What Does it Mean to “Walk in the Light”? (2023)

Scripture: 1 John 1:7

“But 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 cleanses us from all sin”

Introduction

In the opening verses of his First Epistle, John speaks of the privilege and joy of fellowship with God the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3). He derives the conditions for fellowship from the nature of God. He writes: “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

In this sermon, I wish to explore the application of John’s premise that God is light to our lives as Christians. He says, “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 cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

But what does it mean to “walk in the light”?

To give structure to our thoughts, please observe that 1 John 1:7 can be divided into these three parts:

  1. the condition to be fulfilled (“If we walk in the light, as he is in the light”);
  2. the communion to be enjoyed (“we have fellowship one with another”); and
  3. the cleansing that is promised (“and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin”).

I. The Condition to be Fulfilled: “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light…”

The first thing we must do as we think about the meaning of walking in the light is to seek to establish a Biblical definition of light. In order to do this we need to look at some key biblical statements that describe the nature and function of light.

A. Descriptions of light

1. God is light.

(Video) The Spirit Lives to Set Us Free (Walk in the Light) [with lyrics for congregations]

The first descriptive statement about God in John’s First Epistle is this statement: “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). John employs an emphatic double negative with darkness.

There is no darkness whatever in God; He is all light. To say that God is light and not darkness is to use a contrasting metaphor to describe a specific aspect of God’s character. As light, God is completely pure and righteous.

There is nothing impure or unrighteous (“darkness”) about Him. John further says that the person who claims to have fellowship with God while walking in darkness is lying and not practicing the truth (1 John 1:6). To walk in darkness means a person does not wish to practice the righteous and pure lifestyle of God (as seen in Jesus Christ) but prefers the darkness of his own way.

To “walk in the light” requires that one receive God’s message (the “light”) and that one practice the truth. In other words, the truth of God’s Word must not only be received and believed, but that truth must be lived out in the lives of His servants.

2. Jesus is light.

  • “Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12; 12:35).

When the people asked Jesus who the Son of Man was, He spoke of Himself as the light of the world. The believer is to walk while he has the light lest darkness overtake him.

In this context light refers to Jesus, who is the truth and who provides information for His followers. His followers must act on the information He gives them (“light”). If they do not, they will end up in darkness, and the one who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.

3. Truth and light are closely related.

(Video) What Does That Mean to Walk In The Light - Zac Poonen (Short Video Clip)

  • “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles” (Psalm 43:3).

4. God’s Word is light.

  • “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).
  • “The entrance of thy words gives light; it gives understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130).
  • “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23).
  • “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130).

The primary way a person receives light is through God’s Word.

5. Christians are called light.

  • “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).
  • “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (1 Thess. 5:5).

Christians are light in the sense that as we share the character of Him who is light, our lives serve as light to a world immersed in darkness.

6. Light is a revealer of right and wrong.

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved [exposed]. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:19-21).

B. A definition of what It means To “walk in the light”

God is the source of all light. To walk in light is to share His character—to walk in righteousness and purity. God has no “darkness” in His character at all—no unrighteousness or sin. People who walk in the light are people who have no deliberate or conscious unrighteousness or sin in their lives.

The Word of God, a source of light, reveals who we are (Eph. 5:13), what we should be, and how we can change to become more like Jesus. To walk in the light means that we daily bring our thoughts and actions under the scrutiny of God’s Word and respond in obedience to its guiding influence.

(Video) How Do I Walk in the Light? 1 John 1:5–10

Further, it means we refuse to react against the revealing light of God’s truth by clinging to our own ways, no matter how comfortable they may be or how many other Christians share them. As one walks in the light, he receives more light (Psalm 36:9).

C. A Decision must be made if one is to “walk in the light”

Our text began with the conditional phrase, “If we walk in the light as He is in the light….” (1 John 1:7). The conditional particle “if” implies that we have a choice whether or not we shall walk in the light. The tense of the verb “walk” is a present tense which indicates the need for continuous action.

We could better translate it, “If we continually walk in the light.” The comparison, “as He is in the light,” contextually must refer to God who is light. To walk in the light as He is in the light means to share His life and learn His ways.

Thus we choose, by His enabling grace, to live righteously moment-by-moment. This means that we fully obey all the truth He has given us.

II. The Communion to be Enjoyed: “…we have fellowship one with another…”

The grammar here is ambiguous, but the context suggests that “one with another” means we who walk in the light have fellowship with God and with His Son, Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3).*

John has not yet introduced the believer’s relationship with other people. His focus is on the privilege of fellowship with the Godhead.

However, John will later teach in this letter that fellowship with God is the basis for fellowship with other believers. Being loved by God—and in return, loving God—requires that the believer also love his brother.

