1 John 1:6-9
 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;  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 are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In 1 John, the apostle John is delivering to us what he has seen, heard, and experienced about Jesus Christ.
When we hear and believe what John is delivering to us, we will have fellowship with God and the Lord, just as John had fellowship with the Lord.
Today, I will begin with 1 John 1:6.
It says, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, those who heard the gospel and have accepted the Lord have fellowship with the Lord.
But even though they listen to the gospel and say they believe in the Lord, not all of them really have fellowship with God.
It is not just by saying that we know God that makes it so; God has to acknowledge that He knows us as well.
Then, how can we know God and what can we do so that God will also acknowledge us?
The answer is found in verse 6 of today’s passage.
It says that if we say we have fellowship with God but walk in darkness, we are lying.
In other words, we have fellowship with God when we walk in the light, which is the opposite of darkness.
When light comes, darkness has to go away.
If you have fellowship with God who is light, you should also depart from darkness, and the darkness in you also has to leave.
This is the evidence that you have fellowship with God.
Darkness belongs to the enemy devil and Satan.
Those who walk in darkness also belong to the enemy devil, Satan.
Therefore, if those who walk in darkness say they have fellowship with God who is light, it means they are telling a lie.
Now, what specifically does it mean ‘to walk in the light’ or ‘to dwell in the light’?
It is to obey the word of God, who is light.
If you keep and practice the word of God, you will not only depart from darkness but you yourselves will become the light that shines in the world.
Also, as you live in light through obedience to the word of God, you will bear the fruit of light in your heart.
Ephesians 5:8-9 says, “…for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light  (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth).”
Not just ‘all goodness and righteousness and truth’ in this verse but all nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, and the fruit of spiritual love can all be called the fruit of light.
After all, they are the fruits that you can bear to the extent that you live in the light.
To the extent that you live in the light and bear the fruit of light in your heart, you can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit clearly and communicate with Him.
You will clearly understand the heart and will of God that is in the Word and prayer.
If you ask in your prayer, God listens to you and answers you.
You will be guided into prosperous ways through the guidance of the Holy Spirit in your everyday lives.
You can communicate with God through the works of the Holy Spirit and lead a blessed life if you dwell in light and have fellowship with God.
On the other hand, to dwell in darkness is to live in sins in disobedience to the word of God.
Greed, envy, anger, murder, adultery, idolatry, enmity, strife, getting drunk in dissipation, slandering and criticizing others, arrogance and boasting, and things of that kind all belong to darkness.
Not just works of flesh that are committed in action, but the sins in heart, which are the things of the flesh, are also darkness.
Of course, just by believing in God and accepting the Lord we cannot cast away all kinds of darkness right from the beginning.
But God’s children must continually strive to rid themselves of such darkness.
When they do their best, they can finally become sanctified and become children of light who resemble God.
Matthew 7:21-23 says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'”
Even though we call out saying, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and attend all worship services and prayer meetings and take duties in the church, if we practice lawlessness then we don’t have anything to do with God.
God will say, “I never knew you.”
Brothers and sisters, if one walks in darkness and says he has a fellowship with God, I said, it means he is telling a lie.
As I will continue to explain, the word ‘liar’ appears in many places of the book 1 John.
1 John 2:4 says, “The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
This verse has similar meaning with today’s passage.
Next, 1 John 2:22 says, “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.”
Also, 1 John 4:20 says, “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
If you just remember the contents about liars in 1 John, to some extent you can understand the essence of the book 1 John.
I briefly went over the historical background of writing the book of 1 John in the 1st session, and do you remember it?
At the time of early churches there were some who were deceiving the believers with the heretical ideas called Gnoticism.
They did not acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God who came down to this earth in human flesh.
They also denied the fact that He saved us through His crucifixion and resurrection and ascension.
Also, they said they didn’t have to live moral life if they just had the knowledge of God.
They claimed spirit and body are separate, and the spirit can be saved even though the body commits sins.
Refuting this claim, John the apostle kept on emphasizing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came down to this earth with the form of a human body.
Also, He repeatedly teaches that believers can have true faith and be saved when they walk in the light, which is the truth.
And he makes a point saying that those who were claiming such heretical ideas were cheating the believers with their lies.
Revelation 22:15 says that everyone who loves and practices lying will be outside the city.
As written, those who like these heretical lies and create them will be outside the city, which means they will not be saved.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it is said that we have fellowship with God only when we walk in the light.
Another reason why we have to walk in the light is because only those who walk in the light are forgiven of their sins.
1 John 1:7 says, “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.”
We hear this verse 7 almost every time we celebrate Holy Communion.
Because the sinless Jesus shed His precious blood, sinners could now be forgiven of their sins and receive salvation and eternal life.
But there is a condition to be forgiven of sins through the blood of Jesus and live an eternal life.
John 6:53 says, “So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.'”
Jesus said we have eternal life only when we eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man.
In physical sense, for a man to continue his life, he has to eat food and be nourished.
When we eat food, we also have to take liquid as well.
This way, the nutrients in the food can be digested well and the waste can be released easily.
For a man to keep his spiritual life, he has to eat the spiritual food and drink spiritual drink, which are the flesh and blood of the Son of Man.
To eat the flesh of the Son of Man is to learn the word of God.
To drink the blood of the Son of Man is to practice with faith the word of God that we learn.
We should not just know the word in our brain but we have to actually practice it.
