Monday after the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 John 1:1-10 (NKJV)
1:1 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, concerning the Word of life—2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
5 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. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and 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 Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that 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 that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Our Lord Jesus Christ appointed twelve men—designating them apostles—who had been with Him throughout His ministry (Mark 3:14, Acts 2:21-22). These men were witnesses of Christ’s resurrection (John 20:20, 27) and would write the inspired New Testament. St. John begins by declaring the apostolic witness to “the Word of life.” The “Word” (in Greek, Logos) is a clear reference to the divine nature of the “eternal life,” the Son of God, who was in the beginning, and through whom all things were made (Gen. 1:1f, John 1:1f). The Gospel message which the apostles proclaimed was that the atoning work of Jesus Christ is to be received by faith. Where faith in Jesus Christ is created by the preached Word, “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Fellowship is created through faith in “the message,” the promise of forgiveness in Christ. When we believe the apostolic message, we have fellowship with the apostles, who have fellowship with the Holy Trinity. And, therefore, we have fellowship with Christ, and receive His promise of the resurrection and eternal life!
St. John explains that believers “walk in the light,” and do not “walk in darkness.” Believers neither confess that they are sinless, nor that they have not sinned. Believers confess sins daily, relying on the daily cleansing from all unrighteousness. St. John is concerned that those who have heard the truth, and have the truth in them through faith, would practice the truth by their lives.
We pray: O Eternal Father, who dwells in unapproachable light, on account of Your Son, the Word of Life, cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Work through Your Word and Truth so that we walk in the light. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.