John’s first epistle is not about salvation, even though it speaks of the need to confess sin. This letter is written to people who already have a relationship with God but need a reminder of how to remain in fellowship with Him. The Father intends for believers to enjoy His presence, but in order to do that, they must first deal with sin.
As Christians, we have been made new in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), but we’re not yet perfect and therefore still sin. We are humans in a physical body that retains all of its natural tendencies—yearning for fun, rest, food, and pleasure. When those desires are under the Holy Spirit’s control, we live joyful, God-honoring lives. However, if we give in to the temptation to be controlled by our natural tendencies, also known as the flesh, then we have invited sin and darkness into our lives. (See 1 John 1:6.)
It is important to understand that “walk in darkness” does not mean a believer can lose his or her salvation—those who have received Jesus Christ as Savior can never be driven from the light of His love (John 10:28-29). But we can choose to get out of God’s will and veer off to a dark pathway of sin for a time. Since dark and light cannot exist together, doing so will fill our spirit with tension. Confessing our sin lifts the darkness and restores peace.
A believer in right fellowship radiates peace and contentment. We will know fullness of joy by spending time in God’s presence (Psalm 16:11), aligning with His will, and sharing Him with those around us. Confessing our wrongdoing keeps our fellowship strong and glorifies the Lord.
Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 31-32