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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE MESSAGE DECLARED

1 John 1:5-7 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. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 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.

God's plan of eternal salvation for mankind through His Son, Jesus Christ is referred to as that which was from the beginning (of time) (Vs. 1). Consideringthe lesson text, John says that this then is the message which we have heard of Him (Jesus Christ), while we (the apostles) were with Him, seen Him, and were physically close enough to Him to touch Him (See Vss. 2-4). With this irrefutable evidence before us, John says that this is the message,that he and the other apostles declare unto you.

And this is the foundation - the very heart and core, of the message of salvation: that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. Indeed, God is the source of all light. From a physical standpoint, God lights the universe with the sun and stars of heaven, and the reflective light of the moon. Artificial light is made available by electricity generated by batteries, hydro-electric plants, etc. God created this source of light - scientists only discovered it. More importantly, God is the source of all spiritual light - the truths found in His holy word. It is from this spiritual light we find the intelligence and morality God requires of mankind, in order to become, and remain, His children. The spiritual light that comes from God is pure - it is free from the worldly influence of mankind, which is described here as darkness.

Spiritual light is the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25). It is pure truth, knowledge, wisdom, holiness, etc. Spiritual darkness is represented as all manner of sin, false doctrine, error, and willful ignorance. All people found in this spiritual darkness,and remain there, will beexcluded from God's spiritual light,and will fail to have access to God's spiritual blessings.When one obeys the will of God, and is baptized for the remission of sins, God adds him or her to the church of Christ. In each scriptural church, Christians have fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ. In doing so, they are privileged to have joint fellowship with the apostles, our heavenly Father, and with His Son, Jesus Christ (Prev. Vs. 3).

Considering these truths, John gives us this caution: if we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. In order to have fellowship with God, we must walk in His light. That is, we must study, know, and keep His commandments. To claim such this fellowship, and to walk in darkness,is hypocritical. One cannot live in sin, error, and immorality, nor can the lives of any Christian be given over to false doctrine, and still expect to enjoy the privileges of fellowship that is extended to God's children in Christ. To profess to do so is a lie and contrary to the truth that is found in the word of God, which was declared to us by the inspired apostles and writers of the New Testament.

During His sojourn on earth, God's light shined forth through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus told the Pharisees, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12). The apostles of Christ, in following Him, let the same light shine forth to you and me. As Christians, and followers of Christ, we must then reflect the light of God, through Christ, to the world around us. When this takes place we can truly say that when 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. It is by the blood of Jesus Christ that we are cleansed from sin by baptism into His body, and it is by that same blood that the repentant Christians remain spiritually clean and acceptable in the sight of God by the avenue of repentant prayer.

The light that God shines on all mankind today through His Son, Jesus Christ, is His plan for eternal salvation, which was established in the mind of God from the beginning (Vs. 1). This is the message which John, and the other apostles heard, and which they declared to the world. To every Christian, Jesus sumed up their responsibility in this portion of His "Sermon on the Mount." Ye are the light of the world. Therefore, let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matt. 5:14-16). The message of salvation declared by God and His Son, Jesus Christ, was preached to the world by His apostles, and it is the same message declared by all faithful preachers and treachers to followers of Christ today.