The First Letter of the Apostle John : Study No.3

Study No.3 (1 John 1:5-10)

Review (1 John 1:1-4)

The Anointed Messiah our Lord Jesus the Living Word of God has always existed from all of eternity with God and has always been God and has always been face to face with God and one equal with God and of the same nature with Him and with the Holy Spirit. He was no phantom being but a real flesh and blood man who was totally divine yet at the same time totally human. The apostles were eyewitnesses to His humanity and His deity and worshipped Him as God when He tabernacled among us. He, like His Father and the Holy Spirit is the source of eternal life, that supernatural life of God Himself, the divine nature. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to impart God’s divine nature to us as believers (2 Peter 1:4).

The Bible is the Lord Jesus in print form as He is the Word of God and the one through whom God has fully revealed His Word to men. God has revealed His words through the prophets and the apostles but in His Son the full expression of that Word of God was fully manifested in Him. “The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us” (John 1:14). Our fellowship around the Lord’s Table around the Word of God in the Holy Spirit as believers will produce in us the joy of the LORD which is our strength in all of the changing circumstances of life whether they are good or not so good (Nehemiah 8:10).

Exposition (1 John 1:5-10)

(Vs.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.”

Light is the purest, the most subtle, the most useful, and the most diffusive of all God has created; it is, therefore, a very proper emblem of the purity, perfection, and goodness of His Divine nature. God is to a human soul, what the light is to the world; without the latter all would be dismal, dark and uncomfortable, and terror and death would universally prevail. God is absolute perfection and there is no evil in Him at all. As Habakkuk the prophet says of Him; “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and You cannot tolerate wrongdoing” (Habakkuk 1:13).

Evil cannot survive in His presence neither can it be tolerated in His people. He must deal with sin when it springs up in our heart and life as it can so easily do because we still have our sinful fallen nature. However, we also have a new nature, the very nature of the Lord Jesus Himself of whom it is written; “But of Him you are in Messiah Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). As the scriptures also say; “Your testimonies are fully confirmed; holiness adorns Your house, O LORD, for all the days to come” (Psalm 93:5).

God’s House or Temple is the Body of the Messiah, living stones in a living temple in whom God dwells by His Spirit and those who have within them His holiness and righteousness through the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit. As Paul wrote; “In Him (the Lord Jesus) the whole building is fitted together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together into a dwelling place for God in His Spirit” (Ephesians 2:21-22). And again Peter writes; “…you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Messiah” (1 Peter 2:5).

As Paul also writes; “He alone is immortal and dwells in unapproachable light. No one has ever seen Him, nor can anyone see Him. To Him be honour and eternal dominion! Amen” (1Timothy 6:16). He is pure unmixed light! So then He is the source of wisdom, knowledge, holiness, and happiness; and in Him is no darkness at all, no ignorance, no imperfection, no sinfulness, no misery and from Him every born again New Covenant believer receives from Him wisdom, knowledge, holiness, and true happiness.

(Vs 6)  “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

If God is light then that light will be reflected in His children. They will reflect His nature and character in the way they live, their words and actions being in line with what He says in his Word. Those who are truly His children will exhibit the fruit (singular) of the Spirit being love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, , goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control because they belong to the Messiah and by the power of His Spirit His children have crucified and put to death the sinful nature with its passions and desires (Galatians 6:22-25). We cannot have fellowship with God if we are living in wilful and habitual sin or there is unconfessed and un-renounced sin in our lives. Paul writes; “For what partnership can righteousness have with wickedness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Messiah and Belial?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).

And again he writes; “For you are all sons of the light and sons of the day; we do not belong to the night or to the darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:5). And again he writes concerning his own ministry in the Lord Jesus; “We have renounced secret and shameful ways. We do not practice deceit, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by open proclamation of the truth, we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2).

“Walking in the darkness” conveys the idea of a continuous action or mindset that affects the whole course of a person’s life and conduct. While we do struggle often with temptation and at that sometimes severely we may sin but we will not be living a life of habitual and wilful sin or a sinful lifestyle, even though at times we will sin when tempted.

The Gnostics were teaching that the inner spiritual experience was all that mattered in life and that the flesh was evil and sinful and humans cannot help but sin because they believed and taught that the spiritual was separate from the natural fleshly appetites of the human nature. This was the reason they could not accept that God was manifest in a flesh and blood body in the person of the Lord Jesus. They could not accept that a sinless and perfect God could live in a flesh and blood body such as the Lord Jesus had. He was fully human and yet fully divine and without sin, a truth they could not accept or comprehend.

