What Do You Know For Sure? Part 2 (1 John 5:6–21)

victory-in-jesusIn Part 1 of this article, we saw the life that is real is built on the divine certainties that are found in Jesus Christ. The world may accuse the Christian of being proud and dogmatic, but this does not keep him from saying, “I know!” In these closing verses of John’s letter, we find two more Christian certainties on which we can build our lives with confidence.

CHRISTIANS DO NOT PRACTICE SIN (1 John 5:16–19)

“Anyone born of God does not practice sin” (1 Jn. 5:18). Occasional sins are not here in view, but habitual sins, the practice of sin. Since a believer has a new nature (“God’s seed,” 1 Jn. 3:9), he has new desires and appetites, and is not interested in sin.

A Christian faces three enemies, all of which want to lead him into sin: the devil, the world, and the flesh.

Our first enemy is the devil. The world “is under the control of the evil one” (1 Jn. 5:19), Satan—“the god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:3–4) and “the prince of this world” (Jn. 14:30). He is the spirit who works in “the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). Satan has many devices for leading a believer into sin. He tells lies, as he did to Eve (Gen. 3; 2 Cor. 11:1–3), and when men believe his lies they turn away from and disobey God’s truth. Or, Satan may inflict physical suffering, as he did with Job and Paul (2 Cor. 12:7–9). In David’s case, Satan used pride as his weapon; he urged David to number the people and in this way defy God (1 Chron. 21). Satan is like a serpent who deceives (Rev. 12:9) and a lion who devours (1 Pet. 5:8–9). He is a formidable enemy.

Our second enemy is the world (1 Jn. 2:15, 17). It is easy for us to yield to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life! The atmosphere around us makes it hard for us to keep our minds pure and our hearts true to God.

Our third enemy is the flesh: the old nature we were born with and which is still with us. True, we have a new nature (the divine seed, 1 Jn. 3:9) within us, but we do not always yield to our new nature.

Then how does a believer keep from sinning? 1 John 5:18 gives the answer: Jesus Christ keeps the believer, so the enemy cannot get his hands on him. “He [Christ] who was born of God keeps the believer safe and the evil one cannot harm him.” Of course, it is true a Christian must keep himself in the love of God (Jude 21), but it is not true he must depend on himself to overcome Satan.

Peter’s experience with Satan helps us to understand this truth. “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Lk. 22:31–32). To begin with, Satan cannot touch any believer without God’s permission. Satan wanted to sift all the disciples and Jesus gave him permission. But Jesus prayed especially for Peter and His prayer was answered. Peter’s faith did not ultimately fail, even though his courage failed. Peter was restored and became a mighty and effective soul-winner.

Whenever Satan attacks us, we can be sure God gave him permission. And if God gave him permission, He will also give us power to overcome because God will never permit us to be tested above our strength (1 Cor. 10:13).

One of the characteristics of “spiritual young men” is their ability to overcome the evil one (1 Jn. 2:13–14). Their secret? “The Word of God abides in them.” Part of the armor of God is the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17) and this sword overcomes Satan.

When a believer sins, he can confess his sin and be forgiven (1 Jn. 1:9), but a believer dare not play with sin because sin is “lawlessness” (1 Jn. 3:4). A person who practices sin proves he belongs to Satan (1 Jn. 3:7–10).

God warns that sin can lead to physical death! While “all unrighteousness is sin,” some sin is worse than other sin. All sin is hateful to God and should be hateful to a believer, but some sin is punished with death. John tells us (1 Jn. 5:16–17) about the case of a brother (a believer) whose life was taken because of sin.

The Old Testament also mentions people who died because of their sin. Nadab and Abihu, the two sons of Aaron the priest, died because they deliberately disobeyed God (Lev. 10:1–7). Korah and his clan opposed God and died (Num. 16). Achan was stoned because he disobeyed Joshua’s orders from God at Jericho (Josh. 6–7). A man named Uzzah touched the ark and God killed him (2 Sam. 6).

“But those are Old Testament examples!” someone may argue. “John is writing to New Testament believers who live under grace!”

