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Light covers darkness | 1 John 1:5-7

Read 1 John 1:5-7


The Book of 1 John was likely written between A.D. 85-95.


 The Book of 1 John seems to be a summary that assumes the readers' knowledge of the gospel as written by John and offers certainty for their faith in Christ. The first epistle indicates that the readers were confronted with the error of Gnosticism, which became a more serious problem in the second century. As a philosophy of religion, it held that matter is evil and spirit is good. The solution to the tension between these two was knowledge, or gnosis, through which man rose from the mundane to the spiritual. In the gospel message, this led to two false theories concerning the person of Christ, Docetism—regarding the human Jesus as a ghost—and Cerinthianism—making Jesus a dual personality, at times human and at times divine. The key purpose of 1 John is to set boundaries on the content of faith and to give believers assurance of their salvation.


Definition of Righteous:  acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin

                                                2. morally right or justifiable

                                                3. Arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality



The Point:

God is absolutely perfect and Holy.  When we spend time with Him and God’s community we become more righteous; we become more like Him. 



1.        God is Holy, sinless, perfect.  Jesus is God therefore Jesus is Holy, sinless, perfect.



“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”


--1 John 1:5


To talk and teach on proper righteousness we must understand that we do not make ourselves righteous.  Why can’t we do this?  Because we are NOT holy.  We are born into sin, we are imperfect and need to be saved. 


“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”


--1 Corinthians 1:26-30


Paul is reminding the church in Corinth of where their work and power has come from.  You are not gathering as a church simply because you have done something amazing, rather Christ is doing something amazing in you and through you, all of the glory goes to Christ because Christ is doing the work. 


Notice when we look at Romans 10:8-10 the order of salvation is not due to righteousness.  Rather, we are drawn to God by the Holy Spirit and then we repent, we confess in our belief in Him, we are then saved by our Faith in Christ Alone. 


After Salvation; we then start to do the work to please and love God.

“…that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, [resulting in salvation.”

-Romans 10:9-10


Righteousness comes AFTER being saved.  John is reminder the church of this in 1st John by reminding them of who Christ is!  Christ is the absolute light! Is a perfect  example! He is the only truly GOOD person to ever live—undeserving of death BUT He died in our place in order to save us from our sin, from our imperfection and from our eternity in Hell. 


“A good definition of God is, ‘God is the only infinite, eternal, and unchangeable spirit, the perfect being in whom all things begin, and continue, and end.” Another way of saying that God is perfect is to say that God is light.’”


--Enduring Word Commentary


“LIGHT is the purest, the most subtle, the most useful, and the most diffusive of all God’s creatures; it is, therefore, a very proper emblem of the purity, perfection, and goodness of the Divine nature.” 


--Adam Clarke


The word light in the Greek, φῶς, literally means to illuminate, to eliminate the darkness, equivalent to the sun, the sun gives light and gives life because of it’s light, John is literally describing the power of Jesus in this way.





2.        The key to righteousness is to stand in the Light;  To spend your waking hours with the light, with Jesus Christ.



“…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 John 1:6-7


Christ sets the ultimate example for His followers.  But if we walk in the Light, as He himself in in the light reminds the Christians of how they become more righteous:  Walk with Jesus. 


“Preoccupation with appearances and a corresponding neglect of the out-of-sight root of true spiritual life are prophetic signs which go unheeded.  Immediate “results” are all that matter, quick proofs of present success without a thought of next week or next year…truth is whatever works.  If it gets results it is good.”


A.W. Tozer, “The Root of the Righteous.”  1955, Shark Ink Publishing


John is making it clear that in order to be rooted in Christ’s light we must WALK with Him.  Journey with Him.  Take time with Him.  Build a relationship with Him.  Jesus says that to love Him we must “obey His commandments” John 14:15 and He reminds the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2:4 that they must repent because “[Jesus] does not know them.”  Jesus doesn’t want legalistic, robotic obedience; rather He commands us to KNOW HIM FIRST and obey Him out of our love for Him. 


When we obey Christ; our lives will become disciplined, our body will become cleaner, the risk for disease, drunkenness that comes from promiscuity and party lifestyles will become rare if non-existent in our lives.  Following God will better our lives in a holistic way.  As A.W. Tozer said; this is counter-cultural, it takes time, it takes much work that is unseen and unrewarded (instantly), it isn’t popular but in the long term it is better for us. 


Did you know that Christ, our heavenly Father, knows what is best for us—His children? Especially when we don’t even know what is best for us. 




3.        The Christian life does not require perfection. It requires repentance, relationship, honesty, and forgiveness.


“…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 John 1:6-7



Jesus’ perfect body was sacrificed for His followers.  He then resurrected Himself three days later meaning that His perfect blood covers all of our sins.  The Christian must walk in daily repentance with Christ—this perfect act of love and power washes away our sins.  Remember, our acts of worship, church attendance, discipline in faith do not wash away our sin, only Christ can and will do that. 


“‘The blood” is more specific than ‘the death’ would be, for ‘the blood’ denotes sacrifice. It is always the blood that is shed.”


--Rchard C.H. Lenski


“Progress in the Christian life is exactly equal to the growing knowledge we gain of the Triune God in personal experience.  And such experience requires a whole life devoted to it and plenty of time spent at the holy task of cultivating God.  God can be known satisfactorily only as we devote time to Him.”


--A. W. Tozer, “The Root of Righteousness,” 1955, Sharp Ink Publishing


Notice how John says that if one claims to be a Christian yet walks in darkness, they are a liar?  We cannot walk alone in our faith as “we have fellowship with one another,” (1 John 1:6).  There is a sense of accountability in which John is trying to build in this church in which he is writing. 


If one of you is saying they are a Christian yet continuing to practice darkness and not convicted of their sin, then they are a liar! They must be called out! They must be told to run back to Christ! We do not kick people to the curb in our fellowship rather we walk them back to Christ as a church community—remember, it is Christ’s blood that washes away their sin! Not our worship, not our preaching, not our communion. 


As a Christian you need to ask yourself, “what is the fruit in my life?” “Am I being transformed by God?”  “Do I love the things of this world more than spending time with my savior?”


Our priority is to spend time with Christ.  To bask in His presence, to not rush onto the next thing, but to make our relationship with our saviour a priority in our lives—His blood cleans us, nobody else does that, nothing else does that in this world. 


“Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. If you consent and obey, You will eat the best of the land;But if you refuse and rebel, You will be devoured by the sword. Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken.


--Isaiah 1:18-20



The Point:

God is absolutely perfect and Holy.  When we spend time with Him and God’s community we become more righteous; we become more like Him. 


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