This month's Series looks at I John verse by verse.
Yesterday's post covered the MOST important verse in this Series: I John 1:5.
"5 And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."
John made an absolute statement on which the WHOLE of his philosophical explanation rests.
In fact, this ABSOLUTE statement is the KEY to understanding the next five verses of I John 1...because ALL FIVE VERSES are stated as "IF/THEN"...COMPLETELY DEPENDENT on this absolute statement being true.
Today, we will complete I John 1 by looking at all five IF/THEN verses.
We have seen that Spiritual Warfare is made up of WORDS and SENTENCES. Most people realize that definitions of WORDS are important. However, few people understand the importance of SENTENCES...
We have seen that we can be judged for STATEMENTS. That if any part of what we STATE is NOT TRUE, then we will pay for it. We have seen the most destructive STATEMENTS are PROJECTIONS and JUDGMENTS. In the past, we showed HOW to avoid being judged for our WORDS by asking QUESTIONS. You cannot sin with a QUESTION (unless it is a PROJECTION or a JUDGMENT). There is a third type of sentence: CONDITIONAL. The most popular version is the IF/THEN statement.
IF/THEN statements are based on CAUSALITY. The IF/THEN statement tells us what the EFFECT will be (THEN portion) when the CAUSE (IF portion) occurs. This STATEMENT does NOT ASSERT that the CAUSE has occurred (or will occur), so the person making the IF/THEN statement has NOT opened himself up to Justice.
On this blog, we have seen several examples of IF/THEN statements. Here is a post that details how GOD used IF/THEN statements with Cain: God and Cain. We also saw HOW Jesus used an IF/THEN statement to explain blasphemy of the Holy Spirit to a Pharisee. IF Jesus had told the Pharisee that he had blasphemed the Holy Spirit, then Jesus would have been judging him. Jesus said He didn't judge. Jesus was able to make His powerful statement WITHOUT it being judging by using an IF/THEN statement!
NOTHING happens with an IF/THEN statement UNTIL there is a CAUSE.
John stated an ABSOLUTE in I John 1:5. This MOST important verse is the CAUSE of EVERYTHING John writes in his letter. Now that John has a CAUSE, he (like all great philosophers) is able to present EFFECTS...UNDERSTANDING...LIGHT.
I JOHN 1:6-10
"6 If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:"
IF: say we have Fellowship AND walk in darkness
THEN: we lie AND do NOT the truth
There are several WORDS that need to be understood before we see fully understand this IF/THEN statement.
Fellowship with God - God is flowing through us and we are taking direction from God
Walk is Strong's #4043 peripateo - "to tread all around, i.e. walk at large (espec. as proof of ability); fig. to live, deport oneself, follow (as a companion or votary)"
Walk in darkness - to tread ALL around (progress and live) in obscurity
Truth - Right WHAT with a Right HOW/WHY. (This link is goes to a post that presents "RIGHT-RIGHT"...a simple, yet powerful tool.)
With this first IF/THEN, John has introduced the concept of TRUTH to John's model! The rest of this letter depends on having a Biblical definition of TRUTH. Remember, facts are a Right WHAT. Truth is facts with a Right HOW/WHY...which results in creating. That is WHY we have seen that TRUTH are facts that create.
Lie - deception...it is a Right WHAT with a Wrong HOW/WHY. Lies do NOT create in the Long Term.
So, if we apply the CAUSE (God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all) to this First IF/THEN statement, we see:
Fellowship with God would lead to God directing our actions...which OUGHT to be walking in the light BECAUSE God is light and in Him there is NO darkness at all.
However, if we are making progress in OBSCURITY, then God is NOT directing our actions. Notice, this sentence alone would NOT result in a lie. We need a CAUSE (Right WHAT) to fulfill the conditions of deception.
Verse 6 begins with "If we SAY..."
This first IF/THEN is COMPLETELY dependent on someone STATING a Right WHAT (Fellowship with God). WITHOUT stating this Right WHAT, the Wrong HOW (walking in darkness) would simply be Unprofitable...and NOT a lie.
This result confirms that TRUTH is a Right WHAT with a Right HOW/WHY...it "checks". Notice, John can ONLY state this IF/THEN BECAUSE God is light and in Him there is NO darkness AT ALL. If there was even the smallest bit of darkness in God, these IF/THEN statements would not be true.
"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 his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
IF: walk in the light as He is in the light
THEN: we have Fellowship with one another AND the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from ALL sin.
This IF/THEN is OUGHT.
This IF/THEN does NOT mention SAYING anything.
Too many believers today are focused on what people SAY instead of what people DO. Remember Matthew 21?
"28 But what think ye? A man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to-day in the vineyard.
29 And he answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented himself, and went.
30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.
31 Which of the two did the will of his father? They say, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you."
Jesus HIMSELF told us to focus NOT on WHAT people SAY, but WHAT they DO.
John also agrees! There is NOTHING in this OUGHT IF/THEN that mentions SAYING ANYTHING!
From the first IF/THEN, we see that the ONLY way we are able to walk in the light is if we let God direct our actions...if we have Fellowship with God. We saw that this is the First Command.
So, if we apply the CAUSE (God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all) to this Second IF/THEN statement, we see:
If we walk in the light (do the First Command), then we will have Fellowship with each other (Second Command) and Jesus' Blood will be ABLE to remove ALL our sins.
The First Command is the CAUSE and the Second Command is the EFFECT.
