1 John, Part 2
I wanna jump into our text together, First John Chapter one is where we’re gonna be this morning. And if you weren’t here last week, don’t worry, you haven’t missed anything out of First John. We really just touched on the basis for why First John was written, so you can go back and listen to that through our YouTube, our podcasting, download the app, or go to our Alpine Bible Church website. But we kinda set the idea of who John is and why we should even care about what John is writing.
But if I really just summarize John’s life. John was an apostle that followed after Christ, one of the 12 disciples that Jesus took under his wing. He was likely the youngest of the disciples. And if you look at just the summarization of his life, he’s writing this letter towards the end of his life. He could be approaching somewhere near 100 years old when he’s writing this letter, and John’s life, I think, is best summarized this way. He did whatever it took to reach people for Christ. And if I put a little caveat to that I would say he did whatever it took short of sin to reach people for Christ.
John loved Jesus, and because John loved Jesus John loved what Jesus loved, which is people. In fact, we looked at that term that’s used to refer to John in John 13, John 19, John 20, where John is referred to in scripture as the loved of the Lord. And John looks like, in scriptural text, that he is literally, he was Jesus’s best friend. And so when you read the book of First John you see the love of God communicated in the life of John to us. And how do I know, how do I know that John was one that did whatever it took to reach people for Christ, that really loved the lord, loved others. His life demonstrated it.
Remember we talked about last week, at one point John was persecuted for his faith where he was boiled alive at another point in his life. He was exiled to isolation on the island of Patmos. He saw his brother James martyred. He was the first of the 12 disciples to be martyred, his brother James was. He saw all of the disciples martyred. He was the only disciple that wasn’t martyred. And here he is towards the end of his life almost 100 years old, and he’s continuing to encourage the body of Christ to pursue after the lord with their lives.
I mean when I get 100 years old, if I even live that long, I have no plan to, I ate too much bacon for that, but if I were to live that long, like at some point I might just say, you know what, let the next generation take care of this. I am good with the fight that I have fought, but here is John continuing with his fight for the Lord, for the cause of Christ, and for the benefit of people. And when you get to the book of First John, First John is actually a pretty blunt book, which is a little bit different than what we typically see with John’s character. John is a very gentle disciple in comparison to others.
Now when we saw the beginning of his life he was referred to as the son of thunder, right? But being referred to by Jesus as the son of thunder, his life being radically transformed by Christ, he takes on this gentle loving spirit for people. In fact, people will often turn to the book of First John and read chapter four where it talks about God is love, right? We love that passage. But the book of First John, by its totality, really communicates against false teaching as a very powerful book in understanding how detrimental false teaching can be in our lives, but the impact, rather, that Jesus should have on us.
And when John is writing this book, most scholars believe that what he’s writing against is this former teaching called gnosticism. And when John is writing this teaching, one of the things I love about this book is that John never really identifies the false teaching. Rather he recognizes what the false teaching is saying, and rather than just talk negative against false teaching, what he talks about is what were to be in Jesus. Like, I think that’s very important for us as a church. You’re gonna encounter false teaching in life anywhere you go. I mean every commercial, I think, is built on it. It appeals to the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. It’s trying to get that sensual side of you to say I deserve this and buy it. That is just life. But here’s what we wanna be as a church. And we can talk all day long about things we’re against. But in talking about everything you’re against, you can still never live for the reason for which God created you. We’re far more interested in where you’re going rather than where you’ve been.
God cares about where you’re going. God cares about you. And John recognizes some of the teachings that’s around him, and he begins to use this letter to address those teachings I think in the form of early gnosticism. But even in that context he doesn’t really identify the false teaching. What he identifies is what we should be in Jesus in light of the things around us. And so John starts to communicate to the church where we are to belong and how we are to live. And somewhere along the way, guys, I think in our society today we started to believe into the idea that in order to be compassionate towards people you have to let go of your conviction. And I don’t think you have to compromise your conviction to still be compassionate. Jesus did that masterfully. He loved people where they were at. He met them where they were. He cared about them unconditionally. And he cared about them enough to stand for truth in them. Because truth transforms our life. It’s not that they use truth to belittle people or to bash people but we use truth to serve people because it’s Jesus that sets us free.
