1 John | Day Two
By: Callie Clayton
When I was a kid I couldn’t stand darkness--especially when it was time to go to sleep. A night light wouldn’t do it, so I had to turn on the light in my closet. I often cracked the door open enough to allow light to spill over my bed. I guess I believed that if I was illuminated, I would be safe.
And if I was the only one home, you better believe every light in every room was on until my parents came home! Are you the same way?
Why do we feel so comforted by light?
What is it about darkness that we attempt to avoid it?
With age, darkness may seem less scary, but it’s certainly inconvenient. Have you ever tried to get dressed in the dark? Or tried to walk through a dark room and stubbed your toe on the corner of a table?
John and his readers were familiar with darkness, too. John uses this idea of darkness versus light to help us understand the difference between walking in spiritual darkness and spiritual light. Keeping these things in mind, open your Bible and read 1 John 1:5-7.
How many times is the word light used in these two verses?
What does light represent?
What does darkness represent?
What does it mean for us to “walk in the light” (vs. 7)?
Flip over to Ephesians 5:8-11. In verse 9, what three words are used to describe light?
What areas of your life are filled with darkness? (Read Ephesians 5:3-5 for examples of darkness.)
Now, check out 1 John 1:7-10. Why is it important that we recognize we are sinners?
John seems to be reminding his readers of this:
God is perfect and holy; good and true.
And we are to be walking in that direction, too. However, we are sinful people who mess up, make mistakes, choose the wrong things, and ignore God’s teaching.
We need to recognize we are sinners because it’s the basis of the gospel.
Look at 1 John 1:7. What does fellowship mean?
It’s a churchy word, for sure. But it means “friendly association” or community and companionship. This verses in 1 John tell us that if we are walking in the light, if we are moving in the direction of godliness, then we also experience companionship with Jesus! Experiencing community with the God of the universe and the Savior of the world is available to us, not because we work really hard to stay out of darkness, but because Jesus “cleanses us from all sin.”
Why does it matter that Jesus cleanses, or removes, all of our sin?
If you have a journal or notepad, write down 1 John 1:9, or underline it in your Bible. What does this verse mean to you?
We have no need for Jesus if we are perfect without him. We don’t need a Savior to rescue us from darkness if we are already in the light. Verse 7 says it all, “the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” However, it’s important to recognize the darkness in our life, confess our sins, so that we can receive grace and forgiveness and then and only then can we truly walk in the light.
What do you need to confess today?
After naming the darkness, the sin, in your life, praise God that “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Make a commitment to walk in the light today and step away from the darkness.