If we walk in the light, as he is in the light . . .
1 John 1:7
"As he is in the light"! Can we ever attain to this? Will we ever be able to walk as clearly in the light as He is whom we call "Our Father," of whom it is written, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (verse 5)? Certainly this is the model that is set before us, for the Savior Himself said, "You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect";1 and although we may feel that we can never rival the perfection of God, yet we are to seek after it and not be satisfied until we attain to it. The youthful artist as he grasps his newly sharpened pencil can hardly hope to equal Raphael or Michelangelo; but still, if he did not have a nobleideal before his mind, he would only attain to something very mean and ordinary.
But what is meant by the expression that the Christian is to walk in light as God is in the light? We conceive it to convey likeness but not degree. We are as truly in the light, we are as heartily in the light, we are as sincerely in the light, as honestly in the light, although we cannot be there in the same measure. I cannot dwell in the sun—it is too bright a place for my residence, but I can walkin the light of the sun; and so, though I cannot attain to that perfection of purity and truth that belongs to the Lord of hosts by nature as the infinitely good, yet I can set the Lord always before me and strive, by the help of the indwelling Spirit, to conform to His image.
The famous old commentator John Trapp says, "We may be in the light as God is in the light for quality, but not for equality." We are to have the same light and are as truly to have it and walk in it as God does, though as for equality with God in His holiness and purity, that must be left until we cross the Jordan and enter into the perfection of the Most High. Notice how the blessings of sacred fellowship and perfect cleansing are bound up with walking in the light.
1) Matthew 5:48
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.