Read 1 John 1:5-2:10
I was very blessed. When I was a freshmen in college my roommate and I actually got along! Despite the horror stories I had heard from so many who had gone before me about bad roommate experiences, my roommate and I actually became, and still are, very good friends. Yet, there was one tiny little thing we disagreed on- lights at night. I like complete darkness; he liked to have some light on. Our discussion on the matter seemed as serious as negotiating a wartime peace treaty!
Have you ever thought about light? Even though I don’t like to have lights on when I sleep, I still love light! There is nothing quite like sitting outside on a warm sunny summers day just bathing in the light (with a refreshing cup of lemonade in hand)! This might be our worldly context to what light is, but John tells us today in our text that God is the true light. Thus, He is the opposite of darkness. Darkness and light cannot co-exist, much like God and sin cannot co-exist.
False teachers of the time had not only questioned the reality of who Jesus is, they also questioned the reality of sin. Essentially they were teaching the “get out of jail free card” theory. If I believe in Jesus, and accept Him into my life, I can sin as much as I please because He will save me. John is quick to rebuke this notion. Sin and God simply cannot go hand and hand. A heart that lives in sin is not a heart that has been changed by God.
Be careful here though. John is not teaching legalism. He doesn’t preach of a religion of works, rather about a faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. In other words, John isn’t saying that a Christian will never sin. Because we are human, we absolutely will sin. The message he is communicating is that if you’ve truly experienced the love of Jesus Christ, your heart is going to be pursuing Him with reckless abandon. Pursuing Christ with reckless abandon means becoming more and more like Him each and every day. Laying down your idols, confessing your struggles, and above all recognizing that this battle is not one that can be fought alone because you are in need of a Savior! He alone can shed light on the darkness in your life. Allow Him to illuminate areas of your heart where you need rescue today in prayer.