This Week's Focus Passage

This Week’s Focus Passage: 1 John 2:8 ‘The darkness is passing away, and the true light already shin

This Week’s Focus Passage: 1 John 2:8

‘The darkness is passing away, and the true light already shineth.’


    For the sake of continuity and cohesiveness, let us set before our eyes; before our minds and hearts, the entirety of the pericope where our focus passage for this week is to be found. The entirety of this pericope is that found in, 1 John 2:7-11.

Beloved, no new commandment write I unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning: the old commandment is the word which ye heard. Again, a new commandment write I unto you, which thing is true in him and in you; because the darkness is passing away, and the true light already shineth. He that saith he is in the light and hateth his brother, is in the darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in the darkness, and walketh in the darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because the darkness hath blinded his eyes. 

John states here, what he wrote in his gospel account, in chapter one, and verses 9-11, where, speaking of John Baptist declaring the True Light, in those few verses:

There was the true light, even the light which lighteth every man, coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and they that were his own received him not.

Subsequently, John records, in chapter eight, and verse twelve, from the lips of our Savior Himself, this glorious attestation, Again therefore Jesus spake unto them. saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.

    David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, that inimitable preacher from Wales, who was affectionately known as ‘The Doctor,’ has written in his comments upon our text in the first epistle of John, and verses 2:7-11, that, “These five verses must obviously be taken as a whole because they contain one particular, great message. John has just said that the final proof any man can have of the fact that he is a Christian is that he keeps, and delights in keeping, and goes on keeping, the commandment of the Lord. There, he says, is something which is really safe as a test, much safer than any experience that one may have had, certainly much safer than any feelings or sensations that one may be conscious of within. Here is an objective test, and yet, obviously, a proof of life itself.”—Life in Christ; Studies in First John. 

    We may be somewhat puzzled by the foregoing remarks about the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ commandments. However, if that is needful, and it likely is, our Savior has provided clarification for us in John’s Gospel, in 13:33-35, where Jesus Himself uses the selfsame expression of ‘a new commandment, when He explains it thusly; 

Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say unto you. A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

How could it ever be otherwise than this? Consider the love that is involved in our becoming disciples of Jesus Christ, in the first place. Our minds and memories immediately resort to texts, in the Word of God, that clearly declare the importance of love in everything connected with our salvation. Perhaps, the most widely known verse in the entire Bible, attests to this very thing. Although the verse be misused and misunderstood by many, at the same time, it is known virtually around the world. The verse is, of course, John 3:16; For God so loved [there is our lovely word; pun obviously intended], that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. 

    This marvelous love that God has for His people, did not just begin in John 3:16, and we find this truth demonstrated throughout Scripture. We may read, with great satisfaction, and joy, the words found in the book of Jeremiah 31. Keep in mind that this is the chapter that contains one of the most blessed demonstrations of the love of God for His chosen people than anywhere else in the Word of God; we speak of the covenant promise found in the thirty-first verse of this thirty-first chapter of the prophet, Jeremiah, where His covenant of salvation is set before the eye of the reader of Scripture. And do not fail to remember that this covenant promise has been iterated by the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews; chapter eight, beginning at verse 6, and following. We will cite it from Jeremiah 31:31ff. where we may happily read: 

Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith Jehovah. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith Jehovah: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith Jehovah: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more. 

It is well to remember the grand ‘preface’ to this disclosure of a ‘new covenant’, that is found in the 3rd verse of this 31st chapter, where the ‘oldness’ of God’s love for us is revealed, as we read, Jehovah appeared of old unto me, saying, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. 


David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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