Is Salvation possible by a prayer or a spoken belief? And is the gift of salvation simply a destination or is it a gift that impacts our lives now?
Bible Study of the book of 1 John – Part 1
In 1 John, he begins in testifying of what He has seen – something that this world had never before been seen… Jesus. He is the eternal life that always was from the very beginning. But this man that writes this letter, He has witnessed first-hand a mystery of the illumination of God in the organic world called Earth. As He now declares the conviction he carries inside of his soul… a conviction that has provided him with a joy that doesn’t fade away or waver…. a joy that can’t be bought or sold or changed by any other news – a joy that is made full.
And the message he declares?…. “GOD IS LIGHT. And in HIM there is no darkness at all”. To this point John has only spoken of himself and mankind as a witness – nothing of this decree pertains to us. It only pertains to GOD. His everlasting life. His son manifested to us. His greatness and the condition of HIM and HIS countenance… GOD IS LIGHT (pure light).
And when the subject of “us” enters the discussion, a contrast between us and God is made immediately. Darkness enters this discussion and a big “IF” surfaces. We’re either with him or we’re with ourselves. We’re either walking in HIS light or walking alone in a delusion called darkness. And this journey is not one that can be spoken of or declared to make it so. It must be real. Walking a walk… not talking a talk. Which is clearly what is happening as John brings our words into verse 6 when he says, “IF WE SAY“…. Speech… What is it really? Men are liars by nature… We speak easy and we rarely see the manifestation of the very words that our lips utter. “IF WE SAY we have fellowship with HIM but walk in darkness we are liars and do not have the truth”… If we say we know him.. If we say we follow him.. if we say we believe in him… it means nothing unless our walk lines up with our speech. Perhaps saying nothing at all is a better demonstration of separating our unclean lips for the realities of where we are in truth. And the next words that John writes… well, they hit me hard. Because the “IF” of salvation, (the condition… the requirement), is declared in one simple line. John writes, “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.” We’re either liars, lying to ourselves and deceiving ourselves or we’re with HIM for real… And being with HIM for real is a requirement to being cleansed of all sin by the Son, Jesus Christ.
Who is cleansed from all sin by the blood of Jesus? Those who walk in the light of God.
Not those who say something with their mouth alone, as John demonstrated clearly in the opposition of our words to our walk. He called us liars and delivered the big “IF”… And that’s puzzling as a visual that our minds try to seek out and make sense of. What does it mean to walk in the light of God and how can I know if I’m doing this?
God showed me something a few weeks ago about the balance. The Word of God says that we will be weighed in a balance. And in this revelation He showed me a connection in the meaning of the word “light.” Weightless…. Light as feather… TO BE LIGHT.. TO BE WEIGHTLESS. And I have pondered this and I have prayed about it and I’ve begged the Lord for understanding. And sometimes that understanding is given in a way that I can grasp only for a moment, bits and pieces. But as I went back to this text, I see the weightlessness. John continues, “If we say we have no sins, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” This is layering on what he decreed about us a few lines before. That we are liars that so easily SAY something in contrary to who we are and where we are. And it’s not even about sin in this text as the condition. John is telling on all of us, declaring we DO HAVE SIN. And if we can’t see that about ourselves then we’re living inside of a lie. It’s about illumination of who we are… the ability see our own sickness…. our own condition and to weigh ourselves in the balance and be honest about what we are carrying around externally and internally. The heaviness of this world and the heaviness of ourselves. In Luke Jesus said, “WATCH YOURSELF! Don’t let your heart be weighed down by the cares of this world or that day will come upon you as a snare.” This is a huge warning. If God in the flesh is saying “watch out!” this isn’t something to be taken lightly. And speaking of lightly, he calls this stuff WEIGHT… “Don’t let your heart be WEIGHED down.” By what? The cares of this world…. Fear. Desire. Ego. Pride. Guilt. SELF – all of the natural responses of the human mind and the human body to the world that we live in today. And here we are in the United States plagued by things like opiods and social media. We need a fix for our condition and we are drowning in the painful skeletons that we’ve buried in our own minds. We’ve been hurt, deceived, abandoned, kicked down and in response we’re all treading water outside of the Titanic hoping for a lifeboat to come along but the ONLY ONE that can pick us up out of our own mucky waters… we allow Him to pass by us day, minute after minute, hour after hour… “Not today Jesus, I’ll catch a ride with you tomorrow… Let me fix this crisis I’m in and THEN I’ll find time to talk to you.”
