…
Listen to Dr. John Piper's concluding remarks from his sermon on 1John 1:5-10…
If we say… if we walk - Observe the clear juxtaposition by John of what we say with what we actually do! In this context John is saying that some were in effect saying that sin does not matter.
Walk (4043)(peripateo from peri = about, around + pateo = walk, tread) means literally to walk around, to go here and there in walking, to tread all around. The 39 uses in the Gospels refer to literal walking. Seven of the 8 uses in Acts are also in the literal sense (except Acts 21:21). When we come to the epistles of Paul peripateo is used only in the metaphorical sense referring to the conduct of one's life, the ordering of one's behavior. John also frequently uses peripateo in the figurative sense referring to one's ordinary course of life (1Jn 2:6, 11; 2 John 4, 6; 3 John 3, 4; Rev. 21:24; John 8:12).
Alford stating that the verb peripateo…
as so often in N. T., (speaks) of the whole being and moving and turning in the world (1 John 1 Commentary)
Plummer comments that the meaning of walk in the present tense…
As John Stott says
McDermond adds that…
In the darkness (en to skotei) - Notice John says "in" not "according to".
Darkness (4655) (skotos from skia = shadow thrown by an object. Skia it can assume the meaning of skotos and indicate the sphere of darkness) is literally that sphere in which light is absent. As most of know all too well by personal experience, the absence of light leaves room for evil and sin. In this sense darkness may be described as evil.
Skotos can refer to literal darkness as occurred on the day of Jesus' crucifixion (Mt 27:45) or darkness as opposed to light in the creation (2Cor 4:6).
Skotos is used as another name for the place of punishment, eternal misery and eternal separation from God (the meaning of skotos here in 2Peter) .
Skotos is used by John here in 1John 1:6 (and 1Jn 2:8, 9, 11) with the figurative meaning of spiritual or moral darkness (including a lack of understanding) as in the following examples
C H Spurgeon comments…
Mark here, this does not mean walking in the darkness of sorrow, for there are many of God’s people that walk in the darkness of doubts and fears, and yet they have fellowship with God; nay, they sometimes have fellowship with Christ all the better for the darkness of the path along which they walk, but the darkness here meant is the darkness of sin, the darkness of untruthfulness. If I walk in a lie, or walk in sin, and then profess to have fellowship with God, I have lied, and do not the truth.
The Full Life Study Bible comments…
To “walk in the darkness” means to live outside of God’s truth and a personal relationship with him. It means to reject God’s standards and pursue one’s own direction toward selfish and immoral pleasure. People who live this way do not “have fellowship with him,” and are “not born of God” (cf. 1John 3:7-9; Jn 3:19; 2Co 6:14). Their actions show that they do not have a saving relationship with God. But those who have accepted God’s forgiveness and the opportunity to have true companionship with Christ experience his favor, help and strength to live in spiritual purity and to do what is right by God’s standard (1Jn 1:7; 2:4; 3:10).
WE LIE AND DO NOT PRACTICE THE TRUTH: pseudometha (1PPM/PI) kai ou poioumen (1PPAI) ten aletheian: (we lie: 1Jn 1:10 4:20 Jn 8:44,45 1Ti 4:2) (do not: Jn 3:21)
Compare these other passages in First John that deal with lying…
The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1Jn 2:4)
I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. (1Jn 2:21)
And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. (1Jn 2:27)
Although the word "lie" is not used, the principle practiced is the same in this passage…
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1Jn 4:1)
Now, as you compare Scripture with Scripture, do these passages that speak of lying help you interpret John's statement "we lie and do not practice the truth"? Notice the repeated contrast between truth and lie.
We lie (5574)(pseudomai from pseudo = to cheat, defraud, falsify) means to communicate what is false, with the evident purpose of misleading. In the context of this verse, the one we are misleading is ourselves! Self deception! The Greek term and the English equivalent ‘to lie’ involve more than simply telling what is not true, for this could occur without an intent to deceive or mislead. It means means to tell a falsehood, attempt to deceive by lying, to speak falsely or deceitfully. In the present context John is saying in essence that we lie by our actions. And thus we might say one thing with our lips but another with our life! Pseúdomai therefore involves not only the communication of a falsehood but also the intent to deceive (cp our intrinsic ability to even deceive ourselves - Jer 17:9 cp Heb 3:12, 13-note)
Plummer on "we lie, and do not the truth"…
Wiersbe comments that …
We lie and do not practice the truth - The Pulpit Commentary has "we are false both in word and deed." As noted elsewhere both verbs (lie and practice) are in the present tense which can be paraphrased…
"We habitually lie and
It seems inconceivable to me that some commentators consider this individual to be a genuine Christian and explain that he or she is simply not in fellowship with God. Sure, all genuine believers lie occasionally, BUT genuine Christians do not lie as their general lifestyle. All Christians fail to practice the truth, BUT genuine Christians do not fail to practice the truth as their habitual practice!
