Living in light is not something that automatically happens. The possibility that someone called to the light can actually decide to live apart from that light is real. That’s why John writes of a fellowship that includes the idea of walking in the light. The word the Apostle uses for “walk” is the simple thought of being in relationship with God. Walking in the light involves living as if Jesus were standing next to you at any given moment of time. If Jesus can’t be with you in an activity, it’s time to reevaluated behaviors. There are two practical results from this walk in the light: Partnering and Purifying.
The next portion of the verse reads, “we have fellowship with one another.” Walking in the light produces an inescapable fellowship with others who share the same experience.
Businesses use the phrase “partnering together.” The sense is that they share in ventures. A business weak in a particular area will “partner” with someone who is an expert. Walking in the light produces the same thing—partnering with others. We function together in this great enterprise called the Church, each partner bringing something useful to the table—supporting where another is weak. In this way the church builds itself up in love.¹ The second result of “walking in the light as He is in the light” is:
In the concluding half of verse 7 we read: and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
I’m not really sure of the mechanics behind this works, I’m just thankful it does. I’ve heard it said the thought here is “if we walk in the light as He is in the light,” the blood of Jesus takes care of purifying us from all sins, even those I’m not aware of. The operative phrase is, “from all sin.” The idea of that word “all” in the Greek language² is the thought of “everything collectively.” In Placentia, when it comes to taking out the trash, we have to separate recyclable items out. It’s a pain and nuisance as surely some piece of recyclable trash is going to get by you.
The idea of this verse is if you walk in the light than every piece of trash is included in forgiveness! The blood of Jesus somehow does the separating and covers anything you may have missed. The one focus of seeing that this happens—living in relationship with Jesus!
This is the Empowering Light! This light is more than just a path to show us the way; the light empowers our daily footsteps in freedom of partnering and purity. The key: walk in relationship with Him!
J Robert Hanson
¹ Ephesians 4:16 ESV: from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
² Vine’s Expository Dictionary of the New Testament, 3956.