Do We Practice the Truth?

1 John 1:5-6 ESV

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

God is light. He is truth. He is righteousness. He is holy and pure and good in all that he is and in all that he does. In him there is no darkness. There is no sin, no evil, no wickedness. So, if we profess to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives, which means we are professing to be in partnership (cooperation, alliance, fellowship) with God, but while we walk (in conduct, in practice) in darkness (sin, wickedness), we are liars who do not practice the truth. We must die to sin and live to righteousness.

And this isn’t just John who said this. Paul said it, too, many times over. In several passages of Scripture he gave lists of various sins and he stated clearly that if we are doing such things as a matter of practice, i.e. if we are deliberately and habitually committing the same sins over and over without genuine repentance, we will not inherit the kingdom of God. We will die in our sins. Heaven will not be our eternal destiny (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:1-17; Col 3:5-11; Gal 6:7-8; 1 Co 6:9-10).

And Jesus taught the same thing, too. He said that if we are to come after him we must deny self, take up our cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. If we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity, but if we lose our lives (die with him to sin) we will have eternal life. For, he said that not everyone saying to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven but only the ones DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven (Lu 9:23-26; Matt 7:21-23).

And, John, as well, carried on this message all throughout the book of 1 John. He said that the way that we know that we have come to know Jesus Christ (God) is if we keep (obey) his commandments. He said, “Whoever says, ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. And he said that whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as God is righteous, but whoever does not is not of God. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil (1 John 2:3-6; 1 John 3:4-10).

So, we can’t be in fellowship (relationship) with God (with Christ) and live in deliberate and habitual sin. We must be those who walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. Daily we must die to sin and live to God and to his righteousness. For if we walk in sin we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God no matter what we confess with our lips. For Jesus died that we might die with him and live to him and to his righteousness not so we could go on living in sin without guilt (Rom 8:1-17; Luke 9:23-26; 1 Peter 2:24; Gal 5:16-21; Matt 7:21-23; Eph 4:17-24).

1 John 1:7 ESV

“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.”

Light is God/Christ. Light is truth and it is righteousness, holiness, purity, honesty, faithfulness, etc. So if we walk (in conduct, in practice) in the light, we are conducting our lives, in practice, in moral purity, integrity, godliness, truthfulness, faithfulness, trustworthiness, and self-control, etc. We are dying daily to sin and to self and we are walking in obedience to our Lord and his commands as a matter of practice. We may not be perfect people, but sin is no longer our practice. Righteousness is our practice.

Also notice here that walking in the light is in contrast to walking in the darkness. One results in us not being in true fellowship with God and thus us not inheriting eternal life with God. The other results in us being in fellowship with God and with other Christians who are in fellowship with God and having our sins cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. So, this obviously is not a one-time thing which takes place in our lives. This is a daily thing, walking in the ways of the Lord and being cleansed of our sins and then having the hope of eternal life with God.

1 John 1:8-10 ESV

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

Now, many people quote verse nine here out of context, and they make a case which says that if we verbalize the fact that we have sinned that it results in forgiveness of sins and being cleansed from all unrighteousness. But to confess sin is not just to verbally acknowledge one’s sin. It is to agree with God about our sin, and not just to agree that we sinned, but to have the same mind as Christ about our sin which then results in us repenting of (turning from) our sins and following our Lord in obedience.

For we can’t pull verse nine out of this context and make a case for being able to just admit sin and thus our sins are forgiven. We must not walk (in conduct, in practice) in darkness (sin, wickedness), but we must walk (in conduct, in practice) in the light (Christ, truth, righteousness, purity). For if sin is our practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God no matter how many times we have said, “Lord, Lord,” or we have acknowledged (admitted) sinning against God and other humans.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]

Sweet Beulah Land

By Squire Parsons

I’m kind of homesick for a country
To which I’ve never been before.
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken
For time won’t matter anymore.

I’m looking now, just across the river
To where my faith, shall end in sight
There’s just a few more days to labor.
Then I will take my heavenly flight.

Beulah Land I’m longing for you
And some day on thee I’ll stand
There my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land

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