Now when you think about gnosticism I want you to understand a little bit about gnosticism before we jump into this text, because you’ll see that the teachings of gnosticism peppered through the way John addresses this book. But gnosticism at the time of John was an early movement. It hadn’t gained its momentum yet. But the word gnostic comes from the word knowledge. And so gnosticism is this belief in knowledge. Now Christianity, God created you with a mind. He wants you to use that mind. But what gnosticism would teach is that they had secret knowledge. It’s sort of like the better version of whatever you believe because we have it, it’s secret. So come to us, right? So that was what gnosticism leaned toward. And gnosticism believed that the physical world was evil but the spiritual world was good. Now that led to some different forms of gnosticism, that. But they believe that the physical world was evil, the spiritual world was good, and so when gnosticism encountered Jesus they had to come up with the idea of okay now how do we deal with that? Because our belief is physical world bad, spiritual world good, and so what they started to teach is that Jesus didn’t really come in a physical form, that Jesus sort of spiritually appeared.
And in teaching that they would even say things like, “When Jesus walked he didn’t leave footprints.” Because he was the spiritual awareness in front of you. And so John, recognizing this, begins to teach the church of the significance of Jesus’s coming for us and what it represents. And in all of this what he desires for you and me is the idea we talked about last week in verse four. I’m writing these things. Like if you ask the question, okay, why did John write this letter? I’m writing these things so that our joy may be complete. He’s rooting the idea of joy for us in the identity of who Jesus is because the joy of what life is really finds its origin in the creator of all things. And in emphasizing this and knowing that gnosticism deals more with the spiritual, looking at the physical world as evil, John recognized that this was an affront to Jesus, and he wants us to walk in light of that. And so when you read in the beginning of this letter look what John says here. He says, “That which was from the beginning, “which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, “which we have looked upon and have touched with our hands, “concerning the word of life.”
He’s putting Jesus in a very tangible form, right? Isn’t just spiritually arrival, he physically came to Earth. And verse two, “The life was made manifest, “and we have seen it, and testify to it “and proclaim to you the eternal life, “which was with the father and was made manifest to us, “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, “so that you too may have fellowship with us; “and indeed our fellowship was with the father “and with the Son Jesus Christ.” You see within these first three versus that what John is doing is he’s identifying God in this very tangible way. He continue to go back and refer to these senses of hearing and seeing and touching Jesus. That Jesus was physically here. And so we can look at that and think, but why is that a big deal. Spiritually he came or physically he came, either way he came. Why is this a big deal? Well this has everything to do with the sufficiency of the sacrifice that Jesus made for you.
If you think in terms of the Old Testament. In the Old Testament the Jews would go into the temple and they would make a sacrifice, bulls and goats and lambs. But in Hebrews chapter 10 verse four it tells us that bulls, goats, and lambs really can’t suffice with the sacrifice that you need for the sins of your life. So what did those represent? They were symbols. And the Old Testament, the idea of worship in the Old Testament was all symbolic. And all the symbolism in the Old Testament was intended to point us to the significance of Jesus. And so it says in Hebrews Chapter 10 verse four they continue to make these sacrifices and the writer of Hebrews is saying, look, but these sacrifices can never suffice for the sufficiency for which you need for your sins. But what will? An equal exchange. A pure life for a sinful life. One who was tangible coming for one who is tangible. Spiritual can’t die for physical. Blood and bulls can’t die for human beings, they don’t match. But Jesus needed to physically come for you. That exchange is what makes him sufficient for your life.
It’s kinda like saying today, if you go out to eat after the service for Father’s Day rather than paying with regular cash you choose to give them Monopoly money, right? I mean that just is not gonna work. And it’s the same thing for Jesus. John is emphasizing the physicality of the arrival of Christ in our lives and the significance of what that means for us so that we can root ourselves in the historical reliability. Like what John is saying, remember, in this time period John is the last living disciple. The eye witnesses of Jesus’s life are beginning to pass away. John may be one of the only ones left that walked this earth with Christ. And he wants us to understand that the idea of Jesus coming wasn’t just some spiritual idea, it wasn’t just this made up thought. John walked with Jesus, the eyewitness of all that Christ was. Demonstrating this man who may be now near 100 years old who continues to give his life for Christ. Like, John’s not writing this book because he wants something from you. But rather, he wants something for you. To be rooted in the significance of who Christ is and his reliability for our lives.
