“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. But 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 cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:1-7)

As we read the opening words of John’s letter we note that he asserted that he taught to the truth about Jesus because he knew it firsthand. He was an eyewitness to Jesus’ ministry, death and resurrection. His desire was to counteract false teachings that had arisen in the Church. Some false teachers were claiming that Jesus had not come in the flesh but was only a spiritual entity. These also maintained that believers need not live a pure and holy life. These denied the serious nature of sin claiming that it affected only the flesh not the spirit and therefore was not an act that was evil nor was it a sign of corruption. They alleged that they could make such claims because they were enlightened beings. John stated with great emphasis and confidence that such men walk in darkness and, therefore, have no fellowship with God who is light.

We can see that John’s words are relevant to the 21st century. Many today claim to be Christians who walk in darkness thinking they are walking in the light. Yet faith without righteousness, faith without love and compassion for others is worthless and false. Sin is a real barrier between man and God even if we redefine it or deny its existence. Only when we admit the reality and heinous nature of sin as well as our inability to overcome it without God’s help can we enter into fellowship with the Lord. Neither can a person who refuses to admit sin or repent have true fellowship with believers no matter how many charitable works or good deeds he or she performs. They are walking in rebellion so what they do is done for self not the Lord.

We in the church of Jesus Christ today are right to be wary of all those who claim to be one with the Lord but whose lives do not reflect an awareness of their sinful nature. So we must consider the people we know who claim to be Christian. Many of them have denied their sinfulness yet continue to live in darkness. The church must use the truth of the Word of God to instruct and convict all such so that they will come to repentance.

is a real barrier between man and God even if we redefine it or deny its existence.