1 John 1:7, “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.”
Praise God for His wonderful promises! Here we see the flip side to verse six. In the scriptures you will always see it worded either, “but” or “therefore.” God, our loving Father, never, ever leaves us with a word of correction or admonition, without giving us a word of encouragement and/or promise to follow through. Every time He instructs us in the ways of righteousness, He is so faithful to show us the benefits or rewards.
Now look at this action statement! But if we walk, if we move forward in that light or at the very least toward that light (and not just say we are) as He Himself does —. There’s our example. He doesn’t just say do this or else. He always gives us a blueprint to follow. Always. Jesus Christ came to earth to bridge the gap between the flesh and the spirit. What could not be done in and of ourselves in our flesh, can be accomplished through Him and in Him. If we walk in the light, and remember the light is God our Father, just as Jesus did all and said all in and through the Father, than we truly have fellowship one with another, and not just because we say we do. Those that follow the same path, in life in general, can be said to be in fellowship with one another; and so it is when we are following the path of Christ Jesus. Those that truly are following that same path are in fellowship with not just who they are following (Christ Jesus) but with one another as well!
Look at one of the most precious, one of the greatest promises that follows those actions: the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin! This is something that I have taught for so long. Just as James writes in his letter that we must put forth works to demonstrate our faith, John is saying the same thing. If you walk in the light, as Jesus Himself is in and of the Light (of God), His blood will and does cleanse us, continually. Think about it; as we walk, we are cleansed. If we depart from the path, there can be no more cleansing. As long as we are in fellowship, there is the promise of cleansing.
We can confess our belief in Jesus Christ in accordance with Romans 10:9, but sadly that is where so many people who call themselves Christians stop. With just the confessing. Just saying that Jesus Christ died for our sins is not enough, for in truth, that is an historical fact. Those witnesses to the time, though they weren’t actual disciples recorded the happenings and even the commentary of the time of Jesus and His crucifixion. There are very few people in the day we live in that do not believe Jesus was a man and an historical figure as well.
Also, we must be careful that even though we ARE disciples of Jesus and we KNOW that Jesus and God are One, just because those around us believe in a “God” does not make that knowledge a redemptive belief! It is Jesus, the Anointed One AND the action of His blood washing us clean that redeems us. It is that confession along with not just the belief, but a belief that eventually evolves into actually KNOWING, that sanctifies and cleanses us from our sin! We must also accept what verse 10 in Romans 10 also says. With the heart man believes, it has to start there, but it comes from the heart (mind) first, then there has to be actions and those actions result in what Paul calls righteousness, or right standing with God. If you look in Romans 10:9-10, you will see that belief takes place first in the heart of man. Then comes the acts of righteousness, and only after that comes the confession. I know many of you think I’m a broken record when it comes to certain verses, but these verses I repeat time and time again have bearing on the soundness of so many other Scriptures. “For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” – Luke 6:45b.
That is exactly what John is saying. You believe in Christ, which then motivates you to walk, or act, according to the light of God, which in its very actions become righteousness, at the same time as you are “walking in righteousness” the blood of Jesus cleanses and washes away all your sin. Now mind you, don’t be confused; it is NOT the actions, the works, that washes away your sin, but the FAITH behind those actions! That puts us then in fellowship with one another as well as with Christ Jesus, thus with Jesus’ Heavenly Father, God Almighty.
I hope you can see as you study these verses, that our walk with the Lord is a serious matter and not one to be taken lightly. It is a very dramatic lifestyle change. We gain our strength and drive from not only Christ Jesus’ example, but also His Spirit. When we actually follow His example, when we walk as He walked, that is when we can claim fellowship one with another and with Him. John is showing us that it is obvious, it can be seen, when someone is in fellowship and when someone is not. It is not a matter of judging in the sense of passing a sentence on someone, but it is a matter of being able to judge by discerning the truth in what we see. If someone calls me his brother but is living a life of sin, a life based on deeds done in the dark, he is not a brother no matter how much I love him. Future verses will clarify and demonstrate why this is important in the Body of Christ.
1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
Here again, John is countering the false teachings that were cropping up in his day. Many false teachers were teaching that man is not inherently sinful, his spirit and soul is free from sin at birth, we are all born good, it is only due to upbringing and circumstances that man falls into sin and that because the material being, the flesh is sinful. The Apostle is very forceful, “if we say we have NO sin;” no sin whatsoever, then we are deceived. The interesting part of this verse is the word sin; it is a noun, denoting something that we most definitely possess. John is NOT talking in this verse about the act of sinning, the “sins” we commit (that comes in verse 9) but rather is speaking in defiance to the false teachings that we do HAVE in our possession a sinful nature; a nature that exists already and does not have to be taught to sin!
But as we see in the previous verse, “if we walk in the light—, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” The sin nature AND the ability to continue to sin, wantonly. First, we have to recognize that we are sinful creatures to be able to even say that we walk in the light, it demands acknowledgement. Just as belief and confession lead to redemption, the acknowledgement that we NEED redemption because we ARE sinful in nature is crucial. Second, and it stands to reason, there would be no need for Jesus’ blood to cleanse us from sin if in fact we had no sin. We would not even have to identify ourselves with the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ in that case then. Remember, at that moment in time, the sacrifice and the shedding of Blood that Christ voluntarily made, took care of the sinful nature AND sins of those in the past that had faith in the coming Messiah, those at the presence of Jesus’ time and those of us who believe(d) in our modern time and into the future until the last one to be redeemed, is redeemed right before the second-coming of Christ Jesus!!! One sacrifice, to cover all times! What a blessed and magnificent plan the Father in His loving mercy and grace had in store for those who chose/choose Jesus in faith!!!
I want to make a statement that I read a long time ago and have written down in my notes, but sadly I do not remember the source (it is not mine originally); *“conversion does not mean the eradication of the sin nature. Rather it means the implanting of the new, divine nature, with power to live victoriously over indwelling sin.” The Apostle Paul wrote it this way; “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:16-17.
Remember when reading this letter, that John is writing this letter to those he considers as brothers and sisters in the faith, followers of Christ Jesus. John is very clear to establish an order. If you say that you are a Christian, it is automatically understood in his writing, that you are a Christian because you have accepted Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, which was necessary to our fellowship AND redemption. He is reiterating a known fact to Christians because of the false teaching that was already spreading and taking root in his time. We need to be freed from ALL sin, and Christ Jesus IS the only way. God’s plan, acted upon by Jesus took into account EVERY stain that separates us from the Heavenly Father!
If we believe the lie that sin is non-existent, as the world system and the devil would have us believe, than we are only deceiving ourselves, because we are surely not deceiving God Almighty. Again as in verse 6, we are not PRACTICING (remember, practice makes perfect; but you have to practice) the truth if we believe the lie, and in reality we are walking in darkness. The truth then is most assuredly not in us.