“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”
After climaxing the introduction to this book by telling of a complete joy that comes from sharing the God/man good news, John launches into a word picture about fellowship with God - “God is light.”
John admits that the description is not his own. It is a “message” he and the other disciples had “heard from him,” meaning Christ. Who better to describe God to man than the God/man Jesus? There is a very good reason Jesus is called “the Word.” (1 John 1:1) Christ is the ultimate communication of God to man and, according to 1 Timothy 2:5, He also facilitates the communication of man to God.
Within the Divine word picture, “God is light,” we find a reference point often used in Scripture to help readers locate God. Light represents that which is good, pure, and holy. On the other hand, darkness represents that which is bad, corrupt, and unholy. To find God, we must go toward the light.
In John’s Gospel account, he records Christ’s explanation of this word picture. “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3:19-21)
But, one might ask, “How can I know if the light is truly from God” Doesn’t Scripture also teach that ‘Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light’?” (2 Corinthians 11:14) Yes, that is true, but notice again John’s description of the light, “…in him there is no darkness at all.” God’s Light is completely light. There are no shadows, He does not flicker. His light is purely holy and without even the slightest hint of evil. Within the God/man, Jesus, this pure light found a human dwelling place. (See Colossians 1:19, 2:9) Jesus is the “light!” (See John 1:4-5)
But get this! The Colossians passage mentioned above does not just say that within Jesus dwells the fullness of God, it also says, “…and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God who raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:10-12)
Did you get that? Not only does the fullness of God dwell within Jesus, those who have experienced spiritual circumcision through baptism are given “fullness in Christ.” What could possibly happen during baptism that could provide such a “fullness?” Notice the words of Peter in Acts 2:38 - “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Notice also the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:12, 16 - “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us…. ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”
At baptism, Jesus circumcises the heart and fills us with “the Spirit who is from God” so that we might “understand what God has freely given us.” (1 Corinthians 2:12) That enlightenment comes to the believer because “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16) or, put another way, we have been given “fullness in Christ.” (Colossians 2:10)
“God is light” (1:5) and by using the light as our reference point, we can navigate the course to a place of perfect fellowship with Him. (1:3, 7)
For assurance to be sure, we must let God speak for Himself. We must be true to the inspired context. After each study, read the entire chapter again taking note to the way today's verse relates to all the verses around it. Due to the colorful, complex nature of the original language, the best translation is multiple translations. Following each lesson, this chapter will be presented in a different translation. Below, we have featured the New American Bible (Revised Edition).
1 John 1 (NABRE)
What was from the beginning,
what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes,
what we looked upon
and touched with our hands
concerns the Word of life—
for the life was made visible;
we have seen it and testify to it
and proclaim to you the eternal life
that was with the Father and was made visible to us—
what we have seen and heard
we proclaim now to you,
so that you too may have fellowship with us;
for our fellowship is with the Father
and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
We are writing this so that our joy may be complete.
Now this is the message that we have heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
To continue this study, go to:
"Fellowship with Light: 1 John 1:6"
"Walk In or Out of the Light: 1 John 1:7"
"Formula for Assurance (Part 1): Honesty 1 John 1:8"
"Formula for Assurance (Part 2): Confession 1 John 1:9"
"Formula for Assurance (Part 3): Application 1 John 1:10"
"Blessed Assurance Review"
Missed the first five parts of this study? Check them out!
"Blessed Assurance: 1 John 1 Introduction"
"Jesus - Word of Life: 1 John 1:1"
"Jesus - Eternal Life: 1 John 1:2"
"Fellowship With the Father and the Son: 1 John 1:3"
"Complete Joy: 1 John 1:4"
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