“Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.”
because darkness is passing away,
Love is a manifestation of living in the light. Darkness passes away in us because of this. Jesus, as the light of the world, dispels darkness. When we fellowship with Him, darkness dissipates in our lives (1:5-7). The present darkness of hatred is passing away.
The “darkness” of spiritual insensibility that hides and obscures the light of divine love is in the process of passing away in believers. The darkness of sin and self-seeking found in natural love is in the process of passing away in divine love.
Eph 5:8-10, 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.”
Co 1:13-14, 13 “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.”
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…”
Note that John does not say that the darkness is already past. Obviously, there is still darkness in the believer.
and the true light is already shining
Jesus is the genuine love of the world (Jn 8:12). When Jesus came into the world, He dispelled darkness in the world. The word “true” means real, genuine. Jesus’ true light reveals the true character of a world in darkness. He is genuine light in contrast o the counterfeit or spurious light. The false light of Satan always imitates the true light.
The present tense of “is already shining” indicates that the process already began and continues in the lives of Christians. Our true nature is revealed in Christ. When we believe the gospel, light floods in our souls, giving us the capacity to love with divine love.
When we walk in fellowship with the Lord, the Holy Spirit sheds divine love in our hearts.
Jesus coming into the world represents light coming into darkness. The incarnation brought light into the world. The Holy Spirit enables us to walk in the light and manifest God’s love.
The life of Christ shared in the believer produces love. It makes it possible to love difficult and disagreeable people, those hard to live with. The Holy Spirit spreads abroad the love of God in our hearts.
Ro 5:5, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
There is a genuine light and a false light. Fraudulent, spurious light does not measure up to the “true” light. The true light of biblical love lives up to its claims. It continues to shine forth as a luminary radiating the brightness of love.
The “true light” shining in the believer is divine love due to the filling of the Spirit. It is the fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit produces divine love in us. When the Holy Spirit controls us, He produces a love that goes beyond our measly love.
The more God reveals Himself, the more darkness fades in our lives and the more capacity we have to love others.