1 John 1:5-7 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
The Apostle John is proclaiming the message he learned from Jesus. He has given us an example to follow. We are to proclaim the same message from Jesus to all around us, to family, friends, neighbors, and people we associate with who claim to be Christians, but live according to the ways of the world. If we followed the example of the Apostle John then we would be doing the very best we could do to help people know what a genuine Christian is. Many claim to be Christians, but are not and live according to the ways of the world in deep darkness causing pain and suffering in all their relationships.
God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. To understand the message Jesus is teaching us, we need to know what is meant by light and darkness. Light is truth. Darkness is sin. If we claim to have fellowship with God and walk or live sinfully with no repentance, we lie. If we are experiencing relationship with God, then we are not in darkness, we are not practicing sin, but are living according to the truth. Practicing the truth does not mean we are perfect, it means we desire to obey the Lord and not live according to sin. We live knowing we have a propensity to sin because we have been infected by sin from birth. We live attempting to practice the truth expecting the Lord to fulfill our attempt with His power (2 Thessalonians 1:11).
People deceive themselves and call God a liar if they say they don’t sin. Jesus told us in John 3:19-20 that people hate the light (truth) because it exposes their lifestyle as sinful. People who hate the light think they don’t sin. People who hate the light think what they do is okay and necessary to enjoy life or support themselves materially. They are deceived and by living in darkness rob themselves and all around them of the abundant life (Galatians 5:22-23) they could have. The deceived people also hide the way to eternal life from those in their families and in their friendship and acquaintance circle.
People who acknowledge they sin will seek the solution to sin’s destruction and death. The solution is Jesus. Jesus commands us to repent of our sins and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 10:9). People who repent and believe the gospel are forgiven the penalty of sin (Romans 5:10) and freed from slavery to sin (Romans 6:6-7). The people who repent and believe receive the Holy Spirit, Who gives them the power to obey and desire to obey (Ephesians 1:13-14; 3:20; Ezekiel 36:27). When true Christians sin, they repent of their sin, confess it to God and are cleansed from all unrighteousness. True believers have a mutual sharing relationship with other believers and live in the presence of God.