Thursday, December 3, 2015

Jesus Shows How Practical Our Faith Is: Living in the Light (1 John 1:6-7)

So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin
(1 John 1:6-7,

God’s light (1 John 1:5) has a special purpose. It is not a light that going to kill us. Instead, it is life-giving, nourishing, helpful light. The Apostle Paul reminds us: “For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). Notice that throughout John’s first letter, he speaks out against three false claims of the false teachers (verse 1:6, 8, 10). Each begins with, “If we claim/say…” Then there is a contradiction, followed by a true statement.

In verse 6, John says, “We are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth.” In other words, John is speaking against the heresy that the way we live doesn’t really matter. The way we lives does matter! From the beginning of history, we are reminded that faith (what we firmly believe) and life (how we live as Christians) should reflect each other. To live in fellowship with God commits us to a life of reflecting God’s goodness. Not only are we to learn and understand the truth [in which I always promote Christian students to have a good Biblical-theological thinking], but we must also do the truth. To talk about God and His goodness without really living that way is to become a hypocrite (see James 2:14-17).

Notice here how practical our faith is: God’s light not only helps us see but shows us how and where to walk. Christianity is an action-type faith. It is more than mere talk or an abstract philosophy; it helps us move toward what is right and true. And our faith also helps us grow together as the Body of Christ. Notice Bible verses about, John tells us that our fellowship (sharing, being close, enjoying being together, and so on), will grow as we walk in God’s light. Truth should lead to closeness and harmony, not misunderstanding or rivalry or separation. To walk in the light, then, is to be open, honest, and sincere, to hide nothing, to be real and not phony. This means being open and caring with other people as well as with God; to care about and listen to them as well as to be concerned about ourselves.

To me, a good example of phoniness is the person who pretends to care. Such a person may show an initial interest in you and say, “Hi, how are you? We should hang out together next time,” but never does; or promises, “I’ll pray for you,” and doesn’t follow through. Christians are learning to be “real” people – to say what they mean and mean what they say; to become more loving and caring. Another result of walking or “living in the light” is that our sins are taken away. “The blood of Jesus… cleanses us from all sin.” The word “cleanses” means “steadily purified”; it is not something that happened only once but continues to happen every moment of every day. Therefore, living in the Light of God. Amen.

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