Today we have many in Christendom teaching that we will sin and that we cannot walk free of its power and grip in this life so long as we are in the body. No one denies that we have the old nature within us but we also have the new nature which is the very righteousness and holiness and sanctification that is in Messiah Jesus. Through the indwelling Holy Spirit He gives us the power not to give into those dark desires and fleshly appetites that are at war with the desires of the Spirit within us. Before we were spiritually reborn by the Holy Spirit we were slaves to sin but through the salvation the Lord Jesus gives us we become slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:17-22). It is only the blood of Jesus that can loose us from the grip of sin (Revelation 1:5) (1 John 1:7-9).

The Lord Jesus is the one who saves us from sin, not in our sin. As it is written of Him that; “He will save his people from their sins” both from the power and penalty of it and at the rapture and resurrection save us from the very presence of sin itself. In this life we cannot overcome sin in our own strength or will power as we do not have that power within ourselves to do this. However, by the power of the blessed Holy Spirit and by the power of the blood of Jesus we can overcome the power of sin the desires of the world, the flesh and the devil as we walk after the Spirit’s leading and by keeping in step with Him and not chasing after the desires of the flesh (Romans 8:5-14) (Galatians 5:16-25)

We cannot be living in continuous wilful sin and be walking with God at the same time. Those who live continuously in sexual immorality, impurity of thought and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like will not inherit God’s Kingdom when they die or when the Kingdom of God is manifested physically on earth after the Lord Jesus has come back to establish His Messianic reign (Galatians 5:19-21).

So then only the blessed Holy Spirit indwelling us has the power to enable us to overcome those sinful desires and passions within us that at times demand to be satisfied. With an unsaved person this is impossible because they do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit. Unbelievers have no choice in this matter they will sin because they are slaves to the spiritual depravity of their fallen sinful nature. They return to sin as a pig returns to the mud because it is in their nature to do that.

As believers we have a choice not to sin and when we call on the name of the Lord Jesus and cry out to the Spirit of God to help us in our hour of temptation and call upon the power and protection of the blood of Jesus, He will hear and deliver us every time! As it is written; “Whoever shall call on the name of the LORD will be delivered!”

(Vs.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.”

Because we have the Holy Spirit within us we can choose to walk continuously in darkness or continuously in the light as God is in the light. His light is revealed in His Word. As it is written; “I gain understanding from Your precepts; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:104-105). And again it is written; “…Wonderful are Your testimonies; therefore I obey them. The unfolding of Your words gives light; it informs the simple. I open my mouth and pant, as I long for Your commandments” (Psalm 119: 129-131). This is the hungering and thirsting after the righteousness that comes from God that is received and bestowed upon us by faith in Messiah Jesus (Romans 3:21-24) (Matthew 5:6).

God’s light is revealed in His Word the Bible and when we seek to obey what He has written there we will find ourselves walking in that holiness and separation to God without which no man will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). Through the Holy Spirit the Lord will be changing us to be more conformed to the likeness and image His Son of our Lord Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18). To this we have been predestined and prove our election and calling of God by this spiritual process. As Paul writes; “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined He also called, those He called He also justified, those He justified He also glorified” (Romans 8:28-30).

There are two results of walking in the light and these are fellowship with other believers who are also walking in the same light as we are and secondly as we walk continuously, moment by moment, by the faith of obedience, the blood of the Lord Jesus continuously cleanses us from all and every sin and spiritual defilement of flesh and spirit. This is how we overcome Satan. When we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth what the Bible says the blood of Jesus does for us we overcome Satan. (Revelation 12:11)

There are four spiritual weapons we have at our disposal that will defeat the devil when his attacks come and they will. Firstly; we have the name of Jesus. Secondly; we have the power of the blood of Jesus. Thirdly we have the power of God’s Word. Fourthly we have the power of the blessed Holy Spirit. By these weapons we overcome Satan and his cohorts from Hades. Added to this when we clothe ourselves with the full armour of God undergirded by prayer in the Holy Spirit we are spiritually impregnable and will be able to drive Satan out of our affairs when he attacks us.

