Advent Devotions–Dec 8: Jesus Came So That We Could Walk In Fellowship With Him And Each Other

1 John 1:6-7 5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 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.

I was reading this passage today and it struck me how much this really says. I love how it says that GOD is light. This is a wonderful and awe-inspiring characteristic of the Lord. Note that it does not say, “GOD is LIKE the light.” This is on purpose. GOD is not LIKE anything; He is GOD.

Reading this passage I see it revealing four points:

1. GOD has revealed himself to man. In his revelation it has been shown that in GOD there is no hint of evil; he is good in all ways. It is not as though GOD has goodness, but in fact GOD is good. Without him there would be no good.

2. GOD’s righteousness reveals man’s unrighteousness (GOD is light)

3. We can not serve both the darkness and the light. In other words, GOD wants us to repent and enter into fellowship with him.

4. How we relate to GOD affects how we relate to others,especially believers.

Let’s look at each of these in turn.

1. GOD has revealed himself to man. In his revelation it has been shown that in GOD there is no hint of evil; he is good in all ways. It is not as though GOD has goodness, but in fact GOD is good.

Without him there would be no good. Scripture says that GOD is holy. This means that he is set apart. He is different from everything else. 1 John 1:5 says that

a) He has revealed himself to man.

b) He is light, and no darkness is found in him at all. This means that he is good and that no evil is found in him. (In fact it means more than that, but we will discuss that in point number two.

In Isaiah the word articulates this state of Holiness or being set apart when it says:

Isaiah 55: 8-9 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

2. GOD’s righteousness reveals man’s unrighteousness (GOD is light)

I love that this passage and others says that GOD is light. It is the perfect picture of how GOD’s presence, goodness, and Word all expose our unrighteousness. Our deeds, thoughts, and attempts at being “good” stand in complete contrast to the very nature of whop GOD is. When we stand in comparison to him it becomes very easy to see why Christ had to come and take world.

3. We can not serve both the darkness and the light. In other words, GOD wants us to repent and enter into fellowship with him.

If our heart is set on things of this world, then we hold this world and what it has to offer as a treasure in our hearts and we are not serving GOD. Jesus illustrates this when talking about the love of money in the book of Matthew.

Matthew 6: 21-24 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

We must repent of our ways and become like GOD. We must be holy, serving him, and not ourselves or the world.

1 Peter 1:14-16 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

How can both be? How can we not be like GOD and yet be like GOD? That is the job of grace. See what it says in 1 John 1:8-10

8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

So, in order to commune with GOD it is essential to 1) recognize that we are sinful 2) Confess that sin to GOD, who is Truth, and Light, and can make us just like him by forgiving and purifying us.

1 John 1:6 says that if we walk in darkness while we claim to know him then we lie and do not practice the truth. I don’t believe this is stated this way just to put emphasis on the fact that those who do this are liars. I believe it means that those people are both liars and live a lifestyle of untruth. Meaning that walking in the light must be a constant thing, a practice. We must make it our habit to “pick up our cross daily” as Christ said and follow him. This is not a work that we can do on our own or Christ would not have had to come. Instead we must humble ourselves and acknowledge sin whenever it comes into our lives and confess it. Allowing him to purify us of our unrighteousness. This is what it means to live in the light.

4. How we relate to GOD affects how we relate to others,especially believers.

1 John 1:7 says “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”

This very clearly illustrates for us that how we relate to GOD affects how we relate to people, and I believe especially other Christians. In John, Jesus is talking to his disciples and says:

John 13:34-35 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

This is a remarkable thing to me! If I love my GOD, if I am really in the light, then this Godliness will spill over into my other relationships. So much so that it is a proof that I am his! I can testify that this is truth because I have experienced it. I know that in the times of my life where I have strayed away from the Lord I also had strained relationships with others. On the other hand I am closest to my brothers and sisters in Christ when I am closest to him. This is because Love is an unselfish thing, and not within our nature to do, not to it’s fullest extent anyway. It takes GOD’s work in our lives to make us humble to the point that we truly love other people. It not the first fruit of the Spirit Love?

The other thing I thought when I read 1 John 1:6-7 was that I had read it somewhere else in scripture. Then I remembered these verses in John:

John 1: 4-5 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

You see, here is Jesus saying the very same thing. He is the light of the world. He is the way of salvation. He came so that we could relate to him (and he to us, as a high priest) and so that we would be not only in fellowship with him, but with each other.

I pray that you and I can walk in the light this week, the light of Jesus Christ. I pray that when sin comes our way that we will call it what it is, confess it, and repent, being made righteous before GOD by GOD. “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25)

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