1 John 5:18

1 John 5:18  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
18We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. (1 John 5:18)It is essential for the understanding of John's epistles to remember that, in such statements as this, he confines himself to the positive character (excluding from his view all other considerations) of the new nature. "Whosoever is born of God, sinneth not." He does not for one moment forget that the believer has two natures (chap. 1:8), or that he may fall into sin (v. 16); but he is stating in an abstract, and therefore absolute, way, because he is thinking alone, of what is born of God, that such an one does not sin. (See chap. 3:9) This will explain what follows. First he says, "He that is begotten of 'God keepeth himself;" that is, he will act according to his nature, the new nature-not that he may not fail sometimes to be watchful, but that, having been born of God, it is a necessary consequence, considering alone what this new nature is, how it' is necessarily antagonistic to sin, and that 'it will shun temptation as being averse from it, that lad will keep himself." Then he adds, "And that wicked one toucheth him not." Satan indeed is powerless in the presence of a child of God when he keepeth himself. He may come, as he did to our blessed Lord and Savior, and seek, by his allurements, to find an entrance into the soul by every possible avenue; but he cannot succeed if he that is born of God is on the watch. He cannot penetrate inside the circle where the child of God is abiding in dependence and obedience. He may seek to entice the believer to come outside the circle; but he cannot touch the one who is "keeping himself" inside. And the reader is again reminded that, in the view of the apostle, he that is born of God does so keep himself; for in the nature received from God in the new birth there could be no response either to sin or to Satan; only the most Positive detestation of both. (Compare John 14:3030Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. (John 14:30))
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