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Can we see the darkness that keeps us locked in chains by the WEIGHTS we carry? Jesus calls them “HEAVY burdens.” And in His compassion He’s holding his hand out to us with a solution for our weariness. He knows we’re tired and we can’t carry this stuff anymore. Our knees are weak and our hands are calloused and we’re gasping for air because we can’t tread this water much longer. We can’t keep running 99 miles an hour each day searching for a moment of peace and the only thing that seems to come our way is more fires to put out, more heartbreak to mourn and more SELF to run away from in the depths of our own decisions – the immortality that tugs at our conscious as we run away from everything we hate about the one who stares back at us in the mirror. The failures of being the husband or wife we should be.. The lies we tell to get what we want, the money that we serve – like it’s a ticket to a far away paradise that we can one day achieve, all the while our friends and our neighbors are dropping like flies as the pestilences of our nation increase. We see children dying of cancer, senseless murders, horrific accidents and young people taking their own lives in higher numbers than EVER before. When does this weight get lifted off of us? When we can breathe again? When we can rest again instead of laying in bed with a movie screen playing in our minds of all that the things that we forgot to do, can’t fix, can’t decide and can’t overcome. Even the short moments of exhale only lead to another whirlwind around the corner. The pressure of this life is a WEIGHT that overtakes every single one of us and it’s not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of when we will be brought to our knees.
But John said, it doesn’t have to be this way…. He said, “these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” FULL – not half empty… not temporary.. not fleeting.. not based on whether you have a good day, which is snatched up when we wake up tomorrow having a bad day. REAL JOY.. TRUE JOY. FULLNESS OF JOY – not depending on the world or the circumstances that surround us in this world.
WALK IN THE LIGHT OF GOD…. Give it to me, Jesus is saying to us. My hand is open, take that trash bag that you’re carrying inside of your heart and empty it into the scars on my palms that I wear for YOUR FREEDOM. Let me cleanse you of yourself. Don’t carry that burden anymore. Stop trying to be something you can never and will never be. Perfect. That’s what GOD IS. Not us. We’re liars and sinners. We’re deceivers by the very nature of the flesh. We’re the retards that wake up each day smiling at one another saying, “I’m doing great.” when the truth within us is bondage. We’re weighed down and heavy and we’re suffocating and we need release from OURSELVES.
Have you ever just sat there in the honesty of your own thoughts… and said to yourself… “I don’t want to be me anymore.” I have. I think about all of the pursuits of “perfect” I’ve made in my life and silly they all are now. From plastic surgery to volunteer work, I’ve done so many things to clean myself up on the inside and on the outside… searching for ways to just feel good about myself. None of them last. The newness of fixing a physical flaw wears off and only leads to discovering the next flaw to obsess over. Doing something good for another person brings on a false humility that uncovers the motives of my own heart. I want people to think highly of me. I want people to say, “She’s a good Christian.. she’s got a good heart.” For what? So I can get a cool phrase etched on my casket stone?
What I’m learning about me… is that I’m just a sculpture made out of sand.. a spec of dust trying to build sand castles on a beach with a tsunami headed its way. Everything I’ve ever done is vanity. Everything but one thing… SURRENDER. And that one thing I’ve got to fight with myself to do every single day. I tell the Lord, “I don’t want to be me anymore… I can’t do this, I’m not strong enough, PLEASE take my life and mold it into something that matters.” But I wake up the next day with weights thrown on my shoulders and like a victim of amnesia I go at it again.. swimming against a current I can’t overcome. Until I’m so broken down and defeated within myself that I come to my senses and remember, “GIVE IT TO HIM!… Get rid of this heaviness… cast off the cares of this world and ask Him to pull you into His light… His weightless, illuminating light that sets you free from this place and free from YOURSELF.
Jesus has bought us with a price and He’s offering an inner peace and inner joy that this world can never give us. But we have to give our lives to him.. Not partially, fully. We have to ask the Lord to show us our sickness and our darkness (the viruses that are kept in the deepest crevices of our hearts). We have to give him OUR WILL. Surrendering is laying our own desires, like a child that doesn’t know what this day brings and doesn’t even care because she knows her Father is calling the shots… If she’ll only let him. If we can stop running from him and run to him with every single thought, every decision, every pain, every WEIGHT that tries to put us back in bondage again. And what we give him, he makes clean. An emptied vessel CLEANED FROM ALL SIN by the blood of Christ. Weightless and emptied out. LIGHT because it’s filled by HIM in place of what used to be called “us”.
I’m sharing today from the book of 1 John. Please pray over this text that I’m pasting in full below and ask the Lord to show you what’s weighing you down and keeping you from walking in HIS LIGHT. God bless you all in the will of our Father in Heaven and the SON that dwells within the hearts of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
1 John 1 King James Version (KJV)
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
5 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.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
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 Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.