1 John 1:5–2:2 (NKJV)
John continues his discussion of the validity of the gospel, especially in light of heresy and false teaching within the church far too often. His imagery of dark and light represents the darkness of sin and the light of God’s love.
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and 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 Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.1 John 1:5-10
8 If we say that 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 that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
John establishes the imagery of light as being representative of the nature of God. He has no darkness, no sin, no evil, no unseemly characteristics. He sees darkness as completely incongruent with God’s nature. He goes so far as to say that an individual who claims fellowship with God, but yet walks in darkness, is contradictory in his or her life situation. One cannot walk with God in His light and also in the darkness of the world and maintain a true relationship with God. That person lives a lie. However, those who “walk in the Light as He is in the light” have fellowship with Him and with other believers in the blood of Christ, cleansed from all sin.
Every believer and sinner has had sin in his or her life. When confessing that sin, Jesus is faithful to forgive us of that sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we claim to be holy in our own actions, we lie, and we make the word of God a lie, and we make Him a liar. The word of God does not reside in us if we feign holiness and embrace the darkness of the world. It is imperative that we walk in His light and confess our sins, and repent of them if we are to be holy and cleansed of evil. Then we can live holy.
1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.1 John 2:1-2
John moves into chapter two with a rationale for his words. He is writing to them that they might not sin. He is encouraging them to righteous living. He holds up the standard of holiness. All the while, though, he offers a remedy for those who find themselves guilty of sin. That remedy is the advocate, Jesus Christ. Don’t sin! But if you do, there is Jesus. He is not just the applier of grace, or the seller of grace, or the distributor of grace. No, Jesus is Himself the propitiation (payment) for our sins, and for the sins of the whole world. Jesus is grace! There is no other way to salvation, there is no other remedy for sin. Jesus is the only answer for our sins. Therefore, we must come to Jesus with our sins and He will give grace and mercy. Walk in the light as He is in the light. His light illuminates the way to salvation. Walk in the Light!