To whom much is given, much is required. A believer today has a far greater responsibility to obey God than did the Old Testament saints. We have a complete Bible, we have the full revelation of God’s grace, and we have the Holy Spirit living within us to help us obey God.

There are also cases in the New Testament of believers who lost their lives because they disobeyed God. Ananias and Sapphira lied to God about their offering and they both died (Acts 5:1–11). Some believers at Corinth died because of the way they had acted at the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:30). 1 Corinthians 5:1–5 suggests a certain offender would have died had he not repented and confessed his sin (2 Cor. 2:6–8).

If a believer does not judge, confess, and forsake sin, God must chasten him. This process is described in Hebrews 12:1–13, which suggests a person who does not subject himself to the Father will not live (Heb. 12:9). In other words, first God “spanks” his rebellious children, and if they do not yield to His will, He may remove them from the world lest their disobedience lead others astray and bring further disgrace to His name.

“The sin unto death” is not some one specific sin. Rather, it is a kind of sin—it is the sort of sin that leads to death. With Nadab and Abihu, it was their presumption in taking the priest’s office and entering the holy of holies. In the case of Achan, it was covetousness. Ananias and Sapphira were guilty of hypocrisy and even lying to the Holy Spirit.

If a Christian sees a brother committing sin, he should pray for him (1 Jn. 5:16), asking that he confess his sin and return to fellowship with the Father. But if in his praying, he does not sense he is asking in God’s will (as instructed in 1 Jn. 5:14–15), then he should not pray for the brother. “So do not pray for this people, nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you” (Jer. 7:16).

James 5:14–20 somewhat parallels 1 John 5:16–17. James describes a believer who is sick, possibly because of his sin. He sends for the elders, who come to him and pray for him. The prayer of faith heals him and if he has sinned his sins are forgiven. “The prayer of faith” is prayer in the will of God, as described in 1 John 5:14–15. It is “praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20).

Christians do not deliberately practice sin. They have the divine nature within; Jesus Christ guards them, and they do not want God’s discipline.

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS THE REAL LIFE (1 John 5:20–21)

Jesus Christ is the true God. We know Him who is true and we are in Him who is true. We have the real thing! “We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true. And we are in Him who is true by being in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 Jn. 5:20). Reality has been the theme throughout John’s letter and now we are reminded of it again.

John was probably writing to believers in the city of Ephesus, a city given over to the worship of idols. The temple of Diana, one of the wonders of the ancient world, was located in Ephesus, and the making and selling of idols was one of the chief occupations of the people there (Acts 19:21–41). Surrounded by idolatry, Christians there were under tremendous pressure to conform.

“We know there is no such thing as an idol in the world and there is no God but one” (1 Cor. 8:4). In other words, an idol has no real existence. The tragedy of idolatry is that a dead image can do a worshiper no good because it is not genuine. Hebrew writers in the Old Testament called idols “nothings, vain things, vapors, emptiness.” An idol is a lifeless, useless substitute for the real thing.

The Psalms contain caustic indictments of idolatry (Ps. 115:1–8; 135:15–18). To human vision, an idol looks real—eyes, ears, mouth, nose, hands, feet—but these are useless imitations of the real thing. The eyes are blind, the ears are deaf, the mouth is silent, the hands and feet are paralyzed. But the real tragedy is that “those who make them will become like them, and so will all who trust in them” (Ps. 115:8). We become like the god we worship!

This is the secret of the life that is real. Since we have met the true God, through His Son Jesus Christ, we are in contact with reality. Our fellowship is with a God who is genuine. As we have seen the word “real” means “the original as opposed to a copy” and “the authentic as opposed to an imitation.” Jesus Christ is the true Light (Jn. 1:9), true Bread (Jn. 6:32), true Vine (Jn. 15:1), and Truth itself (Jn. 14:6). He is the Original; everything else is a copy. He is authentic; everything else is only an imitation.

Christians live in an atmosphere of reality. Most unsaved people live in an atmosphere of pretense and sham. Christians have been given spiritual discernment to know the true from the false, but the unsaved do not have this understanding. Christians do not simply choose between good and bad; they choose between true and false. An idol represents that which is false and empty; and a person who lives for idols will himself become false and empty.

