A Short Study of 1st John 1:7
“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.”
(1st John 1:7)
To walk in the light, let us see what it is. When a truth has been once revealed to you by the Holy Ghost, you are never again in the dark on that point; that is, you have eyes; if in the dark, you only need the sun to shine. You walk in the light of that truth even when walking in the dark in experience. This no man knows unless the truth has been revealed to him. It is only in the experience you are in the dark; you believe it is a truth. For instance: if it has once been revealed to you that the blood of Jesus Christ will take away sin, you are not in the dark that He is the Saviour of sinners; that without Him you can do nothing. There you walk in the light, and stumble not at those who have never had that truth revealed to them.
All fellowship with one another begins in the knowledge of the truth. Where there is no union in the truth a little thing will soon break communion. So here: “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.” If a man receives you, but not in the truth, you will be obliged to stick to the truth, and that union will not prove able to bind him in fellowship with you. If your fellowship with another begins in the truth made known, in both your hearts, it will last. Ananias had no fellowship with Saul till God told him Saul was elect. Then at once he went to him with: “Brother Saul” (Acts 9:17), in the bond of love. Fellowship in the truth, how sweet it is! To find another like-minded, and in comparing experiences and talking over trials, past deliverences and mercies come up; what the LORD has done for you. The Holy Spirit puts His blessing on that, and your hearts get warm together. You find another who feels the sorrow and grief you feel for sin, and tell each other; so that there is communion with one another in the truth of your sinnership, and the hope that saves sinners. I can gave no communion with persons who deny or excuse sin in any way; because: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1st John 1:8). Those who have once felt the love of God shed abroad in the heart, who know the sweet droppings of divine grace, and feel heart-breakings for sin, loathing and confessing it with a spirit softened and melted by the grace of God,- such have something to talk of one to another. If two lepers get together, let them talk of their leprosy, and they may remember the Remedy. There is a Remedy: “The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son.”
It is great deal better not to keep it all to yourself, but to have fellowship one with another in these things, that your hearts may be warmed and stirred up in the truth. I may be met with an answer: “But I am dark.” Yet you are walking in the light of truth concerning your darkness. So if dark, there is no harm in communing with another in similar darksome experience. I do not see why two blind men shoulc not walk together, and talk about their disabilities; or why two that cannot walk should not speak to each other, and have fellowship in the truth of their infirmities. For if one can find another like himself, the truth will kindle between them “as iron sharpeneth iron:” and it will sometimes make the lame man leap as an hart.
“And the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” This blood accompanies us all our lives. There is need of cleansing in all with one another, in every deed, word, and thought. It does not require the deed to produce sin: the thought is defiled. “From all sin.” How great the catalogue! What I want to find with another is that he, too, feels that sin corrupts him, contaminates him; that if he drops down on his knees on the heel of the uprising of sin, there is a bar between him and God. Every one of the LORD’s people cries: “Unclean, unclean!” “Nothing but Thy blood, O Jesus.” How precious must be that blood that presents a sinner spotless before a holy God! If the LORD takes a live coal off the altar and touches your lips, it is done. What is this live coal? A word of the Spirit’s flaming fire: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” “I am thy God.” “Thy sins which are many, are all forgiven.” The soul is cleansed, and burns with love to Jesus Christ. But who is Jesus Christ? Every one talks of Him, but not of the Christ I talk of. One said to me once: “I would not go to heaven with such a Christ as yours.” Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day and for ever, the same who healed all who came to Him in the days of His flesh. He did what Julius Caeser could not do. When they let down the man through the tiling, He saw their faith, and first attended to that, saying: “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee” (Mark 2:5); then healed his body, to show He had power on earth to forgive sins.
“From all sin.” The unpardonable sin is excluded here. No one guilty of that, ever seeks mercy and pardon. In their bitter enmity, some who saw Him casting out the devil, attributed the miracle to the agency of Beelzebub, the prince of devils. But what would a manifestation of Christ do for you? “O,” say you, “it would slay my emnity and put me right: that is all I want.” If uour bitterness is the want of Christ revealed, He will certainly make your bitter sweet before you die. He will say: “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
Have you once felt this love? It is a fountain of unfathomable love, standing open to drink by the way.
Joseph Hatton – 1882