God is light; in him here is no darkness at all.
As a sports game official, I often experience the harsh unbiased truth of my ability to call a game while “coming into the light” of the video camera. I have an idea of how well I perform based on my own observations and receiving feedback from other officials, coaches, and even fans. However, there is something about seeing oneself on tape that overcomes my ability to see myself in my own favored light. The camera doesn’t lie, and I am forced to acknowledge the good, the bad, and the ugly. The same thing happens when we come to God. God is light, and when we have truly been in his presence, we have seen the truth about ourselves. Coming to God means seeing him as he is, and reckoning ourselves with who we really are.
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.
Only a Christian can commit this sin. Being in fellowship with God is the act of discovery of our flaws, frailties, and weaknesses. There can be no other result of being in God’s presence. More than once I have put on a clean “zebra” shirt only to take it off and throw it away because next to my partner’s new shirt, my white stripes appeared slightly grey. Without anything to compare it to, I fooled myself into thinking that my shirt wasn’t grey and black instead of white and black.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
Not only can I see that I am not pure when I am in God’s presence, but I can also see that no one else is either. The act of coming to God with others is the act of taking the planks out of our own eyes. It is liberating to not have to worry about others seeing my flaws, because those I am around have also exposed themselves to the light. Together, we can acknowledge our flaws and help each other overcome them.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
The point is, God wants us in his light. He wants us to see our flaws, frailties, and failures in the light of his love. He wants us to have the opportunity to become increasingly holy. Therefore, he forgives us and invites us into fellowship with Him.
Discovering one’s own flaws can be humiliating. Especially if one has been deceiving themselves for a long time. That may be why some Christians claim to have not sinned. Or, that some claim to be satisfied with their own holiness. I suspect they are the same people who have developed an intolerance to the opinions, policies, and choices others make.
But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
Here’s the comforting thing about coming to God. First, he has promised to forgive us of our sins. Second, Jesus speaks on our behalf before the Father. And finally, any punishment for our sins has already been paid by the same person who speaks on our behalf. Therefore, there need not be any fear in coming to God. He wants you to know him. He wants you in his presence. Through the discipline of coming to terms with and correction of our faults, frailties, and failures we grow in fellowship with him.