1 John – An Unchanging Message in the Midst of Postcolonial Revision

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance



Who God is has never changed.

Our security is attached to what we believe to be true. If we believe that ultimate security is attached to education, money, or happiness, then any time our belief about those things is shaken, we become insecure. In some cases, our identity is attached to our past—to our history. What happens when these stories are either changed or become points of shame rather than pride? Revision.

In fact, this is one of the ways that Critical Theory has dealt with Colonialism: “… postcolonial Theory came about to achieve a specific purpose, decolonization: the systematic undoing of colonialism in all its manifestations and impacts” (Pluckrose and Lindsay, Cynical Theories, 67). Part of this purpose includes the revising and rewriting of history. Edward Said, the founding father of Postcolonial Theory “argues that ‘history is made by men and women, just as it can also be unmade and rewritten….’” (52).

When history is rewritten, when words are changed, when philosophies evolve… is there anything in which we can find assurance? Yes, there is a message that cannot be revised:

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5

Kids’ Pause: Mankind can rewrite stories of history, but they cannot change who God is.

Who Gave This Message?

This then is the message which we have heard of him—it is important to note that this message came from the “Word of Life.” Jesus himself, is the message, and He has declared the message (John 8:12), so the authority of the message is settled. No one has the right to change the message. Any declaration that manipulates, takes away, or changes this declaration of Jesus leads to lack of assurance, a distorted understanding of God, a lack of confident joy. You cannot have assurance of eternal life apart from an increasingly clear view of God.

Kids’ Pause: Man is not God.

What Is Our Responsibility with the Message?

John is a recipient of the message, and we must see how we are recipients of the message. John is also a conduit of the message. This message makes the recipients of this message to be messengers. We want the lost to receive the light of the gospel, but here in our passage, John is telling this message to Christians for assurance.

What Is the Complete Message and Its Meaning?

God is light is a way to comprehensively describe the being of God. Because God is light, in him there is no darkness. He has no sin, and He is morally perfect in every way. Knowing that God is Light is necessary because it makes us to realize the kind of Savior we need.

If God is light, then neither rewriting history, Critical Theory, Postcolonialism, religious conservatism, nor religious liberalism can save us before this God. The only deliverance from these devastating extremes is the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Christ, we are presented with a clear picture of God, a clear picture of our utter sinfulness, an unmerited means for forgiveness, and a way in which life can be increasingly lived according to true knowledge in Christ. Will you come to Jesus today?

Postcolonialism teaches that changing written history is the answer, but John says that the unchanging history of God is the answer. Postmodernism teaches that objective truth is unattainable, but John says objectively that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. Postmodernism applied makes man’s experience to be the baseline for truth, but John makes God to be the Standard for Truth. 

God is light, and in him is no darkness at all is the unchanging message in the midst of Postcolonial revision.

Read the full transcript of the sermon here.


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