I see living in Utah for over a decade now, I think I’m like 15 years living in Utah, one of the things that I see in people is if you ever believe something that you realized wasn’t what you thought it was. There’s this panic mode in people to not be duped again. Does that make sense? And in that panic mode you wanna examine everything in life. Like, if it comes to looking at Christianity like we’re talking about today, you wanna look under every rock and crevice to make sure that what you believe is accurate and you’re not gonna trust in anything again until you know that something is true. Well, let me just say this, when it comes to faith in anything, to know all there is about it, is an impossibility. And when we talk about the idea of faith, ’cause I want us to be aware that, you know, when we talk about faith in our society today, some people use faith like it’s blind ignorance. I don’t know, let’s just have faith, let’s just figure it out. We can’t know everything. Like, if someone ever tells you, if you have questions about what you believe or what someone’s teaching about faith and their answer is well we don’t really know, we’ll just kind of figure it out in the end, man, don’t listen, don’t listen to that.
I think when it comes to faith God gave you a mind, God wants you to use the mind. For some reason we think logically in everything in this world, but when it comes to faith we treat it as if we’re supposed to guess at it, right? Let’s just hope we’re right in the end. I don’t think God intends for it to be that way. But I also don’t think God intends for you to know everything that you need to know before you start your journey with him. That is impossible. In fact, I was concerned about this in coming to know Christ that as I came to know Jesus it would become so familiar to me that I would just get bored with the thought of learning about God, but what I found in my Christian faith is the exact opposite.
The more I’ve grown and the more I learn, the more I understand scripture, the more hungry I am to wanna know more. It’s just this unattainable appetite that I have that I just cannot satisfy in wanting to know God. The more I know about him the more I want to know. And so when it comes to faith, what I’m saying to us is it’s not this blind ignorance, but you have to start somewhere. And so where do you start that journey. Well John is rooting us here in this. It’s in the historical reliability of Jesus. In fact, Paul summarized it this way in First Corinthians 15 verses 13 to 19, if Christ has not been raised from the grave our faith is in vain.
Everything in Christianity roots itself in the identity of who Jesus is and what he did for us in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. If that isn’t true, then don’t follow Christianity. But if it is true, that transforms our lives. You don’t have to know everything. When you start this faith journey, John wants us to understand that it’s rooted in the identity of who Jesus is. If you can find that foundation to rest on, then you begin to walk a journey with God to grow in the understanding of all that God is in your life. Jesus coming in physical form is our foundation. The beauty is for us, it doesn’t end there. After the early disciples, followers of Jesus, first century eyewitnesses of Christ died, they depended on these eyewitness accounts. Like Paul even said in First Corinthians 15, since I already referenced it, he said in verses three and on he appears to the disciples, he appears to Paul, he appeared to 500 people at one time, and the reason Paul is saying that is because he wants the individuals he’s writing to to go ask the eyewitnesses about Jesus’s life because they’re walking the earth. Like, if you don’t believe me, Paul’s saying, go ask people. He’s appeared to hundreds of people at one time. Jesus in his resurrection, he didn’t hide. He walked around for 40 days teaching people. And so the eyewitness accounts were there.
But what happened in the early church is they began to find out now the eyewitnesses are dying, how do we defend this faith, and we began to recognize that this faith is rock solid. Like, there’s more than just the eyewitness accounts to depend on with Jesus. I mean, you can go back in scripture, find Old Testament manuscripts older than Jesus himself declaring the coming of Jesus, exactly how he would come, where he would live, how he would die. I mean, how do you account for that when you have scripture hundreds of years older than Jesus specific to the time when Jesus would be born being declared for us. And so individuals started to defend the faith.
