The other day we said “walking in darkness” is not a synonym for sinning; we sin because we walk in darkness, which is the absence of light. To walk in darkness means to walk as though there were no God, for “God is light”. We can miss the benefits of God’s presence in our hearts and lives by ignoring the light.
John gives us a clear picture of how to tell if we walk in darkness. “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” (1 Jn 2:9-11)
John is saying the believer who hates his brother doesn’t know where he is going, because the darkness, caused by his hatred, has blinded his spiritual eyes. This is a serious state of affairs to a Christian, having been born of the Spirit. Hatred is a sin, and every sin we commit causes a believer’s fellowship with the Father to be broken – until our sin is confessed to Him. John explained earlier that “IF we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn 1:9), which will return us back into fellowship with Him.
Yesterday we said the test of truly having a relationship with Jesus is “if we keep His commandments” (v3). Jesus spelled it out for us: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) It’s clear that to hate our brother is sin, and isn’t keeping His commandments.
When we have hatred towards another believer, it is a hindrance to spiritual fellowship and an obstacle to godly growth. Resentment against a brother, that is harboured in the heart, has a disastrous effect on the believer. It extinguishes the inner light of Christ’s love and grieves the indwelling Spirit of God. Hatred towards a brother is so detrimental to the believer, that it causes him to stumble around, like a blinded man, who is encased in thick darkness.
The direct contrast between light and darkness, love and hatred in this passage is staggering, especially when we note that this is referring to a fellow believer – for although saved by grace through faith… their life and witness is being wasted away in their cancerous attitude, and it grieves the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30).
Christians are ambassadors of Christ in this world, and everything that we say and do reflects positively or negatively on the Lord Jesus, Himself (2 Cor 5:20). In His strength and sufficient grace we are instructed to develop a mind that is patient and kind. A heart that is neither jealous nor arrogant. A life that is not unbecoming, nor easily provoked.. and a life that does not take into account any wrongs they have suffered. We are commanded to put on a Christlike mind that does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth – by bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things and enduring all things (1 Cor 13:4-7).
May we be kept from the dark blindness of hatred, by developing the mind of Christ – for we have the treasure of the indwelling Spirit of Christ within our earthen bodies, so that the surpassing greatness of His power within, will be of God and not from ourselves. Others are watching us while Satan is accusing us, while attempting to make our testimony mute. We overcome him by the blood of the Lamb who has redeemed us, and by the word of our testimony (Rev 12:11).
We need to walk in light as children of light (Eph 5:8). Instead of spending our energy in anger and hatred, we need to take that person before the Lord and pray for them. “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matt 5:44)
Heavenly Father, what a somber warning, that we must never become embroiled in hatred toward a brother or sister in Christ. Forgive me for the times when others have irritated me or caused me to sin against them in my heart. Develop in me the love of Christ, towards my fellow believers, and help me to keep the eyes of my heart on Jesus. Purify my heart, I pray, and help me to align my thoughts to Your thoughts, every moment of the day. Develop in me a supernatural love for my fellow believers, which reflects the unchangeable love that the Lord Jesus has for me, and for all that are His. This I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.
Source: What Does 1 John 2:11 Mean?