Wednesday, August 27, 2014
“Stay on the PATH”
You’re listening to The New You, the daily broadcast for people who have been made new by the blood of Christ. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s Scripture:
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
Do you want to have fellowship, or communion, with God? In the verse before us today, the Holy Spirit tells us what we must do to have that relationship with our heavenly Father. It involves a condition, a communion, and a cleansing.
First, there is the condition. Notice that John says, “IF we walk in the light as He is in the light…” (1 John 1:7, emp mine, RH). That “if” is important. Yes, we can have fellowship with God and with His people, but that is conditional upon our walking in the light. Remember that, in 1 John 1:5, John said that “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” Now, John tells us to walk in the light. See the correlation? “Walk” is a figure of one’s lifestyle. In fact, John uses the present tense when he commands us to “walk,” indicating that we are to continually walk or keep on walking in the light. This is more than a one-time action that is completed at the point of our baptism. This is a lifestyle. Truth is always exhibited in a person’s life through obedience, so John tells us to walk in the light, to believe and to practice the truth.
Second, there is the communion. The result of our obedience to the condition of walking in the light is this: “we have fellowship with one another.” The “one another” here refers to our union in Christ as brothers and sisters, that is, Christians. But it is only through fellowship with God that fellowship with the brethren is possible (1 John 1:3). Therefore, walking in the light is that condition for a communion with my Father and with my brethren, God’s people. Notice that this is more than just a claim to fellowship (like the false teachers did); this is actual fellowship, it’s a fact! You can know that you have fellowship with God! Incredible!
Third, there is a cleansing. John says, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). We are cleansed by the blood of Christ. It is interesting that the blood is specifically mentioned, not just the general idea of Christ’s death. The blood is more specific. It points to the sacrifice that Jesus was on the cross for us. His blood was shed, and that shed blood is what cleanses us from our sins. How do I access that blood? By walking in the light. It begins with baptism, when I step into the light (Rom. 6:1-4), and continues as I continue to walk in the light. In fact, John uses the present tense with the word “cleanses” just as he used the present tense with the word “walk.” If we continually walk in the light, then the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us of sin! And again I say: incredible!
Let’s wrap it up: We’re not talking about a once-saved-always-saved type of doctrine. Far from it. We’re talking about a Christian who gives his or her life to the Lord and then continues to live for the Lord as long as he or she lives on earth! We are to be faithful and to remain faithful (Rev. 2:10). When we fulfill the condition, then we can enjoy the communion with God and with His people, and we can be cleansed from our sins. Stay on that path and it will lead you right to heaven by God’s grace.
Memory Verse: This week’s verse elaborates on what it means to walk in the light. Let’s focus once again on James 1:21:
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls (James 1:21)
Sometime today: Look at 1 John 1:9 and notice what God’s people are to do when they sin. The Lord willing, we will examine that together tomorrow.
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This is The New You, I’m Robert Hatfield, and I hope you have a great day!