There was one individual, just to draw your attention to the church history, named Origen. Some people even argue whether or not this guy was even Christian. But he just started to see the validity of what Christianity stood on, and he started to write this. He was known in church history as one of the great apologists for Christianity. When this guy, he has a crazy life, but when he was 17 years old his father was taken away and martyred because of his faith in Jesus. In fact, history writes that his mother, when his father was taken away, she saw her son, Origen, panicking. And so she went and actually hid his clothes so that if he tried to run and try to save his father, which she knew would lead to his death, he was gonna have to do it naked. And I don’t know what he was wearin’ before, but that’s what history writes about him. So she hid his clothes so he wouldn’t run away, but he goes on and he starts to write these writings about the defending Christianity.
And he was such a I don’t know how I wanna describe him, but his life was so dedicated to Jesus, and I’m not encouraging this at all, he refused to own a bed, he slept on the floor, he never wore shoes, he even castrated himself, which I don’t know why, what biblical reason, there is no biblical reason for that, but Origen was just so dedicated to the Lord. Like he saw sexual temptation for him as something he didn’t want to be involved in, so he went extreme in this area of his life. But he writes and defends the faith. And there was even a point in church history where the emperor, at the time, named Decius, there was a plague that hit Rome, and the emperor at the time named Decius, they looked at Christianity as the reason why bad things would happen to Rome.
You think, in Roman days when they worship gods that if anything bad happens because one of the gods were angry, well the Christians only worship one god, so they’re the ones that made the other gods angry, and so the Christians would get all the persecution when bad things happen because they thought all the gods of Rome were angry at them because they all weren’t worshiping God. And so Decius gets this idea. He said you know what, Origen has been so influential in how he’s defended the Christian faith, rather than persecute all the Christians, let’s go get Origen and let’s torture him until he recants. And for three years, every day, they tortured Origen to the point where he would just about die. And then they would relent. And they thought if we could just get this defender of the faith to recant Christians everywhere will recant. But Origen stood on the validity of who Christ was. And he ends up being released at the end of three years, not because he endured the torture to the end of the torture but because Emperor Decius died. But shortly after he was released he succumbed to the torture which he endured and died for his faith. He’s referred to in history as the original Superman. He actually has the title Man of Steel.
I say all this to say Christianity is more than wishful guessing. It has a solid foundation. And when you start that journey with the Lord, you don’t have to know everything. In fact, that’s impossible. And that’s what the journey is about, learning to know God more. But the foundation starts from the identity of who Jesus is and his death, burial, and resurrection. If that foundation is solid everything else will come into alignment. Christianity has a foundation. In fact, when Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke he started this way, it seems good to me also having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus. Theophilus paid for Luke, a doctor, to travel around to write about Jesus and this gospel. And he says that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. Theophilus heard these things about Jesus and wanted it confirmed historically that it was indeed true and so Luke is sent out through the funding of Theophilus to guarantee what he had heard about Christ. There is a solid foundation.
When it comes to putting your faith in Jesus, you don’t need a great faith. You really only need a little faith. But it should rest in a solid foundation. We talk about faith like really it’s the primary thing about life, but really the truthfully it’s not so much the faith as it is the size of your God. It’s not the size of your faith, it’s the size of your God. And in Luke Chapter 17 Jesus even said it this way, and the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of a mustard seed, “you could say to this mulberry tree, “‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ “and it would obey you.” You ever seen a mustard seed. I mean, it’s like the definition of dinky. And he’s saying just the faith of a mustard seed. It’s not about the size of your faith, but about the size of your God.
I’ve heard this illustration used in relation to this that someone once asked, like if you were to travel across a massive lake covered in ice, would you rather travel across a lake with two inches of ice and all the faith in the world? Or would you rather travel across that lake in two feet of ice with just a little bit of faith? Two inches of ice, all the faith in the world, or two feet of ice and just a little bit of faith. I can tell you what I’m takin’. I am travelin’ across the lake on two feet of ice. And here’s why. If you travel across the lake on two inches of ice, as soon as you hear the crack what happens to your faith? It shatters. But when you make that journey on two feet of ice and you see the dependability of what it is, what happens to your faith? It explodes, right? This foundation is trustworthy. When it comes to the idea of who Jesus is, John doesn’t wanna play games. He wants it clear in the mind of the church, because this is the foundation of who you are. And when that foundation is secure and you’re able to rest in what that foundation is what happens to your faith? It soars in his identity because it’s not about the size of your faith. But rather the size of your God that you trust in. How secure is that foundation?
