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.
Throughout John’s letter, he holds up three hallmarks of the Christian. Three traits that define the lives of all who belong to Jesus. And he calls his fellow believers to embrace each of these three.
These three hallmarks of the Christian life are:
- Right belief.
- Holy living.
- Brotherly love.
In verse 6, we see the importance of holy living on display. John goes after anyone who would claim to have fellowship with God while at the same time walking darkness. To “walk” is to live, and this is the word John chooses to describe one’s lifestyle. Your walk is your way of living.
The Christian’s way of living (their walk) is defined by who God is. Why? Because Christians belong to God. They have been brought to life by God. They have been rescued from death by God. They are God’s people, and their lives bear the mark of His redemption. Consequently, the way they live is defined by who God is.
What we know about God is that He is light. There is no darkness in Him at all. In telling us that God is light, the bible is revealing to us the truth of who He is. At the same time, the bible is revealing to us the truth of who we are and how we live as those who belong to God.
- God is light. He is glorious. Psalm 104:1-2 state that God is clothed with splendor and majesty, and He covers himself with light as with a garment.
- God is light. He is perfect. 1 Timothy 6:16 states that God dwells in unapproachable light. This verse speaks of God’s absolute perfection.
- God is light. He is truth. Psalm 18:28 states that God is the one who lights our darkness. As the one who is both truth and the giver of truth, God guides us to the light of truth.
- God is light. He is life. John 1 states that Christ was the life, and that life was light to all.
Thus, rooted in the truth of who God is and who we are, Christians are a people of the light. Our way of living is marked by following the One who is light. While there will be times when we are tempted and fall into sin, the direction of our lives will be toward a progressive growth in holiness.
So, how does this look in day to day living? As people of the light, we are a people who:
- Desire the things of God. In giving us new life, God has given us new desires, new ways of thinking, new ways of seeing all things.
- Embrace the incompatibility of walking in light and darkness at the same time. While we know the struggle with sin is still real (in fact the struggle in many ways becomes more real after becoming a Christian), we know that we are made for the light and that the darkness is not who we are.
- Repent quickly. When we fall into sin, we are quick to confess that sin and repent of it. We are quick to come back to the gospel. We cling to Jesus as our only hope.
As we walk out this reality, we are reminded of this precious truth…Those who belong to Jesus are cleansed by his blood from all sin. What a wonderful gift this is!