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. 19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (I John 5:18-19).
Salvation is not only deliverance from the penalty of sin, but also from the power of sin and eventually from the very presence of sin when the believer enters into heaven. As the Apostle John concludes his letter to the church, he reminds believers of some essential truths when dealing with the power of sin.
First, John wants believers to know that those born of God or regenerated (John 3:1-3) do not keep on sinning (I John 3:9). A believer’s new nature is inherently sinless. It is the believers remaining “flesh,” or the remnant of his sinful nature, that continues to battle with his new nature (Galatians 5:16-23).
Second, the apostle wants believers to know that God protects and keeps those who belong to Him. Those who are regenerated, God actively and continuously guards.
Third, John wants the church to know that the evil one cannot lay hold of the believer in Christ. To “touch” (ἅπτεται; haptetai) means too continuously, personally and seriously harm the Christian.
Finally, the apostle wants those in union with Christ to realize that they belong to God. While the fallen world lies within the power of the Devil, the Christian does not.
Notice how many times John uses the personal pronoun “we.” Rather than just referring to himself and the other apostles, he is referring to all believers in Christ.
As one commentator explains, “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 (cf. 2:15–17).”
Also take notice that twice John uses the expression, “we know.” He will use it once more in I John 5:20. It means to continuously and actively understand and remember what we have, and what we are, in Christ.
Therefore, understand and remember what you are in Christ. You do not have to continuously sin, and shouldn’t. The Devil cannot harm you. You are no longer under his power because you belong to God.
Thank you Lord for your precious promises.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!