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1 John 1:6 by Robert Dean
Series:1st John (2000)
Duration:52 mins 24 secs

Light: Divine Integrity and Illumination; 1 John 1:6

1 John 1:6 NASB "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and {yet} walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." 

 

The doctrine of light (Cont…)

 

  1. Light in reference to rightness and white purity is used as an illustration of the righteousness of God; His standard. Job 30:26 NASB "When I expected good, then evil came; When I waited for light, then

  darkness came." Notice the synonymous parallelism in he text. Light is paralleled to good; darkness paralleled to evil. Isaiah 5:20 NASB "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute 

  darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" Isaiah 58:8 NASB "Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; 

  And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard." Micah 7:9 NASB "I will bear the indignation of the LORD Because I have sinned against Him, Until He pleads

  my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light, {And} I will see His righteousness." The seeing here is related to the illumination of the light which is His righteousness. So

righteousness and justice illuminate man, it connects the revelatory feature to His integrity.

  1. Light in its piercing quality is illuminating and revealing what is in the darkness is a metaphor for the justice of God. Amos 5:18 NASB "Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD, For what purpose {will} the day of the LORD {be} to you? It {will be} darkness and not light."
  2. The absence of light is darkness and indicates the presence of divine judgment. It is the condemnation of God for the violation of His righteous standards. Amos 5:18, 20 is talking about the day of the Lord which begins with the Tribulation. "{Will} not the day of the LORD {be} darkness instead of light, Even gloom with no brightness in it?" So darkness is used to represent the condemnation of God on fallen man, rebellious mankind, rebellious nations in the Tribulation.
  3. The presence of light often refers to the veracity of God, His eternal truth and its revelation. Psalm 43:3 NASB "O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your dwelling places." What leads us? His light, which is the revelation of His standards, His righteousness and justice, the revelation of His character, His integrity. So light, then, is revelation from the righteousness and justice and love of God that illuminates us to His righteousness, justice and love.
  4. Specifically, then, light describes the facets or components of God's integrity: His righteousness, justice, love, and truth. These components are specifically linked together in Psalm 89:14 NASB "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness [chesed] and truth go before You. [15] How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O LORD, they walk in the light of Your countenance." What is "the light of Your countenance" that they walk in? That is explained in v. 14: righteousness, justice, lovingkindness, and truth. His essence, specifically, is focused just like a magnifying glass can take sunlight and focus it down to one tight point. What the light of God does is focus on four primary attributes, not that the others aren't there but that these are the ones that are most in focus.
  5. The veracity or truth of God is the attribute underlying His revelation. It is related to His righteousness and justice, that is why the Word of God is infallible and inerrant; it is because it comes from His absolute righteousness and justice, therefore it is perfect and without error. So light is then used to represent the illumination of divine truth. Bible doctrine lights our thinking and our way of life. The Psalmist said: "In thy light we see light… Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." It is the Word that is the expression of His truth, and it expresses in the revelation of God His standards and His justice, and how man can become aligned to the justice and righteousness of God by faith alone in Christ alone. This is further connected between light and life. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." It is the revelation of God which is the light of men that produces real life in man. So the total essence of God gives us revelation which is the basis for life. Proverbs 6:23 NASB "For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life." Notice that reproofs for discipline and the commandment are parallel here. They illuminate and they are the way of life. So it is on the basis to His revelation, His light, that we have real life. 
  6. In conclusion, light represents the totality of divine essence with special emphasis on His righteousness, justice, truth and love, and that essence provides the basis for illumination and guidance of Bible doctrine for us. Walking in the light is not merely walking consistent with His integrity, righteousness and justice, but includes walking consistently with Scripture. So if our belief or behaviour violates Scripture, then we are no longer walking in the light. The question here is: how much sin does it take to violate the righteousness and justice of God? Some people would say that walking in the light restricts walking in the light to walking in the light of revelation. We have to understand that when John says God is light in verse four that is talking about His character. When he goes to verse 5 he is talking about the expression of that character in the Word. But you can't get the one without the other, they are inseparable. Some teach that walking in the light is just walking in obedience to His Word, if you are ignorant of a sin then you are not out of fellowship until God the Holy Spirit illuminates you to the sinfulness of that act, and then you have the option of confession or not. So you are not out of fellowship until you knowingly sin. But any little sin, known or unknown, anything that violates the righteous character of God and His revelation, whether we know it or not, puts us instantly out of fellowship.
  7. Darkness then, in contrast to light, is used to represent the totality of that which is opposed to God. That would be Satan, his kingdom, his systems of thought [cosmic system], immorality, sin and evil, which characterises Satan's plan and proceedings. Darkness represents everything that is opposed to God. So we are either walking in darkness or we are walking in light, we are not ever walking in some sort of grey zone where you just have a power outage. It is absolute; it is one or the other, not a little bit of both.
  8. Conclusion: Light and darkness are mutually exclusive and incompatible. This means that there can be co compromise between the plan of God for the church age believer and the strategy of Satan for ruling this world through the thought forms of the cosmic system. That brings in the idea of it is not just what you do, it is how you do it. It is methodology as well as ultimate belief. Since they are mutually exclusive man is operating in either one or the other: either in darkness or in light; either aligned with God or aligned with Satan. Indeed, this means that the believer inside the cosmic system is the enemy of God, according to James 4:4; the enemy of the cross, Philippians 3:18; an antichrist, 1 John 2:18. Nevertheless, though the believer is eternally secure and cannot lose his salvation, he will lose reward, destroy his spiritual advantage, and he will experience shame at the judgment seat of Christ, 1 John 2. The believer, therefore, is in a continuous battle between darkness and light, the sin nature versus the Holy Spirit, self-centred arrogance versus humility towards God, application of doctrine or rejection of doctrine.