Few people today bow to idols of wood and metal. Nevertheless, other idols capture their attention and affection. Covetousness, for example, is idolatry (Col. 3:5). A man may worship his bankbook or his stock portfolio just as fervently as a so-called heathen worships his ugly idol. “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only” (Matt. 4:10). The thing we serve is the thing we worship! Whatever controls our lives and “calls the signals” is our god.

This explains why God warns us against the sin of idolatry. Not only is it a violation of His commandment (Ex. 20:1–6), but it is a subtle way for Satan to take control of us. When “things” take God’s place in our lives, we are guilty of idolatry. This means we are living for the unreal instead of for the real.

To a man of the world the Christian life is unreal and the worldly life is real. This is because a man of the world lives by what he sees and feels (things) and not by what God says in His Word. An idol is a temporal thing, Jesus Christ is eternal God. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18).

Like Moses, a Christian “endures because he saw Him who is invisible” (Heb. 11:27). Faith is “the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Noah had never seen a flood, yet by faith he “saw” it coming and did what God told him to do. Abraham “saw” a heavenly city and country by faith, and was willing to forsake his own earthly home to follow God. All of the great heroes of faith named in Hebrews 11 accomplished what they did because they “saw the invisible” by faith. In other words, they were in contact with reality.

The world boasts of its enlightenment, but a Christian walks in the real light because God is light. The world talks about love, but it knows nothing of the real love which a Christian experiences because “God is love.” The world displays its wisdom and learning, but a Christian lives in truth because “the Spirit is truth.” God is light, love, and truth; and these together make a life that is real.

“But it makes no difference what a man believes so long as he is sincere!” This popular excuse hardly needs refutation. Does it make any difference what the pharmacist believes, or the surgeon, or the chemist? It makes all the difference in the world!

A Christian has “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thes. 1:9). Idols are dead, but Christ is the living God. Idols are false, but Christ is the true God. This is the secret of the life that is real!

So John’s admonition, “Keep yourselves from idols,” can be paraphrased, “Watch out for the imitation and the artificial! Be real!”

* This concludes our study of the Apostle John’s first letter. I hope you have enjoyed and benefited from this series.

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About Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.

Pastor Joe has been serving in Christian ministry for 15 years. He desires to nurture and disciple believers, helping them experience a deeper level of commitment and faith in the Lord. He is the author of "Back to the Basics: A Guide for Christian Living." Through a commitment to servant leadership, he strives to proclaim relevant Bible truth, equip the saints for effective ministry, and build up the body of Christ. Married eleven years, Pastor Joe and his wife live in New Jersey and have two children.
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18 Responses to What Do You Know For Sure? Part 2 (1 John 5:6–21)

  1. Pingback: A disciple's study

  2. gailmanizak says:

    Awesome article, I am falling behind in my sharing. Every article I have read Pastor Joe is worth sharing. TY for your posts. I was just now looking for an article to share with a young woman tormented by fear that there is something wrong with her child she is carrying. If you have written a post that might help her, please let me know. Hispresence1680@att.net ty

  3. Thanks P.J.Q., i’ll have to go back and read some earlier studies. This series was excellent!
    Here’s another link for you when you have the time, feel free to share liberally if you wish to.
    Peace, Anthony G.

  4. Pingback: End Times Prophecy Headlines: May 24-25, 2014 | End Times Prophecy Report

  5. Thank you, i’ll be looking into this for sure!
    Looks very interesting from first glances.
    Joe I’ve got a book to recommend or send to you…just shared with a good friend and he was very grateful and intrigued by it.
    My e-mail is seaoceanfish@yahoo.com
    The book title and front cover are posted in justhappeneduponthis
    a post by Doug Blair entitled “TRIUNE”
    Anthony

  6. I prefer to believe Pastor Joe what God tells us in Scripture which many disregard for their own understanding or others fleshy ideas but He is very clear on 3 important points (see below) and of course on many others, sad that so many are Spiritually blind (1Corinthans29-16) and they will stay that way as long as they do not do what Jesus tells them to do, which is to seek, ask and knock and continue to be proud in their carnal flesh.

