Walking In The Light

Bible Book: 1 John  1 : 5-7
Subject: Christian Living; Fellowship with Jesus
Series: God's Dear Children
Introduction

What is the difference in a relationship and fellowship? A relationship is based on one’s relation to another, but fellowship is based on proximity to another. For example, a son is related to his father by birth, blood and family history; however, that same son may not have fellowship with his father due to being far away from his father in distance or in attitude. Likewise, it is possible for a Christian to be out of fellowship with God while still being in relationship to Him through salvation. As we continue our series of messages entitled God’s Dear Children, we need to consider our fellowship with the Lord. Just how close are we to the Lord? Are we walking in loving, obedient fellowship with Him?

Many Christians have a relationship with the Lord through redemption. The Lord has saved them, and at one time the fellowship was sweet and strong, but the lure of the world or doubt in the mind has damaged the close, loving fellowship with Christ.

We are looking at 1 John 1:5-7 in this message and we are considering that every Christian is called to Walk In The Light. The Lord did not save us to merely get us into heaven; He saved us to get heaven into us. He wants us to walk in fellowship with Him because we are earthly children of our Heavenly Father. Once saved, we have His nature in us in the person of the Holy Spirit. He desires not only a relationship with us but a familial fellowship with us.

God is love - Sonship - the family of God.

God is light - Fellowship - the fellowship with God.

I. The Ground of our Fellowship with the Lord

God is Light. This does not say that God is a light, or that God gives forth a light, but that God is Light. To have fellowship with Him, we must walk in the Light! Now, what exactly does this mean?

A. His Nature

Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” 1 Timothy 6:16 tells us that God dwells in unapproachable light.

1. Physically - Light speaks of the glory of God.

2. Intellectually - Light speaks of the Knowledge of God.

3. Morally - Light speaks of the purity of God.

There is a double negative in this passage. Note: “In Him is light and in Him there is NOT NO darkness at all.” That is the way it reads in the Greek. “Not No,” is incorrect when used in the English language. But, that is the way it reads in a pure translation of the Greek. It is a way of saying that no darkness, absolutely NO darkness – not a scintilla of darkness – not an iota of darkness – no darkness dwells in Him! To walk in true fellowship with Him, we must love the light (the good) and eschew evil (the darkness).

B. Our Need

Let’s take golf as a way of looking at our need in terms of having fellowship with God. Golf must be played within the designated field of play. If a player hits his ball ‘out of bounds,’ he is penalized. In essence, he has hit his ball onto ground that is cursed rather than blessed. He may have hit his ball further than another player, but he hit it ‘out of bounds.’

Consider baseball as a means of understanding this principle. A player may hit a ball completely out of the park, but if it is a foulball, it means nothing. He must hit the ball within the foul lines determined on the field.

If we apply these ideas to walking in fellowship with our Lord, we see that we must ‘play’ within the bounds of God’s field. To do otherwise places us ‘out of bounds,’ or on the ground where fellowship is not possible. You are I are to walk in the light because God’s blessings exist in the light. We are to live a holy, good life because to do otherwise is to step out of the territory that is blessed. Morally, intellectually, and practically we are to remain on the ground of light where the blessing of the Lord dwells. Listen to what Isaiah heard when he was transported into the heavenly realm, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts.” To have fellowship with God, we must walk in the light as He is in the light.

I am thinking right now of some Christian leaders who started out serving God in the field of play. They had great intentions and worked hard for the Lord. Then success came to them and they began to fudge the rules here and there. Their sense of privilege led them to do things that were outside the foul lines of God's will. We have seen them fall from places of great influence to be a byline in Christian history. What went wrong in their lives? They lost close fellowship with God because they began to move outside the "light" of God's presence. Let me tell you something - listen - everyone here today - when you move outside God's will and refuse to see it, admit it, confess it and get it right with God, you lose fellowship with Him. No, that does not mean you lose your salvation - your relationship with Him - but, it does mean that His protecting hand is removed and you are subject to any and every sin possible to man. We must walk in the light.

II. The Gravity of this Fellowship

This is serious business. I have told you that you cannot lose your relationship with the Lord once you are saved, but you can lose fellowship with Him and that is serious. Note how the Lord addresses it.

A. A Change of Worlds

When a person is saved, he or she comes out of darkness and into God’s light. The country singer many years ago declared,

“I saw the light, I saw the light,

No more darkness, no more night.

Now I’m so happy, no sorrow in sight.

Praise the Lord, I saw the light.” (Hank Williams)

It is a wonderful thing to be able to say that and know that it is true. The Bible states that the whole world is in darkness. Paul said that God has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13). How wonderful to be delivered out of the pit of darkness and into the light. Literally, once we are saved, we have entered into a new world! If we go back to practice the things of the world, we are out of fellowship with the Lord. We are fraternizing with the enemy and we are walking on cursed ground. We cannot hold the hand of the world and walk in fellowship with God at the same time.

