Second in a series of studies of 1 John 1:5-10
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6).
Having established the premise upon which the teaching found here rests, John begins a series of conditions that are irrefutable. Since God is light (righteous) and since light and darkness (sin) are incompatible, then the following designated truths are self-evident.
If one who claims to have fellowship with God—a baptized believer—makes it his practice to live a sinful life, he is not a truthful person. “Fellowship” means two parties have something in common—like purposes, like behavior, like feelings.
This verse could not refer to a Christian whose common practice is to live the righteous life prescribed in scripture but falls short occasionally. If so, the passages teaching us to practice repentance, confession, and prayer for daily sins would be pointless.
Rather, the contrast is between living lives dedicated to God’s way and lives immersed in sinful practices without a thought of changing—that is, walking in darkness. The message here is that if we truly have fellowship with God, we will not “walk in darkness.”