1 John 1:7 - Walking in Jesus brings Cleansing and Fellowship. (updated)
1 John 1:7 - Walking in Jesus brings Cleansing and Fellowship.
1 John 1:7 (KJV) 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.
1 John 1:7 (AMP) But if we [really] are living and walking in
the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken]
fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses
(removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its
forms and manifestations].
1 John 1:7 (TLB) But if we are living in the light of God's
presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy
with each other, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from
If we walk. The phrase "But if we walk" is suggestive of a
life-style. The verb is in the present tense and denotes continuous action.
John has in mind the practice and habit of life which is
characterized by constant fellowship with God. [Believer's SB]
To walk in the light is to live in obedience to God's
commandments. Two things result from walking in the light: (1) fellowship with
other believers; (2) continual cleansing from sin. [Ryrie SB]
He is in the light. God is constantly surrounded by light that
radiates from Himself. The best that Christians can do is to walk in the
rays of light that emanate from God. As a traveler will follow the
light of a guide along a dark and unknown road, so the child of God
will follow light from the Lord along the road of life. [SDA Bible
One with another. If we walk in the light we walk with God, from
whom the light shines, and have fellowship not only with Him but also
with all others who are following the Lord.... The slightest sign of
ill will between us and our brethren should make us review our own
conduct, to be sure that we are not veering away from the lighted path of
life. [SDA Bible Commentary]
To cleanse or purify. The tense indicates an ongoing, continuous
process by which God deals not just with acts of sin but with the very
principle of sin in our lives. John's point is that when we walk in the
light, and are honest with God and with ourselves, we open up our
personality to the Lord so that He can work within us to change our inner
orientation toward sin, to an inner orientation toward righteousness. Paul
put it this way in 2 Cor. 3:18: We "are being transformed into His
likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is
the Spirit." [Victor Bible Background Commentary]
Walking in the Light: 1 John 1:5-2:14.
There is need of constant watchfulness, and of earnest, loving
devotion; but these will come naturally when the soul is kept by the power
of God through faith. We can do nothing, absolutely nothing, to
commend ourselves to divine favor.... come to Christ,... God will accept
every one that comes to Him trusting wholly in the merits of a
crucified Saviour. Love springs up in the heart. There may be no ecstasy
of feeling, but there is an abiding, peaceful trust. Every burden
is light; for the yoke which Christ imposes is easy. Duty becomes a
delight, and sacrifice a pleasure. The path that before seemed shrouded
in darkness becomes bright with beams from the Sun of
Righteousness. This is walking in the light as Christ is in the light. 1SM353,
Christ and His word are in perfect harmony. Received and obeyed,
they open a sure path for the feet of all who are willing to walk in
the light as Christ is in the light... Its instruction would be to
them as the leaves of the tree of life. It would be in them a well of
water, springing up into everlasting life. Refreshing showers of grace
would refresh and revive the soul, causing them to forget all toil and
Sin, by its very nature, brings death--that is a fact as certain
as the law of gravity. Jesus did not die for his own sins; he had
none. Instead, by a transaction that we may never fully understand, he
died for the sins of the world. When we commit our lives to Christ
and thus identify ourselves with him, his death becomes ours. He has
paid the penalty for our sins, and his blood has purified us. Just as
Christ rose from the grave, we rise to a new life of fellowship with
him. [Life Application SB]
We shall be safe only when we consecrate ourselves to God and
look unto Jesus, earnestly longing to work out His plan... Let none run
ahead of Christ, but wait for the word of command, "Follow Me."... The
Lord has promised to give light to those who seek Him with the whole
heart. If we will but wait patiently and prayerfully upon God, and not
follow our own impetuous plans, He will guide our decisions and open
many doors of hope and labor... Let them not suppose that the sparks of
their own kindling are the true light, or after a while they will find
that, instead of following the heavenly guiding Star, they are
following an uncertain leader. TM211-212
We must let Christ into our hearts and homes if we would walk in
the light. 3T539
Walking in the light leads to fellowship with each other. This
fellowship among believers results from each believer's having fellowship
with God... One cannot say that he or she communes with God and then
refuse to commune with God's people... John's point is that the natural
result of living in the light (in fellowship with God) should be joyful
relationships with other Christians. (Life Application Commentary)
The Fellowship Factor
Fellowship means more than a superficial conversation after
church or a midweek meal together. The biblical term conveys the idea
of a deep sharing of life, partnership together in a common cause,
and spiritual oneness. Remember that the intimacy and fulfillment of
biblical fellowship (whether with God or with others) first require a
relationship. This six-question test will help determine the quality of the
fellowship within a relationship:
1. Are there any unresolved tensions or conflicts in the
relationship? (If so, these must be addressed.)
2. Are we spending adequate time together? (If not, there can
never be intimacy!)
3. Are we communicating openly and honestly? (The sharing of
thoughts, concerns, feelings, plans -- even motives -- is indispensable to
4. Do we share the same vision? (If we are going in two
different directions, it will be impossible to be partners.)
5. Are we committed to this relationship? (If the relationship
is not a priority, then fellowship will never be a reality!)
6. Are we laying aside our own agendas and looking out for the
best interests of others? (Self-centeredness cannot coexist with
fellowship.) (Life Application Commentary)
Love of the brethren is the product of the love of God:
fellowship with the brethren is the proof of fellowship with God."... guilt
resulting from sin destroys fellowship... God has made provision to cleanse
us from whatever sin would otherwise mar our fellowship with Him or
each other. [Expositors Bible Commentary]
Wheel Concept (Christ is the hub and we are the spokes): As we
draw closer to Jesus we become closer to one another.
