God is Light

JP: Final blog post before class tomorrow. I found this helpful on 1 John 1:5

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. (I John 1:5)

God is light

In Scripture, light and darkness are very familiar symbols. Intellectually light refers to Biblical truth, while darkness refers to error or falsehood. Morally light refers to holiness or purity, while darkness refers to sin or wrongdoing. The heretics claimed to be truly enlightened, walking in the real light, but John denied that because they do not recognize their own sin. About that basic reality, they were unenlightened.

No darkness at all

With this phrase, John forcefully affirms that God is absolutely perfect and nothing exists in God’s character that impinges on His truth and holiness.

Source: The MacArthur Bible Commentary (p 1950)

More on The light/darkness motif in Johannine theology (source: Exegetical Commentary on 1 John 1:5-2:2 Study By: W. Hall Harris III):

The light/darkness motif in Johannine theology. In the Old Testament God is compared with light on several occasions (e.g., Ps 27:1; 36:9).128 The constrast between light and darkness is also a major theme in the Dead Sea Scrolls (1QS 1:9-10). The light/darkness motif occurs in a number of places in the New Testament (cf., for example, Eph 5:6-8), but it is especially evident in the Johannine literature. It is an important theme of the prologue to the Gospel of John, especially 1:5. One of the most important sections of the Gospel, containing the key to a number of themes within it, is 3:16-21. In 3:19 we are told that people “loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil.” The author goes on to state in 3:20 that “everyone who practices evil hates the light” and refuses to come to it, because of fear that his evil deeds will be exposed for what they are. Finally in 3:21 the one who “practices the truth” (same phrase as 1 John 1:6) comes to the light. The picture painted by John 3:16-21 is one where one’s affinity for ‘light’ and ‘darkness’ serves to reveal one’s inner nature. One is forced to a decision to ally oneself with one side or the other. A response is evoked; one cannot just remain neutral. Either one comes to the light, and it becomes evident that one belongs there, or one hates the light and shrinks back into the darkness to hide from it. The imagery of response used in John 3:16-21 applies to an individual’s response to Jesus himself, who is identified as “the true Light” in John 1:4 and who identifies himself as “the Light of the world” in John 8:12.

The significance of the light/darkness motif in 1 John 1:6. Because of the central role this theme plays in the Gospel of John, it is almost certainly behind the introduction of the motif in 1 John 1:6. The opponents, who profess that they have “come to the light” (using the language of John 3) have not in reality done so, and for the author of 1 John their deeds prove it, because they are continuing to “walk in darkness.” Rather, their way of life (“walking”) demonstrates that they are lying in their claim to have fellowship with God who is light.

Image Source: Thy Word Forever

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