The word “If” occurs in our English Bible more than 1,600 times, and while it consists of only two letters, it often provides great meaning. For example, in 1 John 1, John describes our relationship with Christ and God the Father while repeatedly using this powerful little word.

In verse 7, John writes, “but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). This verse teaches and reassures us that we can continually have our sins cleansed or washed away by the blood of Christ. It teaches us that we can have “fellowship” or a sharing with one another, which references the spiritual fellowship that Christians have with Christ and each other. It also teaches that these things happen “if we walk in the Light.”

In the surrounding verses, John clarifies that “the light” is God and darkness is everything outside of Him (1 John 1:5). Therefore, if we live our lives in a godly way and obey God’s commands, then fellowship and the forgiveness of sins are the promised result.

But what if we don’t? What if we don’t obey God’s commands or live a godly life? John describes God’s wonderful promises made to faithful Christians and the terrifying consequences of disobedience by using this one powerful little word.

Matt Langfield