Apostle John was combating the forces of false preachers and their wrong doctrines.
He explains how Christian faith and sin contradict to each other.
John makes some contrasting statements about light, darkness, lies and sin in this passage.
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
First declaration - this message is from God (Through Jesus).
John was the closest associate and beloved disciple of Lord Jesus and also a best friend.
So when John claims that this message comes from God we have to take it seriously.
Second declaration – God’s eternal character
“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”
Apostle John is saying here that Lord Jesus revealed to His disciples many things of God.
Lord Jesus Himself declared that He is light.
John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
In Jewish and Christian thought there are two convictions.
1. God always revealed Himself in light.
“God is light”
God is a Spirit Being – how can He manifest to mere humans?
God several times throughout Scripture reveals Himself as fire or as a bright light.
Scripture speaks of Shekinah glory of God – localized presence of God on earth.
This is quite opposite of God concept in the Eastern Religious thought.
In Exodus 3:1-5 God appears to Moses in burning bush – a flame of fire
In 2 Chronicles 7:1-3 Solomon and others witnessed the glory of God filled the temple.
2. The second conviction is holiness and illumination.
“In Him there is no darkness at all.”
The light of God shows His absolute holiness in a sinful world.
Darkness is defined as the absence of light.
John is emphasizing not only God is light but also there is no darkness in Him.
This is the only way the human can understand the contrast between light & darkness.
God is so pure, the only way to describe Him is that He is light .
In contrast there is darkness – the absence of purity – the absence of the holy.
In John’s mind it is absolutely incompatible for light to dwell with darkness.
The holiness of God, the purity of God is incompatible with sin in human heart.
In scripture darkness is equated with evil, sin or wickedness.
Where there is God’s light sin cannot remain under God’s light.
The absolute purity and holiness of God illuminates the darkness of the human soul.
John is clearly saying to us that living in darkness that is in sin, is incompatible with the Christian life.
When God is light, He becomes our light and under His light we see our sin clearly.
THE CHRISTIAN WALK
6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.
By definition we know that darkness is the absence of light.
Most people all around us live in a life style of perpetual darkness not having any knowledge of God’s light.
Everyone is perfectly able to see but they are waking in darkness of sin in their heart.
Before knowing the Lord and His grace, we also lived in perpetual darkness of sin.
Fellowship is the key word here – a relationship.
Our fellowship begins with the Lord Jesus when we accept Him into our hearts.
A Christian fellowship with God is like walking in His light and under His light.
Psa. 36:9 “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light”.
We all live as Christian believers in the darkness of the world around us - we need help.
Our help is provided in the Word of God - we also have another helper, Holy Spirit to guide us.
Twin guides Bible & Holy Spirit escort us through the darkness of the sin filled world.
Now the big ‘if’ in verse 6 draws our attention to a serious view of our fellowship.
If we claim that we have fellowship with Christ but we still walk in our old ways of darkness that makes us liars.
If we fall out of fellowship because of sin - God's light was never dimmed or moved away from us.
We lost fellowship with Lord because we stepped away from His light.
A Christian walk is where the light guides him/her, rather than walking where he/she pleases.
A Christian fellowship is always under the light of Lord Jesus as He illuminates our path every step of the way.
The image John is attempting to create is that God’s light is like a spot light on every believer. That spot light keeps moving and guiding throughout a believer's life.