This is Message 2 in our 1 John series
When I was at university, one afternoon a whole gang of us decided to play football at the local park.
As we played, it got later and later and started to get dark, but we kept on playing.
At one point, I jumped up to head the ball when all of a sudden, a fist came flying through the air and punched me in the face.
Watching the ball, the goalkeeper hadn't seen me, and I didn't see him coming until it was too late.
Serious black eye the next day!
The point is, it is much safer to have light!
Today we continue our sermon series looking at 1 John.
Last time we had John's introductory paragraph, he tells us that Jesus was and is God in the flesh.
He knows that because he (and others) hung out with Him and watched him at work.
He needed to remind them of that because there were false teachers and false teaching out there claiming that Jesus wasn't both man and God.
They claimed that Jesus only pretended to be a man to get our attention.
This led to all kinds of claims that because the Messiah was Spirit, the flesh didn't matter, so it didn't matter what you did with your bodies as long as you were spiritually ok.
Let's see what John says about this.
5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.6 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.7 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.
Jesus was the only pure human being
(1 John 1:5)
Once again, John reminds us that what he is saying is not some clever knowledge but what Jesus actually told them.
God is light! In Him, there is no darkness...... At all!
Did you know that darkness is the absence of light? Things get darker when you reduce or remove the light.
You can't add darkness into light - it doesn't work that way.
If my room is too bright, I don't increase the darkness - I turn down the light.
God is completely light.
He is good, perfect, pure.
We would say Holy, Holy, Holy.
Nothing in Him or about him is bad, imperfect or evil.
And so, if Jesus is God. Then he also is light. He also is pure and holy.
Even his fleshly body (something the gnostics wanted to deny).
John's point is again that Jesus was the perfect, Holy God in the flesh.
Light and Darkness do not mix
(1 John 1:6)
This has huge implications for those John is writing to.
If God is nothing but light, then anything that isn't light isn't of God.
Anything that represents darkness, anything that is sin. Darkness is the opposite of light; sin is the opposite of being perfect, good, and just.
Another way we could say this is if we claim to know God, but really we are still walking around in the dark.
It is not enough to talk the talk… We need a real relationship with God, one that is proven by walking the walk.
If I had a relationship with King Charles, if I knew him, my life would be very different.
The same is true if you have a real relationship with God; if you know God, your life will be different.
What we are talking about here is progress, not perfection
If your response to the good news about Jesus Christ is genuine, then there will be visible progress that you (and others) can see.
I've been learning Russian for about 5 1/2 years now. Many of you will know that because I have discussed it with you.
But what if that was all I was doing - talking about how I'm learning?
What if I was never reading Russian or speaking with anyone? I would be talking the talk but not walking the walk.
The truth is I am making pretty good progress.
Explain meetings with Alexey and chatting with a Ukrainian child at school.
Some of you will hear me speak a bit of Russian at times when our Ukrainian friends join our prayer meetings.
So there is visible evidence of progress. I am better than I was. There is progress, not perfection.
That's what John wants his readers to realise. If they really know God then there should be progress in their walk with God.
There should be changes in their thinking and their doing.
They won't be sinless, but they will sin-less in thought, word, and deed.
Genuine Family Connection
(1 John 1:7)
Walking/ living in the light is connected with our relationship with one another.
It's strange because you would probably think John would say that when we walk in the light, we have fellowship with God.
And, of course, that's true.
But John is going further. He's saying that Knowing God is closely connected to showing God.
He is saying, If you know God, then you will show God through your relationships with one another.
So Christians cannot claim to follow Jesus but live disconnected from the church family.
Disconnecting from the local church family is walking in darkness.
Again this is so much more than turning up on Sundays.
A person can attend church every week, serve in the church, and be a leader in the church yet still be disconnected from the church family.
But when people walk right with God, they will want to walk right with their brothers and sisters in Christ.
And not only that, we are assured that if/when we behave less than perfect because of our relationship with God, we know that we haven't blown it.
There is endless mercy, grace, and forgiveness.
This week, let what God has done inside you come out!
Is there evidence of progress in your walk with God?
Are you growing in your knowledge of God?
Are you dealing with sin? Wrong thinking, talking and doing?
Remember, it's progress, not perfection. It's not the speed that is important but that you are moving (and in the right direction).
If I say I am going home, then actually, to get there, I will need to make some effort to move in that direction.
What are you doing to get yourself moving in the right direction?
Something you need to start doing? or Stop doing?
If you say you are a Christian, there will be evidence.
If there is no ongoing evidence, then John is pretty straightforward; I'm afraid, it's possible that you are not saved!
That can be sorted!
How are you relating to the local church?
Are you committed to coming, or are you committed to one another?
Being committed to coming is a good start; you can't be in fellowship with others if you're not regularly in the room. But that's only the first step.
Next, you have to start building genuine relationships with each other - yes, even those who you don't quite get.
I'm the pastor - You wouldn't expect me to commit relationally to some people and not others, would you?
Well, guess what! It's got nothing to do with my position - or yours.
We're family - we're stuck with one another. Obviously, you could clear off and choose another family, but you'll probably not connect with them either.
Give Your Life To Jesus Today
Start walking in the light.