Dec 01

For the last couple of weeks I have been mediating on the first letter of John. I took some extra time this morning to read through the whole book and to meditate on the verses where John speaks of those who are liars, deceived, and in darkness.

The first letter of John is a very revealing part of the Word of God. John’s purpose in writing the letter was so that we who “believe on the name of the Son of God… may know that ye have eternal life” (1Joh 5:13).

John has some very strong things to say in this book, which will show us who is truthful and who is a liar, who is walking in the light and who is walking in darkness, and who is enlightened and who is deceived.

I would ask that you prayerfully read this article and “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2Cor 13:5).

John, one of the original twelve disciples of Christ, opens this letter by stating that which he had heard and seen, he declares unto those he addresses in his letter.

That John is addressing a mixed multitude is clear, as he addresses not only little children (1Joh 2:1,12,13,18,28, 2:1,12,13,18,28, 3:7,10,18, 4:4, 5:2,21), young men (1Joh 2:13,14), and fathers (1Joh 2:13,14) in the faith, but he states that one of his purposes is that some of whom he is addressing “may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1Joh 1:3).

Fellowship with the Father and the Son is gained through salvation. John states that “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1Joh 1:5), and right after this he makes one of his first in a series of very strong statements. In 1Joh 1:6, John states the following:

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

Here John clearly states if you claim to have fellowship with Christ and you walk in darkness you are lying. In other words, a person’s profession of having fellowship with Christ is false if they walk in darkness.

So right away our question should be, “what does it mean to walk in darkness?” John tells us that “he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness” (1Joh 2:11). To be in darkness or to walk in darkness is to commit sin. So in other words, if you have been giving into the temptation of hatred toward someone, and you profess to be in fellowship with Christ, John says you are a liar.

For the Christian, “the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth” (1Joh 2:8) in our soul. Real Bible salvation has delivered us not only from all darkness and hatred, in that “he that loveth his brother abideth in the light” (1Joh 2:10), but has delivered us from committing all sin (1Joh 5:18).

Sin is a willful transgression against a known commandment of God, not an error, fault, or mistake in opinion or action. Under the new covenant, a person must be tempted before they sin. You can view a list of articles on this subject under the Sin-free Living category.

Some make a plead for sin in their life by saying that this scripture means “walk in darkness continuously”. I have addressed Sinning and the Greek Present Tense in a separate article, which I strongly suggest that you read.

I would hold that the New Testament teaches their is no difference in a person’s standing in Christ whether they walk in darkness for one hour or for one month, in that they are not saved and the wrath of God abides on them no matter what they profess with their lips. However, the longer a person stays in sin, the more seared their heart will become, they will fall into greater depths of sin, and there will be a greater chance of never recovering from their lost estate.

The next scripture that discusses people being deceived is 1Joh 1:8. It is one of the most quoted scriptures to support a sinning Christian life.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

The first question that must be asked is, who does this scripture apply to? We have just been told that “if we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie” (1Joh 1:6) and in the following chapter that “he that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar” (2Joh 2:4).

John is not going to tell us as Christians “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” and in the next breath tell us “he that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him”.

This apparent contradiction is easily solved. If those who are not in “fellowship with us”-which means they are not in fellowship “with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ”-claim to be free from sin, they are deceived. The only way that a person can be freed from sin is through Christ and the power of His blood to cleanse from sin.

This goes right along with 1Joh 1:10 which says:

If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

I have not met very many people that lay claim to this or verse eight, but they kind of go hand in hand. If a person who is not saved claims to have no sin, they more than likely will be claiming to have never sinned.

The fact is that we like David were all “shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psa 51:5), and our state before salvation was that our “heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer 17:9). In showing the Jews that both they and the Gentiles were all under sin, Paul in his letter to the Romans quotes the following from the Old Testament scriptures.

“There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom 3:10-18).

In fact, we were so morally bankrupt that we did not even have the ability to seek after God, unless the Father first drew us and enabled our wills. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: (Joh 6:22). Let us eternally praise Jesus Christ for the “true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (Joh 1:9) and that “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Tit 2:11).

The next scripture that John gives us concerning those who are liars and do not have the truth, is 1Joh 2:4:

He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

I am thankful that just a few verses after 1Joh 1:8, this verse is added. This is a very difficult scripture for those to deal with who desire to maintain that it is normal for a person to continue to sin after they are saved.