It also seems that John considers the habitual practice of lying a very serious matter which should cause the practitioner to do some deep soul searching including meditating on John's passages that describe the eternal destiny of habitual liars.
In the near context in chapter 2 John makes another strong statement writing that…
Later in chapter 2 John asks…
In chapter 4 John again addresses the issue of lying stating plainly that…
The Apostle John links lying and practicing twice in the Revelation in his description of the moral characteristics of those who will not be allowed into heaven! Perhaps this John wanted to make sure the readers of his epistle were not deceived by their lifestyle of lying and not practicing the truth (1Jn 1:6b)!
John also mentions lying again in Revelation 21 linking it with the liar's eternal destiny…
In summary, these passages from the pen of John strongly support the premise that lying is a very serious issue, one that clearly can impact one's eternal destiny. Thus when John says that when we walk in the darkness continually we are in effect practicing lying, that should be a cause of serious concern. In my opinion, that hardly sounds like the description of a genuine believer! Sure all believers are guilty from time to time of "little white lies" (a misnomer, because all sin is an abomination to "God [Who] is light"). But genuine believers do not continually lie as their lifestyle.
THE TRUTH ABOUT
Do not practice the truth - "Not" is the Greek word "ou" which signifies absolute negation. John is saying that when one walks habitually in darkness, they absolutely do not practice the truth. There is no middle ground. You either do or you don't practice the truth. Don't be deceived! Sure, all believers have times when they do not do the truth, but that is not their habitual practice or lifestyle. Believers are new creatures in Christ (2Cor 5:17), and have been transferred out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light and now have a new desires and a new power to carry out those desires. Believers don't practice the truth about them perfectly, but they do practice them as the general direction of their life (toward heaven, not hell!) As I like to say, we are speaking of direction, not perfection. If someone's life is continually in the darkness, then can they possibly claim to have fellowship with "God (Who) is light" (1Jn 1:5)? Such a claim is preposterous, and anyone who believes that they can live like the devil and be assured of living eternally with Jesus is simply deceiving themselves. They have bought into the lie that John is addressing in this epistle, the lie that says you can live anyway you want to live and still think you are an authentic, born again, regenerate person, who has Christ in them, who has His Holy Spirit indwelling them, and yet who continually lives an unholy life. John wants to counter this dangerous deception, which is why he is writing these statements about those who say one thing and do another (1John 5:13).
Using a basic rule of good hermeneutics that Scripture is the best commentary on Scripture, it is notable that the only other use of the phrase "practice truth" is by the apostle John in his Gospel in a passage which is clearly in the context of salvation (See Jesus' teaching on belief and salvation in John 3:16, 17, 18, 19). John records the words of our Lord Jesus Christ…
Practice (4160) (poieo) means to do or to accomplish and is in the present tense in this passage, indicating that this failure to practice truth is one's lifestyle or continual practice. In other words, John is describing a person who is "living a lie" (a hypocrite) which is another way of saying this person is not a genuine believer.
As Wiersbe says this person "is playing a role and acting a part, but is not living a genuine life. He is insincere."
In short, John is saying it does not matter what you say you believe, but what you show you believe by what you do, by how you live. If you say you believe and your live matches your lips then that is clearly a strong indication that your belief is genuine. John desires that his readers have assurance of their salvation (1John 5:13). On the other hand he wants to make sure that anyone who calls themselves a Christian and lives like the devil (a liar from the beginning) is not deceived into thinking they are just out of fellowship. John clearly believers habitual liars are not just out of fellowship, but out of the presence of the God of light for all eternity! Serious consequences call for strong language, and John is up to the task.
Brooke says it this way…
The truth (ten aletheian) - The definitive article identifies this as not just truth in general but in context is "the specific truth" about how a believer should walk. Truth is like a beacon of light which shines on our lies and exposes the darkness of our souls.
