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The Believer’s Knowledge
1 Jn. 5: 18-21


Christianity is not built upon human stories, fables, myths, or other uncertainties. It is built upon the
solid rock of Divine Revelation. A Christian is not left to be carried to and fro by changeable winds of
human doctrine. He is established by the Word of Eternal God who is the God of truth. We are
dealing with the last 3 verses of this beautiful Epistle. What a wonderful truth that John wrote the
words “we know”. Indeed, there are many things “we know” which is of prime importance.

I. Things we Know (1 Jn. 5:18)

A. Whosoever is born of God sinneth not;

1. This statement is similar to 1 Jn. 3:9 and can be confusing to believers.
2. We can read from 1 Jn. 1:8 and 10 that:
a. Christian does commits sin. He is not perfect and can fall anytime.
b. To say that we have no sin is a lie, and to make God a liar
c. The true meaning of the term “sinneth not” is, “a Christian does not
continuously or habitually commit sin”
d. We know this because a saved person is a changed person. He has a new
nature as written in 2 Cor. 5:17.
e. This new nature, changes the sinner’s purpose and life style. He now has
new direction in life, new destiny, new future, new desires.
f. A true believer will confess, forsake his sin, and find forgiveness as we
learned in chapter 1.
g. If he persistently and wilfully commits sin, He will be chastised by the Lord. If
a believer stubbornly commits sin despite being chastised, we learned about
the “sin unto death” last week which is “physical death”.
h. Chastisement is a proof of sonship. (Heb. 12:8).

Illustration 1: When a True Christian sin, what happens?

1. His Fellowship with God is severed. David, when backslidden, mourned, “Day and night thy hand
was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer” (Psalm 32:4). As Clouds
hide the sun for days, so Sin comes between the soul and God.
2. The Joy of salvation is lost. One loses all relish for spiritual things: the heart is empty. David, in this
condition, confessed, “My sin is ever before me” and “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and
uphold me with thy free Spirit” (Psalm 51:3, 12).
3. Power for service is lost. The Holy Spirit’s power is Essential for any real witness for Christ. It
cannot be Faked. David prayed, “Thou desirest truth in the inward parts” and “Create in me a clean
heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:6, 10).
4. The Christian invites divine chastisement. Hebrews 12:6-7” Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth,
and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth…. What son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
(Psalm 89:32-33” I will visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
Nevertheless, my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.”
5. There is loss of reward. (Read 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.) Out of Fellowship means out of Service—out
of service means that one is failing to lay up treasures in heaven. He is building of “wood, hay, and
stubble” which cannot endure the test of the rewarding day (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). Many will be
humiliated in that day by suffering Loss of Reward.

B. He that is begotten of God keepeth himself

1. Our new nature will give us “a preventive” measure not to commit sin.
a. A believer is now “spiritual” not “carnal”.
b. He has the Holy Spirit who gives him victory over the terrible desires of the
flesh. (Gal. 5:16-17).
c. The term “begotten of God” means “born of God”, a son of God and
therefore a real or true Christian.
d. A true believer is kept by the power of God (1 Pet. 1:5)
e. The words “keepeth himself” here means we have a responsibility also of
avoiding and not committing sin.
f. God is our divine keeper; however, we must also do our best to avoid sin.

Illustration 2: Washing Your Hand

If you don’t wash your hands, you’re threatening your own health as well as the health of others,
especially if you’re involved in handling food, at work or at home. More than forty million people get
sick every year from hand-carried bacteria, say health experts. Washing your hands is the simplest
but most important thing you can do to control the spread of infectious diseases.
A new device that costs three thousand dollars had been devised to check restaurant employees to
make sure they wash their hands after visiting the washroom. Keeping clean is expensive, but
spreading germs costs even more. It’s good to pray “Wash me” (Ps. 51:2, 7), but don’t forget that
God expects us to wash ourselves (Isa. 1:16; 2 Cor. 7:1). Prokope,’ Vol. 1, No. 4, October-December,
1997, p. 4

C. That wicked one toucheth him not.

1. When we submit to God and resist the devil, he will flee from us. (Jas. 4:7).
2. We can stand up against the devil and oppose him (1 Pet. 5:9).
3. Satan cannot lay hold of the believer.
4. Practically speaking, a believer can fall into sin, back slide, be carnal and worldly,
but they can go back to God.
5. Many Bible characters made many mistakes in their lives but God dealt with
them. He will not allow his children to continue to sin and be captive of the

II. Christian and the World (1 Jn. 5:19)

A. We know we are of God
1. The Christian is “born of God” (1 Jn. 5:1).
2. Believers are called the “sons of God” (1 Jn. 3:1,2).
3. What a blessing we have in Jesus Christ. Amazing grace.
B. The whole world lieth in wickedness.
1. Those in the world are not of God
2. They are sons of the devil (Jn. 8:44)
3. We know that there is a clear separation line between Christians and the world,
between children of God and children of the devil.

Illustration 3: World Originally Created Good
1. Originally created good (Gen. 1:31).
2. Cursed and corrupted through Satan (Gen. 3:1-24).
3. Now enemy occupied territory with Satan as God (II Cor. 4:4, John 12:31, 16:11).
4. Whole world lies in his power (I John 5:19).
5. Permeated by Satanic influence, a defiling (II Peter 1:4, 2:20, James 1:27), deceptive (II Cor. 11:14-
15, Rev. 12:9), scheme (Eph. 6:11), that is at work around and in us; designed to convince us to
conform (Rom. 12:2) to a mindset and lifestyle that are essentially anti-god and pro-self (cf. I Peter
5:8, Eph. 1:1-3, 6:12, 16, Isa. 14:11-14). J. Grant Howard, Balancing Life’s Demands, p. 134.

III. Spiritual Knowledge (1 Jn. 5:20)

A. The Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding
1. The Lord Jesus Christ gave us true spiritual understanding about God. (Jn. 1:18).
B. That we may know him that is true…in His Son Jesus Christ.
1. That we may know the true and real God against the false gods and idols.
C. We are in Him, the true God, and His Son Jesus Christ.
1. God the Father and Christ are one, and this divine unity is our eternal security
(Jn. 10:27-30).
2. The absolute deity of The Lord Jesus Christ is clearly shown again here.
3. This is the true God, and eternal life. The absolute certainty of our salvation
beyond reasonable doubt. If we have Christ, we are saved, and we are saved

IV. Keep yourself from idols. (1 Jn. 5:21)

A. We know that idols are statues or false gods made by the hands of man.
B. An idol is anything that takes the place of God in your life. It could be your work,
possessions, television, sports personalities, movie actors or actresses, musicians,
and other worldly people.
C. The Word of God gives a strong warning against idolaters (Rev. 14:9-11; 21:8) that
we may know how serious and how abominable this sin is in the eye of the Lord.

V. Conclusion:

There are many things that we as believer know as revealed to us by the Word of God.
We know that real believers do not continue to sin, we know that we should keep
ourselves from sinning, and the wicked one touches us not. We know that we are sons
of God and that we se should separate ourselves from the world and from idols. Such
things are wonderful things and we owe to Christ alone. Would you repent from your
sins now and receive Him as your personal Saviour?

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