Picture a large circle, from the edge of which are many lines
all running to the center. The nearer these lines approach the
center, the nearer they are to one another.... Thus it is in the Christian
life. The closer we come to Christ, the nearer we shall be to one
another. God is glorified as His people unite in harmonious action.
The key to living a victorious, Spirit-filled Christian life
is Jesus Christ as the Center and Lord of all we do. With Christ
in control, life is balanced and effective. The Wheel illustrated
this Christ-centered life.
Just as the driving force in a wheel comes from the hub; so
the power to live the Christian life comes from Jesus Christ the
Center. He lives in us in the Person of the Holy Spirit, whose
expressed purpose is to glorify Christ. The rim represents the Christian
responding to Christ's Lordship through wholeheated, day-by-day obedience
The spokes show the means by which Christ's power becomes
operative in our lives. We maintain personal contact with God through the
vertical spokes -the Word and prayer. The Word is our spiritual food as
well as our sword for spiritual battle. It is the foundational spoke
for effective Christian living.
Opposite this is the spoke representing prayer. Through
prayer we have direct communication with our heavenly Father and
receive provision for our needs. As we pray we show our dependence upon
and trust in Him.
The horizontal spokes concern our relationship to people -
believers, through Christian fellowship; and unbelievers, through
witnessing. Fellowship centered around the Lord Jesus Christ provides the
mutual encouragement, admonition and stimulation we all need. As we
draw closer to Jesus we become closer to one another.
The first three spokes prepare us for passing on to others all
that we have received from the Lord. This is accomplished through
witnessing, sharing our own experience of Christ and declaring and
explaining the Gospel, God's power to save. [The Wheel by the Navigators]
All the kids called him "Grandpa." He was a plumber with an
eighth-grade education. But no one was more articulate about Jesus Christ
than Grandpa Craig.
Kids from all over spent a lot of time with Grandpa--eating
popcorn in his living room, having Bible studies, praying, just
"shooting the breeze." No matter where the conversation wandered, though,
Grandpa would always bring it around to Jesus.
Whenever we were talking about school or dating or the future,
Grandpa would say, "That reminds me of something Jesus said....." or,
"That's just like when Jesus......" and he would reveal new insights to us
Grandpa's life was filled with the reality of Jesus' presence.
On Saturday afternoons, we would sometimes take long walks with
Grandpa. He would point to the countryside and say, "Now, that's Jesus'
way of showing us how much he loves us. He made all these things for
us to enjoy."
Grandpa saw Jesus in everything around him. "See how the sun
goes down so faithfully every evening?" he would ask. "That shows how
faithful Jesus is to us. Just like the sun, he never lets us down."
When anyone wondered how to act toward a new kid in school,
Grandpa would ask, "How would Jesus act if he were in school?" Problems
with parents? "What would Jesus do in your shoes?" His advice was
always simple: "Focus on Jesus. Figure it out from there."
In the same way that Grandpa experienced Jesus in everything,
John 1:1-18 reminds us that Jesus is central to everything.
How did Grandpa reflect Jesus' light to others?
How can your life be a light pointing others to Jesus?
Consider pointing people to Jesus by noticing God's
work in the world and by asking yourself what Jesus would do in
different situations. If you're not sure, talk with a Christian friend or
church member about the issue.
Consider taking a nature walk and sitting down to list
all the ways Jesus is revealed through creation and then sharing
your list with a friend. [Youth SB re John 1:1-18]
I watch you laboring and fretting and anxiously striving to
achieve things for me and my kingdom. Hear me. Your work is not my
primary concern. Your work is now, has always been, and always will be
secondary to your relationship with me.
What you do will flow out of your relationship with me as
irrigation streams flow out of a deep, clear, powerful river. The river
(the relationship) will set your motives and supply your strength.
Then your work will flow forth to honor me. Any time you allow your
work to come ahead of your relationship with me, you risk working
against me and my purposes.
Draw near to me and rest. Seek my will at every small turn.
Listen for my voice. Be filled with my Spirit. Then work with joy and
abandon! The Source of your power, God [PostCards from Heaven by Claire
RELATED AND SUPPLEMENTAL THOUGHTS
Only perfect sacrifices can be acceptable to God. And this is
the terrible problem that man faces, for who is perfect other than
God? No man is; only the Son of God is perfect. This is the reason
the Son of God had to come to earth. He had to come to sacrifice
Himself for man. He had to take man's sins upon Himself and become man's
substitute in death. He had to die for man. It is His death, the sacrifice
of the blood of God's Son, that covers our sins. No person is ever
acceptable to God unless he is free of sin, unless his sins are cleansed
and forgiven by the blood of Christ. [Preacher's Outline & Sermon
Christian truth is never only intellectual; it is always moral.
It is not something which exercises only the mind; it is something
which exercises the whole personality. Truth is not only the
discovery of abstract things; it is concrete living. It is not only
thinking; it is also acting... Christian the truth is something first to be
discovered and then to be obeyed. [Barclay Commentary]
John is laying down the blunt truth that the man who says one
thing with his lips and another thing with his life is a liar. He is
not thinking of the man who tries his hardest and yet often fails.
"A man," said H. G. Wells, "may be a very bad musician, and may yet
be passionately in love with music"; and a man may be very
conscious of his failures and yet be passionately in love with Christ and
the way of Christ... The man who professes to love Christ and
deliberately disobeys him, is guilty of a lie. [Barclay Commentary]
If there is bitterness in a man's heart towards any other, that
is proof that he does not really love God. All our protestations of
love to God are useless if there is hatred in our hearts towards any
man. [Barclay Commentary]
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