This scripture is similar in strength to the verses in the Gospel of John that state “he that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me” (Joh 14:21), and “he that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings” (Joh 14:24).

Those who profess to be Christians and willfully disobey known commandments of the Lord, hear the Word of God. You are a liar, the truth is not in you, and no matter what your lips may say, you do not love the Lord.

The next scripture I would like to look at is 1Jn 2:21:

I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

Here, John tells the Christians whom he was addressing that they were not ignorant of the things he was writing to them about. Not only were they able to discern the truth, but they were able to judge the false teachers and discern their false teachings and perceive the difference between the truth and a lie.

We also need to be discerning Christians who have the unction and anointing of the Spirit of God on our life so that we can discern the truth (1Joh 2:20). We need to love the Word of God and to spend much time in it.

John, speaking of his day, tells us that even back then there were “many antichrists” (1Joh 2:18). And in chapter 2 verse 22, he tells us who these antichrists are.

Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

Note 5:41pm : I will try to finish this article up Saturday morning.

1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

1Jn 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

1Jn 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

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7 Responses to “Who Are Liars, Deceived, and in Darkness?”

  1. 1. Haz Sams Says:

    I am very concerned with your doctrine and continue to pray.
    A wondeful article by John Piper, I believe deals with the passage 1 John 1:5-10

    Here are some extracts from that article:
    Regarding 1 John 1:7
    ‘Walking in the light does not mean perfection, for then verse 7 would make no sense at all—”if we walk in the light, we are cleansed from sin!” If walking in the light meant perfection, there would be no need for cleansing. Besides, verse 8 warns against claiming to be sinless while you walk in the light…..’

    ‘What is walking in the light? And what is cleansing by the blood of Jesus? Now the third question that we must answer is: What is the connection between the two? John connects them with an “if . . . then” construction. “If we walk in the light . . . then the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” What does this mean?’

    ‘John does not spell out at this point how walking in the light and being cleansed from sin are related in reality. He is content for now to say that there is no cleansing of sin for the person who does not walk in the light. This does not answer the question, Which comes first? or, Which causes the other? What it does establish is that there is a way of life in which the cleansing effect of Christ’s blood operates, and there is a way of life in which the cleansing effect of Christ’s blood does not operate.’

    ‘If we are not walking in the light, we have no warrant for believing that our sins are covered. There is no assurance of salvation while you are living in disobedience. “God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7–8). “Why do you call me `Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46).’

    ‘How is such teaching good news? Some people think that the only way to make the gospel really good news is to deny that changes are necessary in our lives. They say that takes away the possibility of assurance of salvation. They say the way we live after putting our faith in Christ has nothing to do with our salvation.

    I answer that a powerless gospel is not good news. A gospel that only wins lip service is not different than all the other philosophies of the world. Such a gospel produces a Christianity that is a game of words. It encourages lukewarm church-goers that they are safe from God’s wrath because of some inherited mental assent to the love of God….’

    ‘Clarification: Don’t Claim to Be Without Sin

    Now we have seen the foundation in verse 5—that God is light and in him is no darkness. And we have seen the application in verses 6–7—that we must therefore walk in the light of God in order to go on being cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Now we must look at the clarification in verses 8–10.

    John has just said in verse 7 that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin if we walk in the light. That could be misused to teach that Christians don’t sin any more. John knows that some of what he says could play right into the hands of the perfectionistic false teachers. See especially 3:9.

    As usual, the truth is a razor’s edge between two errors—the error that says your conduct after conversion has nothing to do with your salvation; and the error that says your conduct after conversion must be perfect.

    John shoots down the first error in verses 6 and 7, and then shoots down the second error in verses 8–10.

    Light Reveals Remaining Darkness

    Verse 8: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

    The claim to be without sin is self deception. And the reason we are so deceived is that the truth has found no place in us. When a person is converted, the truth takes up residence in the heart. Or we could say the light of God comes into the heart. And what John says here is not that it immediately drives out all falsehood and sin. That is a battle that lasts a lifetime. What he says is that when the truth enters in, its light reveals sin! The mark of the saint is not sinlessness but sin-consciousness! The evidence of indwelling truth is the exposure of error. The dawning of God’s light in the heart is the revelation of remaining darkness.

    In this life we never get beyond the awareness of remaining sin. Therefore one of the great signs of maturity in Christ is a deep and abiding brokenness for sin.

