Putting God's Word into Practice…

1 John 5:16-21 ~ We Know!

on March 21, 2014

The verses I studied for the last blog were about the confidence we have that God hears and answers the Believer’s prayers when the prayers are asked in accordance with His will.  John goes on to tell us that we should also pray on behalf of other believers who are struggling.  These two verses are a little tricky, so I researched several commentaries I trust and prayed for God to show me what they mean.  In light of uncertainty, I’m thankful that these two verses are surrounded by eight “we know” statements that remind me there are many certainties for those who belong to God!  1 John 5:15 says, WE KNOW God hears our requests and WE KNOW God gives us a response…the rest come in verses 18-20.

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, HE SHALL ASK AND GOD WILL GIVE HIM LIFE–to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.  All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death. (v. 16-17)

This is a call to pray on behalf of other believers struggling with sin.  They are already saved and have eternal life.  These believers should not want to continue sinning.  God has given us the privilege of coming alongside of them (or them alongside of us), and helping them by way of prayer.  Two things stand out to me in these verses: 1) We should want free and abundant life for each other. 2) We are called to PRAY when we see a believer sinning, not judge, condemn, gossip–but PRAY to God!

There is a sin that leads to death, and it is unbelief.  When someone completely disregards God’s plan for salvation, they are headed for eternal separation from God.  It is impossible to ask God to restore someone who has never believed on Jesus for salvation, repented and received eternal life. (John 3:14-18)

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.  WE KNOW that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. (v. 18-19)

Christians should have a distaste for sin–we should want it put to death in our lives.  Satan is constantly tempting our sinful nature, but because of Jesus’ protection–he can’t touch us!  It reminds me of going to haunted houses when I was younger.  There were two things that made me feel safe enough to go inside: 1) My dad or my husband standing by my side. 2) The realization that the monsters can scream, reach, moan, and so on, but were not allowed to touch me.  It is the same for believers in this world–we have the protection of Jesus Christ and the promise that Satan has limitations when it comes to God’s people.  We can have victory over sin in this world!  Satan doesn’t have any power over us!

If someone claims to be a Christian and continues willfully to practice sin, they may not be God’s child at all.  We cannot love and follow the world’s system and be in fellowship with God because the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one.  Loving the world, makes us partners with God’s enemy.

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. (vs. 20)

Jesus came!  Knowing God is impossible apart from Jesus revealing Him to us.  Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God! (Colossians 1:15)  Jesus is the only Mediator between man and God! (1 Timothy 2:5) Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life–the only way to the Father! (John 14:6)

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (vs. 21)

I like the way the New Living Translation puts it: “Keep yourselves from anything that MIGHT take God’s place in your heart.”  Since we have so much confidence in our salvation and our God, we must keep Him first in our hearts.  Because we live in a world controlled by Satan and his chief objective is to dethrone God, we need to be on guard!  Anything that MIGHT threaten God’s first-place position, must be guarded against.  One of  my favorite quotes is, “Don’t even taste what you don’t want to be hungry for!”  It is better to starve sin because small bites lead to feasts!

Loving God first, loving others well, and not loving the world are the themes of this letter.  Living by loving achieves the four-fold goals John put forth in this writing:

  1. To teach what maintains fellowship with God.
  2. To lead us on the path to unity with all believers.
  3. To help us avoid sin in our lives.
  4. To make our joy complete.



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