“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
and in Him is no darkness at all
The Greek is very emphatic – “no darkness whatsoever.” There is not even a speck of darkness in the nature of God.
God’s light is mutually exclusive from any amount or any kind of darkness. He is absolute in His being. He has no mixture but is pure in His character and actions. There is an absolute dichotomy between light and darkness in the nature of God.
Jas 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
Christ is the light (Jn 8:12), that is, the revelation of God, the truth. Darkness is error and inconsistent with the nature of God because God is not compounded in His being. He does not have the slightest defect or imperfection in His nature. John’s argument is that it is impossible to fellowship with an absolute God with human worth.
Yet, there is a dilemma in this fellowship. How can Christians who are not absolute fellowship with Someone absolute? What does a frail, sinful human being have in common with an absolute God? We cannot diminish the perfection of God, for if we do, we diminish God Himself. Neither can we cannot deny our sinfulness.
There is only one way, the only way to fellowship with an absolute God – by the bloodstained banner of the cross (1:7). It is only through the cross that we have the right to fellowship with such a God.
Co 1:13-14, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
Any assertion that God is not absolute is blasphemous and dangerous. This would imply that God is not one but dual in His being. He would be both righteous and unrighteous. He would be light and darkness, yin, and yang. The Bible asserts that there is no darkness in Him whatsoever.
Any darkness is mutually exclusive from God; therefore, He is absolute. God’s light can never mix with any form or degree of darkness. His righteousness excludes darkness. This is the basis of our spirituality. Light reveals but darkness conceals. Walking in darkness is the unwillingness to see our sin or acknowledge what is true. Walking in the light demands that we confess our sin, not deny it. Since there is no darkness in God whatsoever, Christians cannot co-exist with sin and with God at the same time. There is a dichotomy of light and darkness.
1 Th 5:5, “You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.”
1 Pet 2:9, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…”
We can comprehend God’s absolute nature solely in God’s Word. That is why the believer who wants to walk with God must search the Scripture. He cannot allow the claims of man to distort the unadulterated Word of God about who God is. That is what happened in John’s day. Note the claims of 1:6,8,10. All these claims for spirituality deny the principles of the Word of God that God is absolute in His being. Those who deny this deny His word (1:6,8,10).
Mutual fellowship depends on mutual knowledge.
Our ability to see in the dark is limited, but if there is light, then we have the ability to see. This is the principle of revelation. God revealed Himself to the human race in such a way that no member of the human race will ever have an excuse for not responding to God and having eternal life.
Jn 8:12, “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’”
2 Co 4:6, “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
God’s absoluteness exposes our sin and condemns it. There is no scintilla of sin in God, for He is perfect in all that He is. It is impossible for God to sin. Immutability cannot sin.
Jn 3:19-21, 19 “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
A non-Christian cannot have fellowship with God in eternity because of the existence of at least one sin in his life. A Christian cannot fellowship with God in time if he has one unconfessed sin in his life. God declared him perfect as the perfection that there is in the righteousness of Christ so he can have eternal fellowship with God. The believer can never lose the perfection of this righteousness.
1 Co 1:30-31, 30 “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.’”
The non-Christian can have eternal fellowship with God by accepting the righteousness of Christ by faith. The Christian can have fellowship with God in time by confessing his sin (1:9). He can never lose his positional status before God.
Eph 5:8-14, 8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:
‘Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.’”
2 Co 6:14, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”
Is 9:2, “The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.”