So when you think about what John is saying in this text, this identity of the physicality of Jesus and that becoming important because it has to do with the sufficiency of the sacrifice he makes for you. His exchanging of his physical life for yours so that you could be set free in him by his death on the cross. That matters, right? And so he then roots that thought in verse four, and we are writing these things to you so that our joy together could be made complete. Now what does this mean? There’s something about security of a moment that helps you rejoice in that time. Like when you lack in your life, when you lack purpose, when you lack love, when you lack hope, when you lack security, there’s too much of panic in your life to find joy and peace. But when your identity is secure, when you have ultimate purpose, never-ending love, perpetual hope, eternal security, and that wrapped up in Jesus there is joy.
When you read at the end of First John it says on 5:13 that I’m writing these things to you, John says, again, so that you may know you have eternal life. I don’t think verse four and verse 13 are exclusive from one another. In fact, I think it becomes the foundation of joy that the security of who you are in eternal life in Jesus is the very basis for which you have joy, because no matter what happens to you in life, the security of knowing everything is gonna be okay. There is a place for rejoicing.
Now you think in terms of gnosticism, believing that the physical world, that the physical world is sinful. The gnosticism is gonna have a hard time seeing them if Jesus’s physical flesh, and we’ve been teaching he’s spiritual, but he did come physically. Like, how do we see a good God if he’s in the physical form, because we believe the physicality of God is a bad thing because the physical world is bad. Well, in First John five, Chapter one verse five it says this, this is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him yet we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. Now you don’t wanna be called a liar, but we wanna walk in this truth.
This is where John is emphasizing that the importance of walking in this. And how does he refer to God here? That God is light. What does that mean? Well in a modern world we rarely do things in darkness today. You had the convenience of just flipping on the light, right? But light is the basis for everything. It is revealing, it is healing, it is life giving. I mean, before you do anything with your day, most likely it starts with turning on the light. But in darkness it is concealing, it is blinding, it is death. When you think about the way the Bible uses the word light, light in scripture it represents knowledge, purity, and authority. I’m gonna show you that in just a minute, but light represents knowledge and purity and authority. And I’m gonna do a, we’ll call it a magic trick for a second.
But when you think in terms of light being pure, would you guys get the lights for just a minute. Welcome to the dark. When you think about in terms of light being pure, here’s my magic lighter. You see the end of the lighter. Notice the one thing that doesn’t cast a shadow. It’s pure light. You see it? Light has no shadow. You guys can turn the light back on. Light has no shadow. Light is, is pure. By using the idea of light, what John is saying is that God is pure. Our God is holy. He and this passage wants us to recognize and just begin to elevate the identity of who God is in our life. God is the origin of all things. God is light.
And here’s the reality. We start to talk in terms of God. The tendency in our human nature is to never fully recognize the goodness of who God is. In fact, I say that every time we start to describe God we’re always at risk at diminishing who he is in his glory. I think the best way that you can see God is Jesus. Colossians 2:9 says in him the fullness of God dwelled in bodily form. So do you wanna know what God’s like, look at Jesus. Because when we’re left to our human terms to describe God for the way that he is we will diminish his glory.
In fact, there’s a reason the Old Testament when God gave his name to Israel and he said his name was Yahweh that the Jews referred to utter that name. It was so sacred, holy, and other that they didn’t even wanna speak the name of God because they knew to begin to speak about the name of God and describe God was to diminish him in his glory. We do that as human beings. We are always at risk at diminishing God’s glory.
