1 John 5:18-20

1 John 5:18‑20  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
JO 5"18-20{It is a wonderful conclusion, which we find in this scripture, to the whole epistle. Three times the apostle says, "We know; " and in each case the word employed indicates inward conscious knowledge; that is, not only knowledge of the fact as revealed, and testified to, in the Scripture, but this knowledge also made good in the soul in the power of the Holy Ghost, so that we have the inward conviction and certainty of its truth, and in such wise that living in the enjoyment of it, we are molded and governed by it. First, "we know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not," &c. This is according to John's presentation of the truth (see chapter 3: 6-9), confining himself entirely to what is born of God, being, what is often termed, an abstract view of the case; so that thinking only of the believer as possessing a divine nature, he can truly say that, so regarded, he does not sin. The next clause reveals his liability and his danger, and hence John adds, "He that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." Next we have, "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness" (or, "the wicked one"). It is of immense moment to possess this certainty (compare John 8:38-4538I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. 39They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 42Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. (John 8:38‑45)); and having it, as every believer should, we can never be deceived as to the character of the world; for knowing that we are of God, we also know that the whole world lies in, is in the power of, and morally exists in, the wicked one. For all who have this inward consciousness, an impassable barrier is raised between them and the world, as morally impassable as that which existed between Lazarus in Abraham's bosom and the rich man in torment. Lastly, "We know that the Son of God has come," &c. And having come He has "given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true." Here the word "know" is different, the reason being that the Son of God is presented to us as the object of faith (compare Gal. 2:2020I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)), and thus, while we may inwardly apprehend Him and His presence, it is ever true that we know Him objectively. The reality and the truth of His person is in this way guarded. (See chapter 1: 1) Then it is added, "And we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ." The Lord thus said, after speaking of the coming of the Comforter, "At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." (John 14:2020At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (John 14:20)) The Son is " divinely one" with the Father, and we, having a divine nature and eternal life, are in the Son, as to our place before the Father, as also in His own relationship, as we know from His words, "My Father, and your Father." (Chapter 20:17) He, moreover, is in us, and this brings in our responsibility before the world. But this travels beyond our scripture. Having said that we are in Him that is true, John concludes: "This is the true God and Eternal Life." He who is the Son, and Jesus Christ, is, blessed be His name, no less than the true God and eternal life. What grace! And what a privilege to "know" this even now! E. D.