“This then is the message which we have heard of him and declare unto you that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ Son cleanseth us from all sin”. I John 1:5-7
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ”. I John 1:3
John is seeking to establish a close relationship with those who will read his letter. ‘Fellowship‘ here means, ‘a close association or relationship’.
Webster’s 1828 dictionary even mentions John 1:3 as a reference for the definition of fellowship, ‘communion, intimate familiarity’.
This is important in this thought about light. Having fellowship with God in this sense means that we are enjoying a close relationship with God and our lives are characterized by our walk – walking in the light.
Have you ever had a conflict with someone and the two of you just didn’t seem to understand the other? Conflicts arise when each one sees their own viewpoint and wish to ensure that the other appreciates and understands that viewpoint. But, if the two are focused on their own thoughts and opinions, there may be no room for considering the other’s viewpoint. You’re both left in a sort of ‘darkness’.
When we walk together in close communion we see the same path, under the same light and experience the same joy. A break in fellowship darkens the light and the communion between two people. This experience too can happen between us and God.
If we walk outside of His light pursuing things that lead us away…if we walk with God, that means we agree and understand His holiness and pursue it. I love that verse 5 has been explained as the ‘Simplicity of God’. This means that God is not complex, compounded or divisible in His nature. Simplicity does not deny the three distinct persons of the Trinity. All three share the same ‘essence’ of God. Neither does this mean that it is easy to understand all that is to be known of God because of two things – sin and our finite understanding.
Simply put, God is light and love and holy…purely. When the sun comes out don’t you just relish in its warmth and brightness. Do you love the sheer joy of how this light feeds our hearts and minds. If the sun can affect us so, how much more can close communion with God feed our souls.
Light – necessary for living and well-being.
“For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light” Psalm 36:9
Physically, light definitely affects our health and mental well-being. Spiritually, the light of God feeds our souls and causes us to live in joy and in communion with others. I’d rather walk, daily, in God’s light enjoying the fellowship of His presence and of the fellowship of other believers than to pursue any thing else. Nothing is that important. I’d rather live daily, in His light, sharing and caring for others than any other pursuit. Light shows us the way; light feeds us; light comforts us; light is part of God’s own being.
The lyrics of this song came to my mind as I typed this. This is a song I recall from my youth. Above all, I’d rather have Jesus. I’d rather walk in the light of God, more than any thing this world could offer me.
I Want Jesus More Than Any Thing
I want Jesus in my life
More than anything this world can offer me
For I know that He alone can satisfy
Just to know His leading in my life
Is worth everything that I might sacrifice
Oh I want Jesus more than anything
Take the fame that I might want
And all the things that seem so dear
I’d rather have Him than any praise
That men may give to me
I want Him to have control
And be the breath of life in me
I’d rather have Jesus
I’d rather have Him than anything
He had power without end
From the heavens He rule the universe
Countless angels waited on His every call
But one day I saw Him all alone
On a road to death and untold agony
Just for me He suffered,
Oh, what a price to pay
As I go on through life with Him
There can be no other way
I want Jesus
I want Jesus
Oh, I want Jesus more than anything
Earthly relationships are complicated, because we’re all different, see things from different perspectives and have different goals. A relationship with God is simple. It’s a walk in the light. If we walk in this light, it makes all other relationships easier – because of God’s love we look out for one another attempting to understand one another and attempting to encourage others to walk in the light of God.