御言葉：第 1 ヨハネ 1:5 – 2:2
- 神様は光です。（5 節）
B. 光は暗闇の中にあるものを、あらわに 照らし出します。
- God is light (Verse 5)
A. Light is a symbol of purity.
B. Light reveals what is in the darkness.
- The condition of the hearts of mankind
- How is it possible for us to have fellowship with God?
Fellowship with God is Possible – 1 John 1:5-2:2
Today we will continue our message series in 1 John. Last time, we looked at John’s purpose for writing this letter. He wrote 1 John to tell us how we can have fellowship with God and other believers. John also wrote this letter so that our joy would be complete. Last time, we also considered two great truths about the Lord Jesus Christ. He is both fully human and fully God. Both these truths are essential for our belief as Christians, and they are essential for our salvation.
Today we will further consider John’s first purpose in writing this letter – Fellowship with God. How is it possible for us to have fellowship with God? Today we will look at this key question. Let’s read 1 John 1:5-2:2. We will focus, primarily, on 1:5.
Have you ever wondered what God is like? God’s creation and his Word reveals much about his character. 1 John 1:5 gives us an important description of God. It says that God is light. In the gospel of John and in the book of Revelation, the Apostle John often refers to God as light. What do we know about light? Light is often a symbol for purity. That is certainly the case with God.
In America, there is a famous advertisement for Ivory Soap. The advertisement claims that Ivory Soap is 99 44/100 percent pure. I don’t know how the company calculates this percentage. Perhaps, it’s just marketing. I John 1:5 tells us that God is 100 percent pure. He is light, and there is no darkness in him. God is completely good. He is completely righteous. He is completely holy.
Another thing that we know about light is that it reveals what is in the darkness. Sometimes I will vacuum the floors at home – Especially before people come to our house! One of the hallways in our house in quite dark, so it can be difficult to see dust on the floor. However, when I turn on the light, it shows clearly where I need to clean. Light reveals uncleanness.
This passage in 1 John says that we can have fellowship with God. This is marvelous! But how can it be possible? In the last message in 1 John, I mentioned the meaning of fellowship. The word fellowship means, to have something in common with another person. How can we, as sinful human beings, have fellowship with a completely righteous God? That is mankind’s fundamental problem. We are separated from our Creator (God) because of our sin. And there is nothing that we can do to create a bridge between us and God. Perhaps, we need to define, what is sin? In Japanese, one of the meanings of “tsumi” is crime. Committing crimes could certainly be part of sinful behavior, but the meaning of sin is much broader than this. Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. God’s standard of righteousness is perfection. We, as human beings, can never reach this standard on our own.
If you look at the earliest chapters of the Bible, you can see how the first human beings disobeyed God’s command. In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam one simple command. Do not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and his wife, Eve, could eat from the other trees in the garden. Only one tree was forbidden. What happened? Satan came and tempted Eve. Then Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit. At that time, sin entered God’s creation. We see the effects of sin all around us. The world is incredibly beautiful in so many ways. But we see brokenness as well. There are earthquakes and erupting volcanoes. There are typhoons and tsunamis. There is disease and death. Now we are experiencing a global pandemic. God’s original creation was not like this. It was perfect. But now that creation is broken because of sin.
The effects of sin can be most clearly seen in the human heart. Since we are all descendants of Adam and Eve, we inherit their sin nature. We are not just sinful because of our behavior. We are sinners because we have a sinful nature. You do not have to teach children how to sin. They do it naturally. Our own hearts are dirty because of sin. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
In the Old Testament, God gave his people, the Israelites, laws to follow. Throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites failed to keep God’s law. In reality, no human being can perfectly keep God’s law. The most important purpose of the law is to reveal that mankind cannot keep the law. That is why we need a savior. When the Israelites disobeyed God’s law, they would bring a sacrifice to the temple. Oftentimes, this sacrifice was a lamb. The blood of the lamb was shed, and the person’s sin would be covered. Hebrews 9:22 says, “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.” In the Old Testament, when the blood of animals was shed to cover the sins of the people, it was a temporary sacrifice. The sacrifice only covered sins, it did not remove them completely. The priests had to continuously offer sacrifices for the people. God’s people were looking forward to a permanent sacrifice for sin.
Jesus came to earth to be that permanent, one-time sacrifice for the sins of the world. In John 1:29-34, we read about how Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. When John saw Jesus coming to him, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” On the cross, Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He makes it possible for us to be forgiven and clean before God. We inherited our sin nature from Adam. From Jesus we can receive a new nature. This new, righteous nature makes it possible for us to have fellowship with a perfectly righteous God.
So just like the light reveals uncleanness in a dark room, God’s light reveals the sin and uncleanness in our lives. But God doesn’t leave us in the dark. Through his Son, Jesus, God has provided a way for us to be made clean. God has provided a way for us to have fellowship with him.
Today, we looked at the question, “How is it possible for us to have fellowship with God?” Next time, we look at the question, “How can we maintain our fellowship with God?”