What Does 1 John 1:6 Mean?

If we say, "We have fellowship with Him," and walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth.

1 John 1:6(HCSB)

Verse Thoughts

When we trusted Jesus as Saviour we became children of God, entering into eternal union with Christ, a relationship that can never be broken. Having been born into God's family through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ we enjoy a union with Him that can never be broken. Once we are in union with Christ, we can also commune with the Father and enjoy sweet fellowship with Him. 

Only those who through the Spirit of God has been born-again into this beautiful, eternal union with the Lord Jesus, can enjoy sweet fellowship with our heavenly Father. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all – but no true fellowship with the Father is possible when we allow the shadowy darkness of sin to cross the threshold of our heart.

Union with the Lord Jesus can never be broken but fellowship with the Father can be broken when we allow sin to snatch control of our lives or when we choose to live in carnality – which reflects the values of the world and not the truth of God. Close communion with God is severed and sweet fellowship with our Father is fractured when sin infects our heart – and we are not walking in spirit and in truth.

Today there are many who claim to be 'spiritual' beings, but their claim is rooted in a worldly view of spirituality that is diametrally opposite of biblical spirituality and can never be reconciled with true spirituality. Such claims are in opposition to the truth and are incompatible with the character of a holy sinless God.

While some unbelievers falsely claim to have fellowship with God, which is only possible through faith in Christ, Christians may also falsely claim to have fellowship with the Father. But God, Who dwells in sinless light can never commune with a soul who walks in the darkness of unconfessed sin. Similarly, when a Christian claims to have fellowship with our sinless God when walking in the darkness of unconfessed sin is equally a lie - it is not practising the truth. Such claims from believers deny the absolute perfection of our sinless God Who can have no fellowship with sin.

Sin and self separates us from fellowship with our heavenly Father, when we choose to step out of the light and lurk in the shadows of sin and self. We are not children of darkness but sons of light and as such have a choice. We can choose to walk in the light and enjoy fellowship with the Father or we can choose to walk in darkness - but IF we walk in the darkness then we cannot claim to have fellowship with our heavenly Father.

A vital aspect of the Christian life is recognising that we are all sinners and acknowledging that we fall short of the glory of God - that we all need forgiveness of our sin for the salvation of our soul and union with Christ, but we also need to ask for forgiveness when we fall short in our Christian life - for if we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

As God’s children, we are His representatives in a world of darkness and as the body of Christ are called to be salt and light in a sick and sinful world. But we can put on a pretence of holy living and claim to be in pure fellowship with the Lord, while secretly living in fleshly carnality. We can leave our first love and flirt with the agents of darkness, but this is not practicing the truth and God has no heavenly intercourse with the carnal Christian, even though he remains His child. We have an eternal, unbreakable union with the Lord Jesus, for we have been eternally accepted in the Beloved by grace through faith – but sweet fellowship with Him can be broken and our life can dishonour His name – for if we choose to walk in darkness, we are lying and not practising the truth.

Holy living is not simply a spotless exterior but an inner mind that is clean, and a heart that is broken before the Lord; a spirit that rejoices in the truth; a soul that delights itself in the Lord. When fellowship is broken through sin or self, it needs to be restored as soon as possible, and if we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness – thus restoring us back into sweet communion with the Father. But if we say we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth.

Let us from this day forward walk in spirit and in truth, to His honour and glory.

My Prayer

Loving Father I desire to keep in sweet communion with You and not to flirt with the agents of darkness. There are times that my heart has been divided and I know that darkness and light cannot walk together. Keep me close to You and help me to fly to You and confess my sin the moment I start to stray, so that sweet fellowship with You is quickly restored. Father, I want to learn to practice the truth today, so that I may grow in grace and in fellowship with You, in Jesus' name pray, AMEN.

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