Intro. John has been speaking about the keeping of the commandments of Jesus as a sign that we are truly abiding in Christ. The commandment being that we love one another even has Christ has loved us. John then declared that the darkness was past and the true light who is Jesus Christ was now shining.
I. "HE THAT SAITH HE IS IN THE LIGHT."
A. Back in chapter 1, John declared, "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another."
1. This was associated with the person who said that he had fellowship with God while he was walking in darkness.
2. It is wonderful to be in the light.
a. This is to declare that you are walking in the light for it is to say that you are walking in truth, for light in a philosophical sense is truth.
b. It is to say that you are walking in purity for light in a spiritual sense stands for purity.
3. It is to say that you are all right, you know what you are doing is right. You know where you are going.
B. No matter what you might say about being in the light or truth, if you hate your brother, you are in darkness.
1. I think that a lot of deception happens here.
a. We don't like to admit that we hate someone, so we seek to modify our feelings and say, "I don't love them as much as I should."
b. The person who says he is in the light, yet hates his brother is obviously deceived. John declares that they are in darkness.
c. I think that there is often a cover up of a person's true feelings. We may assert that we love a person, and as we seek to tear them down, we declare that we are only doing it for their own good.
d. We don't come out and declare, "I hate that minister," we are far too skillful and adroit for such an admission.
e. We are more apt to say, "I love that brother, it is a shame that he holds a different view from mine, for he could be such a power for God if only he would preach the truth, and not walk in error."
f. It is like the Pharisees whom Jesus rebuked for their clever circumventing of the law concerning honor your mother and your father, and whoever curses his mother or father shall be put to death. They developed the tradition that if you would preface your curses by saying "This is for your own good," then they could say anything they want and not break the law. In our present day circles we usually say, "I really love that brother, but..."
2. I think that there is a lot of hatred and jealousy among the leadership in the Christian body.
a. I think that it is a ploy of Satan to turn brother against brother.
b. I think that Satan gets us into attacking another's position or defending our position, then he sits back and laughs as we use up all of our skills in trying to destroy each other.
c. When we use up all of our ammunition in shooting at one another, we have no ammo left when Satan attacks us.
d. James said, "If you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another."
3. One day as Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees he said,
For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
And [some] of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but because ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
a. The Pharisees were saying that they were in the light that they saw, but in reality they were in darkness.
b. And so it is with our modern day Pharisees.
4. Writing to the Romans concerning the Jews, Paul said,
Behold, you art called a Jew, and you rest in the law, and make your boast of God,
And that you know [his] will, and approve the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
And are confident that you yourself aret a guide of the blind, a light to them which are in darkness,
An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which have the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
You therefore who teach another, do you teach yourself? you that preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?
You that say a man should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? you that abhors idols, do you commit sacrilege?
You that make your boast of the law, through breaking the law do you dishonour God?
For the name of God is blasphemed among the heathen through you.
5. Peter wrote,
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
a. Lacks what things?
b. Faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, love.
c. He is blind, he is in darkness, no matter how glowing his professions.
II. "HE THAT LOVES HIS BROTHER ABIDES IN THE LIGHT."
A. This is the proof that we have passed from death to life. "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren."
B. Our love for each other is also the sign to the world that we are the disciples of Jesus. "By this sign shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another."
C. "There is no occasion of stumbling in him."
1. Jesus spoke of the blind leading the blind, and both falling into the ditch.
2. In Psalm 73
, Asaph speaks of his being tripped up, his feet were slipping. Why?
a. Because he became envious of the wicked.
b. When we become envious of another person no matter what the reason, we are in danger of stumbling.
III. "HE THAT HATES HIS BROTHER IS IN DARKNESS."
A. How we need to guard against hate.
1. Hatred is the gate to so many other sins.
a. Joseph's brothers hated him and led them to the decision to murder him.
b. Absalom hated his brother Ammon and it led to his murdering his brother.
c. The hatred of the Jews against Jesus caused them to seek His crucifixion.
d. It will lead you to lie.
e. You will do dastardly things to him.
B. "He walks in darkness."
1. Jesus said,
Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
C. John now remembering the words of Jesus says,"He doesn't know where he is going."
1. Proverbs says,
The way of the wicked [is] as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
2. Writing to the Corinthians Paul said,
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
3. Why does he not know where he is going? "Because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
D. Hatred can be such a blinding thing.
1. There is even a phrase blind hatred often leads to blind rage.
2. The moment you are given over to hatred of someone, you lose all objectivity concerning them.
3. Nothing they do is right in your mind.
4. If they do some wonderful deed, you imagine an evil motive.