1 John 1:7 – The Cleansing Fountain

By Wayne Jackson

In the Old Testament, Zechariah foretold a time when a fountain would be opened to the house of David for sin and for uncleanness (Zechariah 13:1). The reference, of course, was to the shedding of the blood of Christ and the redemptive effect of that divine offering under the New Testament economy.

While many Bible students are aware of the fact that the blood of Jesus is applied to their souls in their initial obedience to the gospel, which occurs at the point of baptism (Acts 22:16), some do not realize that the Lord’s cleansing blood continues to function on their behalf as they struggle with sin in their Christian lives.

John speaks to this very point. He says “if we walk in the light. . . the blood of Jesus. . . cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

There are several important notes that you can make in connection with this passage. First, the promise of the passage is conditional. Circle the term “if” and note that point. Second, the verb “walk” is a present tense form, denoting a consistent pattern of life. It represents the activity of one who is sincerely striving, on a sustained basis, to serve God. It does not suggest that he is perfect, but that he is trying diligently. Third, the “walking” must be “in the light,” i.e., in harmony with the revealed will of God, the New Testament. Fourth, if this habitual walking in the light is devoutly pursued, the Lord’s blood will keep on cleansing (present tense – sustained activity) the child of God. Implied in all of this, of course, is the fact that the erring Christian must repent of, and confess, his transgressions. Make some marginal notes reflecting these points.

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.