Last time I shared the purpose of this blog, encouraging you(and myself really) to be open with one another. Unfortunately due to time constraints (and the size of the post), I wasn't able to go into the scriptural background for it.
Today I can. I first heard this teaching (which I'll shortly be borrowing and butchering(parts of)) while at a conference in California. It was one of many God had been using to try to bring me to openness, among other things. The teaching was actually about legalism, but he went on a little bit about this.
Using 1 John 1:5-10: "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 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, purifies us from all sin.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."
God is light, in him there is no darkness. The first thing we need to do is confront the idea that light might perhaps be holiness. If it is, then I'd be better off turning to James 5. But look closely. It says that if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, or make him out to be a liar. But they were just talking about being in the light. If we walk in the light, the blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin. So while we are in the light, there is sin. It seems to follow us a lot.
Looking at the rest of the passage and the nature of light reveals what John is speaking of. If we walk in the light we have fellowship. What hinders us from fellowship, but hiding ourselves in secrets. And think about light. Light illuminates, reveals. The darkness hides things, covers them up, while the light shows them as they are.
And God does not hide himself. In him there is no darkness He has no secrets of his character, only things we haven't learned or understood. It's not like he can't stand us knowing how loving he is.
If we claim to have fellowship with him, but walk in darkness... Things get serious here. When we walk in darkness it says the truth is not in us. If we claim to be without sin, the truth and his word are not in us. If there was any part of you that was hoping that there was a loophole allowing you to avoid sharing struggles, crucify it now.
But there's hope in this passage. If we confess our sins, he'll forgive us, and cleanse us. From what? From the lesser unrighteousness; you know, that white lie yesterday. He'll cleanse us from most unrighteousness, but you better get to work, or you'll be spending quite a few years in purgatory. All unrighteousness. All. A-L-L.
I don't know about you, but considering how much unrighteous stuff I get/have gotten into that's a relief. I need it. I'm willing to admit right now, I don't make it.
I've been struggling for years on this walk. As a teacher put it, "You're either checked out of life, or you're struggling with the Christian walk." Cause Satan won't let you rest, not if he can make you miserable.
But if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with each other, with him, and purification.
Fellowship and purification. Now where's that in our churches today?