“He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abides in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goes, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:9-11).

(Video) Bible study | How Do We Walk in the Light of God? Christian sermons

John’s evidences of fellowship are not proofs of whether a believer is right with God, but they are proofs of whether one is saved at all! Fellowship here refers to being born again.

III. The Cleansing that is Promised: “…and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

There are three aspects to the cleansing that is promised that we should consider.

A. The power for cleansing: “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son”

All God’s forgiveness is based on the blood of His Son that was shed at Calvary. That blood provided God with a righteous basis on which He can forgive sins; and, as we sing, “the blood will never lose its power.” It has lasting efficacy to cleanse us. Of course, believers must confess before they can receive forgiveness, but John deals with that in verse nine.

B. The nature of the cleansing: “cleanses us”

The verb “cleanses” is a present indicative which indicates in the strongest way possible the factual, actual, continual cleansing that is provided to the one who chooses continually to walk in the light.

C. The completeness of the cleansing: “from all sin”

The phrase “from all sin” can also be translated “from every sin.” Either way, the promise is of a complete cleansing.

Conclusion

There are great blessings and benefits promised to the person who walks in the light. One of the greatest of these is fellowship with the Triune God, as we learn to share and model His character.

However, to enjoy this fellowship, a Christian must walk continually in the light. Failure to walk in the light brings darkness and loss of spiritual understanding. Jesus said, “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness” (Luke 11:35). The devil seeks either to blind people to the light (2 Cor. 4:4) or to give them “false” light. “And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Cor.11:14).

However, the person who walks in the light has the spiritual protection of the “armor of light” (Rom. 13:12). He is forgiven, cleansed, and unencumbered by the powers of evil. Is this your testimony? Is your conscience clear? Are you walking in all the light God has given you?

(Video) The Spirit Lives to Set Us Free (Walk in the Light) Singing the Faith 397 / StF 397 by Damian Lundy

* The tense of the verb “we have” is a present tense which indicates the continual possession, and the mood is the indicative which assures the reader of the factual reality of actually having continual fellowship with God.

FAQs

What it mean to walk in the light? ›

Walking in the light is a reference to walking under the Holy Spirit's leadership in each area or our life. Walking in the light with Him exposes any darkness in us and the blood of Jesus is constantly cleansing us from sin in this state (1st John 1:7; Ephesians 5:8).

How do you walk in the light of God? ›

Walk in the Light of Christ
  1. Walk in the Light. ...
  2. Four Ways to Walk in the Light of Christ: ...
  3. First: Walk in the light of Christ through honouring the sabbath day. ...
  4. Second: Walk in the light of Christ through seeking the blessings of the temple. ...
  5. Third: Walk in the light of Christ through living the gospel at home.

What are the benefits of walking in the light of God? ›

We are here to spread God's love and light to others and spread the good news that he is our savior. When we walk with God, it may not make things easy but it makes them possible. Walking with him gives us assurance of his presence and power in our lives. Our God is powerful and with him all things are possible.

What the Bible says about walking in the light of God? ›

1 John 1:7

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, purifies us from all sin.

What is the biblical meaning of light? ›

In the Bible, light has always been a symbol of holiness, goodness, knowledge, wisdom, grace, hope, and God's revelation. By contrast, darkness has been associated with evil, sin, and despair.

What does Jesus mean when he says I am the light of the world? ›

Referring to himself

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. Jesus again claims to be Light of the World in John 9:5, during the miracle of healing the blind at birth, saying: When I am in the world, I am the Light of the World.

What does it mean to live in the light? ›

He Wants You to Be Happy

Look on the bright side of things and think of the little things that you are thankful for. God only wants good things for your life and wants you to be happy. Think of the things that God has given you that you are thankful for.

What the Bible says about letting your light shine? ›

He told us, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (See Matt. 5:14–16.)

What does John mean by walking in the light quizlet? ›

What does John mean by walking "in the light"? Obeying God's commandments and knowing and following his word.

When we walk in the light as he is in the light KJV? ›

“But 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.”

What is the light of life in John 8 12? ›

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. '”

What are the consequences of walking in darkness? ›

Walking in darkness, we destroy more than toys. Relationships are turned to rubble, careers are crushed, and friendships are flattened. And you thought stepping on a LEGO block was painful!

How do we become light to others? ›

Being a light to others also means responding with kindness and understanding if you come across a person who is not interested in hearing your words of encouragement. God did not teach us to force His Word upon others but to teach it gracefully and with compassion.

What God says about light? ›

“Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light.” The Good News: Light is hope, wisdom and goodness — God brings us that and it'll never go away.

