I wanted to focus on the letter of 1 John. To look at the main aspects within each chapter and how fundamental they are for our faith. Lastly, looking at a personal application for our lives. 1 John is a letter that is convicting but also wonderful and glorious, in the truth it proclaims of our Saviour and who we are because of Jesus. I pray that going through this letter will enable us to grow in our understanding and wisdom of our God. That we would grow in understanding of who we are and who we are called to be. That we would continuously allow our hearts, minds and souls to grow in a deeper love for our Saviour.
1 John begins with the proclamation of that which was from the beginning, the word. That they have seen, heard and touched because the word was Jesus. This is the truth that they will proclaim, the eternal life that was sent by the Father. The reason for their proclamation is that we can join with them in their fellowship. Their fellowship is with the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. It was all inclusive, everyone had the invitation to be part of their fellowship. It was a community, a community which called people to live differently. This is what John addresses through his letter.
Our focus for this blog will be on light and darkness, sin and forgiveness. Which is addressed in (1John 1:5-10). The author makes it clear that this is a message from God which they are declaring to the listener/reader.
‘God is light, in him there is no darkness at all.’ There is no impurity, God is the purest. There is no way that we can stand in his presence as we are. That is why this chapter calls us to walk in the light. We are called to choose our path; our walk must be the same as our talk. 1:6 ‘If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.’ There cannot be the mix of light and darkness, God is light there is no room for darkness. When we make the decision to walk in the light, God meets us there. ‘and the blood of his Son, purifies us from all sin.’ God knows, that the road of darkness is tempting. It is easy to make the decision to remain in the darkness, due to feelings of unworthiness and dissatisfaction. To walk in the light in relationship with Jesus, takes true commitment. The knowledge of knowing God meets us there, allows us to know we are not doing it in our own strength. It is not about us having to atone for our sins we have committed. Rather, the blood of Jesus purifies us when we offer our sins and ask for forgiveness. We start afresh and we move forward in the light due to our relationship with Jesus. As we continue to walk in the light, Jesus is reflected throughout what we do. One passage to read is Hebrews 10:22-24 reflects what it means to walk in the light, may that be the prayer for your life.
The other issue that John addresses is that of sin. Which goes hand in hand with the light and darkness. John writes ‘If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us’ (1:8). It addresses the issue that we are still capable of sin, whether intentional or not. There has to be a responsibility to own our sin. We can only be forgiven by confessing. Confessing comes when we give it over to God, we realise we have messed up and we know we need grace and redemption. This must be continuous process. I was reading online about this chapter and came across this emphasis on being a sinner. To paraphrase, it addressed how none of us think we are fully sinless. However, not many of us will say we are a sinner. It emphasised how we will use excuses, like being human and being prone to mistakes. That is something I do because it makes me feel less guilty, Truthfully, it does not deal with the issue. To see it as a mistake, there is little shame in doing it again because you always have an excuse. To see things that are taking us away from God as sin, is not necessarily easy but it convicts us to want to deal with it.
This is what verse 9 emphasises ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’ There has to be a willingness to offer all our sins, what I emphasised earlier that God will meet us there. Our sins will be forgiven and we will be purified because of the blood of Christ. Once we begin to address ‘mistakes’ as sin it does become less attractive. We have to make the choice to not keep returning to the things that cause us to sin. If we want to walk in relationship with God, then we have to make the conscious decision to not allow any room for darkness to take its place in our life. I am not saying that is an easy feat for us to do on our own, I struggle with it and I am sure people who have walked in the faith for many years still struggle; it is about us being willing to submit to God’s will and strength and working through that. Temptation is all around us, it is pleasing but inevitably it is distracting from being in relationship and pursuing the will of God.
From the beginning of the letter, it is heavy going. Inevitably it is about getting over the burdens, etc, that sin causes. Dealing with them instead of trying to skirt round them. It allows us to dwell in God’s presence and to become what we are truly called to be. To gain freedom and peace in a world that will quickly rob us of it. Although this first blog has been deep within its content, I pray that it will set the foundation to allow you to develop your faith further and allow you to become who you are destined to be.
‘As you walk in the light with Me, you have one foot on earth and one foot in heaven,’ (Jesus calling, p227)
May you have a blessed week. Love Victoria. xx