    1- We are to put our Carnal Flesh to death……

    Colossians 3:4-6 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

    Romans 8 :12-15 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. or if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

    2 Corinthians 7: 1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    Galatians 24 -26 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

    2 – God does not afflict us or hurt us in anyway we reap what we sow or by others who are fleshy or from Satan’s testing………

    Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

    3 – When we are Born again we don’t sin, if we do before we are perfected in Love we can be forgiven but it shows we are still in darkness.

    1 John 3:9 No one who is Born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he CANNOT go on sinning, because he has been Born of God.

    John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    1 John 2:4-6 He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the Love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.

    1John 3 – No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous.

    Romans 6:22-23 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    1 John 4:17-19 Herein is our Love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in Love; but perfect Love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in Love. We Love Him, because He first Loved us.

    Christian Love from us both – Anne

    • Thanks Anne. When you say, “I prefer to believe…” it seems you are opposing something I said. I am not sure what, though. I agree with your three points. What do you mean exactly?

      • Hi Pastor Joe, I was going to write to you personally but as you have asked I will respond here, you said iron sharpens Iron but to be honest a lot don’t want correction or to mature in their Faith but just to be applauded, they have itching ears and some are not interested in what others share and others don’t even respond to the comments on their Posts, which is rudeness, even if they don’t agree, I just move on when this happens and so do others, mostly non- Christians are not as rude or as self-centered as this .

        To be honest Pastor Joe, the way I have been attacked on your blog does not make Blogging here very pleasant for me either but this is not in reference to you personally, you have always been respectful and as my Blog Pastor I respect you too but even so I’m not willing to accept rudeness or self centered apathy from anyone even though I continue to Love them and so I had decided not to visit you till I felt at Peace again but I also do not want to be rude so I decided to respond to your question.

        In reference to … I agree with your three points. What do you mean exactly?

        First let me assure you Pastor Joe, I don’t believe in Sinless Perfection when it is based on Legalism and man made rules and regulations and I have encountered this before quiet a few times and been accused of propagating it too which is not True but I do believe in Freedom in Christ Jesus which is of The Spirit and this is shown in Love and righteousness both to God and others, meaning we don’t sin and hurt God or anyone else by our words or actions because we Love them willingly. This is not Saccharine sweet love which agrees with the evil others do and say, or even their apathy and lukewarmness, it’s strong Love willing to stand up for God’s Truth regardless of the cost personally but not by being argumentative about man’s fleshy understanding or agreeing to disagree, both cause division and this is not of God.

        Pastor Joe I had a procedure done yesterday in Hospital, it has left me feeling very drained, the preparation for it was over 4 days and not very pleasant so I am feeling like I need to rest but I will be back later today and will reply to you in detail, I hope you understand.

        Christian Love Always from both of us – Anne

        • Thanks Anne. I was wondering what happened to you. I hear you saying you are angry and in pain. I look forward to hearing back from you when you are ready and feeling able. Feel free to write here or send me a private email if you prefer. I miss you. God bless!

  7. I have had a few hours extra sleep Pastor Joe and feel a bit stronger but will rest again later, my father died of Bowel Cancer when he was in his early forties, so this procedure needs to be done anyway every 5 years from the age of 50 as a preventive. The results were good, thankfully no Cancer but there was a minor problem which was causing the symptoms I had and I have been warned to take care and rest and to eliminate nuts, seeds, wholegrain foods etc.

    There is a time for everything even to hate evil, thankfully one day for Christians there will be no evil, no tears only Joy. There is righteous anger but God also tells us not to sin in our anger, He does not tell us never to get angry and always be Happy Clappy, we have emotions but we are to resolve what is causing them as an example we are not to become bitter and seek revenge as my last Post which you read highlights. But No I’m not angry although I could be, I’m just saddened by the rudeness of those who claim to be Christians and yet seek to provoke others to anger by emotional game playing and by their fleshy words and actions but than can we be really sure who we are Blogging with.

