THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE CALL TO HOLINESS
LIVING IN THE LIGHT
Today’s reading: 1 John 1:5-2:2
We are called to holiness. To be holy is to be set apart.
It is to be totally different from the world we live in. We
are in the world but are not of the world. The world is in
darkness, but we are people of the light. “God is light,
and in him there is no darkness at all.” (v.1:5b).
God’s people, we are part of a holy Church. “But
if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have
fellowship with one another” (v.1:7a). This aspect of
holiness, in our relationship with other Christians, is challenging.
It is easy enough (though hard to live out) to relate to a
holy God. But to relate to human beings, many of whom are
far from holiness, is difficult. What helps us is to know
that Jesus died for us all, “and the blood of his Son
Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” (v.1:7b). Jesus brought
us salvation and enables us to love as he loves. Sin is about
separation, animosity and division, but the grace of God enables
us to be one community striving to live in the light.
we are called to holiness, but the reality is that we all
remain sinners. To sin is to fall short, to miss the mark.
Even after Jesus’ redemptive sacrifice, we remain as
sinners. “If we say, ‘We are without sin,’
we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (v.1:8).
But God has given us the way out. It is repentance. “If
we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will
forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.”
(v.1:9). If we are cleansed from every wrongdoing, then we
forgiveness is not license to sin. Forgiveness is about God
knowing the reality of our sinful natures and providing a
way out. But the call is still to avoid sin, to live in the
light, to be holy. “My children, I am writing this to
you so that you may not commit sin.” (v.2:1a). We must
strive for holiness. “But if anyone does sin, we have
an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but
for those of the whole world.” (v.2:1b-2). Jesus took
on the sins of the world and paid the price for our transgressions.
That reality should spur us to even greater effort and determination
to avoid sin.
strive for holiness, but we also tell the good news of salvation
in Jesus to the whole world, so that all peoples can shun
the darkness and live in God’s light.