Apparently, John likes to begin at the beginning. In his Gospel, he declares, “In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1). In 1 John, he writes, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life… we are writing these things” to share them with you (1John 1:1,4). He continually beckons us to remember the light of that first creation. In the beginning, “God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).
The sharp divide of light from darkness, of right from wrong, of holiness from wickedness, of truth from falsehood, makes us uncomfortable. We live in a world that is very comfortable with gray. We are more comfortable with gray because, in the muddied middle grounds, we can more easily dodge the issue of sin. We may prefer not to make the bold statement, “I have no sin,” but it’s easy enough to say, “It’s a gray area, neither right nor wrong.” Like Adam and Eve, we hide in the bushes, point the finger of distraction, make excuses, and blame our circumstances or someone else altogether. We’d rather not deal with Christ’s light and our darkness.
So John begins: “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in him. If we say, ‘We have fellowship with him,’ and yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth” (1John 1:5–6).
In Christ, there is no darkness at all. None. “The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in faithful love, forgiving iniquity and rebellion. But he will not leave the guilty unpunished” (Numbers 14:18). This is an unsettling truth for a people most comfortable with gray. The gospel is uncomfortable because it exposes the truth, a truth that we are reluctant to face. Do we hide in the darkness, or do we love the light?
Apart from the grace of God, I would remain hiding in the corner, making excuses, and avoiding the truth. But John calls us to enter the light not in fear, but with great joy. Yes, we, like Adam, have sinned grievously. But if we lay our darkness at His feet, we will be made clean. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1John 1:9).
Just as, in the beginning, God spoke into darkness and declared, “Let there be light!”, so also His voice pierces our darkness. In this our joy is made complete, for “that light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:5). Brothers, if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
Written by Caleb Faires