2013-03-22 - Children of God
The Epistles of John ~ Part 106 ~ 1 John 5
But regardless of what the sin unto death refers to, clearly the life of the believer is no longer typified by sin, as is the case for the unbeliever. We are no longer under the control of sin.
Next, because we are Christians, we are kept safe from the evil one (which is the best reading of this verse.) And the confidence that comes from this truth should extend to our reaction to living in a fallen world. Just as we are protected from Satan, so too are we protected from his world. Since we aren't protected from circumstances, we must conclude that we are protected from the spiritual destruction that exists in the world around us.
Verse 19: The world lies comfortably in the power of the Evil One. Christians don't. Those who live in the physical world are either abiding in God, or they rest comfortably in Satan. There is no middle ground. Just as one is either Jew or Gentile, one is either a child of God or a child of the devil.
Verse 20: Finally, John reemphasizes there is only one way to be a child of God. To be in relationship with God means to be in relationship with Christ Jesus. And those who are His know Him, because they have the understanding of who He is. This understanding, of course, comes from the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives. There is no way to know God, except as He makes himself known. And, just so there is no mistake, John once again reminds his readers that God is Christ Jesus incarnate. Only through the acceptance of this fact, does a person really know Christ and is truly saved.
Verse 21: And to follow after any other christ, just like the one of the false prophets, is to follow an idol. People don't really understand the implications of false doctrine. It is just as much the practice of idolatry as worshiping a pagan image. It turns one from truth. It turns one from God. And in the final analysis, it leads to eternal judgment.
To be continued.
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