1 John 1:6
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
In 1 John 1:6, John starts indicating a condition, “if we say “, which then follows with we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness. John again refers to fellowship with Christ to which he has previously spoken of. Referring once again to being in community with Christ, John puts a condition on this, while. This is a conjunction which can be translated as – and, even, also, namely. and is referring to the next phrase while we walk in darkness.
We walk is the Greek word peripateó, which literally means to walk, however it is not so much a physical walk as ethical walk. In regards to usage in this passage Strong’s actually indicates to frequent or to stay in a place. That place is darkness which is skotos. Skotos can refer to either a physical or spiritual darkness. Helps expounds on the idea as follows:
4655 skótos (a neuter noun) – properly, darkness (obscurity); (figuratively) the principle of sin with its certain results.
Strongs defines darkness in this usage as being:
Metaphorically, of ignorance respecting divine things and human duties, and the accompanying ungodliness and immorality, together with their consequent misery.
In verse 5, John indicates one of the attributes of God as being light. In the Epsitle of John, he wrote again about light. John 1:9 states:
“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.”
John 3:16-21 are the words of Christ. He says:
“16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
Jesus is making a very clear statement about relationship with God. Light is something that we are inclined to flee from, and in contrast those who live a life that is in the light are identified as being God’s. In this place of illumination, we are given sight. As a result of this light, we can now see God’s work in our lives.
John further adds that if we are walking in darkness and say we are in Christ, “We lie and do not practice the truth”. If we are walking in darkness, we are not in fellowship with Christ. John talks about this idea of practicing, which is the Greek word poieó. This means to make, manufacture, construct, do, act or cause. This kind of practice is the kind that builds up and in effect causes it to become more effective in our lives. Truth is what we ought to be practicing. Helps defines truth as follows:
225 alḗtheia (from 227 /alēthḗs, “true to fact”) – properly, truth (true to fact), reality.
[In ancient Greek culture, 225 (alḗtheia) was synonymous for “reality” as the opposite of illusion, i.e. fact.]
This is a humbling passage, I think about my life and the times that I was clearly not walking in the light, and Christ was the furthest thing from my mind. How I lived in darkness and hated the light. I hated the light for my deeds would be exposed. I hated the light, for my sin would be seen. In that darkness, I lived a life of illusion, fabricating my own reality. I always thought truth was objective, until I was given illumination by the Spirit of God. Now I see, that truth is subjective, and that truth is the person of Christ. He made some very bold statements and did not leave any margin for error. The specifics may be debated, but the idea is certain. We cannot have fellowship with Him, while we walk in darkness. They are two opposing ideas. I thank God that He has given us His Word as the standard for which all other things are to be compared.
Lord we thank You, for you are light. For you illuminate the way for us. For you show us He we truly are, and in Your grace and mercy You offer us redemption in Christ. We do not deserve this, for without Your mercy we would still be hiding in the shadows of darkness. Lord thank You. May you continue to shine bright in our lives and be a lamp unto our feet. Give us sight that we may behold your glory. In Jesus name, amen.
God bless you,