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Summary: 19th in First John Series (Final Message in Series)


1 John 5:18-21

INTRO: The book of 1 John, as we have seen together, is the book of Christian certainty. God laid it upon the heart of John to write this little letter to every one of us so that we might never be in the dark about our salvation and to have a surety which cannot be shaken.

When a child of God comes to understand that his salvation does not depend upon his feelings nor upon his own self-effort but upon what God has done for him in Christ then comes tremendous certainty and assurance in his heart. God wants us to know certain things. Over and over again we have seen that John uses the word know. And so, as if to summarize everything he has had to say John concludes this book with three tremendous certainties. We can say with certainty, “I know these things because God has given to me divine insight and knowledge.”


He speaks here about the power which is available to the child of God, the power to give victory over sin.

Christian Power is Expressed. — This power is expressed in the opening part of the verse. He says, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not...” He is not saying, of course, that a Christian never commits an act of sin. We would know that this is not true. This would contradict what John himself said in the first chapter. But the Bible uses here the present tense of the verb. If we are born of God we do not make a habit of sin, we do not constantly, continually, habitually sin.

This is the difference the new birth experience makes in the life of an individual. Before a person comes to know Christ and is born into the family of God, the whole trend and the whole direction of his life is toward sin. He really has no choice about the matter. He sins because it is his nature.

Christian Power is Explained. — Notice the second sentence in this verse, “But he that is begotten of God keepeth himself” The reference is not to the child of God but to the Lord Jesus Christ. “He that is begotten of God” is a reference to Jesus. The word himself ought to be translated him. “He (Jesus) that is begotten of God, He (the Lord Jesus Christ) keepeth him (the child of God).”

This expresses our new power. It is not that we have the power to overcome sin but there is power in the Lord Jesus Christ. You and I have no keeping power. We are no more able to keep ourselves than we are able to save ourselves. It is all of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are saved by His marvelous grace and we are kept by His grace.

Christian Power is Exhibited. — “...that wicked one toucheth him not.” The devil cannot lay hold on the child of God. That is, the devil cannot get the child of God in his grasp. The devil has only the permission that God grants him in dealing with the believer (look at the life of Job).


Two things we find in this verse. Number one, we see the certainty of that position for he says, “...we know that we are of God...” and then number two we see the contrast of that position, “...the whole world lieth in wickedness.”

The Christian Position is a Certainty. — “We know that we are of God.” We know that we originate from God. We know that the source of our spiritual life is God. There are only two locations spiritually for the whole world. The Bible says that man who is born of human nature is born into the Adam family and therefore he is born in sin. If a man is born only one time and lives life only with that one nature and dies, the Bible says he dies in his sin.

The Bible also teaches us that through the new birth we receive the nature of God (see John 1:12-13). And so we are in God. Colossians 3:3 says we are “...hidden with Christ in God.” Therefore, everything God is, is available to you. There is no reason for a Christian to be defeated.

The Christian Position is a Contrast. — The child of God is in God. He is of God. But on the other hand he says the whole world lies in the domain; lies prostrate in the power of the wicked one, the devil.

The world has it opinions and it insists that you also have those opinions. This world has its mold and it insists that you conform to its mold. When a Christian refuses to do so, he is going to have some problems along the way.

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David Duncan

commented on Oct 14, 2013

Your father's messages actually came from Exploring 1-2-3 John by Jerry Vines (Loizeaux Brothers, 1989).

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