Have you ever been in a cavern? I mean a REAL cavern. It requires a safety briefing, hard hats, a rigorous spelunk (yes, you heard that right) into the depths of the earth squeezing your body through crevices that scratch your flesh as you pass through, but most of all, you note there is no light. Everyone requires a flashlight or headlamp because there is no natural or otherwise reflective light. In one such family adventure, I recall getting to the bottom of a cavern and the guide telling everyone to find a stable position on level ground and then he said, “turn off your lights.” Blackness, nervous throat-clearing, and your brain starts to reach for that last image your eyes took in, as if it would somehow give you a firmer foundation. It is a soul-staggering sensation. Now imagine being alone. Using everything in your power, you try to recall the way in. You think through your steps that brought you to this point, the stairways, the turns, and the rock formations that might be tangible landmarks. Like a scene from The Lord of the Rings traveling through the Dwarf realm of Moria, you’re glad that there are no such things as Cave Trolls or Balrogs, but I’m sure that your knees have had stronger moments. Light and dark are common biblical images. Light reveals and dark conceals. Light is pure where darkness is tainted. But John knows that both light and darkness can draw people. What is the anchor in the midst of darkness? God. But here’s the interesting twist—in a series of three conditional sentences that begin with “If we say,” we begin to realize that John is identifying what a child of light looks like and what a child of darkness looks like. He appeals to the reader to consider the character of God and how each persons' life looks based upon God’s character.
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Isaac Serrano is Lead Teaching Pastor of South Valley Community Church. He likes talking theology, history, and culture. Isaac lives in Gilroy with his family. On his days off, he likes to go fishing and venture outdoors. Isaac serves on the leadership board for the Regeneration Project and the school board of Pacific Point Christian Schools.