1 John chapter 5

What do you know?

We know that those who have become part of God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot get his hands on them. We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the power and control of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we are in God because we are in his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life. – Vs 18-20 NLT

John wraps up his letter with a few simple declarations about what it is we should know as believers in Jesus Christ. He says we should know that as believers, because we belong to God and He cares for us, we will not live lives that are characterized by habitual, repeated sin. We will not be easy prey to the enemy. Sin will be a part of our lives, but not a prevalent or pervasive part. We won’t make it a practice of sinning. We will find sinning repulsive, not attractive. Why? Because we are held securely in the hands of Jesus Christ. He not only died for us, He lives for us. He has given us His Spirit to empower us. Sin becomes an anomaly in my life, not normalcy.

Secondly, John says that we should know that we are children of God. We should recognize that we are called to be set apart, distinct and different from the world around us. In fact, he reminds us that we should also have an awareness that the world is under the power and control of the enemy. Nothing we see happen in the world should surprise or shock us. The news we see on TV and in the daily paper should not be news to us at all. It is the natural outcome of a world under the control of Satan. The Message paraphrases verse 19 this way, “We know that we are held firm by God; it’s only the people of the world who continue in the grip of the Evil One.” That makes it a little more personal, because we are not talking about an impersonal world, but about real people who are “in the grip of the Evil One.” They are enslaved to sin and to Satan. He is using them and abusing them daily. He cares nothing for them, but only desires their destruction. But we have the privilege of being children of God. Do you see the dichotomy here? We are the “haves” and they are the “have nots.” We have what they need, but we are like children from a wealthy family who walk by the poverty in their own community everyday without using our abundant resources to do anything about it. Yes, we are called to distinct, but that does imply distance. We know we are children of God, and we know they are not. But our desire should be that they experience the same adoption into God’s family that we have enjoyed.

Finally, John says that we know that Jesus is the Son of God and that He has given us the ability to understand and know God. John uses two different words for “know” here. The first word is eido and it simply means that we recognize or understand. We see or perceive that the Son of God has come. It is evident in our lives and in His ministry to us and through us. This has to do with perception. The second word is ginosko and it has to do with intimacy. It means “to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of.” Because Jesus Christ has come into my life, I have the ability to know God in an intimate and personal way. I have been reconciled or made right in my relationship with Him. I was once an enemy, but now I am His child. I was once under His divine wrath, but now I enjoy His love and compassion. I have a personal relationship with the one true God.

Do you know that today? Do you think about it? Do you see it and perceive it in your life every day? It reminds me of the words of the old hymn, “I Know Whom I Have Believed.”

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.

But I know Whom I have believèd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.

I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.

But I know Whom I have believèd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.

Father, there is a lot I don’t know. But I do know that Your Son came to give me eternal life and because of simple faith in the gospel message, I am now Your Son and have a relationship with You that I never could have had any other way. I also know that I am Your child and I live among people who do not enjoy that same privilege. They are under the control of the enemy. They are slaves to unrighteousness. Give me a heart for them. Don’t let me walk past them, judging them as I go. May I perceive their predicament and understand that I have the answer. It is the same gift I received from You. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men

2 thoughts on “1 John chapter 5

  1. Thanks for your devotional. There are lots of things we don’t know. But the Lord has seen to it that we know enough! Daniel Whittle’s gospel song, based on the words of Paul (II Tim. 1:12) says it. Whittle had a most unusual conversion experience. If you haven’t come across it, I invite you to check out my hymn history blog for today, Wordwise Hymns.

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