“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:5-6)
No one dealt more directly in their writing about what should be the character of a Christian than the apostle John. The Bible doesn’t teach that we should be in constant doubt of our salvation, but it also does not teach that a life devoid of obedience to the will of God is testimony of saving faith.
In the first chapter of 1 John, the apostle uses light and darkness to contrast those who are real versus those who aren’t. In Scripture, “light” refers to biblical truth whereas “darkness” signifies error. When we walk in light (in truth and holiness), we affirm God’s work in us. When we walk in darkness (in sin), we affirm the opposite.
The apostle John doesn’t pull any punches in his letters. The truths about character and faith are ones we must confront. He was not alone in his teaching that sin cannot be the pattern of our lives if our testimonies are to be true. The apostle Paul spoke clearly on this issue as well (Romans 6:1-2). Though sin will be an ever present enemy and a tool Satan will use against us, our union with Christ and the Holy Spirit’s presence in us has broken its power. The Bible tells us that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). At the same time it says, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Our pattern of life should always be consistent with our profession.
So, what is the pattern of your life? Are you moving more and more toward Christ? Though never perfect, is your heart set to do God’s will? Let us examine our lives to see if our practices line up with what we say we believe. And let our hearts long for obedience to the will of God in response to His magnificent grace.