Verse 18 reads
“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.”
John says, everyone born of God does not keep on sinning. He said this right after warning us to pray for our brothers who we saw sinning. If a Christian is made aware of the sin they are doing they will stop and repent. It is in that ability to listen to the Spirit and desist sinning that the God protects His children from the devil. We are not under Satan’s power, like the world is. He can’t even touch us. The devil can’t be your excuse.
Take heart in the fact that if you are following Jesus, in fellowship with other believers (Verses 16-17) and listening to the Spirit the devil can’t touch you. It is in the practice of sinning that you invite him in. And John says is you keep sinning after you’ve been made aware of it, then you have not been born of God.
I pity the lost. They think they are free and they even think they are good. But they are deceived. They are bound to the ruler of this world because they won’t bow to the King of kings. They don’t even know. Verse 19 says,
“We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”
But we do know! We have power. We are protected from the evil one. That means we can make a difference. We can go to them and be Jesus to them. We can reveal the truth to them and let them choose. But if no one gives them the truth, how will they ever get to choose? The path they are on is horrible and easy. It is leading to eternal damnation.
You and I have eternal life and it is free and wonderful and difficult. We have this awesome gift from our Holy Father. Jesus Christ paid the price because He is the only one who could. The Holy Spirit fills us, teaches and transforms us. Eternal life is awesome in every sense of the word.
Verse 20 reads,
“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.”
We have understanding, we have the truth. The world doesn’t. Their ignorance doesn’t protect them it sends them to hell. You and I have this most amazing gift. We have this beautiful relationship with Almighty God. The world doesn’t have it, they have been duped into thinking they don’t want it.
We have the power to tell them the truth. Will we be attacked when we try and tell them? Absolutely, yes! But the evil one can’t touch us! He has no power over us at all. But he’ll fight tooth and nail to keep his children, whom he hates from becoming God’s children. Don’t fall into hating them or being bitter and defensive through the enemy’s attempts to hold onto them. Love them, be compassionate towards their plight. They are slaves and do not know it.
John ends his letter with verse 21
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”
It seems strange, like a disjointed afterthought. But the Holy Spirit doesn’t do disconnected. This warning is important to keeping us away from a practice of sinning. Keeping God our priority is vital to walking in truth. When we go out into the world, idols are everywhere. It is so easy to become enamored of worldly things and let those things take God’s throne. The enemy can’t touch you, but he can and will try anything to get you to stop doing what Jesus did. He will try to get you to love the worldly things so that you don’t love people. He will try to make you as ineffective as possible. Idolatry is one of his favorite weapons.
Believer, you have God living inside you! You have eternal life! You have understanding. You have the truth. You are powerful and protected. You can make a difference.