But if we walk in the light - If, having received the principle of holiness from him, we live a holy and righteous life, deriving continual light, power, and life from him, then we have fellowship one with another; that is, we have communion with God, and God condescends to hold communion with us. This appears to be the intention of the apostle; and so he was understood by some versions and MSS., which, instead of μετ ' αλληλων, with each other, have μετ 'αυτον, with him. Those who are deeply experienced in Divine things converse with God, and God with them. What John says is no figure; God and a holy heart are in continual correspondence.
The blood of Jesus Christ - The meritorious efficacy of his passion and death has purged our consciences from dead works, and cleanseth us, καθαριζει ἡμας, continues to cleanse us, i.e., to keep clean what it has made clean, (for it requires the same merit and energy to preserve holiness in the soul of man, as to produce it), or, as several MSS. and some versions read, καθαριει and καθαρισει, will cleanse; speaking of those who are already justified, and are expecting full redemption in his blood.
And being cleansed from all sin is what every believer should look for, what he has a right to expect, and what he must have in this life, in order to be prepared to meet his God. Christ is not a partial Savior, he saves to the uttermost, and he cleanses from All sin.
But if we walk in the light - Compare the notes at 1 John 1:5. Walking in the light may include the three following things:
(1)Leading lives of holiness and purity; that is, the Christian must be characteristically a holy man, a light in the world, by his example.
(2)walking in the truth; that is, embracing the truth in opposition to all error of paganism and infidelity, and having clear, spiritual views of truth, such as the unrenewed never have. See 2 Corinthians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 2:9-15; Ephesians 1:18.
(3)enjoying the comforts of religion; that is, having the joy which religion is fitted to impart, and which it does impart to its true friends, Psalm 94:19; Isaiah 57:8; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 13:11. Compare the notes at John 12:35.
As he is in the light - In the same kind of light that he has. The measure of light which we may have is not the same in degree, but it is of the same kind. The true Christian in his character and feelings resembles God.
We have fellowship one with another - As we all partake of his feelings and views, we shall resemble each other. Loving the same God, embracing the same views of religion, and living for the same ends, we shall of course have much that is common to us all, and thus shall have fellowship with each other.
And the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin - See the sentiment here expressed fully explained in the notes at Hebrews 9:14. When it is said that his blood cleanses us from all sin, the expression must mean one of two things - either that it is through that blood that all past sin is forgiven, or that that blood will ultimately purify us from all transgression, and make us perfectly holy. The general meaning is plain, that in regard to any and every sin of which we may be conscious, there is efficacy in that blood to remove it, and to make us wholly pure. There is no stain made by sin so deep that the blood of Christ cannot take it entirely away from the soul. The connection here, or the reason why this is introduced here, seems to be this: The apostle is stating the substance of the message which he had received, 1 John 1:5. The first or leading part of it was, that God is light, and in him is no darkness, and that his religion requires that all his friends should resemble him by their walking in the light. Another, and a material part of the same message was, that provision was made in his religion for cleansing the soul from sin, and making it like God. No system of religion intended for man could be adapted to his condition which did not contain this provision, and this did contain it in the most full and ample manner. Of course, however, it is meant that that blood cleanses from all sin only on the conditions on which its efficacy can be made available to man - by repentance for the past, and by a cordial reception of the Saviour through faith.
At half past two o'clock P.M. I spoke to a full house [at Adams Center, N.Y.].... We were gratified to meet the aged servants of God on this occasion. We have been acquainted from the rise of the third angel's message with Elder [Frederick] Wheeler, who is now nearing eighty years. We have been acquainted with Elders [H. H.] Wilcox and [Chas. O.] Taylor for the last forty years. Age is telling on these old standard-bearers, as well as upon me. If we are faithful to the end the Lord will give us a crown of life that fadeth not away. 2SM 223.1
The aged standard-bearers are far from being useless and laid aside. They have a part to act in the work similar to that of John. They can say, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 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” (1 John 1:1-7). 2SM 223.2Read in context »
It is through faith in Jesus Christ that the truth is accepted in the heart, and the human agent is purified and cleansed.... He has an abiding principle in the soul, that enables him to overcome temptation. “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not.” God has power to keep the soul that is in Christ who is under temptation.... 7BC 951.1
A mere profession of godliness is worthless. It is he that abideth in Christ that is a Christian.... Unless the mind of God becomes the mind of men, every effort to purify himself will be useless; for it is impossible to elevate man except through a knowledge of God. The outward gloss may be put on, and men may be as were the Pharisees whom Jesus describes as “whited sepulchres” full of corruption and dead men's bones. But all the deformity of the soul is open to Him who judgeth righteously, and unless the truth is planted in the heart, it cannot control the life. Cleansing the outside of the cup will never make the vessel pure within. A nominal acceptance of truth is good as far as it goes, and the ability to give a reason for our faith is a good accomplishment, but if the truth does not go deeper than this, the soul will never be saved. The heart must be purified from all moral defilement (Letter 13, 1893). 7BC 951.2
4 (Romans 3:20; see EGW on Galatians 3:24-26; Ephesians 2:14-16). Only Definition of Sin—“Sin is the transgression of the law.” This is the only definition of sin. Without the law there can be no transgression. “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” The standard of righteousness is exceeding broad, prohibiting every evil thing (Manuscript 27, 1899). 7BC 951.3Read in context »
To the aged pioneer laborers who have been connected with the work of the third angel's message almost from its beginning, whose experiences in it dates nearly from the passing of the time in 1844, the Lord says: “Your help is needed. Do not take upon yourselves loads that others who are younger can carry. It is your duty to be careful in your habits of life. You are to be wise in the use of your physical, mental, and spiritual strength. You who have passed through so many and such varied experiences are to do all that it is possible for you to do to preserve your powers, that you may labor for the Lord as long as He permits you to stand in your lot and place to help to advance His work.” 7T 286.1
With John, these burden bearers can say: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.... This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 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.” 1 John 1:1-7. 7T 286.2Read in context »
Everything that can be done should be done to place ourselves and our children where we shall not see the iniquity that is practised in the world. We should carefully guard the sight of our eyes and the hearing of our ears, so that these awful things shall not enter our minds. When the daily newspaper comes into the house, I feel as if I wanted to hide it, that the ridiculous, sensational things in it may not be seen. It seems as if the enemy is at the foundation of the publishing of many things that appear in newspapers. Every sinful thing that can be found is uncovered and laid bare before the world. 3SM 211.1
The line of demarcation between those who serve God and those who serve Him not, is ever to remain distinct. The difference between believers and unbelievers should be as great as the difference between light and darkness. When God's people take the position that they are the temple of the Holy Ghost, Christ Himself abiding within, they will so clearly reveal Him in spirit, words, and actions, that there will be an unmistakable distinction between them and Satan's followers.... 3SM 211.2
Educating Children in Bible Principles—Some of God's people permit their children to attend the public schools, where they mingle with those who are corrupt in morals. In these schools their children can neither study the Bible nor learn its principles. Christian parents, you must make provision for your children to be educated in Bible principles. And do not rest satisfied merely with having them study the Word in the church school. Teach the Scriptures to your children yourselves when you sit down, when you go out, when you come in, and when you walk by the way. Walk with your children much oftener than you do. Talk with them. Set their minds running in a right channel. As you do this, you will find that the light and the glory of God will come into your homes. But how can you expect His blessing when you do not teach your children aright? 3SM 211.3Read in context »