I’m still rummaging through First John this morning in my attempt to keep my Greek fresh:
1Joh 1:5 And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and [yet] walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;
7 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. (NASB)
If anything, translating a passage makes you read it slowly and notice little details that never would have jumped out before. For instance, John is writing in the first person plural. He consistently keeps talking about what he and others have “heard,” and then goes on to share it with his readers who are in the second person plural: “you all”.
It was also interesting to observe that the focus on verse six is our actions. The focus is on fellowship here, both with one another and with God. Living in selfish sin puts us at odds with God and his people. Beliefs or proclamations do not negate our actions. And when it comes down to truth, the focus of verse six is doing or practicing the truth.
I also can’t help but feel that fellowship with Christ and walking in the light (or obedience) are integrally connected.
When my fellowship with God is on the low end, obedience is hard to come by. My connection with my own selfishness and desires can easily override a weak relationship with God. It is only at moments of relational strength or intimate fellowship that sin seems so far away. In fact, I would say that it isn’t so important that we avoid sin as it is that we seek out God. If we pursue fellowship and intimacy for him above all else, perhaps dealing with sin will be a different matter. It will still be there with its pull and attraction, but it will lose it’s irresistable power over us.
Distraction from fellowship seems to be the most powerful weapon against the children of God. If I want to mess up my life, the fastest way to do this is to ignore God. And yet, with the urgency of life, my many desires, my many commitments, my many perceived responsibilities, God is often the first one to go. I find it amazing how committed I can be to my own leisure, my own hobbies, my own comfort. If God doesn’t fit into the days plans, I feel that it cannot be helped. My list is long and beckoning for attention. Fellowship is not as important as getting the list of things done.
We essentially surrender ourselves to someone or something. Sometimes multiple people and things. We give them power over us. The one who would walk in the light must surrender to God.