Truth (225)(aletheia from a = indicates following word has the opposite meaning ~ without + lanthano = to be hidden or concealed, to escape notice, cp our English "latent" from Latin = to lie hidden) has the literal sense of that which contains nothing hidden, that which is not concealed. Aletheia is that which that is seen or expressed as it really is.
The basic understanding of aletheia is that it is the manifestation of a hidden reality. For example, when you are a witness in a trial, the court attendant says "Raise your right hand. Do you swear that you will tell the truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?" And you say, "I do" and you sit down. The question the court attendant is asking is "Are you willing to come into this courtroom and manifest something that is hidden to us that only you know so that you will bear evidence to that?" Therefore when you speak the truth, you are manifesting a "hidden reality". Does that make sense? A parallel example in Scripture is the case of the woman in the crowd who had touched Jesus (Read context = Mk 5:24-25, 26-27, 28-29, 30, 31-32), but when she became "aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth " (Mk 5:33) and nothing but the truth. She did not lie. She spoke no falsehoods.
Truth then is the correspondence between a reality and a declaration which professes to set forth or describe the reality. To say it another way, words spoken or written are true when they correspond with objective reality. Persons and things are true when they correspond with their profession (which we describe with words like integrity, sincerity, non-hypocritical, etc). In other words, "what you see is what you get".
Peter Barnes writes that…
John is saying that because God is holy, his people must be committed to holy living. A person who claims to know God but who walks in darkness is lying and not carrying out the truth. He may believe in Jesus as Lord, he may preach and prophesy in his name, he may perform miracles and cast out demons—but if he practises lawlessness he is damned as one whom Christ never knew (Matt. 7:21–23). If we are not slaves of righteousness, we are slaves of sin (Ro 6:15–18). Without holiness (or sanctification), no one will see the Lord (Heb. 12:14). The evangelist may tell the unholy believer that he is safe, but Christ says that he is not (In Mt 7:21-23). (Barnes, Peter, Knowing Where We Stand: The Message of John’s Epistles-Welwyn Commentary Series)
Paul Apple summarizes John's teaching (and his warning) in this verse…
Warren Wiersbe discusses the prototypical human liar, Cain, noting that…
Cain was a child of the devil (1Jn 3:12), which means he was a murderer and a liar (Jn 8:44). He lied to his brother when he enticed him to the place where he killed him. He lied to himself in thinking that he could do such an evil deed and get away with it. Cain even tried to lie to God and cover up his wicked deeds! (Be Basic)
Celebrate the Man - A survey of visitors at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, revealed that many of the park’s guests under the age of 15 didn’t know that Walt Disney was a real person. They thought that “Disney” was just a company name. When corporate officials planned the celebrations commemorating the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney’s birth, they made a special effort to highlight the life and impact of the real man.
With Christmas still a few weeks away, it’s not too early to ponder how we can celebrate the Savior’s birth in a way that helps others know that Jesus lived on this earth as a real man. What can we do to communicate that a baby born in Bethlehem was the one and only Son of God who gave His life to save us from sin?
The apostle John, a companion of Jesus, taught that to live as a forgiven, transformed person is the best testimony we can give that Jesus was truly the Son of God, a real person. He wrote, “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1Jn 1:7). And “He who loves his brother abides in the light” (1Jn 2:10).
More than the gifts we give, it is how we live that will point to the reality of Christ this Christmas. — by David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Does your life shed light
1 John 1:7 Commentary
|1 John 1:7 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. (NASB: Lockman)|
Greek: ean de en to photi peripatomen (1PPAS) os autos estin (3SPAI) en to photi, koinonian echomen (1PPAI) met' allelon kai to aima Iesou tou huiou autou katharizei (3SPAI) hemas apo pases hamartias.
