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What is "walking in the light"?

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by Vanellus, Apr 17, 2021.

  1. Vanellus

    Vanellus Newbie

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    1 Jn 1:5-10
    This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all b sin.

    8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

    I've always found this passage hard to understand. It seems to be saying that if I sin I can't be walking in the light. But if I claim not to have sinned I'm lying. Now, like all Christians I sin so can any Christian claim truthfully to "walk in the light"?

    Reading it more carefully in my quiet time this morning I came to this conclusion: that "walking in light" here is more about continual confession than being sinless. Note that Romans 6 makes the point that this is not a licence to sin so not "I can sin all I like as long as I confess". But who is there here who is "without sin"?

    Note in verse 9 it explicitly states that it is "confessing sins" that leads to "forgiveness" and "purification from all unrighteousness" AND in verse 7 "walking in the light" leads to "purification from all sin".

    Now sin (hamartia=missing the mark) and unrighteousness (adikia=opposite of (God's) justice) are not the same Greek words but they seem fairly close in meaning.

    So the bottom line is don't let the feeling of guilt from sin prevent you from walking in God's light but rather be honest with God about your failings. The problems come when you try to pretend to God that you haven't sinned: God knows you better than that.
     
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  2. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Repartee Animal: Quipping the Saints! Supporter

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    Here is a song for your OP.
    All Day Long, I've Been With Jesus
     
  3. adderbolt

    adderbolt Active Member

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    "We" are blessed by the rain and warmed by the sun's rays: both Christians and unbelievers.

    Christians don't claim to be "without sin".

    And if 'the truth is not in you' then it follows that you are an unbeliever (not a Christian).
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
  4. Minister Monardo

    Minister Monardo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    David's prayer for walking in the light.

    Psalm 139:
    1
    O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
    2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
    3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
    4 For there is not a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
    5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
    6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.

    John 3:
    19
    And this is judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness
    rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
    20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his
    deeds should be exposed.
    21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen,
    that they have been done in God.
     
  5. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    This is a difficult passage for the reason you mentioned. And, I like your conclusion from this morning. That makes sense, to me.

    Like so much of the Christian life, we live in this tension of having one foot in the kingdom and one in the world. It's both "now" and "not yet."
     
  6. Minister Monardo

    Minister Monardo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Confessing our faults is the sincere and contrite "response" to the Light. Walking in the Light
    is to receive from above the convictions of conscience.

    John 3:21 But he who does the Truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen,
    that they have been done in God.

    Acts 24:16 This so I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.

     
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  7. GDL

    GDL Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you received some illumination in your quiet time reading. The Spirit at work.

    NKJ John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

    1 John is very much a commentary on the Gospel of John and elaborates on many things stated there.

    Long but good read of some teaching I read about this verse some time ago:

    Light in John is always moral, ethical light, +R, justice. man has conscience and the image of God but his souls require an outside source of guidance. Jesus is the person of the Godhead that gives the light to men. where even unbelieving man makes moral judgments he in actuality admits to Jesus existence & influence & appropriates what Jesus gives him. During the Feast of Tabernacles they would light the candelabra, except there weren’t candles on it, this would be a vast tall thing that looked like the Jewish set of lamps. These were approximately 180 feet tall, and they would have young men training for the priesthood who would make wicks for the lamps that would burn oil and they would climb up this vast tall structure to light those lights. And the temple tradition says that when the lights were lit, and during the Feast of Tabernacles all of the city of Jerusalem was lit up from them, you could see the lights high in the temple looking out over the whole city of Jerusalem. Now something else happened also that day in the days of the Feast of Tabernacles. When the feast began on the first day it began exactly on the day when the sun would go down at the same time in the west that the moon was rising in the east full. Now there’s significance to this, remember they had a lunar calendar, they measured their dates by the lunar calendar. All during the night of the party that we’ve mentioned before you have a full moon; the moon would be going across the sky and finally setting in the west just as the sun would come up from the east. The ceremony began exactly at that point. Why was this? So there would be no darkness; the Feast of Tabernacles speaks of the coming millennial kingdom when the light of the Lord shall fill the world, and therefore they picked just that time of year when the sun and the moon come up exactly at the same time and the moon comes up full, so there would be no darkness. Besides the light of the moon and the light of the sun there would be these giant 180 foot tall lamps that would show light throughout the whole court. Now that has been going on for some time, now the day, probably a day or two after the feast, John 8:12. After all of this typology, after all this background, “Then spoke Jesus again unto them,” He spoke “unto them” and this time no longer the crowd, the crowd is no longer mentioned from verse 12, which substantiates our position that John 8:1-11 did in fact occur here chronologically because you notice in verses 1-2 Jesus has left, it’s one day after the last day of the feast, and so the feast has broken up and many of the crowd have gone home but they remember that great, great scene, and Jesus chooses after the candles are no longer lit to make this statement. He chooses a time when the moon is no longer coming up in the east when the sun is setting in the west. He chooses a time when the world has gone back to darkness, when there’s no longer that illuminating moon all night and there’s no longer those 180 foot tall lamps shining across the courtyard and down on the hill to the city of Jerusalem. Men are reminded that they live once again in a dark world; the darkness has come upon them again. Is 49:4-6 Light of the world is a Messianic claim. J8:32 substantiates this claim. True Christians are those who continually follow the light. 1J1 came from this episode. The light of life, the light given by life. Eternal Life gives moral judgment. In darkness there are no Divine norms or standards but other things to replace the Word of God. Those who follow Jesus will not walk in darkness but have the light given to them by eternal life.

