1 John 1:5-7. (NIV)
5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But 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.
Eternal life – fellowship with God – means walking in the light. Light reveals the truth; darkness hides it. Pretending to be someone that I’m not is walking in the darkness. So anything in my life that I feel the need to hide needs to go. Walking in the light also makes it possible to have fellowship with my brothers and sisters; I can’t truly be in fellowship with people that I hide from.
1 John 2:1-6. (NIV)
1My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
3We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
The person who does not obey Christ’s commands does not know him. We walk in light by obeying God, and when we do, his love is made complete in us and we have fellowship with each other just as we do with the Father and the Son. Unity in Christ comes not from correct doctrine, but from obeying God’s commands and thereby letting his love shine in us. And when I desire to do this but fail, Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for my sins, so that I may be forgiven and purified of all sin.
This is not easy believism! It clearly says that if I am in Christ, I will live as Christ lived. Sanctification – becoming like Jesus – is not optional. Holiness is not an optional add-on for super Christians; it is the standard for everyone.