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1 John: Living in the Light

The glowing sun over the mountains reflects the theme of the article, living in the light.
Photo Credit: A4ndreas

February 14, 2024

Praying Friends,

What does it mean to live in the light? This is one of John’s objects in his first epistle.

When the light switch is turned on, the darkness disappears, reassuring the scared child that the monsters are imaginary. When the headlight is pushed on the hiker's helmet, the trail is illuminated and trips are avoided. When the lighthouse keeper replaces the powerful bulb, it provides warning and direction for sailors in the darkest nights.

Light that is pure and bright cuts through the darkness, and dispels it, revealing what is there. Those who walk in the light see clearly and know where to go. Those who walk in darkness fumble and stumble. They go the wrong way.

John in his gospel tells us that Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12). He is the light that exposes our sin and leads us to Himself. Now, in his first letter, he tells us what it means to walk in the light.

In Chapter 1, to walk in the light means to have fellowship with the Father, His Son, and with all other believers. “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3 NIV).

The eternal life that comes through the Lord Jesus inseparably unites us to God and to every other believer. It creates a fellowship that ties us all together in one magnificent family, bringing joy, cleansing, and love for the truth.

In Chapter 2, to walk in the light means to overcome evil. In 1 John 2:12-14, John says,

I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

Evil is all around us, and the evil one is always busy. John writes for the purpose of strengthening believers so they can overcome his deceptive temptations and traps. In the above verses, the older ones have learned to overcome the evil one, and now the younger ones can learn by example. The rest of the chapter reminds us how easy it is to be led astray from the truth.

In Chapter 3, to walk in the light means to live in Christ. “The one who keeps God's commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us” (1 John 3:24).

This Greek word, “live in,” means to abide or to stay close. John uses it often because there is nothing more important and wonderful than living in the presence of our God. Obedience to the truth enables us to enjoy the fullness of His presence in us and our closeness to Him. This is worth cultivating!

In Chapter 4, to walk in the light means to love like God. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).

While John’s whole letter is permeated with this truth of God’s love, he states it here unequivocally. Our love originates from God and His love in us is demonstrated by our behavior toward others.

In the previous chapter, he gives an example of Jesus, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” (1 John 3:16-17). It is relatively easy to say, “I love you,” but it is proven by actions and deeds.

In Chapter 5, to walk in the light means to have confidence in God. Firstly, John says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

We have confidence and assurance that we have eternal life.

Secondly, he says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

It is incredibly amazing to have open access to our God, and to know that He hears every request we make. When we ask in his will, He promises to answer.

Let’s enjoy the privilege of walking in the light today.

Thank you for praying for revival among us and for our prodigals.

Love in Christ,

Bryan and Rachel


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