Walking in the Light (2) by West End Church of Christ Sermon Illustrations

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Walking in the Light (2) by West End Church of Christ

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Walking in the Light (2) by West End Church of Christ

Walking in the Light (2)
Walking in the Light (2)
“God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” wrote the beloved 
John (1 John 1:5).  Darkness and light have nothing in common.  Paul 
asked, “What communion has light with darkness?" (2 Cor. 6:15).  The 
obvious answer is none.  1 John 1:7 reads, “If we walk in the light, as 
he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood 
of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”  There is but one 
path of light from this life to eternal glory.  It is the way prescribed 
and illuminated by the Bible.  Let us consider a few more facts involved 
in this grand and glorious walk.

The West End church of Christ presents this program every 
Sunday at this same time.  Our purpose is to teach the truth and 
nothing but the truth.  We always urge you who listen to let us 
know if you find us teaching what you think is untrue.  We do not 
want to be wrong.  You are very warmly invited to visit our 
meetings today.  At 9 a.m. we have Bible classes for all ages.  
At 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. we worship congregationally, and each 
Wednesday we meet for Bible classes at 7 p.m.  Our meeting house 
is located at the corner of Parkside Drive and Old Morgantown 
Road just across from Lampkin Park, and Tapp’s Drive-In 
restaurant.  We would be delighted to have you today.

"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have 
fellowship one with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son 
cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).  Here are two magnificent 
blessings from God which are of great comfort to Christians.  To enjoy 
those blessings, Christians are obligated to comply with the conditions 
God has stipulated.  The conditions are comprehensively described as 
walking in the light, never turning back to the darker side of life.
God is light, and to be with God one must walk in the light.  
Walking is a figurative way of describing “the whole round of the 
activities of the individual life.” (W.E. Vine).  Walking in the light 
establishes a right relationship with God.  Penitent believers who are 
baptized into Christ are “raised to walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).  
Only those who walk in the new life are Christians and they are to be as 
much like God as possible.  Paul wrote, "Therefore be followers of God 
as dear children" (Eph. 5:1).  Fellowship is generated from an intense 
desire and  willingness to live a godly life.  B.F. Westcott wrote, "The 
Christian can in his measure imitate God, and as he does so, he realises 
fellowship with the brethren, which is the visible sign of fellowship 
with God." (Commentary, The Epistles of John, page 19).

All who walk in the light are blessed with continued cleansing from 
sin.  "... and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses (keeps on 
cleansing) us from all sin."  In addition to being in fellowship with 
God, the blood of Christ keeps the Christian cleansed from all sin.  
Both fellowship with God and cleansing from all sin are possible only by 
walking in the light of God’s word.  1 John 1:7 introduces these 
blessings with the word "if."  “If” introduces a conditional sentence 
and is followed by a condition that must be met.

Walking in light is the condition upon which we may be in 
fellowship with God.  He offers us His companionship and the cleansing 
from all of our sins.  As one continues to walk in the light, fellowship 
with God is maintained and cleansing from sin continues.  Neither 
fellowship with God nor cleansing from sin is automatic.  There is a 
very clear procedure given in the New Testament by which the sins of 
Christians are forgiven.  "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and 
righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all 
lawlessness" (1 John 1:9).

A faithful gospel preacher put it this way: "The Bible teaches that 
the blood of Christ continuously cleanses a Christian of sin -- if.  If 
he walks in the light.  If he confesses his sins (1 John 1:9).  
Confessing one's sins is part of walking in the light." (Edward 
Bragwell, The Reflector, July 1991, page 4).  All humans will become 
guilty of sin at some time in life.  Solomon wrote, "For there is not a 
just man on earth who does good and does not sin" (Eccl. 7:20).  
Hundreds of years later, Paul added, "... for all have sinned and fall 
short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).  John said, “If we say that we 
have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 

It is possible to cease walking in the light and thus forfeit the 
blessings of fellowship with God and cleansing from sin.  The blood of 
Christ does not continue cleansing the sins of Christians who make no 
effort at all to confess and forsake sins.  Some false teachers 
erroneously represent the blood of Christ as a blanket or umbrella that 
covers the sinning person all the time thereby preventing God from 
seeing the sin or the sinner.  That false doctrine gives the false 
assurance that there is no need to worry about sin.  The doctrine of 
"once saved, always saved" is an example of this perverted view.  It is 
a hideous false doctrine.  We must acknowledge that forgiveness of all 
sins is conditional.  None who cease walking with God in the light 
should expect to continue enjoying benefits God puts in Christ.
Cleansing from sin is complete and constant.  When God forgives His 
children they are completely cleansed.  “Cleanseth” is from the Greek 
term katharidzo.  It means to make something free from all impurities. 
Katharidzo literally means ridding something of pollutants, filth, or 
contamination.  Used in a religious context, it means purification 
through propitiation (Hermann Cremer, Biblio-Theological Lexicon, page 
317).  It is an act of God by which he removes all our sins from our 
record.  The Hebrew writer quoted a prophetic statement that when God 
forgives He forgets our sins.  "Their sins and their lawless deeds I 
will remember no more" (Hebrews 10:17).

