God is Light

1 John 1:5-7

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.

Preached at FBC Toulon, IL on August 12, 2001 by Albert Harmon; see it at toulonbaptist.com

You notice in this passage John starts off with the key to all else. That is that God is holy. The expression light has that idea.

God is holy with an absolute holiness that knows no degrees, and this he cannot impart to his creatures. But there is a relative and contingent holiness which he shares with angels and seraphim in heaven and with redeemed men on earth as their preparation for heaven. This holiness God can and does impart to his children. He shares it with them by imputation and by impartation, and because he has made it available to them through the blood of the Lamb, he requires it of them. A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)

I suppose the hardest thing about God to comprehend intellectually is His infinitude. But you can talk about the infinitude of God and not feel yourself a worm. But when you talk about the holiness of God, you have not only the problem of an intellectual grasp, but also a sense of personal vileness, which is almost too much to bear. A. W. Tozer

Our noblest heroes are soiled heros, all of them. So we learn to excuse and to overlook and not to expect too much. We don't expect all truth from our teachers, and we don't expect faithfulness from our politicians. We quickly forgive them when they lie to us and vote for them again. We don't expect honesty from our merchants. We don't expect complete trustworthiness from anybody. And we manage to get along in the world only by passing laws to protect ourselves not only from the criminal element but from the best people there are who might in the moment of temptation take advantage of us. A. W. Tozer


  1. The logicalness of this phrase
    1. V-4 ends with that your joy might be made full
      1. We might expect him to say God is love.
      2. Or God is mercy
      3. Or grace
      4. Or forgiving
    2. But is only when we see the holiness of God that we see our need and we come to Him for that light, that holiness that only He can bestow on us.
      1. There is a danger of forgetting that the Bible reveals, not first the love of God, but the intense, blazing holiness of God, with his love as the center of that holiness. Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)
      2. It is only in holiness that there is true happiness.
      3. Holiness is the key to fellowship with God.
      4. The reason why heaven is going to be such a great place other than that God will be there is that there will be holiness in all of creation.
    3. We often think of God as respects our needs rather than thinking of God first.
      1. We are service oriented society and we want to know what is it going to do for me.
      2. We want to begin our understanding of life with ourselves, mankind.
      3. Even in our churches we have become more man orientated that God orientated.
      4. People want to know what services the church will offer them, not what services they can offer God.
      5. And as we have continued to focus on our selves our view of God is entirely out of focus.
      6. We have lost sight of worship simply because God is God.
      7. Much of our worship is simply thanksgiving for the blessings we enjoy.
      8. It is sort of payment for services rendered.
      9. But what about those 125 Christians in Saudi Arabia who face prison for being Christians.
      10. Or those Christian women in Afghanistan who face the death sentence for giving Bibles to the natives there.
      11. If you worship is because of what we receive rather than simply because of who God is, when the blessing stops, the worship is stop also.
  2. The meaning of the term
    1. It represents the holiness of God.
      1. It means that God is light, morally, spiritually
      2. Light is the one most expressive emblem of God, and was created to be such.
        1. Psa 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
        2. Psa 36:9 For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.
        3. 1 Tim 6:15 He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.
        4. Heb 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power,
        5. Rev 22:5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
        6. Mark 9:2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.
        7. Acts 9:3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
    2. It means that God is not approachable by those in sin.
      1. Isa 33:14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" 15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gain of oppressions, Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from seeing evil:
      2. Heb 12: 28b we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
      3. The idea in these two passages is that God is holy and holiness and sin do not go together.
    3. John also gives us the negative side of this. in Him is no darkness at all
      1. The idea is that there is not even a shadow of darkness with God.
      2. With us everything is a shade somewhere between black and a light gray.
      3. But with God there is only the brightness of the most luminous light.
      4. Listen to the Scriptures:
        1. "Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders? (Exodus 15:11)
        2. If God puts no trust in His saints, And the heavens are not pure in His sight, 16 How much less man, who is abominable and filthy, Who drinks iniquity like water! (Job 15:15, 16)
        3. If even the moon does not shine, And the stars are not pure in His sight, How much less man, who is a maggot, And a son of man, who is a worm?"(Job 25:5-6)
        4. But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel. (Psalm 22:3)
        5. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)
        6. 1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!" 4And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. 5So I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts." (Isaiah 6:3)
  3. God has called us to be holy as we see in verse 7.
    1. The greatest miracle that God can do today is to take an unholy man out of an unholy world, and make that man holy and put him back into that unholy world and keep him holy in it. Leonard Ravenhill (1867-1942)
    2. That is what God has called us to.
    3. It is not that we are holy as God for not even the angels are as holy as God.
    4. But it is that we have been made holy by the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ.
    5. And that power not only cleans us but it keeps us clean.
    6. If we fall, we God has provided Jesus blood as a propitiation for our sins if we will repent and turn back to Him.
    7. 1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

God is holy, Let us praise Him for He is glorious in holiness.

God is holy, let us fear Him for He cannot look on our sin. Hab. 1:13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness.

God imputes His holiness to those who humble themselves and repent and confess their sins.

God can give holiness and unless we have His holiness we cannot see Him. Heb. 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

Matt 22:11 "But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

You can never be accepted into the presence of God without His righteousness, that comes only through repentance and faith in His Son Jesus Christ.


This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com