Amplified: But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ESV: But 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 cleanses us from all sin. (ESVBible.org)
KJV: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
NLT: But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: But if we really are living in the same light in which he eternally exists, then we have true fellowship with each other, and the blood which his Son shed for us keeps us clean from all sin. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: But if within the sphere of the light we are habitually ordering our behavior as He himself is in the light, things in common and thus fellowship we [the believer and God] are having with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son keeps continually cleansing us from every sin. (Erdmans)
Young's Literal: and if in the light we may walk, as He is in the light -- we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son doth cleanse us from every sin
|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: ean de en to photi peripatomen (1PPAS) os autos estin (3SPAI) en to photi, koinonian echomen (1PPAI) met' allelon kai to aima Iesou tou huiou autou katharizei (3SPAI) hemas apo pases hamartias: (If we: 1Jn 2:9,10 Ps 56:13 89:15 97:11 Isa 2:5 Jn 12:35 Ro 13:12 Eph 5:8 2Jn 1:4 3Jn 1:4)(as: 1Jn 1:5 Ps 104:2 1Ti 6:16 Jas 1:17)(we have: 1Jn 1:3 Am 3:3)(and the: 1Jn 2:1,2 5:6,8 Zec 13:1 Jn 1:29 1Co 6:11 Eph 1:7 Heb 9:14 1Pe 1:19 Rev 1:5 7:14)
Walk in the light: so shalt thou know
Walk in the light:
As He Himself is in the light - Referring to God.
Toon writes that in this passage
John Piper explains what it means practically to walk in the light…
Walking in the light is the opposite of walking in darkness. It means seeing reality for what it is and being controlled by desires that accord with God's light. If God is light, and in him is no darkness at all, then he is the bright pathway to the fulfillment of all our deepest longings. He is the deliverer from all dark dangers and obstacles to joy. He is the infinitely desirable One. If in His own light He shines forth as a Being of infinite worth, then He is the star of glory that we were made to admire and cherish. If God opens the eyes of our hearts to see all that, then our desires are captured by the surpassing glory of God over every thing that the world has to offer, and we walk in the light as He is in the light. There is a walk, there is a lifestyle, that necessarily results from the miracle of new birth when we are given eyes to see the surpassing worth of the light of God. First John is written to describe what that lifestyle looks like and how it results from the God's light and our new birth. (1 John 1:5-10: Let Us Walk in the Light of God)
Fellowship with one another - One another refers to other believers but clearly also includes God because genuine fellowship with other believers is not possible unless both parties have first experienced fellowship with God. John is teaching that walking in the light is the condition of fellowship not only with God but also with other believers.
fellowship one with another] This certainly refers to the mutual fellowship of Christians among themselves, as is clear from 1Jn 3:23, 4:7, 12; 2 John 5. It does not refer to fellowship between God and man, as S. Augustine and others, desiring to make this verse parallel to v. 6, have interpreted…
In that ‘thick darkness’, which prevailed ‘in all the land of Egypt three days, they saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days’ (Ex. 10:22, 23): i.e. there was an absolute cessation of fellowship. Society could not continue in the dark: but when the light returned, society was restored. So also in the spiritual world: when the light comes, individuals have that communion one with another which in darkness is impossible. In a similar spirit Cicero declares that real friendship is impossible without virtue (De Amic. vi. 20).
And the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all unrighteousness -
The ‘and’ shews that this is a further consequence of walking in the light. “For this is the virtue of the Lord’s blood, that such as it has already purified from sin, and thenceforward has set in the light, it renders thenceforward pure, if they continue steadfastly walking in the light” (Tertull. De Mod. XIX.). One who walks in spiritual darkness cannot appropriate that cleansing from sin, which is wrought by the blood of Jesus, shed on the cross as a propitiation for sin.
(His Son) Not redundant: (1) it is a passing contradiction of Cerinthus, who taught that Jesus was a mere man when His blood was shed, for the Divine element in His nature left Him when He was arrested in the garden; and of the Ebionites, who taught that He was a mere man from His birth to His death; (2) it explains how this blood can have such virtue: it is the blood of One who is the Son of God.
There is power, power, wonder–working power
Light produces life and growth and beauty, but sin is darkness and produces death and corruption (Ro 3:63, Gal 6:8). Clearly, darkness and light cannot exist in the same place. I t follows that if we are walking in the light, the darkness has to go. If we are holding to sin, then the light goes. There is no middle ground, no vague “gray” area, where sin is concerned.
--Arthur S Booth-Clibborn
O God of light, O God of love,
Shine on my soul from Heaven above!
Let sin appear in Thy pure ray
As black as on the judgment day;
Let perfect love apply the test,
And all that’s wrong make manifest.
