1. As John began his letter (1:1-4), he declared that Jesus the Son of God came in the flesh. a. Because Jesus came in the flesh, we can have fellowship with Him and the Father. b. This is a special message -- John wrote it so our "joy may be full." 2. Some heretics known as "the Gnostics" taught some things about Jesus that are not true. a. Some of them claimed that Jesus did not come in the flesh. b. Others taught that Jesus came, but He was not divine. 3. They held these views because they believed that all flesh is evil. 4. According to this doctrine, if Jesus: a. was divine, He did not actually come in the flesh [Why? -- Because all flesh is evil] b. did come in the flesh, He was not divine [Why? -- Because all flesh is evil]. 5. John confronted both errors (2:22; 4:3). 6. The Gnostics believed their doctrine allowed them to live as they pleased. 7. According to vs.5-10, Christians cannot follow these beliefs and have fellowship with God. 8. Fellowship with God involves walking in the light and confessing our sins.
I. JOHN SHOWED IN VS.5-7 THAT WE MUST WALK IN THE LIGHT
A. In vs.5 John tells us 2 things about God. 1. First, John said that "God is light." 2. Second, John said that there "is no darkness at all" in God. 3. After telling us these 2 things about God in vs.5, . . . B. In vs.6-7, John wrote about how to have fellowship with God. 1. Vs.6 deals with a way in which we cannot have fellowship with God. a. We cannot "walk in darkness" and have fellowship with God. b. If we claim to have fellowship with God while walking in darkness we are guilty of lying and not practicing the truth. c. The Gnostics believed that a person could have fellowship with God while living a life of sin -- John showed that this will not work. 2. John continued in vs.7 by showing how we can have fellowship with God. a. We must "walk in the light, as He is in the light." b. This is an important responsibility for Christians (Ephesians 5:8). c. By walking in the light as God is in the light, we can have fellowship with Him. d. We also receive a special blessing -- the blood of Christ cleanses us "from all sin." C. To have fellowship with God, we must not walk in darkness, and we must walk in the light.
II. JOHN SHOWED IN VS.8-10 THAT WE MUST CONFESS OUR SINS
A. The Gnostics excused their sinful behavior on the basis of their belief that all flesh is evil. 1. Suppose we claim not to have any sin [see vs.8]. 2. Suppose we claim that we have not sinned [see vs.10]. 3. These 2 approaches will not allow us to have fellowship with God because He "is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." 4. Rather than excuse sinful behavior, . . . B. John said in vs.9 that we must "confess our sins." 1. God will forgive our sins and "cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 2. This principle has been around for a long time (Proverbs 28:13). 3. Sins known only to God must be confessed to Him. 4. Sins that involve others must be confessed to them (James 5:16a).
1. "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." 2. To have fellowship with God, we must "walk in the light, as He is in the light" and "confess our sins."