In the first four verses of 1 John, the writer establishes his credentials and authority. He is able to speak with authority concerning Jesus because he was an eyewitness of all that Jesus said and did. The purpose of his writing is to encourage the church and strengthen their fellowship so that their joy may be full. As we come to verse 5, John starts my stating, “This then is the message.” Because he has heard and seen from Jesus Himself, this is the message that Jesus wants John to convey. There is a little spiritual nugget that we see here. To preach truth we must also hear and see Jesus. We must experience Him fully before we can have the authority to share His message with others.
As John establishes the fact that His message comes from Jesus, we find that there are three basic truths in verses 5-7 that we must know and understand.
The Truth About God. 1 John 1:5 says, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” Light is the absence of darkness. There is nothing about God that is questionable. He is light. What does it mean that God is light? What is the truth about God? First of all, God is the creator. He made all things. It is interesting that in the creation week after He formed the earth and the heavens, He said, “Let there be light and there was light.” God shared His light with the world. When you think of God as creator you cannot ignore the fact that God made you. He formed you in your mother’s womb. He breathed into you a living soul. He gave you life. As creator, He is the sustainer of His creation. He holds all things in the palm of His hand. Secondly, God is holy. God is perfect in every way. He never makes mistakes, and He certainly did not make a mistake when He made you. As the holy God that His is, He is also just. Every decision He makes is the right decision. Every choice He makes is the best choice. He always does what it is right in every situation. Another beautiful truth about God is that God is love. He is the definition of love. He is the very essence of love. Everything He is and all that He does is motivated by His love. There is no greater truth than the fact that God loves you. He loves you with a unique and special love. Close your eyes and draw an imaginary circle around yourself. Imagine that you are the only person in existence. Now, think about this: God loves you. He loves you uniquely and separately from everyone else. Because He loves you, He has an awesome plan and purpose for your life. No matter where life takes you and how difficult the road may be, never forget that God loves you. There is so much more we can discuss concerning who God is. However, these three simple truths sum up all that God is. He is the creator. He is holy. He is love.
The Truth About Ourselves. 1 John 1:6 says, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” This verse reveals our true nature. We cannot walk or live in darkness and be in fellowship with Christ. However, as we compare scripture with scripture, we discover that apart from Christ we are in darkness. Left to ourselves we would never walk in the light. There are false teachers out there that draws large crowds that will tell you that deep down everyone is good. This is a lie of Satan. We are not good. We are dirty, rotten sinners deserving of hell. Originally, mankind was good. However, after the fall, we have all inherited a sin nature and we are all sinful inside and out. By nature, we do not seek after God. By nature, we are totally depraved sinners. We are hypocrites. We say we love Jesus. Yet, we still sin. The truth about ourselves is ugly. The truth is that we are sinners and we do not deserve God’s grace.
The Truth About Jesus. 1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Even though we are sinners undeserving of God’s grace, Jesus came to our rescue. He did not leave us in darkness. He went to the cross and shed His blood to redeem us from the penalty, power, and presence of sin. He came to set us free from the chains to which we are bound. When we, by faith, believe on the Lord Jesus, the darkness is removed and the light of Jesus shines in us. Consumed by the light of Christ we can now have fellowship with others who has also believed. We can be a part of the family of God because of what Christ did for us on the cross. Our fellowship with one another is strengthened as we walk in the light of Jesus Christ.
Walking in the light starts with knowing Him. We must understand the truth concerning God, ourselves, and Jesus. He is light. The closer we are to Him, the less the darkness will affect us, and the greater our fellowship will be with one another.