In his book, You Can Change, Tim Chester wrote, “Sin is like mold: it grows best in the dark.” Sin loves the darkness. It thrives in the darkness. If it’s left in the darkness too long, it grows and begins to dominate our hearts.
Light dominates darkness. Darkness can’t stand against the light. When the light of Christ shines in our hearts, sin shrivels up and dies.
So how do we walk in the light? How do we get Christ’s light shining in our darkness?
How to Walk in the Light
1 John 1:7 says you need both vertical (God-oriented) and horizontal (others-oriented) to walk in the light.
Vertically, we are in the light “as he is in the light… and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” Walking in the light draws us near to God and makes us right with Him through the cross.
But how do we walk in the light? This is where the horizontal element comes in. “If we walk in the light… we have fellowship with one another.” The church—the community of God’s people—is the means God has given us to walk in His light.
Confessing sin happens in prayer. It ALSO happens in community. If it doesn’t happen in prayer, you haven’t confessed. If it doesn’t happen in community, you haven’t confessed. God gives us relationship with Himself (in prayer) and relationship with one another (in the church) as means to confess our sin and receive His forgiveness.
James 5:16 helps further make this point: "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed."
Discipleship Group Is For Confessing Sin
This is one important reason we have Discipleship Groups at Grace Alameda. On our own, we will walk in darkness. We need one another to shine the light of the gospel into our lives.
So don’t let each other off the hook! As the people of God, we are called to be a community of light, bearing burdens with one another, encouraging each other to let the light of Christ shine on our darkest places. We need each other to get at those dark areas of our lives and give them over to Jesus.
Next time you’re in your Discipleship Group, confess your sins. How have I failed to follow Jesus in thought, word, or deed?
And encourage your brothers and sisters to do the same. We live in community, in part, to shine the gospel on one another's moldy hearts.