    There is much talk today about esteeming ourselves as new creatures in Christ. And so we are. But our newness consists in this: that the true light is shining in our hearts revealing the dreadfulness of our remaining sin and the abundance of God’s grace. Our great joy is that our sin is forgiven in Christ. And our great grief is that so much of this very sin remains and defiles.

    The mark of the new creature in Christ is not a rosy self-concept. It is brokenness for remaining sin mingled with a joyful confidence in the superabounding grace of God in Christ….’

    ‘Confession and Forgiveness

    Verse 9 we have already discussed in connection with verse 7. But let’s review its meaning. We can see it best when we put verses 6–7 and verses 8–9 in parallel columns to show their similarity.

    Verses 6–7 Verses 8–9
    If we say that If we say that
    we have fellowship with him and we do not have sin
    we walk in darkness
    we lie we deceive ourselves
    and we do not do the truth. and the truth is not in us.

    If we walk in the light as he is in If we confess our sins
    the light he is faithful and just to
    we have fellowship with one forgive us our sins
    and the blood of Jesus his and to cleanse us from all Son cleanses us from all righteousness sin

    One of the many insights we get from these parallels is that denying our sin is part of what it means to walk in darkness, and confessing our sin is part of what it means to walk in the light. Which implies further that denying our sinfulness cuts us off from fellowship with God (just the opposite of what we are prone to feel); and confessing our sin opens the channel of forgiveness and cleansing.

    Some people say that a Christian should never pray for forgiveness because his sins are all forgiven in Christ. It is finished in the cross and no more forgiveness is possible. There is truth in this. But to me it smacks of artificiality. At least we should say, “Father, I have sinned and am not worthy to be called your child. Please apply the blood of Christ to this my sin and count it among those which you forgave when he died for me on the cross.”

    But if that is too complex, I am sure the Father would gladly receive the words, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”

    Calling God a Liar:
    Finally, verse 10 repeats verse 8 with a stronger warning: “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” The claim to sinlessness is not only self-deception, but blasphemy. It amounts to calling God a liar.

    This means that God’s assessment of us is not positive. He calls us evil. If we deny our evil, we call him a liar. John uses strong words so we will be strong people.

    Let these simple, straightforward, weighty truths sink into your mind and you will have a great ballast to keep your boat from capsizing in the winds of contemporary fads and fashions and trends.’

    The rest of the article is on this link:

    I also highly recommend Charles Spurgeons sermon on I John 1:8 entitled Honest Dealing with God found on:

  2. 2. Kurt Miller Says:


    You are the decieved one. You are the one claiming to be free from sin. You got saved and now you prance around teaching lies about losing your salvation. 1Jn 1:9 clearly teaches that if we sin he will forgive us. The whole book of 1 Jn. is a rebuke to your fairy tale world of no sin. You are a sinner. You sinned before you kew Jesus and you sin now. You lust, lie and are angry without cause, you curse others in your heart and wish ill on them. If there wasn’t eternal security you would have been lost along time ago. I don’t even know you and I know you sin because we all do. Stop splitting hairs about sin, intentional and unitientional sin is sin. And you commit it daily.

    Stop teaching lies and repent. You won’t be in heaven because you kept yourself from “willful” sin. You will be in heaven because you believe in Jesus. Period. Nothing else. If we can lose our salvation then we can earn it by not sinning. Christ loses no one that the Father gives Him. I rebuke you and your heresy. It makes me sick. You are a prideful heretic who has deceived himself into thinking he does not sin.

  3. 3. Bob Mutch Says:

    Hi Kurt,

    Those that hold the position of conditional security don’t believe they “earn it [salvation] by not sinning.” I have yet to meet someone that holds to the teaching for conditional security that thought they earned salvation by not sinning. One of the marks of a true believer is they will do their best not to misrepresent the views and actions of others. I encourage you to follow the scriptures in this area.

    I think however you need to learn how to deal with people that hold a view that is different than yours that is accepted in Christianity without accusing them of lies, prideful, deceived, and rebuking them.

    If you do per chance have the truth you will just drive people away for that truth and make it harder for them accept it by acting the way you have in your above comment to me.

    Also I think it would be a blessing to your spiritual walk to read 1 Corinthians chapter 13. Note in the first 3 verses it clearly brings out if you don’t have love for those who are in error you have nothing are are nothing.

