“We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.” 1 John 5:18.
“We know that whoever is born of God does not sin…” we all sin, the meaning here is that the Christian does not sin habitually.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8.
Christians get drunk, Christians get angry, Christians slack off at work (thus robbing their employer), Christians occasionally take articles home from the job; none of these things are right.
But if someone gets drunk every night and beats their wife or abuses their children, if they get addled on drugs, if one robs their employer of time and by habitually stealing from work, or embezzling; that person needs to ask themselves, am I really a Christian?
“…but he who has been born of God keeps himself…” being born of God means the believer is a new creature in Christ and is indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
This phrase indicates that this is not just a passive thing but that the Christian is expected to listen to the Spirit of God and to arm themselves with the things God teaches them in His word. To advance forward in the new life, not just float through it.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.
“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” Romans 6:4-6.
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.
The latter part of 1 John 5:18 says this, “…he who has been born of God keeps himself…” now it should be understood that we could not keep ourselves for a minute without the strength that God gives us through His Spirit.
For this reason we are told repeatedly to abide in Christ, particularly in John chapter fifteen.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5.
We are told to abide as well in this epistle (letter).
“And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” 1 John 2:28.
Do not misunderstand; it is possible for someone to live their life without going to church or diligent Bible study, many folks are doing this today, however, they will not bear any fruit.
In fact America reportedly has approximately 76% of its population calling themselves Christians.
Of these, 55% are Protestant and 21% are Catholic. Atheists are 1.6% of the population with another 2.4% calling themselves agnostic, bringing their numbers to 4% of the population.
Yet this country is controlled by nothing Christian, only atheists, pagans, and liberals with a greedy lust for power and money.
The philosophy of this 4% is taught to our children with the intent of dumbing them down through indoctrination without giving them any opposing views such as, intelligent design, or unrevised history, only humanism or socialism.
Most of the media no longer tell the truth but have become propagandists. While politicians are taking more control over the rights of the citizens they are supposed to represent.
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Matthew 5:13.
“Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Luke 14:34-35.
When we have lost the right to talk to others about Christ, to assemble, or to live in peace; it will not be the fault of godless men, it will be because Christians gave away the gift that God gave us.
One way in which the Christian can keep himself is to put on the whole armor of God.
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…” Ephesians 6:11-18.
By studying the Scriptures you will come to understand better the benefit of things like truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, using the shield of faith to guard your heart from the fiery dart. What it means to wear the helmet of salvation, and wield the sword of the Spirit (which is Scripture), to win in the arena.
Bear in mind that there is no armor for the back, there is no retreat, we are told to stand!
“…the wicked one does not touch him” what does this last phrase in 1 John 5:18 mean? If we keep ourselves by abiding in Christ the devil is unable to shake our faith to a point of rejecting or abandoning God.
Satan can buffet us, create misery, cause us to doubt and accuse us; but he cannot rob us of eternal life nor can he rob us of our eternal reward if we cling to Jesus.
Our position in Christ is one of eternal security, and no one can take this away from us, not even the devil.
“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” 1 John 5:19.
Part of the reason the world lies under the sway of Satan is that he blinds them.
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.
As for those who are perishing, it says they do not believe; unbelief opens them up to Satan blinding them. Unbelief keeps them from accepting Christ as savior, and then the devil is enabled to further blind them to the truth.
This does not mean that they will never be saved, many will; otherwise no one will have accepted Christ. But the warning is as follows.
“He who is often reproved, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Proverbs 29:1.
Folks who continually say no to Christ become more and more hardened to the gospel, finally they will say no for the last time.
Many follow Satan because it suits their own purposes and they willingly do his will for the sake of their own lusts.
“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame – who set their mind on earthly things.” Philippians 3:18-19.
Satan is known as a prince over these people.
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” Ephesians 2:1-3.
The word lust or lusts means a desire, craving; a desire for what is forbidden. Today the word brings to mind sexual lusts, which is just one of its meanings; it is also a lust for power, money, possessions, recognition, and a freedom from restraints.
Believers have also come out of that atmosphere, and even today many of us still wrestle with these lusts in an effort to get completely free from them.
As the Christian witness becomes more and more watered down, evil progresses unabated through the ceaseless work of the satanic principalities and powers that exist in the heavenlies (high places, above the earth).
The demonic forces work tirelessly here on earth to bring evil to its fullness among men. This all through the satanically instigated promise of globalism, a New Age, One World; a New World Order, independence from God and His restraints.
There is also much deception, both by the demonic world and by those who follow Satan knowingly as their god; or unknowingly, believing that the godless philosophies that they are following originated with man.
This is what the Lord meant when He said.
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32.
This is freedom from the devil’s lie, superstition and fear of the future.
Speaking to the Jews, Jesus said the following.
“If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” John 8:42-44.
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful…” Romans 1:28-31.
Does this sound like the sort of people you can trust? Yet God says right near the middle of the above passage that they are filled with deceit.
“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” Romans 16:17-18.
The darkness of this world and the perilous times that we are enduring today can be traced directly back to mankind’s having rejected the Lord Jesus Christ, who is called the prince of peace, and embracing these demonic philosophies.
As they say, “All what glitters aint gold”; and as the world will soon see, this is fool’s gold.
“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him [God the Father] who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This [Jesus Christ] is the true God and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20.
As seen in the first phrase above, Jesus the Son of God has given us an understanding of the unseen God.
“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” John 1:18.
Jesus came primarily to offer Himself up as a perfect sacrifice for sin. In Christ we also see something that we could not have possibly known, and that is, what God is really like. God is revealed in Jesus Christ.
We see how He responded to rejection and anger, His response to honest questions or to hypocrisy. God’s love, patience, truthfulness, and holiness, studying the Scriptures will bring these things out and the testimony of the apostles who walked with Him will confirm them.
What would seem very curious is that the God who sits on the throne in heaven is the same as the Man who walked on the earth. Jesus said of Himself.
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29.
God Almighty, the most powerful being imaginable, who is called omnipotent, is gentle and lowly.
This is something that folks would not make up. Look at all other gods and you will find a pride, arrogance, or continual need to be appeased, often with human, even infant sacrifice, and not surprisingly so. Scripture says this.
“But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.” 1 Corinthians 10:20.
Not only can we “know Him who is true” but we have the opposite of the lie of the wicked one seen in 1 John 5:19, we gain the truth of all things as they really are from God Himself.
“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” Ephesians 1:17-21.
“This is the true God and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20; here is the clear statement that Jesus Christ is the eternal God, God the Son. Do not let anyone deceive you by telling you otherwise.
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” I John 5:21.
Six little words that are easily missed, yet they concern one of the main evils of the western world, idolatry. An idol is anything that displaces God in our lives.
That can be anything, the pursuit of money, fame, or success. An idol may be something that consumes us like, golf, football, or hunting.
None of these things are truly bad. It is when they displace God in your life and in some cases everyone else that they become a problem.
As a result golf may relax you, or a baseball game may help you blow off steam but it is not your idol.
There may be something entirely different that captivates your imagination. Be absolutely sure that it does not rob you of your reward in heaven.
Evil in Residence, 1 John 5:18-21 taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 3-6-12, updated on 8-1-18.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.