In the first 4 verses of this marvelous chapter, we learned that the aim of John was to bring his readers into full fellowship with the Divine nature. In verse 1, he speaks of Christ as the tangible “Word.” In verse 2, he further describes Him as “eternal life.” In verse 3, John invites his readers into a relationship with more than just those who personally saw, touched, and held the Savior. He also invites them into a very real fellowship with the God/man and His Father. In verse 4, John summarizes his introduction by speaking of a completed joy that comes through the sharing and receiving of this marvelous news.
In the next 3 verses, we learned about the unique components of that fellowship. In verse 5, John describes the magnet of fellowship as being perfect “light” in which there is “no darkness at all.” In verse 6, John warns that the perfect “light” can only fellowship those who abide in the absolute “truth” that “God is light.” (1:5) Those who wish to fellowship Him must not “walk in the darkness.” In verse 7, we learned that walking in the light does not mean sinlessness, it means that “the blood of Jesus ... purifies us from all sin.”
In the final, climactic verses of 1 John 1, the Holy Spirit explains the formula for assurance - honesty, confession, and application. One could also view this section of scripture as a three-question test to determine if we are walking in the light.
Verse 8 forces us to ask the question, “Am I being honest about my sinfulness?” Walking on the path of light does not involve a continuous check-off list of righteous acts, it involves a continuous honesty about our sin and the hopelessness of trying to save ourselves.
Verse 9 begs the question, “Am I confessing my sin?” For Christians to walk in the light, we must do more than just draw an honest conclusion that we are sinners. We must act upon that personal assessment. Our honesty leads us into admission and our admission leads God to “forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Verse 10 concludes the test by forcing us to ask, “Am I applying the Word of God so that it can have a place in my life?” It is not enough to conclude that we are sinners, or even to admit it, we must also take positive steps to improve upon it. To do this, application of “his word” is essential.
Honesty and confession are important, but only when a Christian commits himself to making positive change in his life can a passing grade on the assurance test be awarded. We must make a place for His Word in our lives.
In order for us to be certain of our salvation, we must be walking in the light. If during this journey we continue to be honest about our sin, confess that sin, and make a place in our life for the Word of God, we will remain in the light. As we continue making room in our life for the Word of God, exposure to the light will reveal more sin. When it does, we must be honest about the sin, confess the sin, and return to making a place in our life for the Word of God.
Do you see the cycle being described in this passage? That cycle is called walking in the light. If we stay in the cycle, we stay in the light. If we stay in the light, we can be certain of our salvation. Ah, the blessed assurance!
John summarizes this marvelous book with these words, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13) Do you know?
This concludes the Blessed Assurance Review and the study of 1 John 1. If you missed the first eleven parts of this study, please 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"
"God is Light: 1 John 1:5"
"Fellowship with Light: 1 John 1:6"
"Walk In or Out of the Light: 1 John 1:7"
"Formula for Assurance: Honesty 1 John 1:8"
"Formula for Assurance: Confession 1 John 1:9"
"Formula for Assurance: Application 1 John 1:10"
If you were able to take part in this entire study, please share some of your thoughts or lessons you learned. Thank you for taking this journey with us through the first chapter of 1 John!
Did you learn anything from this study of 1 John 1 that you want to share? Or did you have any special thoughts that came to mind? Please let us know!
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