Also, Jesus' Blood cleansing us from all sin is an EFFECT of a CAUSE...the CAUSE is Fellowship with God. The CAUSE is in OUR CONTROL. God WANTS to be at Fellowship with EVERYONE. It is up to the individual whether they are at Fellowship with God. This makes it OUR FAULT if our sins are NOT removed with Jesus' Blood! However, we are NOT the source of our sins being removed...Jesus is CLEARLY stated as the SOURCE...SPECIFICALLY, Jesus' Blood.
WE are able to prevent Jesus' Blood from cleansing us if WE CHOOSE to walk in darkness.
This is an EFFECT we can't see RIGHT NOW. However, John stated there was ANOTHER EFFECT WITH this unseen EFFECT: Fellowship with each other!
If Jesus' Blood is cleansing all your sins, then you will ALSO be at Fellowship with believers. THIS point will be mentioned THROUGHOUT the rest of this letter...
"8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."
We covered SIN in-depth. Here is a very long and comprehensive explanation of What is Sin?
Here is the short version: The Bible says that sin is "whatsoever is done apart from faith". We have seen that faith is a belief in something you can't see or something that hasn't happened yet. We have seen that faith is built on experience and understanding. Sin is that which is done by the individual apart from what the individual knows is Profitable in the Long Term due to their experience and understanding. The New Testament states that WHAT is sin for one person may or may not be sin for another person. If you have any qualms about this explanation, please read the What is Sin? post and contact me.
Notice, this third IF/THEN statement begins with "If we SAY...", so we OUGHT to know the effect will be Unprofitable.
IF: we say we have NO sin
THEN: we deceive ourselves AND the truth is not in us
So, if we apply the CAUSE (God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all) to this Third IF/THEN statement, we see:
God ALONE has NO darkness in Him at all. For us to SAY we have NO sin in us would be the same as stating we are God. "No sin" is a Right WHAT, however, the ONLY way we could possibly state this Right WHAT is with a Wrong HOW/WHY...which is deception.
Fellowship with God is done through grace. Grace is the divine influence upon our heart, and its reflection in the life. God is NOT focusing us on the NOT ("no sin"). God's influence would tell us what TO DO and our WORDS would focus on creating (truth). We called this "The Doctrine of Righteousness".
However, a person who is NOT walking in the light would be focusing on what NOT to do (we called this "The Doctrine of Sin")...and would make deceptive statements about what they are NOT.
"9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Again, let's review a couple of the WORDS...
Confess - admit what we have done WRONG.
Faithful - belief in things that can't be seen or haven't happened yet.
There is NOTHING that exists that God CANNOT see. So, God does NOT have "faith" when it comes to believing in things that exist AND can't be seen! The ONLY way God could be "faithful" is if God believed in things that haven't happened yet.
THEREFORE, God being "faithful" means that the future has NOT happened yet...otherwise, if "predestination" were factual, God would NOT be "faithful"...He would be UNABLE to believe in something that hasn't happened yet because EVERYTHING has already happened!
Righteous - God is ALWAYS and COMPLETELY RIGHT. This means that God is not only RIGHT in WHAT He does, God is also RIGHT in HOW/WHY He does it. God is RIGHT-RIGHT.
Unrighteousness - God is able to cleanse us from ALL things that are NOT RIGHT-RIGHT. (Later, John will explain the relationship between "unrighteousness" and "sin".)
IF: we confess our sins
THEN: God will forgive our sins AND cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.
This fourth IF/THEN did involve SAYING something, however, it was SAYING something humbly...without PRIDE.
The second IF/THEN involved SAYING we have NO sin...which was prideful. This fourth IF/THEN is the OPPOSITE of the second IF/THEN. However, it is NOT just admitting that we have sin, but admitting SPECIFICALLY WHAT the sin is. This is a Right WHAT with a Right HOW/WHY!
So, if we apply the CAUSE (God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all) to this Fourth IF/THEN statement, we see:
If we SPECIFICALLY admit our sin (humble), then God will cleanse us from all unrighteousness BECAUSE He is faithful and Righteous.
Notice, when we admit our sins to others, THEIR response is telling. If they forgive us COMPLETELY then THEY are faithful and righteous. If they don't forgive us, they are NOT faithful and NOT righteous.
However, most people are so focused on themselves (pride) that all they can think of is HOW it will affect their APPEARANCE to others if they admit their mistakes. People who CANNOT admit they are wrong are in pride and walking in darkness. They do NOT have Fellowship with God!
"10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
The final IF/THEN of I John 1 is a compilation of the previous IF/THEN's.
IF: we say that we have not sinned
THEN: we are stating God is a liar AND His Word is NOT in us
Once again, us SAYING something PRIDEFUL results in deception.
Saying we have NOT sinned is the same as saying that we have NEVER sinned...that we have NO darkness in us. This is the OPPOSITE of the ABSOLUTE statement that is serving as a CAUSE to all of these IF/THEN's.
Remember, John states that the ABSOLUTE statement is something that his group heard from Jesus...and Jesus is God in His Nature.
So, if we apply the CAUSE (God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all) to this Fifth IF/THEN statement, we see:
If we say that we have NOT sinned, then we are stating that Jesus lied AND God's influence is NOT in us.
John has begun building a model by using the ABSOLUTE statement (I John 1:5) as the cause for five IF/THEN statements.
John's model so far:
God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all
If we have Fellowship with God then we will:
-walk in the light
-have fellowship with each other
-confess our sins
-be cleansed by Jesus' blood
We are lying if we say:
-we have Fellowship with God and walk in the darkness
-we have no sin
If we say that we have not sinned:
-we are calling God a liar
-His Word is NOT in us
John has completed one feedback loop and the resulting model is an outline.
Tomorrow, we will look at how John adds another layer to his model with his next feedback loop...