Martin Luther tells about the dream he once had in which Satan set before him on a great scroll all of his sins and manifold iniquities. Luther didn’t argue with the devil, he just admitted each one without denying any of them. In his dream, he simply scrawled 1 John 1:7 across the list: “The blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” (Brian Bill -1John 1:5-2:2)
C H Spurgeon has this note on 1John 1:7 in his devotional Daily Help…
AS he is in the light! Can we ever attain to this? Shall we ever be able to walk as clearly in the light as he is whom we call “Our Father,” of whom it is written, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all?” Certainly, this is the model which is set before us, for the Saviour himself said, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect;” and although we may feel that we can never rival the perfection of God, yet we are to seek after it, and never be satisfied until we attain to it.
(In His Exposition Spurgeon comments on 1Jn 1:7) So that, in the very highest state to which we can attain in this world, namely, walking in the light, as God is in the light, and having fellowship with him, even then we shall sin, and shall still need the blood of Christ to cleanse us from its stain. So those err exceedingly who say that the Christian man can or does live utterly free from sin. Either they have lowered the standard by which they judge the actions of men, or they excuse themselves on some Antinomian principle, or else they must be altogether ignorant of the truth about the matter; for “if we walk in the light, as God is in the light,” and have fellowship with him, still “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin;” and, therefore, there is sin needing to be cleansed, for Christ does no work as a superfluity. But what a mercy it is for us to feel the continual cleansing of the precious blood of Jesus, so that, if we sin through ignorance, or if we sin by omission or by commission, that precious blood constantly keeps us so pure, that we can still walk with God!
Commenting on "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light" (Spurgeon says) Not to the same degree, but in the same manner-So you see that when we walk the best, when we walk in the light, as he is in the light, when our fellowship is of the highest order, yet still we want daily cleansing. It does not say-mark this O my soul-it does not say “ The blood of Jesus Christ cleansed “ but “ cleanseth.” If guilt return, his power may be proved again and again, there is no fear that all my daily slips and shortcomings shall be graciously removed by this precious blood. But there are some who think they are perfectly sanctified and have no sin.
Jim Bomkamp lists the following indicators or marks of a genuine believer from John's first chapter…
John Piper clearly sees this section as describing genuine salvation…
Walk For Your Health - Physical exercise may help us fight off colds and infection. The theory is that a good workout puts our body in a condition similar to what happens at the onset of a fever. That’s not all bad. A fever is the body’s way of fighting back when micro-intruders get into our system. Increased body temperature aids our white blood-cell defense system while slowing down the action of bacteria and viruses. Exercise does the same thing. It releases chemicals into the blood that stimulate the brain to make our temperature rise.
God's Exercise Program
Something More to Give (1John 1:7) - When evangelist John Wesley (1703–1791) was returning home from a service one night, he was robbed. The thief, however, found his victim to have only a little money and some Christian literature.
There is a fountain filled with blood
The Gospel is a priceless gift
Secrets - "God is light,” the apostle reminded us, “and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 Jn. 1:5). But if that is true, how can a holy God have anything to do with the likes of us?
Thinking It Over
No sin is so secret
There When You Need It - When I donated blood some time ago, a nurse gave me a card to read while a pint of the vital red fluid was flowing out of my vein. The card showed the percentages of people who have the different blood types. Here are some of them:
The rarest, AB Negative, is found in only 1 in 167 people, or 0.6% of the population. Then the card made this eye-catching statement: “The rarest blood type is the one that’s not there when you need it.”
That reminded me of a supply of blood that is one of a kind and always available to those who ask for it. 1John 1:7 states
The blood of Jesus Christ His Son
It was the death of Christ, the shedding of His blood, that satisfied the demand of a holy God as payment for our sins (Heb 9:12-note, Heb 9:22-note). So now, whenever a person cries out in faith to God, repenting of his sin and pleading for forgiveness, his prayer for salvation is answered.
I am deeply grateful that Jesus was willing to die on the cross, giving His blood for me, so that forgiveness was available when I needed it. Aren’t you?— by David C. Egner (Ibid)
Lord, I believe Your precious blood,
Thanksgiving Pardon - Each year at the end of November, the President of the United States issues an official pardon for the National Thanksgiving Turkey. During this lighthearted ceremony, one president remarked: “Our guest of honor looks a little nervous. Nobody’s told him yet that I’m going to give him a pardon.” The poor turkey had a good reason to be uneasy—without an acquittal, he was doomed to be Thanksgiving dinner.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,