in the

General Epistles




If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.   (I John 1:8, 7)




In The Book of First John


Greek: “If we keep on walking in the light we have partnership one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.”


There is no cleansing from sin, and no salvation, without a continual walking in God’s light. One part of the sentence is coordinate with the other. We must walk always in the light, and we must “walk even as he walked” (I John 2:6).


But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. (I John 2: 5)


Whoso keepeth on keeping on in God’s Word is in God. Hereby know we that we are in God. The continuity test reveals who is of God and who is not. In times of religious excitement and emotional stirrings, some may appear to be saved but the test proves who is genuine and who is counterfeit.


And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. (I John 2: 3)


If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness [continually] is born of him. (I John 2: 29)   

In chapter 2: 19, the Apostle told how the hypocrites and counterfeiters were revealed in his time:

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.


The persons described here were in the Christian church. They seemed to be religious. They had the appearance of true Christians-until they were tried by a test that revealed their true characters—and that was the continuity test. In this character-revealing test, they withdrew from the truth; they withdrew from the saints and went out to join forces with the antichrist spirit already in the world. Those who continue not in righteousness are against Christ.


“He that is not with me is against me” (Luke 11: 23).


John said they were “made manifest” by the test. And in the sight of God and man, everyone will be made manifest.


Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. (I John 2: 24)


Observe the force of this if-continue text. John told his hearers they would continue in the Father and Son if what they had heard from the beginning remained (continually) in them. In 4:12 he said: If we love one another, God dwelleth in us…. Those who enter the Kingdom of God must first pass the qualifying tests. These tests have exposed the false profession of many. “He that doeth the will of God [continually] abideth for ever” (2: 17). They abide forever because “the word of God abideth” (continually) in them (2:14).


Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil. (I John 3: 7, 8).


Salvation is of the Jews. The Apostle John, a Jew, put much emphasis on the if-condition. With repeated stress he said that by this test it could be determined who is of God and who is not. He who continues in righteousness is of God. He who continues in sin is of the devil.




1966 Bethany House Publishers

Reproduced with permission




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