The book of I John is a book of contrasts. John begins his letter by contrasting darkness and light. He declares that “God is Light and there is absolutely no darkness in Him” (vs. 1:5).
Besides the contrast between light and darkness (see also vs. 2:8-11), John makes several other contrasts: the world vs. God’s will (vs. 2:15-16); obedience vs. disobedience (vs. 2:4-6); truth vs. lies, passing away vs. remaining forever (2:17); Christ vs. antichrist (vs. 2:22); God’s children vs. the devil’s children (vs. 3:7-10); love vs. hate (3:11-15); the Spirit of Truth vs. the spirit of deception (vs. 4:1-6); life vs. death (5:12).
It seems that from John’s perspective, there’s not a lot of gray area to the Christian lifestyle. With John, it’s light or dark, truth or lies, right or wrong.
But don’t think John is an idealist and not in touch with reality. What John is trying to tell us is that Christians live on the edge of darkness.
Christians are people who have stepped out of the darkness and into the light of God’s love shown to us in Christ. “God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him” (vs. 4:9).
But, it seems Christians are only just a step away from darkness, from disobedience, from deception, from death. And that’s what John is warning us!
Once you have stepped into the light, instead of living according to the ways of this world, your future begins to dictate how you live. Because now you live in this world, in this present reality, according to the way things will be in the future, in eternal life!
Christians are the beneficiaries of a not yet received but presently conceived future. “The darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining” (vs. 2:8). And because of this future and because you live on the edge of darkness, each day of your life you have to make conscious choices to choose light over darkness, truth over lies, love over hate, life over death.
Think of it this way: Your life is a series of decisions. With each choice you make to obey God, you move more into the light and further from the darkness. “But the one who does God’s will remains forever” (2:17).
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light—the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth.” (Ephesians 5:8-9, HCSB).
- Walking in the Light: Getting a Tan or Getting Sweaty? – 1 John 1:7 (stevesbiblemeditations.com)
- Pushing Back the Darkness (devotionsinmotion.wordpress.com)