    It’s easy to say we believe but so does Satan, of course not in his heart, which is evil and so are the actions of those who He motivates which is all of us untill we are Born Again of God’s seed but even before we are Born Again we can live in Victory, no temptation will be greater than we can bear. So those who Blog as Christians but are rude and disrespectful to others and abuse them which is not referring to correction, they need to examine themselves because if they don’t have Jesus within shown by their sacrificial Love for Him and others, they need to come to heart repentance and put their flesh to death, we are to be weak in the flesh but strong in The Spirit and when we are we can recognize those who are too.

    2 Corinthians 13: 4-6 For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

    Still I have no bitterness towards those who have hurt me Blogging and if needed I would help them if I could. But we also remember some Bloggers are members of Cults and they don’t have genuine Love, I have been trying to fight against their false teaching for years mainly by warning others, we need to be careful of these wolves in sheep’s clothing but you may already be aware of them Pastor Joe, although I don’t mean Non – believers, these I do try to reach with the Gospel and also those Christians who have been influenced by false teaching but I still don’t accept or focus on anyone putting God down, rebuking publicly the Government, unless needed but this must still be done respectfully and by proper channels unless ignored which sadly does happen, bad language, rudeness, seeking revenge even in what they write, abuse, sexual and immoral references including Porn, the Occult and New Age, as they say rubbish in rubbish out.

    What I would appreciate Pastor Joe is for you to look again using the K.J.V and at what I shared before and now and also your Statements, they are not wrong in themselves but how they are applied….. One of your Statements……

    1- Occasional sins are not here in view, but habitual sins, the practice of sin.

    1 John 3:9 No one who is Born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he CANNOT go on sinning, because he has been Born of God.

    1John 5 18-20 We know that no one who is Born of God sins; but He who was Born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

    God is telling us Pastor Joe when we are Born Again, we cannot sin and we do not sin, not that we will sin even if only occasionally . If we have God’s seed we have His Nature and the mind of Christ and we are also perfected in their Love and they NEVER choose to sin and this is what we are to aim for and which Paul and other Christians achieved through the empowering of The Holy Spirit and because we have been set free as confirmed in Scripture we can also walk in Victory even before we are Born Again as I shared before but if we sin we can be forgiven after heart repentance…..Please read some of the other Scriptures below that confirm this Truth Pastor Joe and I will come back later and share about your other two points, sorry I do need to rest again but if you have any doubts which I had for many years, please ask and we can resolve them by the confirmation of Scripture.

    John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed

    Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    1 John 3: 1-11 ( 6-7 ) Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.

    Romans 8: 8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    Romans 6:5-7 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.

    Romans 6:22-23 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Romans 6 : 1 – 2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

    1 Peter 1:21-23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

    Luke 6:45-46 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

    Christian Love Always from both of us – Anne

    • I understand, Anne. I also feel some of the same emotions you do. Sadly, people can be hurtful. Fortunately, we find our strength and victory in the Lord!
      You are correct in your interpretation of these Scriptures! It is true that once we receive Christ as Savior, God looks at us just like He looks at Christ (sinless), for He is the propitiation of our sins. I also speak about this in my commentary of 1 John.

      I am wondering if you and I are just missing each other due to writing, as opposed to speaking face-to-face. This has happened with me and others in the past.

      The verses you quote are speaking of “definitive” sanctification. You are correct; all believers are sanctified at the moment of salvation. At the same time, if we are not growing in “progressive” sanctification (spiritual maturity, obedience, desire to study the Word, etc.), we ought to examine our salvation.

      I have read those Scriptures in the KJV and several other translations as well. I am in the habit of reading several translations at the same time to compare and contrast them (I posts links for the NIV on my blog, though, because I think it is the easiest translation for most people to understand without watering down the content too much or too little). For my knowledge, do you believe the KJV is the best version for the particular Scriptures you quoted or the entire Bible?

      Let’s take a look at some of the Scripture you quoted and see if we connect with God’s Word:

      * 1 John 3:9 No one who is Born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he CANNOT go on sinning, because he has been Born of God.

