We Know: I John 5:18-21

I John: LIGHT/LOVE
We Know: I John 5:18-21
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday June 5, 2022

Notes not a Transcript

As we close this 1st epistle of John, in the final three verses, we receive 3 specific reasons to be encouraged as believers:
 
•       We know we’re free from sin’s bondage
•       We know we’re God’s own elect
•       We know our salvation is founded on Christ Himself.
 
Remember that this epistle is written to the church hard pressed by the world and even former believers working to push them to press their understanding of God and worship to things found outside scripture.  To human philosophies

Colossians 2:6–8 (ESV)
6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
 
1 John 5:18 (ESV)
18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.

 
 
John is talking about the person who has been, in the past, transformed.  “everyone who has been,” he said, born of God.  This is the first encouragement that we’re free from sin’s bondage
 
Earlier in chapter 5, John reveals that 1 John 5:1, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.” And also, earlier in
 
1 John 2:29 (ESV)
29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
 
 
1 John 3:6 (ESV)
6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
 
1 John 3:9 (ESV)
9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.
 
1 John 4:7 (ESV)
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
 
1 John 5:4 (ESV)
4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
 
You could certainly say that John’s first epistle encourages a fruit-bearing life from a transformed believer in Christ who walks abidingly with Christ as Lord.
 
Consider John 3:1–8 (ESV)
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 
2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 
7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again
.’
8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.  So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
 
As John said, we know that anyone who has been born of God does not go on sinning, which is an inclusive statement for all born-again people. Jesus said, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” this is also an inclusive statement.  It is inclusive by subtraction. All people who are NOT born again cannot see the Kingdom of God here, for anyone who does or will see the Kingdom of God is or will be born again.
 
Jesus continues to give shape to the process and outcomes involved in being born again.  He reveals that:
 
“unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”
 
Being “born of water and spirit” talks of significant, disruptive life change.  A re-construction and a linkage to God in Christ, not to man and this world in Adam. 
 
1 Corinthians 15:45 (ESV)
45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
 
Genesis 2:7 (ESV)
7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
 
1 Corinthians 15:48–49 (ESV)
48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 
49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
 
And so John is making a huge statement in
 
1 John 5:18 (ESV)
18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
 
When we’re born of God, into second birth, linked not to Adam but Christ – we’re entirely different, and we take on the mannerisms of the very family of God by way of adoption in Christ. 
 
Romans 8:15 (ESV)
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba!  Father!”
 
Galatians 4:3–7 (ESV)
3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 
6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba!  Father!”
7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

As Christ encourages partaking in Communion often – we keep this encouragement front of mind, we’re no longer slaves to sin.

1 John 5:19 (ESV)
19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
 

John is making clear divisions – splitting we who are in God’s own kingdom, made up of His adopted elect, from the whole of the world, which lies in the power of the evil one we are separated from that power in Christ – working from the more to the less clear, John in 4:4 said:
 
John said similar in 1 John 4:4 (ESV)
4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

We get a second encouragement here We know we’re God’s own elect. If you have an NIV it will say “we know that we are children of God”. God’s people, His elect, His children gain comfort knowing that they’re His in a world that isn’t. As Christ encourages partaking in Communion often – we keep this encouragement front of mind, we’re God’s own and we’re no longer slaves to sin.
 
 1 John 20-21 (ESV)
20 And 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, in his Son Jesus Christ.  He is the true God and eternal life. 

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
 
Verse 20 in the first half provides our 3rd and closing encouragement, encouraging us that We know our salvation is founded on Christ Himself.  Instead, our faith isn’t built on the understanding that people have uncovered but on the very son of God’s revelation, testimony, life, and witness.  This is the 3rd and final encouragement we know our salvation is founded on Christ Himself.
 
1 John 2:19 (ESV)
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us.  But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
 
So they’re encouraged that their faith is in Christ, then in the second half, being in Christ means “being in him who is true  .” Our founding in Christ provides communion with God with Jesus as mediator.  Our mediator is necessary.  Consider this picture of humanness:
 
Deuteronomy 9:7 (ESV)
7 Remember and do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness.  From the day you came out of the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord.
 
 
Romans 3:10 (ESV)
10 as it is written:
       “None is righteous, no, not one;
 
Isaiah 64:6 (ESV)
  6    We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
       We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
 
And so Jesus then makes our way to God possible
 
1 Timothy 2:5 (ESV)
5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
 
Hebrews 9:15 (ESV)
15 Therefore, he is the mediator of a new covenant so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
 
 
20 And 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, in his Son Jesus Christ.  He is the true God and eternal life.

As Christ encourages partaking in Communion often – we keep this encouragement front of mind, we’re God’s own, we’re no longer slaves to sin, and our salvation is founded on Christ Himself
 
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
 
As he reminded them to keep from idols lets, remember the warning again in Colossians, as Paul warns them against the ‘gods” of the nations
 
Colossians 2:6–8 (ESV)
 
6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
 
John encourages the church, surrounded by challenges against orthodox understanding:
 
•       We know we’re free from sin’s bondage
•       We know we’re God’s own elect
•       We know our salvation is founded on Christ Himself
 
 And so, this encouragement in view- knowing Jesus Himself, the very son of God, is our mediator to Him we celebrate communion in remembrance of Jesus.  We take communion together, celebrating all that has been done for us in Christ as we close our study in 1 John.

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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