Now I’m gonna describe God for a minute, which, again, I’ve just told you anytime that we do this we’re always at risk undermining the goodness of who he is in this world. But when you think in terms of God is light and how he diminishes glory, let me just give you just a fairly ridiculous question that we often ask, but the innocence of this question is okay. The innocence of this question, I don’t think, diminishes God in his glory, but when we begin to understand the backdrop to this question we’ll see how it happens. So common question sometimes people ask, I think we’ve probably all asked it, where did God come from? Innocent question right? Innocent question, I mean, it’s an important question, because what we’re doing is we’re being observable with the world around us. Like everything that’s exist, everything that’s been created has an origin, right? And so because we’re familiar with everything that exists, we then assume within the parameters of everything that exists, the same questions upon God, right? Who made God or where did God come from?
But when you think in terms of that question it confines God to creation, because we’re assuming by asking the question where did God come from or who made God that he’s like everything else because everything else has an origin. Therefore, because we conceive of everything in this world through our lens of experience that God must be somehow relatable in this way, which there is some relatability to God. But when you think about the things that exist in this world, there are three things that you need, time, space, and matter. You need a time for which to exist, a space for which to come from, and a matter that makes up the substance which exists. Now if you think in terms of time, space, and matter what’s interesting about time, space, and matter is you can’t have two without the three. Like there’s no existence without all three. Like if you have space and matter there’s no time for anything to come into existence. If you have time and space without matter there’s no substance for anything to be formed. If you have time and matter without space there’s no place for things to exist.
But when it comes to everything that’s created, at some point you have to have an origin of all things, an uncaused cause for which things come into existence. For example, in the thought of atheism, let’s say. In terms of atheism the substance that first begins all things, they talk in terms of matter and let’s not worry about time and space, but we talk in terms of matter. But the question you’ve always gotta answer is how can something come from nothing?
And when it comes to the idea of God, he himself is the uncaused cause, which means he’s not defined within time, space, and matter like everything that’s created. Rather, he’s defined outside of time, space, and matter because he’s responsible for all things that are created. So before God there was no time, space, or matter, and so there’s no time for which he could come into existence, there’s no space for which he would exist in or be confined to, and there’s no matter for which creates his substance. God is outside of all of those things. And so we ask the question, where did God come from, it becomes impossible because with those things that cause things to exist, God is outside of those things. He doesn’t create those things. It’s like asking this question, how tall is the color blue? Or how much does your thought weigh? You can’t define blue that way. And you can’t weigh your thoughts, right? And God can’t be defined within the substance of creation in order for creation to exist. You have to have an uncaused cause outside of creation.
So even the question itself, who is God? Where did God come from? Who made God? It’s an impossible answer. Even to try to define it diminishes who his glory is. God is light. This is why in Exodus Chapter three when God gave the definition of who he was Abra, or not Abraham, Moses says, before he goes to Pharaoh, God, I’m gonna go to Pharaoh I’m gonna say that you declared let my people go, in the midst of a flame God declares his name. And what does God say? I am. I am. You ever thought about doing this in your life? Like define God. Who is God? Pages and pages and pages could be written. But the way God defines himself, the uncaused cause. I never came into being, I simply am. Because all things that are created finds its purpose for existence within him.
But he is the only thing, within him, so everything created finds a purpose of existence outside of yourself. It’s found within him. And he is the only thing that finds his purpose for existing within himself. Because he defines all things. I mean, you wrestle with that thought, that is a mind boggling thought, but why would I start with such a nerdy way of describing God or defining God? Well, in Genesis Chapter one I think it’s the way that God defines himself. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and God said, look, “Let there be light.” And there was light. Knowledge, holiness, the authority of God declared from the beginning just as John is saying in this verse.
Look, gnosticism may see the physical world as evil, but God, God in physical form, he is pure, he is holy. The idea of God transcends beyond our imagination. We can’t conceive of the true glory for which he possesses. But Jesus explains him. In him the fullness of God dwells. That’s why when you look in verses seven and to the end of this chapter it becomes so important, because while in verse five and six you see this transcending God of light, beyond our imagination. In verse seven it then starts the idea of this eminence of God. Look at what he says. When we pick up in verse six, if we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. This walking in darkness is denying the truth of who Jesus is.