Our confession of God’s Word with our mouth will drive Satan off for as it is written; “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings You have ordained praise to still the enemy and the avenger!” (Psalm 8:2). Praise and faith drives the devil mad! Resisting him in this way will cause him to flee every time! Also after we have driven him off we must draw near to God to replenish our spiritual strength because Satan will attack again. As it has been said concerning temptation “we cannot stop the birds from flying over our heads but we can stop them nestling in our hair.” Often praising God is an action of the will and not the emotions which are changeable and our feelings are for the most part no barometer for measuring our spiritual condition and standing with God. We live by faith and we walk by faith and not by sight, fixing our eyes on what is the eternal reality in the unseen spiritual realm and not on what is seen in the natural realm which is temporary in nature (2 Corinthians 5:7) (2 Corinthians 4:18).

(Vs.8)  “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

Many will have religion, good works, self-reformation and morality and religious observances and ceremonies but will deny that they have inbred sin and that they are great rebels and sinners in the eyes of God and have broken every commandment and need to be saved from sin’s power and its penalty in eternity where the fire is never quenched (Isaiah 66:24). Self-righteousness is a very deceptive and subtle enemy of true Biblical spirituality as underneath it lurks the sin of pride which brought Satan undone. Many judge others in light of their own self-righteousness and think they are not as bad as others but sin is all the same to God.

Whether we are religious or charitable or morally clean we all have inbred sin and are by nature great rebels against God and children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). We under sentence of eternal damnation and torment in Hades unless we repent and turn to God to have mercy on us through the blood and merits of His Son our Lord Jesus the Messiah. Those, who insist they have no sin to be cleansed from and call it by some other name according to the traditions of man, are not only under spiritual deception but devoid of the true Knowledge of God as revealed in His Word the Bible. They are bound for an eternity in the lake of fire where their thirst will never be satiated (Luke 16:23-24) (Isaiah 66:24)

(Vs.9) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

While a wilfully habitual sinful lifestyle has no place in everyone born of God from above by the blessed Holy Spirit yet there is still the inward nature of sin in every one of us as believers and even though it is not controlling us continuously there will be times when we do sin in word and deed unintentionally or suddenly when we are attacked by Satan unwittingly. While we live in this body we are subject everyday to temptation and sin and at times the spiritual conflict between the desires of the Spirit with the desires of the flesh will be very strong and persistent. However, we have this assurance that the Kingdom of God does not consist in meat and drink but in righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

To confess our sins is to agree with God in what He says about our sins or about a specific sin we may have committed and to offer no excuses for it. However, when we confess and renounce it through confession is when we get rid of it. We have His assurance that “as far as the east is from the west so far has He removed our transgressions from us” and as He has also said “their sins and rebellion I will remember no more” (Psalm 103:12) (Hebrews 8:12). When we confess our sins God presses the eraser button and our record is clean. When the blessed Holy Spirit applies the blood of Jesus to the doorposts of our hearts and conscience we are cleansed from all and every sin and our conscience purged from dead works to serve the living God having been cleansed from all defilement of flesh and spirit (Hebrews 9:14) (2 Corinthians 7:1). God’s intention is that we walk continuously in the light of His Word and in the power of the Holy Spirit and, in doing this by faith; we also walk continuously under the blood of Jesus which cleanses us and protects us from all sin so long as we continue to walk by the faith that produces obedience (Romans 1:5; 16:26). As the Lord Jesus Himself said; “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever does not obey the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36 NASB).

(Vs.10) “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

Some who say they believe in God and are trusting in their own brand of self-righteousness, religious observances, good deeds and morality and ethics will deny that they have ever really sinned as God defines sin in His Word the Bible. They know they are not perfect and will confess this but to say they have sinned is to acknowledge before God that they have fallen far short of the standard of righteousness He demands of any one if they are to enter into His eternal kingdom (Hebrews 12:14). What they need to recognize is that a works based righteousness falls far short of God’s standard of righteousness, a righteousness only found in the Lord Jesus and received by faith in Him alone (Romans 3:21-24).

In fact to deny that we have sinned is to make God a liar and clearly shows that His Word does not dwell is us, either in our mind or our spirit or exhibited through what we say and do. Having said this while we are alive in this body there is always hope for eternity. As it is written; “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as you did in the rebellion, in the time of testing in the wilderness… Behold, now is the time of favour; now is the day of salvation!”  (Hebrews 3:7-8) (2 Corinthians 6:2b).

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