But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
—1 John 1:7
According to 1 John 1:5, God is light. Walking in the light is not living a sinless life because we all have fallen short of God's perfection (Romans 3:23). If walking in the light was living a sinless life, then there would be no need for Jesus to cleanse us from all sin as I John 1:7 declares.
Walking in the light is walking in God.
All believers are in God but don’t instinctively walk in Him or live the way He desires. In Romans 8:5-9, Paul teaches about being in the Spirit and walking after the Spirit. He explains why only those who walk after the Spirit experience the righteousness of God fulfilled in their lives.
Walking in the light doesn’t produce fellowship with God. However, fellowship with God produces the ability to walk in the light. This is an important difference and one that is often missed. Our actions reveal whether or not we have fellowship with the Lord. But our actions do not cause us to have fellowship with the Lord.
Failure to understand that our actions do not give us a relationship with God has led many believers to try and earn fellowship with God through what they do. When we do this, we are trusting in our own holiness. We are coming to God without trusting in Christ and His righteousness. When we come to God on our own merits, we are defenseless against Satan’s condemnation. God doesn’t accept us based on what we do. He accepts us based on our faith in Jesus. If we have faith in Jesus and fellowship with Him, holiness will come as a fruit of that fellowship (Romans 6:22).
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5).
Romans 8:5 gives us a test so that we can determine if we are walking after the flesh or after the Spirit: We have to judge what we are thinking about. If we are consistently thinking about the things of the Spirit (John 6:63), then we are walking after the Spirit. If we are thinking about carnal things, then we are walking according to the flesh and are subject to our feelings instead of God’s truth. We need to constantly remind ourselves—to be continually renewed in the spirit of our minds (Ephesians 4:23) that to be carnally minded is death and to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Romans 8:6).
We are now new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and have a new identity, which is our spiritual man and not the flesh. But we will always be in the flesh until we put our faith in Christ alone. We have to put on the righteousness in which we have been reborn (Ephesians 4:24). We walk in His light by faith in Christ, realizing that within ourselves we are nothing. We can’t earn the righteousness of God. It is His gift to us in Christ. When we believe this in our hearts and submit to the new righteous identity Jesus has given us, holiness is the fruit of our relationship with God.
“And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:10-11).
Holiness is not born of your works. Holiness is the fruit of your relationship with God in Christ. Holiness in your life is only born of your relationship with Jesus whose work was perfect.
Walk in the light—walk in God—walk in the Spirit, and you will crucify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
You only reap holiness as a result of your relationship with Jesus Christ.
© 2023 Lynn Lacher