Show Notes for Kernels of Wheat Episode 007 – Walking in Freedom (1 John 1:6-7)
Teaching and Bible study notes by Jim Kerwin
Verse: 1 John 1:6
If we say that we have fellowship with Him
and yet walk in the darkness,
we lie and do not practice the truth;
- Lying about fellowship with God; poor excuses for Christians.
- If we say (or imply) that we are Christians – that is, that we live in close fellowship with God – but our lives and hearts say otherwise, that is a serious form of hypocrisy or lying.
- Walking in darkness is a description of the opposite of living in close communion with God.
- Walking in darkness is characterized by continuing in sin (even “acceptable” sin), worldliness, and selfishness, all things which grieve God’s Spirit.
- Walking in darkness is the opposite of taking up your cross, denying yourself, and following Jesus.
- Isaiah 59:2—But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Verse: 1 John 1:7
…but IF we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light,
[THEN] we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all SIN.
- Remember that the “one another” is fellowship with God and God’s fellowship with us.
- Walking first, then cleansing (not the other way around); we would have it backwards
- Cleansing is ongoing and deals with sin, not sins.; Greek tense is present active indicative.
- “Ask, and keep on asking,” etc., as in Matthew 7:7 and Luke 11:9
- Conditional statement; that is, it’s an IF/THEN statement
- IF – we walk in the light (the condition)
- THEN two results follow:
- We continue in fellowship with the Godhead and other Christians who abide in this same fellowship; AND,
- The blood of Jesus continually cleanses us from all SIN.
Walking in God, Who is Light, means that every dark thing in us is dealt with thoroughly and radically:
- Every pet sin, and every excuse for sinfulness
- Every worldly thing which we love
- Every selfish ambition, goal, or reaction that we have
- Every thing which God Who is Light points out to us as darkness…
We confess, repent of it, release it, crucify it, leave it behind; and we keep on walking in the Light, until all the dark things are burned away, all the dark corners are illuminated.
Verses 7-10: Sin (the nature, vv. 7-8) and sins (the acts of rebellion, vv. 9-10) are distinct.
The early Church’s current concept of sin
- “If any man sins…,” not when. (2:1)
- Instant death of Ananias and Sapphira for lying. (Acts 5)
- Sin shall not have dominion over you (Romans 6:14)
- “Go and sin no more.” (John 5:14; 8:11)
- “Be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus 20:7; 1 Peter 1:15-16)
- This is the will of God, even your sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
- And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He Who calls you, Who also will do it! (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
Too much of the modern Church's concept of sin sounds something like this:
God wants you to be free from sin, but He knows that you can’t be. While victory over sin can happen, it’s only temporary, or only available for super-spiritual people. You have a sin nature that you can’t completely overcome, so the best you can do is to stuff it down in your heart and sit on the lid, and go through the same, sad failure cycle repeatedly. You have to put up with this inner turmoil until you die, fighting an inbred enemy variously called:
- the sin nature
- the carnal mind
- the old man, etc.
and then Death (which is your enemy and Jesus’ enemy, according to 1 Corinthians 15:26) will kindly do for you what Jesus either couldn’t or wouldn't do during your earthly lifetime – it will free you from indwelling sin.
Prejudice Against God and His Truth?
Through many decades of excusing sin, watering down the Gospel to make it more palatable to sinners (who really aren’t “sinners” – they’re just “unchurched”!), we have been prejudiced against God and His truth by a theology that minimizes sin and sinfulness and God’s hatred of both. Worse, we’ve been asked to accept something just short of a blasphemy against a holy God – the lie that the God Who commands us, saying, “Be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy,” made no provision for us to live holy lives before Him.
Walking in the Light—communing with God—enlarges our hearts and minds, and frees us to believe God-sized thoughts. Dwelling in that Light changes dark thinking, and causes “the eyes of our understanding to be enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18).
Without meaning to, we have made the Sin problem bigger than God. Think about how serious the sin problem was and how God tackled it:
- God is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent — all-knowing, present everywhere, and all-powerful.
- The only—and best—solution God could provide was to come Himself, the Logos, the second person of the Trinity, in the person of Jesus Christ.
- Interposing Himself as the solution for sins and their penalty and for sin itself, do you think God decided to do the job only halfway?
The “sewer in the living room” analogy: Do you clothes-pin your nose and keeping stomping on cockroaches or go for a more permanent solution?
Saved to the “Uttermost”
And this is the solution God provided, something additional we haven’t usually been told – as we walk in the Light in intimate fellowship with God, we experience freedom from indwelling sin, because the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s son, continually cleanses us. If you’re continually cleansed, you’re clean!
Hebrews 7:25 says of Jesus that He “is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
- uttermost – some translations give this out as “forever,” and that’s a true, but incomplete, rendering. “Uttermost” also means thoroughly, completely, leaving nothing undone.
The Hymn: Walk in the Light, by Bernard Barton (1784-1849)
Walk in the light: so shalt thou know
That fellowship of love
His Spirit only can bestow,
Who reigns in light above.
For Next Week: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!
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More teaching by Jim Kerwin and others can be found on the Finest of the Wheat website.