It provides powerful insights into the relationship between believers and the world, as well as the role of God's protection in their lives.
- Whoever is born of God doesn't sin:
John starts by affirming a fundamental truth about those who are born of God. He declares that those who have been born again, who have experienced a spiritual rebirth through faith in Christ, do not continue to live in a pattern of habitual sin. This does not imply that believers will never sin, but rather that sin does not define their lives. The transformative power of God's Spirit within them enables them to resist sin and pursue righteousness.
- He who was born of God keeps himself:
John highlights the responsibility of believers to keep themselves in the context of their new identity in Christ. Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, believers have the power to resist temptation, overcome sin, and live in obedience to God's commandments. This emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility and active participation in maintaining a lifestyle that honors God.
- The evil one doesn't touch him:
By keeping themselves, believers are shielded from the influence of the evil one. While they may face temptations and spiritual battles, the evil one cannot gain ultimate control over their lives. Through their connection to God and their commitment to righteousness, believers are protected from the enemy's schemes and attacks.
- We are of God:
John shifts the focus to the identity of believers. He reminds them that they belong to God. As children of God, they are set apart from the world and have a different allegiance and spiritual lineage. This identity in God empowers believers to live differently and resist the sway of the world and its values.
- The whole world lies in the power of the evil one:
In contrast to the believers who are of God, John acknowledges the spiritual condition of the world. He states that the entire world lies under the power and influence of the evil one. This highlights the fallen nature of the world, which is under the dominion of the devil. The world system is characterized by sin, unbelief, and rebellion against God.
In the broader context of the letter of 1 John, the apostle addresses various themes related to the Christian faith, including the assurance of salvation, love for one another, and the victory over sin. He emphasizes the importance of living in light of God's truth, walking in obedience, and discerning between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
The significance of 1 John 5:18-19 for us today is manifold:
First, it reassures believers of their position in Christ and the power they possess through the indwelling Holy Spirit. It reminds us that we have the ability, through God's grace, to resist sin and live victoriously.
Second, it underscores the need for personal responsibility and active participation in guarding ourselves against the influence of the evil one. We must be vigilant in our pursuit of righteousness and intentional in our choices to align with God's will.
Third, it serves as a reminder of the stark contrast between the kingdom of God and the world system. While the world may be under the power of the evil one, believers have been set apart and belong to God. This calls us to live counter-culturally, rejecting the values and influences that contradict God's truth.
Lastly, it encourages believers to hold fast to their faith and remain steadfast in the face of the world's opposition. Even though the world may be under the sway of the evil one, our ultimate allegiance is to God, and He provides the necessary protection and strength to withstand the enemy's attacks.
In summary, 1 John 5:18-19 reminds us of the transformative power of our new birth in Christ and the responsibility we have to keep ourselves aligned with God's truth. It assures us of God's protection and highlights the distinction between believers, who are of God, and the fallen world under the power of the evil one. As we embrace our identity in Christ and remain faithful to Him, we can experience victory over sin and live as lights in a dark world.
See also: vs 20-21
1 John 5:18-19. We know that whoever is born of God doesn’t sin, but he who was born of God keeps himself, and the evil one doesn’t touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.