John declares the message which He and the apostles heard directly from Christ, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. To walk in the light as He is in the light is to walk in the light of salvation through receiving Christ. Once a person has received Christ, he has become the righteousness of God and there remains no darkness in him, because as He is, so are we in this world.
1 Peter 2:9-10; II Cor. 5:21; 1 John 4:17; Titus 3:5-7; Col. 1:19-22
To walk in darkness and not practice the truth is to walk under a different belief system. The darkness mentioned here does not depict sin in the life of a believer. It is a direct warning against the sin of unbelief; the primary focus here being on the Gnostics.
That the light has come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light, refusing to believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
1 John 4:2-3; John 3:18-21
Fellowship one with another is the direct result of being united in the spirit of Christ. ‘And the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.’ The need for continual cleansing is necessary because of the indwelling sin of the flesh, which Jesus Himself accomplishes in the life of a believer. After salvation, we do not confess to get forgiven or to be cleansed. The sins in the life of the believer are covered by the blood of Christ, not our confession.
1 Cor. 12:12-13; Romans 7:21-23; John 13:8-9; Col. 2:11-15; Heb. 10:17-18;
If we say we have no sin, obviously we have not received Christ; so the truth is not in us. Take a look at 2 John verses 1-2; once we have received Christ, the truth abides in us forever. To be sure, this verse was not written for the believer, because if the truth is not in us, it’s because it never was.
If we confess our sins: When a non-believer confesses or admits that Jesus is the Son of God, he has agreed with God concerning his sin nature, having understood God’s plan of redemption; therefore, God is faithful to forgive, cleanse, and to declare him righteous; in other words, to justify him and declare him a child of God.
John 1:12; Romans 5:1-2
If we say we have not sinned, we do not understand the kingdom of God.
1 Cor. 2:14; John 3:3
Here are some contemporary views regarding these passages; please pay close attention, and look for the contradictions.
Thomas Nelson: ‘To walk in darkness means to live contrary to the moral character of God, to live a sinful life. When a Christian’s conduct reflects God’s moral character, then real fellowship is possible. Our fellowship with God is dependant on walking in God’s light. If a believer confesses his or her specific sins to God, he will cleanse all unrighteousness from that person.’
John Macarthur: ‘Do not practice- This points to their, our habitual failure regarding the practice of truth. A genuine Christian walks habitually in the light of truth and holiness; not in darkness, falsehood and sin. Since those walking in the light share in the character of God, they will be habitually characterized by His holiness indicating their true fellowship with Him. Continual confession of sin is an indication of genuine salvation. Confession of sin categorizes genuine Christians, and God continually cleanses those who are confessing. Although a Christian must continually acknowledge and confess sin, etc., etc., etc.
At any rate, it should be obvious by now that these men are equating the word darkness mentioned in verse 6 with the sin in the life of a believer. These commentaries are based on error and poorly interpreted, lacking discernment, not to mention being out of context and failing to take into consideration the totality of scripture. These commentaries are impossible to live up to even for the best Holy Roller.
To prove this point, let’s go to Romans 7 and 8. This is what Paul discovered when he tried to live up to God’s moral standards. I think it’s interesting to note that even after he came to his senses and realized he couldn’t do it; he still didn’t feel the need to plead with God for forgiveness. He just laid it all at the foot of the cross, and put it under the blood, which of course is where all this type of nonsense belongs. Before we go any further, I would ask that you pray and ask God for discernment. Read Romans 7:13-8:17. Read it slowly, yet go all the way through. Read for context, read it a few times. What is the main point? What conclusion did the apostle Paul ultimately come to? What was he trying to get through to you and me? A correct answer to these questions will change a life!
Romans 7:21-22: What Paul saw inside of himself was a law; (A law being something observed with unwavering uniformity, such as a mathematical equation of 1+1=2, in other words, an unchangeable principle), in this case depicting the presence of the indwelling sin of the flesh, bringing him into captivity to the law of sin, (See Romans 7:8), Paul realizing for the first time, having actually internalized the fact that he was stuck with sin. That humanity while still on this earth will never reach deity until that which is corrupt has put on the incorrupt, and is glorified; hence the statement: ‘Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death. I thank God, (notice he thanked God, he did not confess and plead with Him), through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with my mind, I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh, with this dead body, the law of sin.’ Paul knew that this plea did not completely eradicate the sins or deeds brought about by his corrupt flesh; in fact now he was certain of it. It merely placed them squarely where they belong, on the blood of the Lamb.
There is therefore now, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Now, in light of what we have just learned, it should be relatively easy to determine that walking in the flesh in this context is to practice our own righteousness. In other words, to live in fleshly obedience to God’s moral standards; as though we could actually meet the righteous requirements of the law; which in essence is exactly what Thomas Nelson and John Macarthur are teaching in their erroneous commentaries.
Our righteousness, our holiness, as well as our very lives are contingent on Gods holiness, His righteousness, and His promises. It is not based on our ability keep ourselves cleansed through confession or to live up to His standards. Christ became our standard and our sacrifice when He went to the cross and became righteousness for us, that in Him we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Be careful little Christian who and what you believe. 1 John 2:18- ‘Little children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming. Even now many antichrists have come by which we know that it is the last hour.’
Gal. 3:19-25; II Cor. 3:7-18
1 John 2:20-21, 26-27; Heb. 8:10-12