How important is the light of God in our lives? ›

Christ teaches us in scripture that faith keeps the darkness at bay. Just as Christ's light will not leave us, neither does the darkness. The good news is that Christ's light gives us life, and in turn we can share Christ's light with others when their light grows dim or darkness overwhelms someone close to us.

What is the symbolic meaning of light? ›

Generally speaking, light serves as a symbol of life, happiness, prosperity, and, in a wider sense, of perfect being. As a symbol of life, light can also serve as a symbol of immortality.

What does being the light mean? ›

To be the light means in times of darkness you offer hope, encouragement, kindness and compassion. In times where others are struggling you offer a way to help them to regain their glow and to shine. To see the good and the beautiful - it is in this that truth is re-established.

What is the power of light? ›

Light is arguably the most influential force on how we perceive and connect with the world around us.... The Power of Light floods through our lives on a daily basis. It is present in so many forms and is arguably the most influential force on how we perceive and connect with the world around us.

How do we become salt and light of the world? ›

Drawing inspiration from the Gospel reading of the day, Pope Francis spoke of when Jesus told his disciples “you are the salt of the earth”, “you are the light of the world”. Christians, he said, must be salt and light, but never self-serving: salt must add flavor and light must illuminate the other.

Why is God described as light? ›

In all religious images regardless of religions God is portrayed as being associated with light. The word “enlightenment” is used to indicate understanding and comprehension of God. All life forms are sustained because of light and energy from the sun.

What are some ways Jesus is the light of the world? ›

The Light of the World. Jesus Christ is the light of the world because he is the source of the light which “proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space” (D&C 88:12). His light is “the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (D&C 93:2; see also D&C 84:46).

How do you live as a child of the light? ›

To become children of light means to reject the power of the adversary and to choose daily to follow the Light of Christ. The phrase “children of light” describes a people in whom the light of the gospel shines brightly. It describes a people who seek the light and are drawn to that which is virtuous, clean, and pure.

What does the Bible say about being a light in the darkness? ›

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

What does let light shine out of darkness mean? ›

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. A lone tree painted in light stands in contrast to the dark February skies.

What happened after God said let there be light? ›

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Does the Bible say do not dim your light? ›

giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16: Let your light shine before men, that. they may see your good works, and. glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Who is the antagonist in John and what is the relationship between Jesus and the antagonist give two specific examples? ›

The antagonists in the book of John are the religious leaders, "the world", and Satan. For example, by opposing Jesus, the leaders have allied themselves with the evil world system (1:10; 7:7; 14:17;22) and with Satan.

What is done in the dark will come to light KJV? ›

God has determined as he said in Luke 12:2-3, that the secrets will be uncovered, the truth will come forth, and God's thought about every behavior and action will be vindicated. What's done in the dark will come to light, and thank God he has created it to operate so!

What does John 1 29 say? ›

Behold Him1 Who taketh away the sin of the world: he saith not, who will take, but, Who taketh away the sin of the world; as if He were always doing this.

What is the verse John 14 6? ›

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the away, the btruth, and the life: no man ccometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had aknown me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

What lessons can we learn from John 8? ›

' He was directing the sinful woman to go her way, abandon her evil life, commit no more sin, transform her life. He was saying, Go, woman, and start your repentance; and he was indicating to her the beginning step—to abandon her transgressions” (The Miracle of Forgiveness [1969], 165).

What does 8/12 mean in the Bible? ›

In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads: But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” The New International Version translates the passage as: But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the.

What is spiritual darkness in the Bible? ›

We enter darkness to pray as we close our eyes to focus and avoid distractions. This then could be one purpose of spiritual darkness. It is a pulling away from the visions and distractions in the light and focusing the mind and heart on God. Here is where we begin to grow — in the dark.

What does walking in the dark mean? ›

to live in ignorance, error, and sin.

What are the dangers of darkness? ›

Decreased sunlight can cause drops in your body's production of serotonin, a brain chemical that helps to determine mood. Lack of light can also alter the brain's balance of melatonin, a chemical produced during the hours of darkness that helps to govern sleep patterns and mood.

How do you share the light of faith? ›

How to Share Your Faith
  1. How to Share Your Faith in God With Others.
  2. Represent Jesus in the Best Possible Way.
  3. Be a Friend by Showing Love.
  4. Be a Good, Kind, and Godly Example.
  5. Submit to Authority and Obey God.
  6. Pray for God to Open a Door.
  7. More Practical Ways to Share Your Faith By Being an Example.
18 Feb 2019

How do you become light in the dark? ›

So How Do You Become Light in the Midst of Darkness? Live a respectable and reputable life – no hypocritical or double life. Little by little, grow in holiness and character like Christ's. Be patient, kind and loving, but do not aim to be a people-pleaser; be a God-pleaser.

