1 John 1:5-7 (NKJV) This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 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.
The above passage reveals magnificent truth concerning the character and make up of God and how we can be intimately connected to Him in “fellowship”. The Greek word translated “fellowship” is the word koinōnia, which reveals the potential of relational intercourse with God, whereby we are knit together in a union even deeper than the one flesh union of a husband and wife.
The apostle Paul writes of his desire to achieve this unity of relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ In Philippians 3:7-10…
Philippians 3:7-11 (NKJV) But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
We must not miss that this desire was the most pressing and central desire of Paul’s life. Philippians 3:7-9 details that which Paul was willing to toss away, to attain his desire. The point being, that true fellowship with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ is not only attainable, but essential if we are to remain in fellowship with each other and avoid falling away, into apostacy.
To walk in the light as He, God is in the light, it is essential we do not miss an often overlooked part of I John 1:5-9.
1 John 1:5-6 (NKJV) This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
The danger of hypocrisy is a clear and present danger to those who follow Christ. The reason for this is not overly complex. We live in a fallen world, where most of what we encounter is contrary to the will of God and will be in increasing intensely until Christ’s bodily return to this earth. In addition, we who are redeemed in Christ, still carry a sinful nature in our humanity. Although, this old man is dead, and sin’s dominion is broken and no longer the ruling factor of our lives; we still feel the weight of carrying our old nature around (Romans 6-7).
If these two factors were not more than enough to deal with, we must learn to stand against Satan, his demons, and their supernaturally charged machinations designed to lead us to sin and hypocrisy. Therefore, remaining in or falling to a pattern that leads to walking in darkness is virtually around every corner ahead. Contributing to this potential is a lack of understanding of what and how prevalent walking in darkness is. This is why I have decided to term “walking in darkness” FALL-O-SHIP as opposed to the FELLOWSHIP we enjoy when “walking in the light“.
WALKING IN DARKNESS
The word “skotia” is the Greek word which translates “darkness” in our passage. The word does not mean blackness to the degree that one is totally blind, but a quality of shadiness or obscurity. Simply put, this is not being able to see clearly because of a lack of light or dimness that obscures or distorts what can be seen. In understanding this we begin in verse 5 with “God is light and in Him is no darkness (shadiness, obscurity, grey or shadow) at all.”
James 1:17 gives us a bit more clarity concerning God is light and in Him is no darkness (shadiness, obscurity, grey or shadow).
James 1:17 (NKJV) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
With both passages we see that God is perfect revealed Truth, which lightens up everything that we may see clearly. Yet the Greek word “skotia” gives more “light” (pun intended) concerning “darkness”. In addition to what we have already discussed, the word “skotia” means ignorance respecting divine things and the corresponding human duties, which leads to ungodliness and immorality to the degree that “darkness” consistently holds sway.
Simply put, walking in darkness means that the person lives in a state of ignorance or confusion concerning God’s will and have little conviction as to how they ought to respond to it. In this practice their thoughts and action become less and less like those of Jesus Christ. As this state progresses, they become more susceptible to falling to temptation by increasing degrees.
When looking into scripture we can determine just how potentially dangerous “walking in darkness” is.
Colossians 1:13-14 (NKJV) He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
In this passage we discover that in Christ, we are delivered from walking in darkness, which is the sate of the lost, for the purpose of walking in the light. In this, we are conveyed by God’s power, into walking in the light in the Kingdom of His Son. The word “convey” gives the idea that God Himself moves us along so long as we remain in His will.
It would appear to be easy, but He conveys us on the narrow road that runs right through the valley of the shadow of death; where Satan prowls to lead us off God’s conveyor, to wander around in the shadowlands of little light—where Jesus the object of our faith is obscured—where the word of God, which is our guidepost, is not easily seen.
We have been warned in Ephesians 5, because of the potential to “walk in darkness”, being so great.
Ephesians 5:8-11 (NKJV) For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
Ephesians 5:14-18 (NKJV) “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit
We see the truth that walking in the light means walking with understanding concerning what the will of the Lord is, knowing how to respond to it, and refusing to partake in behavior that is even remotely dark. So that there is no confusion, let us label “dark” behavior that is any behavior or action we partake in that is not approved by the Lord. This behavior often falls into the supposed grey of there not being a “Thou shalt not” command against it. In that understanding we can see just how easy we can say we have fellowship with Him and potentially be “walking in the darkness”.
Revisiting what “walking in darkness” is defined by.
- A quality of shadiness or obscurity, where we are not able to see clearly because of a lack of light or dimness that obscures or distorts what can be seen of the Truth.
- Therefore, we are ignorantly respecting God’s will (divine things) and how or why we ought to respond in obedience (corresponding human duties to divine things).
- Which leads to worldly choices (ungodliness) and greater potential to sin (immorality).
It appears, in general, that the church is confused about the will of God or largely ignorant of it, is that not “walking in darkness”?
What is God’s will?
- To seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10; I Peter 3:10-11)
- To grow those lost and found through discipleship, as their minds are renewed by the word of God (Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 12:1-2)
- That this would lead to our abstaining from sin and being a wholly sanctified vessel for God’s glory (I Thessalonians 4:3).
- That we would endure persecution and tribulation, not running away or hiding who were are in Christ or using man’s devices for protection or warfare; but by standing in the truth, loving our enemies, while looking for the blesses hope (II Timothy 3:12; Revelation 12:11; Titus 2:11-14).
- Our fellowship with each other would fuel and safeguard our transformation as vessels of His will (Hebrews 10:19-31).
With these scriptural truths lighting the practice of the church in America, we can see, we are either walking in darkness or close to it. We would claim to have fellowship with God, yet fellowship among the saints has declined at a breakneck pace over the last 50 years—belief in Christ’s literal return is at an all time low—Christians are falling away because of fear of family or society turning on them or simply desiring to live attached to the world—sanctification is an alien word to most “Christians” in America, while acceptance of sin at low to moderate levels exists in most churches and a growing number of pulpits—American Christians are ignorant of basic biblical truth and think little different than the lost around them—discipleship simply another ineffective or forgotten program—and those experiencing true supernatural regenerative (with conviction of sin and commensurate repentance), leading to a new creation salvation life scarce among thousands of supposed converts.
It appears the church in America is more about FALL-O-SHIP, rather than fellowship with God, while walking in the light. What can we do?
2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (NKJV) Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.
Philippians 2:12-13 (NKJV) Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Let us renounce the world and its shady light obscuring darkness and let us return to the Lord our God in repentance and faith. The days are coming where those who say they have fellowship with God, but walk in darkness, will be animated by antichrist, to persecute those who have truly received the faith once delivered to the saints. Let us be prepared to stand against the wiles of the devil in God’s full armor.