      One who is born of God (2:29; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18) does not sin precisely because God’s seed remains in him, and he cannot sin because he has been born of God. “God’s seed” is His nature, given to each believer at salvation (John 1:13; 2 Peter 1:4). The point here is that the child partakes of the nature of his Parent. The thought of a sinless Parent who begets a child who only sins a little is far from John’s mind. As always, John dealt in stark contrasts. All sin is devilish (1 John 3:8); it does not stem from the believer’s regenerate nature, God’s seed, but the child of God cannot and does not sin. The explanation here is the same as that given in verse 6. The “new man” (or “new self”; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10) is an absolutely perfect new creation. By insisting on this point, John was seeking to refute a false conception about sin. Sin is not, nor ever can be, anything but satanic. It can never spring from what a Christian truly is at the level of his regenerate being.

      * 1 John 5 18-20 We know that no one who is Born of God sins; but He who was Born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

      5:18. John was affirming that anyone born of God is a person whose true, inward nature is inherently sinless (“born of God” in 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4.). A believer’s new man (or “new self”; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10) is fundamentally impervious to sin and hence the evil one (1 John 2:13–14; 3:12), Satan, does not touch him.

      5:19. A regenerate person’s new nature is inherently sinless (v. 18) because God’s “seed” is in him (3:9). Knowledge of this truth is coupled with the conviction that we know that we are … of God. This assurance (founded for each believer on God’s testimony [5:9–13]) is accompanied by a realization that the whole world is under the control of the evil one (v. 18). John was seeking in these summarizing statements to reinforce the readers’ consciousness that they are distinct from the satanically controlled world system and basically free from its power. They need not listen to the worldly ideas advanced by the antichrists (3:7–8). Nor need they succumb to worldly desires (2:15–17).

      5:20. Moreover, the coming of the Son of God has granted to believers an understanding which makes possible a knowledge of God. John and his circle were in Him who is true (and so were his readers as they continued to “abide”). But to abide in God is also to abide in His Son Jesus Christ. For that matter, Jesus Christ Himself is the true God (John 1:1, 14) and eternal life (1 John 1:2; 2:25; 5:11–13). With this grand affirmation of the deity of Christ, John concluded his summary of apostolic truths which stand against the falsehoods of the antichrists.

      * John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed

      8:34. Three times in this chapter (vv. 34, 51, 58) Jesus said, “I tell you the truth.” The very act of committing sin reveals that the one doing the act is under the power and authority of sin. Sin is personified as a cruel master. Paul used the same illustration (Rom. 6:15–23).

      8:35. Just as Ishmael, Abraham’s slave son, was cast out of the house (Gen. 21:8–21), so those in sin are in danger. Isaac was a son who belonged and therefore remained in the house. Were they like Ishmael, or Isaac? The issue was not physical genealogy, but spiritual kinship.

      8:36. Jesus is the true Son and seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16). He remains in the house and is over it (Heb. 3:6). People can become truly free by becoming sons of God by faith in Christ, the Son (Gal. 3:26).

      * Romans 8: 8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

      8:5–8. In these verses, Paul answered the implied question, What does it mean to live according to the sinful nature and according to the Spirit? He explained that the former means having their minds set on what that sinful nature desires. An unbeliever cares only for his sinful interests and has no regard for God. The exact opposite is true of those who live according to the Spirit. They aspire for or have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The sinful nature and the indwelling Spirit are in conflict (Gal. 5:17).
      But what difference does it make whether a person is mindful of the flesh or of the Spirit? Again Paul explained. The mind (phronēma, “mind-set, aspirations”; Rom. 8:6b–7) of sinful man (tēs sarkos, “of the flesh”) is death, that is, it is equivalent to death, or it leads to death in all its forms (physical and spiritual). On the other hand, the mind controlled by the Spirit is life (eternal resurrection life) and peace immediately (5:1) and ultimately. In 8:7–8 Paul focused only on the sinful mind to explain why he said (v. 6) that it ends up in death: (1) It is hostile to God (5:10); (2) it does not submit (present tense, “is not submitting”) to God’s Law; and (3) it cannot do so. The result is that those controlled by the sinful nature cannot (present tense, “are not able to”) please God. The unsaved lead lives that are totally void of spiritual life and ability. A believer, then, who gives in to his sin nature is acting like the unsaved (1 Cor. 3:3).