B. A Change of Walks

If we talk the talk, we must walk the walk. In the case before us, John reveals that a person who says that he has been delivered from darkness and yet does not walk in the light is a liar. This does not necessarily mean that the person is not saved; it may well mean that the individual is lying about fellowship with God. Of course, it may be that the person who says one thing and does another is actually unsaved. Look at Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Light and dark cannot exist together. If, in fact, you are a Christian, but you say one thing and do another, you do at least two things which are very sad.

1. You Misrepresent the Lord

2. You Misdirect the Lost

III. The Greatness of this Fellowship

A. Salvation

Why pretend to be right with God when we can be right with God. How wonderful the fellowship when one truly walks with the Lord. To walk with God means I must know what pleases and displeases the Lord, and I am intent on walking in the path that pleases Him so I can have true fellowship with Him. I must get into His Word. I must pray and talk to Him. Fellowship implies talking. We are saved. We are born into God's family. Salvation means that I am a citizen of heaven. This earth is not my home - I am a pilgrim in this world - I am an ambassador for Christ. Now, how would you feel if you learned that one of our American ambassadors had been helping the enemy? Well, how do you think the Lord looks upon us when we, His ambassadors, walk in the darkness of this world rather than honoring Him!

Our joy is in true fellowship with God and that fellowship is to be seen in our walk. Billy Bray used to say that walking with God is like shouting for the Lord. One foot goes down and it says, “Glory to God.” The other foot goes down and it says, “Hallelujah.” Someone asked him, what if you are wrong and you end up in hell? “Bill said, “I’ll shout so loud down there that they will send me to heaven to get rid of me.”

Indeed, our walk should reveal fellowship with God. Each time our foot hits the floor it should be a step in line with Jesus.

B. Scriptures

What wonderful fellowship we have with God through the scriptures. I have read the Bible through a number of times and I have studied specific passages for hours upon hours. Yet, a day comes from time to time when I open the Bible and read one of those verses or passages that I have looked at many times before, and suddenly I am overcome by the beauty of the Lord in that scripture in a completely new way. I can’t contain myself. Occasionally tears will come to my eyes as I contemplate the depth of what God is saying to me. It is as if God is speaking those words to me in a private conversation. Do you have fellowship with God through reading and studying the Bible? You should. You can. You will, if you see the Bible as a living Word from God. We don’t read the Bible to get answers. We read the Bible to meet the Answerer – the Author. He has fellowship with us through His Word.

C. Soul-winning

Soul-winning and witnessing takes place through those who have a loyal walk with God in this world. Only those in real fellowship with the Lord can properly reflect His glory to others.

Herschel Ford tells of a young boy who came to church in a certain city some years ago. The boy’s father owner a bar and he drank about as much as he sold. One night the boy attended a Saturday night prayer rally. They asked for requests and the boy got up and asked everybody there to pray for his father who was lost. Someone told the boy’s father about it and the father got very angry. He told the boy to never mention his name again to anybody. He threatened to beat the boy if he did. The next Saturday they held another prayer rally and the boy attended. He couldn’t help it, he wanted his dad to know the Savior. So the boy got up and asked the people to keep praying for his father. Someone there went to the father and told him in hopes that it would help the father decide for Christ. Well, it had the opposite effect. The father came home and got a strap and began to whip the boy. He hit him with that strap till blood ran out onto the boy’s shirt. The boy fainted under the attack. The father threw water on the boy, kicked him and then went down to his bar. The little lad climbed up in his bed and began to cry. He lay there for a long time and then he heard a noise in the house. He turned to look and there stood his father in the doorway of his bedroom. The boy shrank back but his father said, “Son, don’t pull away from me. I am sorry for what I did. Please son, you’ve got to help me. Can you pray?”

The boy nodded his head and said, “Yes, sir, a little.”

The father pled with him, “Son, please pray for me.”

The boy began to pray for his father. He prayed for his father to be saved. The father said, “Son, are you really a Christian?”

“Yes, sir, I am.”

The father asked, “Can you tell me how to be saved?”

So the boy told his father how to repent and turn to Christ. The father cried out in prayer that night and got saved. He bathed his boy’s back and put him to bed.

The next day the father put on a suit, took his boy and went to the preacher’s house. He asked the preacher to go with them to the bar. There he poured out every container of alcohol in the place and gave the key the preacher. He said, “Preacher, the place is yours, do what you will with it.” The preacher opened a church in that very building. The bar owner became an officer in that church.

Now I ask you, was that boy filled with joy or not? Oh yes, you may endure hardship for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Jesus endured the cross, despising its shame because of the joy set before Him!

A relationship with Jesus is wonderful, but fellowship with Him is required to make a difference in this world. We cannot win our world by having fellowship with the world. We must walk in the light. The world hates the light. Look at what the world did to the Light of the World when He came. But, joy only comes from real fellowship with Jesus – with walking in the light. We are not affecting this world for Christ today because we are too much like the world. We need, this day, to make a new commitment to walk in the light – to have true fellowship with Jesus. Walk with the Lord. Enjoy His fellowship. Stay in close communion with Him. That is the only way to live a productive Christian life.