    NKJ 1 John 1:7 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.

    When we follow Christ, we walk/live in His presence, in the light where He is, we have fellowship/association/close relationship with Him, and His blood cleanses us from all sin, which we still have (1:8), so we learn from Him what is sin/all unrighteousness (1 John 5:17)/lawlessness (1 John 3:4), and we confess our sins, and He is faithful and righteous to forgive/pardon such [confessed] sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (which is sin - sin we do not yet even know we have) (1:9).

    This is the very dynamic relationship of following Jesus Christ.

    Ephesians 5 explains our being "light in the Lord" and commands us to "walk as children of light" learning and proving what is pleasing to the Lord. It also commands us to be imitators of God as His beloved children, and speaks of not sharing relationship with sons of disobedience - so, obey God, which is to believe in Him and love Him.

    All of this becomes discipleship instruction (following Christ) to learn from God what is sin/unrighteousness/lawlessness/disobedience/lack of faith/lack of love - confess it when we do it - let Him work it out of us - grow up to spiritual maturity and beyond and become more and more like Him. This is all part of our Salvation.
     
  8. Bobber

    Bobber Well-Known Member

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    I think it means this. In verse 6 where is states, "walk in darkness" that's different then somebody who periodically has a stumble into sin. Walking in darkness seems like a committed pattern of lifestyle to stay that way while all the time claiming one is walking in the light....A Christian in good standing with the Lord. (or so they mistakenly think they are)

    Think of it as one who gossips or continually says unloving things about a person speaking guile. I think there's a big difference between one saying something wrong and their spirit knows immediately they did wrong and they feel remorse and repent as compared to one who just carries on....every hour of the day without hesitation always walking out of LOVE. The one is walking, that is walking in darkness....that other isn't necessarily.

    This would mean the one who falls into a sin or stumbles into it in a moment of weakness is still in God's view walking in the light because they deal with it right away asking God's forgiveness. No it doesn't mean one should think God will forgive me any way and go ahead and sin BUT God does know we might still yield to some sin but again God knows our heart really wants get out of that sin and walk in victory.

    The person who "walks in darkness" just walks in it as a continual pattern....choosing to feel no remorse.....carrying on their lives that they don't need to repent. It'd be like a businessman being dishonest with customers everyday with not even the slightest notion that they're going to change. God says NO...you're walking in darkness the walking being a continual pattern never ending.

    And now verse 7 if we walk in the light as he's in the light we have fellowship with God and he forgives and cleanses us of our sin. So walking in the light is the thing your sincere heart is committed to do, doesn't mean you'll never fail. Walking in darkness really means you're committed to that darkness and such a one won't entertain the notion they need to change.