      Did you ever read the post I wrote 2 years ago, Why Did Jesus Have to Die? I originally titled it “Witnessing to Muslims.” When you are feeling up to it, please read the entire post and let me know your thoughts. I am looking forward to hearing from you, Anne.

      • Thank you for for sharing Pastor Joe, it’s helpful to know your focus, I thought I would also share some more very important Truths concerning Salvation, there is a lot of detail so I will just put some of the Scriptures verses that confirms them but not all, if needed let me know. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I had a few problems after the Opp, and some catching up to do, I appreciate that you feel what I share with you in reference to God’s Truth is not in error, we ask for God’s wisdom without doubting we have it, Proverbs 4:7 – James 1:5-6 – Colossians 2 :2 -3 (KJV)

        1 – God is Love, it is His seed or Nature and Love can do no evil, not ever!

        2 – When we were Born, we had Adam’s seed or Nature but we are under God’s grace through the Blood of Christ which covered us, by His foreknowledge, God knows those who are His, He knows all things, like who will come to heart repentance and who won’t and He chooses us according to His foreknowledge, we can’t earn Salvation by doing fleshy works although we will show by His good works we have it, Faith without works is dead.

        When we are old enough to know right from wrong, it is our choice when we come to heart repentance, God won’t force us to accept His free gift of Salvation in Christ Jesus and so be conformed into His image but The Spirit does draw us to Him, until we come to our senses and repent and believe, we will reap what we sow .

        3 – God tells us when we are Born Again we are set free, we have His seed or Nature which is Love, so we also can do no evil. John8:34-36 1John3:9 Ephesians 4:23-24 -1John 3:1 6-7 (KJV)

        4 – He tells us to reckon ourselves dead to sin, not to say we will sin, as a man thinks in his heart so he will do. He also tells us no Temptation will be greater than we can bear, He provides the way of escape when we ask. There is a difference between weaknesses and shortcoming and when we are sinning, we only judge and rebuke sin with God’s Truth not a fleshy agenda.

        5 – God tells us to put our flesh to death by the Spirit (Luke 11:13), what is dead can’t cause us to sin. Paul showed the battle he had with his flesh in Romans 7 but than showed us how walk in Victory in… Romans8:12-15 – Romans6 – Colossians3:4-6 – Galatians24 -26 – 2Corinthians7:1 and other Scriptures.(KJV)

        6 – God tells us if we say we haven’t sinned and so don’t need Salvation, we are calling Him a liar but if we say we will sin after we have been Born again, we are also calling Him a liar, He tells us we CANNOT sin when we have His seed or Nature, Jesus lives His life in us which means we are perfected in Love and Love does not sin – 1John 3:9 1John 3:6-7 – 1John 4:17-19 -1John 2:4-6 Romans 8:12-15 – Romans 6:5-7 -Daniel 12:10 (KJV) and we are to aim to be perfected, Jesus tells us to seek, ask and knock.

        7- Can we loose our Salvation No! not after we have been Born Again and if we are known by God we will be Born again, we were already saved before we are Born but are working out our Salvation as you said Pastor Joe, meaning doing what God asks us to do so we can be complete by being perfected in His Love, this is not not worldly self centered love. But before we are Born again we are to be on gard against Satan’s temptations to cause us to fall into sin, which we can be forgiven of when we repent, Jesus is our Advocate, we than turn from evil and do good by The Holy Spirits empowering.

        8 – The only way we can loose our Salvation is to reject Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and this is Blaspheming The Holy Spirit which is the unforgivable sin, we are calling Him a liar, He shows us Jesus is a reality. But if we are known by God as His, He knows we won’t do this, He knows our heart, this is why He chose us.

        9 – How do we know if we are Born Again, The Holy Spirit tells us… How does He do this… Do we Love God, does it hurt us to hear others belittle Him, do we care if others are in darkness, do you seek to help those in need, do we Love unconditionally and Sacrificially, do we NO longer sin …. than we are perfected in Love by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, if we are not but we are seeking to do all these things, we will be. What if we are not, than we are still in darkness.

        10 – What is the most important thing for us to do … LOVE GOD AND OTHERS not because we have to but because we won’t to.

        Christian Love Always from both of us – Anne.

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