I John

I John 1:5-10 Looking Closely-Fellowship Through The Blood.

John noted that they heard, saw, and handled the Word. However, it seems that he wanted to say more than that they saw Jesus, because he adds that they also “looked upon” the Word. If he intended to simply say that they saw Jesus, why would he add that they “looked upon” him (v. 1)? Strong’s defines the word ‘theaomai’ as more than just seeing, but rather “to look closely at, i.e. (by impl.) to perceive (lit. or fig.)” (p. 36 Greek Dictionary). Many saw Jesus who did not to look closely at him, at least not to the level of perceiving who he really was and is-the Word of life, and Life himself manifested. As he now progresses in his letter, John wants his hearers and readers to look closely at the Son that they might perceive everything they need and ought to know about him and his message.

Many say they are Christians, and some even proclaim the “Christian” faith, who do not look closely at what we find here in these verses. The first thing that John notes is that if one looks closely at the Son and what he taught one will learn that “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (v. 5 Cf. 2:9-11). As he also indicated earlier, the goal is to have fellowship with the Father and the Son. However, one cannot enjoy this fellowship if one walks in darkness (v. 6a Cf. I Tim. 6:16). Therefore, anyone who says that they have fellowship with God and yet walks in darkness, is lying and not practicing the truth. Secondly, and connected with the above point, one does not have fellowship with God, nor indeed is one looking closely to the point of perceiving the Son aright, if one does not also practice the truth (v. 6b).

We must be walking in the light, i.e., practicing the truth, if we can truly be assured that we have fellowship with God (Cf. Is. 2:5). However, part of this truth is that we are all still sinners. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (v. 8). Something had to be done about sin in us if we were to have fellowship with God. To this end John declares that “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (v. 7). One of the things about indwelling sin that we ironically forget, is that we have a great capacity to deceive ourselves. We are our own worst enemies. It is a sometimes painful and difficult task to examine ourselves to see if we are simply deceiving ourselves, and our brothers and sisters can help us in this examination.

Lying comes from darkness, and it is the light of truth which alone can dispel it. Furthermore, there is no life where there is darkness. “For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light” (Ps. 36:9). It is the light of God’s word alone which can shed light upon our self-deception. However, worse than self-deception, is that if we say we have no sin, then we are calling God a liar. “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (v. 10). There can be only one answer to this assessment and charge against us-it is true and we need help. First we must confess that God is right, we are sinners. Secondly, the only thing that will help is the blood of Jesus Christ. Thirdly, on the basis of Christ’s shed blood, the Father “is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (v. 9 Cf. Rom. 3:23-25).

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