Walking In The Light
Nothing is so disconcerting as complete darkness in unfamiliar surroundings. Light is necessary for us to be able to function on a daily basis. Most of us have experienced the pain of walking in literal darkness, whether we tripped and fell or ran into some immovable object. We know the stark contrast between light and darkness. God has made a spiritual application with the same ideas. Walking in the light is where He wants us to walk, and walking in darkness is what He wants us to avoid.
Notice the words of the apostle John: “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” (1 John 1:7). This instructional verse is written to Christians, and it provides such hope and comfort. In this verse, we see a condition, a command, a comparison, a companionship, and a cleansing.
The condition is whether or not we are walking in the light. It is an either/or situation – light or darkness. The prior verse suggests the possibility of one who is claiming to be a Christian, yet, walking in darkness. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6). The blessings of verse seven are contingent upon our walking in the light, but, if we walk in darkness, we cannot claim those blessings. The word “if” proves to be one of the most significant words in the Bible.
The command is to walk in the light. Paul, in Ephesians 5:8, provides the following admonition: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” To walk presupposes at least four necessary ideas. First, in order to walk, there must be life. Second, walking means that activity is involved. Third, to walk suggests progress, or moving forward. The fourth element is a destination. To walk is to have a direction, which, in turn, leads to a destination.
A comparison is made to God’s being in the light. Since God is in the light, then that is where we must be. Not only is God in the light, He is that light. John declares, “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” (1 John 1:5). Isaiah begged the people of his day “O house of Jacob, come and let us walk In the light of the LORD” (Isa. 2:5). Jesus is that light which has come into the world (John 1:5-9).
The first of two promised blessings of walking in the light is the companionship, or fellowship, that we enjoy with God. That companionship is accompanied with the peace that passes understanding (Phil. 4:7), a joy unspeakable (1 Pet. 1:8), and a hope of heaven. However, the fellowship with God is extended to all who share in that fellowship with Him. The fellowship is more than vertical; it is horizontal as well. The numerous “one another” injunctions in the New Testament are based on the fellowship we have with other Christians.
The second of the blessings is the continual cleansing of our sins by the blood of Christ. When we do our best, walking in the light, we will still fall short of God’s standard. We still need God and the atoning power of the blood of His Son. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). This cleansing for the Christian is an ongoing blessing throughout life, as long as we continue to walk in the light.
We are not left to our own subjective feelings as to how to walk in the light, because God’s word tells us exactly how it is done. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psa. 119:105). Following God’s word is the key. Walking in the light along the paths of righteousness will ultimately lead to Heaven’s gate, where eternal fellowship will commence with God and all who are His. May God bless us in our walking in the light. –RR 1, Box 243, Farmington, WV 26571.
(We were not able to place this, Randy’s excellent lectureship article, in our special issue last month and we are very happy to publish it this month. -Editor.)
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