Walking In The Light

In recent years, some controversy has arisen over what constitues "walking in the light."
1. I John 1:5-7 "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.
2. Some seize on that last line and assert that because the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin, we can "walk in the light" and be righteous, even if we commit sin from time to time.
a. because no matter how hard we try, we can never achieve perfection, they say.
b. because, after all, even if we do everything we know to do, there will always be sins of ignorance because no one can perfectly understand the Scriptures.
3. Even in this chapter, this idea is refuted.
a. If we go to the Old Testament, we will see what God's attitude toward sin has always been.
b. Ezekiel 18 reveals to us at least 3 truths on this subject.
1. Definition of a righteous man
2. How to escape the punishment for sin
3. The consequence when a righteous man sins.
c. As we study, notice how the OT and the NT are in harmony on how God treats sin.. This is not a subject to be taken lightly.
1. If we do not walk in the light, we are lost!
2. It is imperative, then, to understand how to stay in God's good grace..

THE DEFINITION OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN. Eze. 18:9 - "If he has walked in My statutes and kept My judgments faithfully - He is just; He shall surely live."
1. Clarification, Eze. 18:19 - "Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all my statutes and done them, he shall surely live.".
According to the God of the Old Testament, a righteous man is one who keeps all His statutes faithfully.
1. There is nothing said about leniency for ignorance.
a. Children of Israel were supposed to know God's law and keep it.
b. Not just partial knowledge - know all of it..
What about the God of the New Testament (same God)?
1. I John 1:7 - "If we walk in the light as He is in the light. . ."
2. In what sense did Jesus walk in the light?
a. Did he have little sins of ignorance lurking about?
3. Just like Israel, the child of God today is expected to know all His word, His law.
a. Heb. 8:10-11
1. The citizens of God's kingdom (the church) under the new covenant (new testament) will have His laws written on their minds and hearts, and will all know Him.
b. I John 2:3 - "By this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments."
c. Does this sound like a people who should be ignorant of any of God's laws?.
We protest - There's no way anyone could ever know or competely the Bible!
1. What an insult to our Father in heaven!
a. God gave us one book, the Bible.
1. It contains all things pertaining to life and godliness -
II Peter 1:3
2. No revisions or additions, ever - Jude 3
2. Doctors have literally hundreds of books and thousands of pages that they have to keep on, and it is continually being changed and updated.
a. Same for lawyers, other professionals
b. No one says they can't do it, in fact we expect them to!
3. Consider your own profession; land surveyor, farmer, air traffic controller, mechanic, whatever.
a. How many pages would it take to reveal every single thing that pertains to your career? But you know how to do your job, and do it well and do it right, or you don't get to keep it.
4. What's the point?
a. People digest large amounts of information all the time, and gain a good understanding of it.
b. And these are just the words of men!
5. Can we honestly say the God of heaven has given us a finite book that no matter how hard we try we can never completely understand it?
a. Make no mistake, God expects you to know it.
1. Expects it to be written on your heart - Hebrews 8
2. Will use it as the standard of judgment -
John 12:48
3. Expects you to know it well enough to keep and obey it.
b. That most of us DO NOT is undeniable.
1. That we CANNOT is a flimsy excuse that will never stand at the judgment.. God's definition of a righteous man, from Genesis to Revelation, is who knows His law and does it.
1. By God's definition, then, are you walking in the light?

Ezekiel 18:4 - "Behold, all souls are Mine, the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die."
1. No exception given for ignorance
2. None for sincerity
3. The soul who sins shall die. Period.
4. Romans 6:23.
But there is a way to avoid the punishment
1. Ezekiel 18:21 - "But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, and keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die."
2. I John 1:9 - "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
3. According to the word of God, the only way to avoid the punishment for sin is to repent, confess, and become righteous.
a. you can search the scriptures and find no other remedy..
What happens when a sinner turns from sin and becomes obedient?
1. Ezekiel 18:22 - "None of the transgressions which he has committed will be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done he shall live."
2. I John 1:7 - If we walk in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.
a. Jesus saves us from sin, not in sin.
b. If we will not stop sinning, he cannot save us.
3. This is the grace of God - when we turn from sin to righteousness, God forgets every past sin!
a. a criminal who is sorry and vows to turn over a new leaf still has to pay the penalty for his crime. (except in America!)
b. But when you tell God, "I'm sorry," and vow to do right from now on, He frees you from the punishment you deserve, because the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses you.
there is a flip side. . ..
CONSEQUENCE WHEN A RIGHTEOUS PERSON SINS. Ezekiel 18:24 - "But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live?

because of unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die."
1. II Peter 2:20
2. Brethren, when we sin, God forgets we have ever been righteous!
a. I've been a christian for 14 years.
b. It doesn't matter, though, if I sin my past righteousness does not cover it - I'm just as guilty as if I'd never obeyed the gospel.
-and the blood of Christ won't take it away until I repent and confess it.. How then can we say a righteous man can still walk in the light if he sins, even ignorantly?
1. We say, one sin doesn't mean you've turned aside from righteousness.
2. How many then can a man commit and still walk in the light?:. From God's word we learn:
1. A righteous person is one who keeps all of His word.
2. The only way to avoid the punishment for sin is to turn from it.
3. A righteous man who sins is no longer righteous..
So what can we do?
1. If you're sinning, turn from it, confess it, and turn to the Lord.
2. If you're worried about sinning ignorantly, get busy putting God's word in your heart so you'll know!. Let us walk in the light of God's word, and so remain on the path to eternal life.

Author Unknown

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