We have to do the things that the Bible tells us to do and vice versa.
We have to keep what it tell us to keep and cast away what it tells us to cast away.
When we obey and practice the word in the Bible, the sinful natures in us can be gotten rid of just like human waste is expelled.
The darkness in heart will go away and it will be filled with the fruits of light instead.
Those who do not know the truth very well might say we are saved through faith of the New Testament, and they question why I put so much emphasis on the deeds.
Yes they are right. We can be forgiven of sins and receive salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
We can never be saved just by deeds.
But the important thing is true faith is always accompanied by deeds.
James 2:14 says, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?”
Romans 2:13 also says, “for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.”
Namely, when we depart from darkness and walk in the light that is the truth, our faith will become true faith with which we can be saved and we will be justified by the blood of Jesus.
Even if we have accepted the Lord and received the Holy Spirit, we will be farther and farther away from salvation if we do not dwell in light.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 says, “Do not quench the Spirit,” and if we quench the Holy Spirit while dwelling in darkness, we cannot be saved.
Brothers and sisters, 1 John 1:8-9 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Except for Jesus, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, all human beings are descendants of Adam and all inherited the original sin of Adam.
Also, they commit many sins themselves.
Even though they say they live righteous lives, they will realize they committed countless sins if they reflect upon themselves with the word of God.
For example, suppose somebody slaps you on your right cheek for no reason, but you just withheld your anger.
The worldly people will say it is good, but in God’s view it is also evil.
Even though you didn’t outwardly express your evil, you still had evil feelings and that is also a sin.
Whether original sin or self-committed sins, a sinner cannot solve the problem of his own sins.
For this reason, in order to solve the problem of sin of the mankind, God sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to this earth.
God forgives us when we believe in the power of the precious blood of Jesus.
But for us to receive forgiveness of sins and salvation through the power of this blood, we first have to confess that we are sinners.
When we confess our sins before God in prayer, God gives the Holy Spirit into our hearts.
Then, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we can thoroughly realize that we were such terrible sinners.
Then, sometimes even for days, we repent of all sins and even sins that were committed a long time ago.
According to the personality of each person, they might roll on the floor or beat the ground while weeping when they repent.
The dirt in a dark room is not easily seen, but it will be revealed clearly when light shines.
In the same way, if we accept the truth in us, the light will reveal the untruths in our hearts.
As the light is shed by the works of the Holy Spirit, we come to realize our sins clearly and we repent thoroughly.
This is what it means by 1 John 1:8 that says, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
We can realize our sins, confess them, and repent of them only when we reflect upon ourselves with the word of God, which is the light.
The more your heart is filled with truth, the more sensitive you become about sins and evil.
Before, you could have just committed some sins without thinking about them deeply, but as you cast away evil and fill your heart with the truth, you will consider that sin very great, (as if you were seeing it with a microscope).
So, the more truth you have in you, the more easily you can realize and confess your sins and receive the strength to cast them away.
Here, you should have correct understanding of the meaning of confessing your sins.
This is not just to say with words, “I made a mistake. Please forgive me.”
Some people attend church but they commit sins as much as they want.
They think they can be forgiven of all their sins when they repent of them on Sunday.
We cannot be saved just by confessing with only our lips after willfully committing sins. This is repentance in falsehood.
If we just repent with lips and keep on committing sins, it is an abomination before God, which is like a dog going back to its own vomit.
True repentance is not done just with lips. It is tearing our hearts in mourning.
We committed a sin, which God the Father hates so much, thereby grieving the heart of the dear Father. So, how sorry and embarrassed we are!
So, we make up our mind not to commit the sin again and we must not commit the same sin again.
When we repent truly this way, then, God will not remember that sin and set it as far as the east is far from the west.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Matthew 5:14 says, “You are the light of the world,” and Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
In Heaven, there is no darkness at all; it is filled with only lights.
But on this earth where we are going through cultivation, there is the light and there is darkness.
God’s children should obviously dwell in the light and fulfill the whole duty of men.
This way we have to become the light in the world of darkness.
As you dwell in the brighter light, you will have deeper fellowship with God.
You will be able to communicate with God more deeply, and you can understand God’s heart and will more clearly.
You will be blessed physically and spiritually, and there will be evidences that God is with you and attests you.
I believe you are already experiencing that to have a fellowship with God is such a blessed and joyous thing!
Even though you can get the greatest pleasure and joy physically, it cannot even begin to compare with the spiritual joy that you can enjoy in the fellowship with God.
When you deny yourself and cast away your old self, the joy and happiness that will come from above will be just unexplainable.
Furthermore, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you are guided to prosperity every moment, and how happy you must be!
You are filled with thanks and testimonies and you can give glory to God wherever you go.
You are prosperous in your workplaces, and your family will be quickly evangelized.
If you have bright light, you can also drive away darkness from those who have darkness in them.
For example, you can solve the problems that other people may have through your spiritual counseling, so they will feel very happy.
Also, you can drive away the fleshly thoughts and negative feelings from other people so you can encourage them to act within the truth.
Especially, if you are pastors or leaders, you must be longing for this kind of authority so much.
Then, I urge you to resemble God who is the light by trying your best to dwell in the light completely.
I pray in the name of the Lord that, in doing so, you will enjoy the fellowship with God and the Lord just like the hymn’s lyrics go, ”Tis so sweet to walk with Jesus!’