1 John 1:5, The Message Heard and Proclaimed
“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.” ~ 1 John 1:5
“Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” ~ Psalm 119:105
Throughout his writings (John’s Gospel, 1-3 John, and Revelation), John refers to God’s work of creation, his presence and character as light, often contrasting God’s light with this present darkness.
In the opening lines of 1 John, John is clear about the message he wishes to communicate to his audience. John 1:5 is the driving statement from which the rest of his letter flows. Every teaching regarding the command to love one another, the call to fellowship with one another, as well as being commandment keepers who reject idolatry, is rooted in presence of the true Light come into the world and the righteous and holy character of the Living God.
We cannot understand the dark nature of sin unless the light of God is first revealed to us, namely through the person and work of Jesus Christ and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Without the light of the Word of God, we stumble around in darkness. We either embrace darkness as our way of life, or deceive ourselves into thinking that a few good deeds here and there will gain us God’s favor in the life to come.
Perhaps most importantly, the light of God’s Word, which is revealed through Christ and written that we may believe, should lead us to confess our sin openly and honestly to God. Through prayer and confession, the light of Christ enlightens and nourishes our fellowship as the Body, thus fostering the kind of fellowship that bears one another’s burdens and points us back to the power of the gospel for all.
Our God has overcome the darkness of this world, finally and authoritatively through his Son. When it seems as if we are surrounded by darkness and uncertainty, it is the light of Christ and the lamp of his Word that guides and directs us. Because of this, we truly have nothing to fear and with confidence, we can confess with the Psalmist, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?”