But in verse seven, but if we walk in light, as he is in light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. You see, the sufficiency of who Jesus is and coming in his physical form. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But in verse nine, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. So in the midst of seeing this God that transcends all things, in a very personal way he comes for us in this world and gives his life to cleanse us, and it says in these verses, it talks about the fellowship with God, that God, in his transcendence desires to be imminent with you, have personal relationship with you. So the sufficiency of who Jesus is in your life becomes the paramount understanding for walking with God daily.
Now I’ll tell you in verse seven to 10, there is a debate here, and I’m gonna tell you I don’t know the answer to. For seven to 10 people have looked at this and said, okay, is God writing this to Christians or not Christians? When you get to chapter two verse one, I think he refers to the beloved. I think he’s very clearly talking to Christians. But in chapters one verses seven to 10 people debate as to whether or not John’s actually talking to Christians here. People will go to this word fellowship and say, well he’s talking about fellowship so he must be talking about interaction with believers, but I don’t think this term fellowship is even talking about interaction with believers.
I think John here is really giving, most likely giving a blanket statement for anybody in the church, whether they’re believers or not. Anybody that’s come to the church, I’ll just say, not necessarily part of the body but gathered with the church, wherever they are, he’s declaring the truth of God to see in this transcendent God of light, this God of all authority and power and purity and knowledge, but that he’s also personally made himself known, and this is how we come to know him. That whether you start your journey with Jesus today or you continue your journey with Jesus today that for all of us that journey is the same, that we sin. And that sin interferes with our fellowship of God.
But God paid for that sin. And in coming and confessing that sin before us we enjoy that fellowship with him for which we were created. There’s reconciliation. The reason I don’t think fellowship has to do with Christians is because look at what it says in verse six, if we say we have fellowship with him, so it’s talking about your relationship with God, and in verse seven it says, but if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. And the debate is over this one another. And I think this one another is actually referring to one another as in you with the Lord. We have fellowship with one another. Like our fellowship, we, have fellowship with the Lord when we walk in this light. Understanding who Christ is. Mustard seed faith and the greatness of this God. And in verse nine I think it gives us one of the most important verses in our walk with God.
It says if we confess our sins he’s faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I think that word all there, that’s a pretty powerful word in this sentence, right? Cleanse from all unrighteousness. Like when you blow up, when you mess up, when you sin, how does God look at you? Does he hate you? Does he wanna punish you? Does he wanna cast you aside and pretend like you don’t belong? No. Verse nine says he loves you, wants to forgive you, wrap you in his grace, and continue this journey with you which he has created you for. If we confess our sins he’s faithful and just to forgive us. Now, believers, let me just tell you this. I don’t think it’s in terms of salvation here. I think it’s in terms of fellowship, meaning if you’re a follower of Jesus and you’ve come before the Lord and you’ve confessed your sin before God and Christ has rescued your life, he is your savior, I think that salvation is secure.
But what happens in our life in sin is that sin affects our relationship with God, our fellowship with him. We always belong to him once we embrace him. Your sealed in the spirit, the Bible tells us. But you’re not always close to Jesus. Your relationship with God fluxes, right? It’s some days you’re closer than others and what’s the reason. Well it’s sin. And so he’s saying in this passage, look, if you do mess up in your walk with God, God doesn’t want you to go away and castrate yourself like Origen, that’s not what God wants. God wants you with him. And when you recognize where you’ve fallen and you come before God and you say, God, I’ve sinned, but you are holy and you are pure and you are good and you are gracious.
And with my mustard seed one more time I’m gonna rest on the foundation of who you are. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Because of who Jesus is, this is why he could cover our sin. His physical life is necessary for you. Christianity is about that journey of a mustard seed. And when you read verses seven to nine in this passage of scripture, John wants you to appreciate the idea that while God is transcended in our understanding, he is also imminent for you, that what God desires in coming to this earth, is for you to have that relationship with him. You don’t have to know everything.
But the journey starts on one thing, the validity and reliability of who Jesus is. And if you rest yourself on that and the feet of faith, and the feet of ice I guess, for your faith, your faith will continue to flourish and grow in the journey of what it is to know God and to light in him all of your days.