This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us (1 John 1:5-10).
If nothing else, the idea of human sin is one which the Bible is interested. For instance, in John’s Gospel, Jesus tells some accusers that those who are without sin [should] cast the first stone. Everyone immediately leaves. Paul, too, deals with the theme of universal sinfulness by saying that all [people] have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The author of 1 John takes up this theme as well.
Although it is probably more a sermon than a letter, 1 John has some sage advice for the early church community. Our verses today have to do with the common theme that all people stand in need of the grace of God for all walk in darkness without God. The teaching imparted here is that there are two kinds of persons. The first are people of the light for they walk in the light of God and by so doing have fellowship with God. The other kind of person is a person who walks in darkness, and these persons can claim modest fellowship with God, for they “do not do what is true.”
The text 1 John 1:5-10 speaks to all human being’s need to become children of light if they are to be true to the purposes of God. When we worship, we acknowledge the reality that people are alienated from God and one another and we go from there. It is about that simple.
I hope to see you Sunday and on Christmas Eve at our multiple worship services (4—for children, 6, 8, and 11 pm). Also, feel to bring a friend or two—this is a blessed time for guests in the house of God!