Walking in the Light

The first of many notes on 1st John — I camped out in 1st John for about 4 months, and those pages are so scribbled over with comments that I can hardly read the original text. There’s some powerful stuff packed into those verses, so here’s my first little commentary.

1st John 1:7 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, purifies us from all sin.

Walking in the light signifies transparency.  Too often people interpret walking in the light as living the right way — as “walking in goodness” rather than “walking in transparency.” But it goes so much deeper than that! Living in the light means giving people an invitation to look at your life. People love darkness, not light, when they sin; they hide and refuse to come into the light because they know that it will expose their sin. But those who love God and do His will live in the light, because it shows that their lives are lived dia tou Christou — through Christ (John 3:19 paraphrase).  We tend to dismiss this whole idea of transparency because we don’t want others to see our sins and our struggles and our baggage.  So we put on what Casting Crowns calls the “Stained Glass Masquerade”: With walls around our weakness, and smiles to hide our pain.

But read the next part of the verse: we cannot have fellowship with others unless we get rid of these facades. Maybe this is why there is such a lack of unity in the church today. If we’re broken together, we can stand together. But as long as we’re hiding and pretending and refusing to be honest with one another, relationships will not develop. We will be divided, meeting together in body but not in spirit. And that, fellow Christians, is the death toll of the church.

Finally, we will only be purified if we are walking in this revealing light. Jesus’ blood can only cleanse us if we are open and honest about our struggles and our shortcomings.  So now this becomes more than an issue of privacy — it’s an issue of purity.  This is to be taken seriously; it’s not optional.  Transparency is vital both to your healing (purification) and the healing of Christ’s church (relationships and community).

So take a risk — be the first to truly step into the light. You will experience freedom like never before.

…and that’s just one verse out of the whole book of 1st John.

Published in: on April 10, 2011 at 1:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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