    While you may deep down have love for me it doesn’t show in your posted comments and I want to encourage you to look to Jesus to help you in this area.

    Thank you for you comments and letting me know how you felt when you read my article. I also at one time as a strong 5-point Calvinist and felt very much the way you are coming across. So to some degree I have an idea where you are coming from.

    I would encourage you to read the 1Cor 10:13, 2The 3:3, 2Pe 1:10, and Jud 1:24 and meditation on them. They are beautiful promises that God has given to us as Christians.

    Christian love and prayers,


  4. 4. Travis Says:

    Bob I have to disagree with you on this part…

    The first question that must be asked is, who does this scripture apply to? We have just been told that “if we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie” (1Joh 1:6) and in the following chapter that “he that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar” (2Joh 2:4).

    John is not going to tell us as Christians “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” and in the next breath tell us “he that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him”.

    The two verses are not going against each other at all.

    If we say we know him and not keep his commands we are not saved in the first place but if say we are sinless even after the truth is not in us. The keyword is WE john was referring to the body of Christ. If John was not then it would be odd to use a word that would decribe One self or its readers who are christians.

    If you Believe you can lose your salvation due to sin Then is not that same thing to say works depending if we keep it or Not? If one needs to accpet Christ again and again after a sin is that not like nailing Jesus to the cross over and over and denying Jesus own words it is finish?

    Salvation is gift given from God right? if we have to do anything to earn it then it would not be gift and If we have to do anything base on maintaining it then would it still be a gift?

    Isaiah says all our works are like rags of dirt and if our salvation is base on works in any way we would all be in trouble.

    We have works because when someone is saved they are given a second nature The nature of Christ and over time The new believers changes more and more like Christ natural by the work of The Holy spirit.

    Also if this verse is refering to people who are not saved, “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

    Should it not read They not we?

    One last thing I have yet to meet one non-saved person that claims to be perfect but yet the only people I run into that says their life is sin free all the time are people that call their selves Christians.

    [Editor: I combine four posts into one.]

  5. 5. Bob Mutch Says:

    Hi Travis,

    I don’t think 1Joh 1:8 and 2Joh 2:4 are “going against each other”. That is my point. John is not going to say to the Christian if you “say you have no sin” you deceive yourself and then in six verses later tell the same person if you “keepeth not his commandment” you are a liar.

    You hold these both apply to Christians. If you say you don’t sin you are deceived and if you don’t keep his commandments you are a liar. How can this be?

    I apply the former to those that don’t have fellowship and the latter to Christians.

    I would hold there are conditions to receive salvation and conditions to retain salvation. I don’t believe works have any merit but we are told to bring forth fruits meet for repentance and that if we don’t repent we will perish. So I don’t think we are saved by works nor do I think we are keep by works. We are saved by grace through faith and we are keep by the power of God through faith. It is God the works in our both to will and to do his good pleasure.

    As far as John using the first person pronoun it is not uncommon to use first person pronoun and to be referring to others. Paul did it in Rom 7.

    No I don’t think repenting for sin is nailing Jesus to the cross over and over or denying the finished work of Christ. The atonement is made for all. If you fall into sin there is a way back to God.

    I don’t think we have to do anything to earn salvation but the Bible is clear there is conditions to receive salvation and their are conditions to keep it. That doesn’t mean salvation is not a gift as it is not uncommon for there to be requirements to receive a gift.

    I don’t believe that salvation is based on works. That is just a false charge that many Calvinists through at Arminians. Arminians continue to deny they believe in a salvation by works and Calvinists continue to accuse them of it.

    I would agree that most non-saved people are honest to admit they are sinners so that is pretty normal. However it has been my experience that most professing Christians I meet profess also to be sinners.

    Christian love and prayers,


  6. 6. Bob Mutch Says:

    Hi Haz,

    Thanks for the link to Piper’s article and Spurgeon’s sermon. I would hold those that continue to commit willful and known sins and after they are saved and profess to be saved are liars (1Joh 2:3-4).

    However sometimes there is a difference in definitions. If Piper and Spurgeon mean that no Christian is free from faults, lacks, and mistakes then I agree. But if they hold that no Christian can be free from willful and known sins what do 1Cor 10:13, 2Thess 3:3, 2Pet 1:10, and Jude 1:20 mean?

    Christian love and prayers,


  7. 7. evie Says:

    Thank you

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