1 John 5:18-21 / In Truth (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on August 21, 2014


This is the twenty-fifth and final message in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of 1 John. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of August 17, 2014. This message concludes John’s letter, and reenforces the security that we have in the truth of Jesus Christ. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

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1 John 5:18-21

John concludes by stating three certainties that characterize his position over against the false teachers:

  1. We know that anyone born of God does not continue in sin (v.18).
  2. We know that we of God (v.19).
  3. We know that the Son of God has come and has given us certain, definite knowledge about himself (v.20).

Simply put, the true believer will not remain in sin.

It’s not that they will never commit a sin, John makes it clear that we will.

1 John 1:10

The true believer will not remain in sin. When they sin, they will eventually repent.

It’s the one who remains in a state of constant sin who is not born of God.

Because the believer belongs to God, Satan must operate within God’s authority and boundaries.

Satan cannot act beyond what God allows.

Job 2:5-6

While Satan may persecute, tempt, test, and accuse the believer, God protects his children and places definite limits on Satan’s power.

In fact, satan is powerless compared to God. As such satan is already defeated.

Romans 16:20

In this case, the wicked one is working through the false teachers who John has so adamantly warned about.

However noble the sentiments expressed by the false teachers, the test of the truth of God is conduct and adherence to His word.

A sinful life is totally incompatible with the life received from God.

As John writes this,he knows the difficult temptations that believers face.

He knows how crafty satan and his workers are.

Nonetheless, he has been adamant in his confidence that the wicked one need not prevail, because of the presence of the power of God in the believer.

In fact, Jesus prayed for our protection from satan.

John 17:15

Building on his previous thought, we know that we are of God.

John’s letter has done a couple of things.

First, it has warned against false teachers.

Second, it has told us how to discern between believers and non-believers, which is critical, if we are to recognize the false teachers.

This letter has given us assurances that we belong to God. John is adamant that we can know, and God provides that. assurance.

1 John 5:13

To say that we are of God, differentiates us from the world.

The world is under the influence of satan, but believers have been freed from that.

Believers belong to God, and are no longer of the world.

John 17:16

In fact, Jesus identified two families on this earth.

John 8:44

If you don’t belong to God, by default you belong to satan.

John’s third point affirms the point of dispute with the false teachers. Christian faith has to do with Jesus Christ.

He is the “Word of life”

1 John 1:1

He is eternal life

1 John 1:2

By his coming, we can know the true God and have fellowship with him.

The false teachers denied these revelations from God’s Word.

That Jesus is God and eternal life, is the doctrinal foundation from which comes love and obedience.

The false teachers had tried to destroy this foundation, just as they do today.

  • Instead of teaching Christ as revealed in Scripture, they teach that you can save yourself.
  • They teach you how to prosper.
  • They teach you how to be successful according to the world’s standards.
  • They have become motivational teachers, building self esteem rather than esteeming others.
  • They teach you that you are good, and God will bless you, no matter what.
  • They have sought to undermine everything that Jesus Christ has done.

It is Christ and Christ alone. That is the thrust of this letter.

  • It is through Christ that we attain righteousness.
  • It is through Christ that we love.
  • It is through Christ that we have fellowship and unity.

John kept his eyes on Christ, and wanted His readers to do the same.

If they could clearly recognize Christ, then they would recognize the false teachers.

In closing, and in keeping with staying focused on Christ, comes the admonition to keep ourselves from idols.

This verse needs no commentary. Idolatry is simply incompatible with life in Christ.

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