Christians are to walk in the light and live according to God’s word. This is what separates us from the world. However, the sad truth is that many are not walking habitually in the light of Christ. The early church was filled with many false teachers, as it is today. God wants us to know truth from error and to be able to recognize false teachers and believers. False teachers teach the bible as if it were written by the minds of men. They do not believe that the bible is God breathed.
John 17:17 BSB; Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.
However, we believe the bible deals in absolute truths. Which makes His word hard for some to accept today because we live in a world that believes “you have your truth and I have mine.” When we do not stand committed to God’s word, this allows false teachers to lead others away from the truth. This is not new in any age. There have always been false teachers and Christians.
Living closer to the return of Christ, the last days, churches with false teachers and believers are more prevalent today. This makes it essential to know the contrast between true and false believers. This includes the trueness of our salvation.
Let’s read what 1 John says about walking in the light of Christ.
Walking in the Light – 1 John 1
1 John 1:5-10 BSB; 5 And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you: God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us.
When reading this, I hope you take the time to ask God to examine and test your heart. As well as examine your faith to see if it lines up with the full counsel of God’s word (Psalm 139:23–24; 2 Corinthians 13:5).
According to 1 John 5:5, we know God is light. There is no darkness (sin) in Him. Based on that knowledge, John, through the Holy Spirit, explains how that applies to the lives of people in the church. God wants us to know the fruit that is exhibited by both false and true believers. We will look at the verses according to whom they apply. In other words, verses 6, 8, and 10 describe false believers. And verses 7 and 9 describe true believers.
Be Aware of The False Believers – (Life, Fruit, and Their Words)
1 John 1:6 BSB; If we say we have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
False believers go to church and claim to have fellowship with God. What is said sounds good, and the behavior looks good. But when out in the world, the truth is, there is a disconnect from God. In reality, the professing of faith is a mask worn to hide the darkness (sin) walked in habitually. The professing of faith is a lie, and there is no fellowship with God. When our actions and words are not motivated to be obedient and for God’s glory but for ourselves, our lives do not line up with God’s word. Honor from the lips only shows the hearts are far from God (Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:7-9).
If We Say We Have No Sin
1 John 1:8 BSB; If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Sin is progressive. It does not stop until it consumes the soul. Rejecting the truth allows darkness (lies) into our hearts and minds, which veils living in sin. To the point, false believers will say they are “without sin.” This claim leads to them fooling themselves and others. Denying the existence of sin denies the Truth. Jesus Christ is the truth. Once truth is denied, Christ is denied, and following Him is denied. Having head knowledge without heart acceptance denies the truth.
1 John 1:10 BSB; If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us.
The deeper sin becomes entrenched, the deeper the fall into darkness and deception. Until, just like Satan, the person calls God a liar (Genesis 3:1-2). The veil of lies infiltrates the heart, hides the truth of who they are, and God is wrong. They truly believe they know good from evil better than God.
Being absent of love for the Truth, those who call themselves Christians, actually embrace the ways of the world and the traditions of men. The desire is to make themselves acceptable to God in their own way.
It is not always easy to recognize a false believer. But true believers will shine brightly in this ever darkening world.
True Believers Walk in the Light of Christ (nothing to do with us)
1 John 1:7 BSB; But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
What does it mean to walk in the light? Jesus (God in flesh) said, “I am the Light of the world.” He invited people to follow Him, so they would not habitually walk in darkness. Instead, we will have eternal life (John 8:12; 12:45-46). Walking in the light means we walk out God’s truth, His word. True fellowship and the reality of Christ’s blood cleansing our sins is founded upon faith in the cross, blood, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.
We have been delivered from darkness to light. This changes our focal point in life. The desire of our heart, is to know the living God and His Son according to His word (John 17:3). We show our love for Jesus the Christ through our obedience (John 14:15; 1 John 5:2-3).
1 John 1:9 BSB; If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Knowing and trusting in the faithfulness of God gives true believers the confidence to repent of their sins. Because they know Jesus will be faithful and just to forgive and cleanse. We receive ongoing forgiveness of self-governance. And we are cleansed from immoral behaviors. The truth is, for those who live to be holy as God is holy, they do so knowing perfection is not possible this side of heaven. As we allow God’s word, the truth, to sanctify us, we are aware of our need to repent daily.
True Believer’s Produce Godly Fruit (Galatians)
True believers, in the power of the Holy Spirit, will habitually produce fruit pleasing to God. Maturing in Christ means we stop catering to our flesh because the closer our walk becomes in the Truth, we see more clearly the utter destruction of sin. Our deepening relationship with God and His Son, grows our hearts’ affection toward God’s laws.
Truly walking in the light, as Jesus is in the light, does not happen on our own. Nor does it happen without total trust in and reliance on our Triune God.
Paul, at the end of his life, called himself the “chief of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). As we grow in our salvation, we see ourselves for who we are without the righteousness of Christ Jesus. Our love for His holiness grows as our hatred for our sin grows.
Psalms 97:10a BSB; Hate evil, O you who love the LORD!
Proverbs 8:13 BSB 13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil;
Philippians 3:8-9 BSB 8 More than that, I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God on the basis of faith.
Don’t be deceived, the one who truly walks in the light, knows Jesus as Lord and Savior (Philippians 3:8; 1 Peter 3:15; Romans 10:9).
Learn more about a true believer “The Way Of A True Believer, Includes Repentance And Our Walk. 1 John 1:7&9.”