There is an analogy between cleansing from sin and the cleansing of 
lepers in the Bible.  Leprosy is a very deadly and loathsome disease.  
It is so contaminating that those afflicted with it are normally exiled 
from society.  Miriam and Aaron who tried to usurp the function of 
Moses, the law giver, were punished and Miriam was stricken with 
leprosy.  Aaron came quickly to Moses and pled with him, "Oh, my lord! 
Please do not lay {this} sin on us, in which we have done foolishly and 
in which we have sinned" (Num. 12:11).  Try to visualize the horrible 
nature of this disease in which the flesh literally decays and rots 
away.  However, the Lord cured Miriam and no trace of it remained.  
Naaman, a captain in the army of Syria, was afflicted with leprosy but 
healed by God’s power and "his flesh was restored like the flesh of a 
little child, and he was clean" (2 Kings 5:14).

The comparison of cleansing leprosy and sin shows how totally and 
absolutely God cleanses the sinner.  The leper was cleansed of every 
stain of the dreaded disease.  Those who sin, even while walking in the 
light, who confess their sins and seek pardon, are wholly and completely 
cleansed.  No trace of the sin remains.  When God forgives a person 
completely, so should we.  If others offend us and ask for pardon our 
forgiveness must be as complete as God’s forgiveness to us when we sin 
against him.  When God forgives us of our sins, we also have to forgive 
ourselves.  We may never forget our blunders, but we certainly can bask 
in the radiance of the assurance that God, when he forgives us, has 
forgotten our past sins.

Fellowship with God is a partnership.  Usually, partnership exists 
between equal partners, but that cannnot be true when God is one of the 
partners.  In verse 7 the phrase, "we have fellowship one with another" 
is interpreted by some to mean a fellowship of God, who is light, and 
those who walk in his light.  If that is the true meaning it cannot be 
an equal partnership.  A. Plummer wrote, "He (John) would scarcely have 
expressed the relation between God and man by a phrase which seems to 
imply equality between those united in fellowship." (Cambridge Greek New 
Testament for Schools and Colleges.)

“One with another” often is limited to those who walk in light.  
God does not walk anywhere.  He simply is.  Those who walk in the light 
are the ones who have the fellowship and form the partnership “one with 
another.”  Verse 3 mentions fellowship among members of the family of 
God.  John calls it a "fellowship with us" and says that fellowship is 
“with” the Father.  A passage that is somewhat parallel mentions Jehovah 
hearkening to those who speak “one with another” (Mal. 3:16).

John uses the expression "one with another" later in this same 
letter.  He said, "And this is His commandment: that we should believe 
on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us 
commandment" (1 John 3:23).  Here "one another" means love from brother 
to brother. Jesus prayed, "I do not pray for these alone, but also for 
those who will believe in me through their word; that they all may be 
one, as you, Father, {are} in me, and I in you; that they also may be 
one in us, that the world may believe that you sent me" (John 17:20-21).  
Those who are walking in the light are those for whom Jesus prayed, that 
by the words revealed through the apostles they might be one.  Unity and 
fellowship in Christ are maintained when all Christians walk in the 
light, when they all follow the word of God.  The light of 1 John 1 is 
the word of John 17.

Light represents the good in the Bible and darkness the evil.  
Where there is light, there is happiness, honesty, and association of 
good with good.  The opposite is true of darkness.  In darkness there is 
sin, depravity, disunity, discord, chaos, and ugliness.  Fellowship with 
God is impossible outside his word.  The children of Israel were slaves 
in Egypt.  During their enslavement they were oppressed by Pharaoh.  God 
sent Moses to emancipate them.  To convince Pharaoh, God sent plagues on 
the land, one of which was absolute and total darkness. "Then the Lord 
said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be 
darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness {which} may even be felt.’  So 
Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness 
in all the land of Egypt three days" (Exo. 10:22,23).  During the 
darkness all association and fellowship ceased.  Only when light 
returned was communion between the people possible.  In the spiritual 
world, when Christians walk in the light, they have fellowship, the tie 
that binds -- only in Christ.  Salvation is not in darkness but light.  
Light fills the body of Christ, His church.

Faithful obedience to God is required in order to continue walking 
in the light.  Belief that leads one to true repentance, which in turn 
brings one to be baptized for the remission of sins is what God 
requires.  If you haven't done that, why wait any longer.  The following 
comes from the lage Charles R. Brewer:

“Many wise and great of this earth live in darkness because  
they have not accepted the simple teaching of the word of  God.  
God has made His way simple and plain so that all may enjoy the 
blessing of heavenly light.  And they are wise who accept the 
simplicity of the gospel, however foolish they may appear in the 
eyes of men.  He gives light for one step at a time.  We may not 
see all that God has for us, but we can take  each step as we see 
it, and as we do that we can be moving onward toward greater 
knowledge and richer blessings.

“Here are some steps that God wants you to take:
“1. Believe on the Lord with all your heart (Acts 16:31).
“2. Repent of all sin (Acts 2:38).
“3. Confess your faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9).
“4. Be buried in baptism (Acts 2 :38; Col. 2 :12; Gal. 3:26-27).
“If you obey those simple commands you will then be added to 
his church (Acts 2:41, 47).” Be Not Dismayed, pages 43-44.

If you have a question about this, or or anything else you hear 
from us, please let us hear from you.  If you want to receive our paper, 
“The Voice of West End,” write to us.  Our mailing address is, The West 
End Church of Christ, 1609 Parkside Drive, Bowling Green, KY. 42101 -- 
our phone number is 842-7880. Thank you very much for your time.  Until 
next Sunday, may God richly bless you.  Good bye.
Radio Sermon No. 73
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