Where in the Bible does it say Let there be light? ›

"Let there be light" is an English translation of the Hebrew יְהִי אוֹר‎ (yehi 'or) found in Genesis 1:3 of the Torah, the first part of the Hebrew Bible.

When I sit in darkness the LORD is my light? ›

Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the LORD's wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness.

How do you walk in the light of God? ›

Walk in the Light of Christ
  1. Walk in the Light. ...
  2. Four Ways to Walk in the Light of Christ: ...
  3. First: Walk in the light of Christ through honouring the sabbath day. ...
  4. Second: Walk in the light of Christ through seeking the blessings of the temple. ...
  5. Third: Walk in the light of Christ through living the gospel at home.

What are the benefits of walking in the light of God? ›

We are here to spread God's love and light to others and spread the good news that he is our savior. When we walk with God, it may not make things easy but it makes them possible. Walking with him gives us assurance of his presence and power in our lives. Our God is powerful and with him all things are possible.

How do you receive the light of God? ›

We receive the light of Christ by:
  1. praying and seeking God's will.
  2. participating in the life and worship of the Church.
  3. reading and reflecting on the Scriptures.
  4. receiving Communion.
  5. opening our lives to the Holy Spirit.

What does it mean to live in the light? ›

He Wants You to Be Happy

Look on the bright side of things and think of the little things that you are thankful for. God only wants good things for your life and wants you to be happy. Think of the things that God has given you that you are thankful for.

What does John mean by walking in the light quizlet? ›

What does John mean by walking "in the light"? Obeying God's commandments and knowing and following his word.

What is God's light? ›

In theology, divine light (also called divine radiance or divine refulgence) is an aspect of divine presence perceived as light during a theophany or vision, or represented as such in allegory or metaphor. The term "light" has been widely used in spirituality and religion.

What is the light of life in John 8 12? ›

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. '”

How do Christians let their light shine? ›

When we are honest, when we keep the Sabbath holy, when we are kind, we are letting our lights shine. When we obey the Word of Wisdom, when we dress modestly, when we use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reverently, we are letting our lights shine. Each small light makes a big difference!

How can I be a light to others? ›

Being a light to others also means responding with kindness and understanding if you come across a person who is not interested in hearing your words of encouragement. God did not teach us to force His Word upon others but to teach it gracefully and with compassion.

How do you live as a child of the light? ›

To become children of light means to reject the power of the adversary and to choose daily to follow the Light of Christ. The phrase “children of light” describes a people in whom the light of the gospel shines brightly. It describes a people who seek the light and are drawn to that which is virtuous, clean, and pure.

Who is the antagonist in John and what is the relationship between Jesus and the antagonist give two specific examples? ›

The antagonists in the book of John are the religious leaders, "the world", and Satan. For example, by opposing Jesus, the leaders have allied themselves with the evil world system (1:10; 7:7; 14:17;22) and with Satan.

What does a light symbolize? ›

Generally speaking, light serves as a symbol of life, happiness, prosperity, and, in a wider sense, of perfect being. As a symbol of life, light can also serve as a symbol of immortality.

What is the power of light? ›

Light is arguably the most influential force on how we perceive and connect with the world around us.... The Power of Light floods through our lives on a daily basis. It is present in so many forms and is arguably the most influential force on how we perceive and connect with the world around us.

What is the purpose of light? ›

Light allows us to see the surrounding world by distinguishing details, individual colours, movement, brightness. It has a very big impact on a human in terms of the physiology and psyche. But light also has extremely important functions in relation to a lot of biological processes that occur in our body.

Why is Jesus the light? ›

Jesus Christ is the light of the world because he is the source of the light which “proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space” (D&C 88:12). His light is “the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (D&C 93:2; see also D&C 84:46).

How do we become salt and light of the world? ›

Drawing inspiration from the Gospel reading of the day, Pope Francis spoke of when Jesus told his disciples “you are the salt of the earth”, “you are the light of the world”. Christians, he said, must be salt and light, but never self-serving: salt must add flavor and light must illuminate the other.

What lessons can we learn from John 8? ›

' He was directing the sinful woman to go her way, abandon her evil life, commit no more sin, transform her life. He was saying, Go, woman, and start your repentance; and he was indicating to her the beginning step—to abandon her transgressions” (The Miracle of Forgiveness [1969], 165).

Videos

1. Walk in the light | The Spirit Lives to set us free | Hymns Old and New
(Emmaus Music)
2. Walk in the Light
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3. Walking in the the Light | How Do You Walk in the Light?
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4. Walk In The Light French
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5. Teach Me to Walk in the Light
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6. What it Means to Walk in the Light by Joseph Chircop
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