1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another…
First, that Christianity is based upon the palpable facts in the history of an extraordinary person. The person is here said to be "from the beginning" — "which was with the Father"; is called "the Word of life," "Eternal life." Secondly, that these palpable facts were observed by competent witnesses, who have transmitted them to us for moral ends. The apostles were intellectually and morally competent.
I. MORAL PURITY IS THE ESSENCE OF THE DIVINE CHARACTER. "God is light." Light is mysterious in its essence. "Who, by searching, can find out God?" Light is revealing in its power; through it we see all things. The universe can only be rightly seen through God. Light is felicitating; the animal creation feels it. He is the one "blessed" God. Light is pure, and in this sense God is called light. There are three things which distinguish God's holiness from that of any creature: — First, it is absolutely perfect. Not only has He never thought an erroneous thought, felt a wrong emotion, performed a wrong act, but He never can. In Him there is no darkness at all. Secondly, it is eternally independent. The holiness of all creatures is derived from without, and depends greatly upon the influences and aids of other beings. But God's holiness is uncreated. The holiness of creatures is susceptible of change. Thirdly, it is universally felt. Where is it not felt? It is felt in heaven. "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty," is one of the anthems that resound through the upper world. It is felt in hell. All guilty consciences feel its burning flash. It is the consuming fire.. It is felt on earth. The compunctions of conscience.
II. THAT MORAL PURITY IS THE CONDITION OF FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD. "If we say that we have fellowship with Him," etc. Three things are implied here: — First, that fellowship with God is a possible thing. John assumes this as something that need scarcely be argued.
1. That the fellowship of a moral being with its Creator is antecedently probable. God is the Father of all intelligent spirits; and is it not probable that the Father and the child should have intercourse with each other?
2. Man is in possession of means suited to this end. If it be said that God is invisible — that we cannot commune with Him — we may reply by saying that man is invisible, and we do not commune with him. The spirit with which we commune in man we see not. How do we commune with man? Through his works. Through his words. Through memorials. We have something in our possession which belonged to another; given, perhaps, to us as a keepsake. Secondly, that fellowship with God is a desirable thing. John assumes this. Nothing is more desirable for man than this. Thirdly, that this fellowship will ever be characterised by a holy life. Purity is the condition of fellowship.
III. THAT MORAL PURITY IS THE END OF CHRIST'S MEDIATION. "The blood of Jesus Christ," etc.
Parallel VersesKJV: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.