We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.
The first line of 1 John 5:18 grabs your attention. “We know…” In other words, this is common knowledge, and then he follows with a statement that causes us to pause. “… anyone born of God does not continue to sin…” Say what?
But I thought the Bible taught, “… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23) Aren’t we all sinners saved by grace?
Don’t worry. You and John are on the same page. And yes, we still sin. Here’s John’s point. Because you are born of God and belong to Him through the work of Christ, sin is no longer your master. Your sin does not lead to death because Jesus keeps that from happening. He is “… the One who was born of God…” who keeps us safe.
Jesus saves and He keeps us saved. Remember, we can’t save ourselves. All the good works under heaven won’t get you there. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Most of us don’t function well in an environment where we are frequently criticized for inferior performance. Ultimately, under that kind of scrutiny, our work gets worse, not better. Too much of that kind of treatment leads to feelings of inferiority and self-esteem issues.
When one of my boys was in the fourth grade, he had a personality conflict with his teacher. He couldn’t do anything to please her. Eventually, the principal agreed to move him to another class. Soon, his grades jumped from failing to A’s and B’s. What was the difference? The new teacher was kind, supportive, and an encourager. Mistakes weren’t the end of the world. They were learning opportunities.
Our God doesn’t kick us off the team every time we sin. He might bench us once in a while or allow us to reap the consequences of our sin. We’re to view hardship as discipline from God and use those times as learning opportunities. (Hebrews 12:7)
Before you gave your life to Christ, all roads led to hell. Now you’re on the Highway to Heaven. There will be some rough patches along the way, and you will take some foolish side roads, but your destination remains the same. Jesus will safely get you there. God protects His children.
John shares one more facet of this precious gem at the conclusion of verse 18. “… and the evil one cannot harm them.” The Devil can tempt, intimidate, deceive, and cause you to doubt your salvation or God’s faithfulness. But he can’t carry out his ultimate goal of eternally separating you from God, which is the death penalty for sin. Never forget: “… the One who was born of God keeps them (you) safe…”
For more on this topic, check out this article: Your Thorn of Trouble that Won’t Go Away
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.