Pastor's Message 

 

Meditations from 1 John

And 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. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.  1 John 1:5-10 (MKJV)

What is it to walk in the light or to walk in darkness?

John answers this question for us when he says, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

If we claim to be without sin or seek to hide and cover up our sin, we are walking in darkness. We are attempting to keep our sinfulness from being exposed by the light of God’s Word, and we deceive only ourselves but not God.

John wrote in his Gospel: “And this is the condemnation, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices truth comes to the Light so that his deeds may be made known, that they have been worked in God.”

This is why people would rather not read the Bible or attend church services where God’s Word is preached and proclaimed in its truth and purity. They would rather stay in the darkness than have the wickedness of their hearts and actions exposed for what they are.

Though God is light and is sinless and holy, to walk in the light does not mean that we, of ourselves are without sin. To walk in the light is to face the truth – to hear what God says of us and our sins and to look to Him for mercy and forgiveness for the sake of the atoning sacrifice of Messiah Jesus, God the Son and Son of man.

When John writes, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” he is saying, literally, that when we confess and say of our sins what God says of our sins (ομολογωμεν), that God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Consider David’s words in the opening verses of Psalm 32 (v. 1-5): “Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not charge iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones became old through my roaring all the day long. For by day and by night Your hand was heavy on me; my sap is turned into the droughts of summer. Selah. I confessed my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, I will confess my transgression to the LORD; and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.”

When David kept silent about His sins, he felt God’s wrath upon him; but when He acknowledged and confessed his sin, God forgave him. When David walked in darkness and hid from the light, he bore the guilt and weight of his sinful deeds. When He came into the light and confessed his sins, God forgave him, lifted the burden of guilt and cleansed him.

John wrote the words of this epistle so that we might not hide and cover up our sins – that we might not deceive ourselves and walk in darkness. Rather, John calls upon you and me to walk in the light and have our sinfulness exposed that the light of God’s mercy and grace may also shine upon us and we hear and take comfort in God’s forgiveness which was won for us for the sake of Jesus and His blood shed upon the cross for the sins of the world.

And how can God be faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness? It is because “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He is the propitiation concerning our sins, and not concerning ours only, but also concerning the sins of all the world” (1John 2:1,2).

O Holy Spirit, shine upon our hearts with the light of Your Word. Reveal our sinfulness in thoughts, desires, words and deeds and move us to acknowledge and confess our sins to the Father, seeking and imploring His grace and forgiveness for the sake of the Son, who shed His blood on the cross to redeem us and is risen again and intercedes for us. In Christ Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

Pastor Eich


 

After attending the University of Washington,  John Eich received his B.A. from Northwestern College in Watertown, WI.  He then attended Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wi. receiving his Masters in Divinity.   He was assigned to Grace Lutheran Church in Alma, MI in 1985.  He also served Zion Lutheran in neighboring St. Louis, Mi. until both churches merged to become Good Shepherd Lutheran.  

He serves on various district and synodical boards.  He frequently writes for the synodical magazine "Forward in Christ."

In 1983 he married Susan Ann Wendt who has been his best friend and help mate since.  Together they raised three boys who are now living their faith in Jesus away from mom and dad.