Commitment leads to being cleansed
The next consequence the passage gives us from the reality that God is holy is that a commitment to the holy God brings about a cleansing in our lives.
We see this brought out in v.7:
but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
John uses the same word for walk in this verse as before. Again it was a common figure of speech that pictured the lifestyle of the individual.
The NASB is correct in emphasizing that God is the one in the light (use of He, Himself). You should also notice that we can walk in the light, but God simply is in the light.
There is also a distinction between those in v.6, who claim fellowship, versus those in v.7 who actually have fellowship as a result of their walk.
The word all carries even more significance that the obvious. It does not mean simply all, but also has the idea of every kind of sin. There is no sin or type of sin that God cannot cleanse us from.
When I think about the beautiful picture of blood cleansing us from sin, I cannot help but think about Isaiah and how he phrased it in Isaiah 1:18:
“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD,”Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.”
That cleansing comes after committing ourselves to Christ, to his narrow path, to walking in the Light as He Himself is in the Light. When we do that, we can live lives that will cause others to look to Christ.
We can look to nature to remind us of some great spiritual truths about God.
Isaiah speaks about the whiteness of snow. When we see white when we look at snow or anything else that is white, the reason why our eyes process the color that way is because the surface has reflected back every part of the light spectrum. When we see other colors, it is because the surface reflected back only that color. Black absorbs all the spectrum, reflecting back nothing.
When we think of reflecting light, we can look to our moon. It does not shine literally. It merely reflects the light of the sun. When we see a lunar eclipse, we are seeing the shadow of the earth move across the moon. The earth has come between the light of the sun and the moon.
As Christians, if we want to shine properly, first we have to reflect back all of who God is to those around us. We cannot choose which things to live out and which things not. To give a correct picture of God, we have to be white as snow and reflect back everything.
We also have to remember the moon and what happens when the earth interferes with the light shining on it from the sun. We have no light in and of ourselves, we can only reflect back the light of the Son. What happens when the earth and earthly things come between us and the Son – we don’t shine.
That’s even more the case with the next consequence.