    Now verse 8 goes back really and is referring to the one who is committed to walking in darkness without feeling they need to repent....."If we claim to be without sin" that is the one embraces the walking in darkness as a way of life (not talking about the one who stumbles an odd time) If the committed to darkness one claims to be without sin they're deceiving themselves and the truth is not in them. You see if the truth was in them they'd feel convicted they'd feel that nudge that they need to change.

    Very 9 gives such a one a hope....If you're in that situation he's telling them they should feel remorse about it....therefore get out of that walking in darkness and stop seeking to justify it.....and if you now confess your sins he's faithful and just to forgive and cleanse you.......BUT make an about face. TURN.

    Verse 10 back again, If we claim to be without sin....that is I'm OK I don't need to repent (while all the time they're living a walking in darkness lifestyle) well they're making God out to be a liar, that is God has said some and various things are sin and the walking in darkness person is saying that they're not. That'd be the same as saying God you're untrue. He therefore concludes again the WORD is not in such a one.

    So again the lesson....if you're in denial about what sin is and you really should know better then change. Don't kid yourself or deceive yourself. And if you did stumble in a moments weakness you're still walking in the LIGHT in that you're immediately dealing with the sin and being cleansed. By willing to deal with your sin you're still deemed as one walking in the light. You're heart is committed to the LIGHT and not darkness.
     
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  9. The Narrow Way

    The Narrow Way Newbie Supporter

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    I believe "walking in the light" simply means LIVING UP TO, PUTTING INTO PRACTICE, all the truths that God has shed on our pathway.
     
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  10. adderbolt

    adderbolt Active Member

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    Walking in the light simply means one who is a Christian; an adopted son or daughter of the Living God.
     
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  11. GDL

    GDL Well-Known Member

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    Not really. It's what a Christian is commanded to do and thus might fail to do.
     
  12. adderbolt

    adderbolt Active Member

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    Does that not seem to imply that a Christian has at least in part the control for his or her salvation?

    If one is not 'walking in the light" he or she is not a Christian, no?
     
  13. GDL

    GDL Well-Known Member

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    Good question, but not one I want to engage here. I know what the Scripture says about this and I know what others say they know. Messy discussion.

    Since it's commanded of us to walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8), does it not involve choice?

    Since 1 John 1:7 is more literally saying, "If (maybe we will and maybe we won't), we walk in the light," is there not some question as to whether we will or not?
     
  14. adderbolt

    adderbolt Active Member

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    Forget for a moment verse numbers and realize that, in this portion of scripture, Christians and unbelievers are being compared to one another. Meaning that you are either a Christian (who walks in the light or an unbeliever (who claim to have no sin)
     
  15. GDL

    GDL Well-Known Member

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    Not correct. John is instructing Christians about what "we" do or don't do.

    I don't see your answer to the question about commands from God involving our choice.
     
  16. adderbolt

    adderbolt Active Member

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    "If we claim" and "if we walk" are not commands.
     
  17. adderbolt

    adderbolt Active Member

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    Rather John is instructing on how the blood of Jesus purifies us.
     
  18. GDL

    GDL Well-Known Member

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    You're not following. Here's the command I referenced as Paul addresses essentially the same concept of walking in the light:
    In the structure of the "if" clauses alone is the implication that we need to do what we're supposed to and not do what we're not supposed to. As I previously pointed out re: one of the "if" statements, and now both of the "if" statements you reference are actually saying that we might or might not do what follows. So, we might claim and we might not, we might walk and we might not.

    In part, but you're moving the point. This is not talking about believers vs. unbelievers as you previously said. It's talking about believers who might or might not do what John is instructing. Move into 1 John 2:9-11 and see further that a believer can fail to walk in the light by failing to love his brother. If he does, then he needs to go back to 1:9, acknowledge his failure, receive the forgiveness and cleansing, and [learn to] love as commanded.
     
  19. adderbolt

    adderbolt Active Member

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    (1)
    There are no commands implied in 1 John 1:5-10

    (2)
    "Walk as children of light for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord"

    "Walk ... and try to discern ... " is not a command of the first order, i.e. Thou shall not _______., etc.

    (3)
    If the above does not satisfy you please take the last word.
     
  20. GDL

    GDL Well-Known Member

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    Last word: Your understanding is incorrect and you do not interact with points of language that can provide clarity. Thanks for letting me summarize the facts of the matter with the last word.
     
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