September 22 2021
We Cannot Keep on Sinning
1 John 5:16-18
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death. 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.
There are some things we can know as believers. This is a repeated theme in this little epistle. The word “know” shows up in at least twenty-nine verses in the book of 1 John. In this last chapter the word “know” is used eight times. As we prepare to finish our study on the wonderful letter we need to be reminded that John was writing to encourage believers with the Truth about Jesus Christ. He specifically was dealing with the “Gnostics” who claimed to have exclusive access to knowledge in a mystical way. They had invaded 1st Century Christianity with their false teachings about the deity of Christ and about sin.
John is teaching that genuine believers have true knowledge about Jesus and His deity and how we should understand and deal with sin. And we can be certain and sure about these truths! Already in this last chapter we find that we can know who a true Christian is. We can know that we have victory over the world. We can know who Jesus Christ really is. We can know that we have eternal life. And we can know that God answers the prayers of His children.
Now, John comes back to something he has also been teaching earlier in this letter. True believer cannot habitually keep on sinning. This was in contrast to the Gnostics who were teaching that sin really doesn’t exist and you can call yourself a Christian and live like you pleased! "We know that no one who is born of God sins" (1 John 5:18). "No one who is born of God practices sin" (1 John 3:9). Occasional sins are not here in view, but habitual sins, the practice of sin. Because a believer has a new nature ("God's seed," 1 John 3:9), he now has new desires and appetites and should not be interested in sin.
A Christian faces three enemies, all of which want to lead him into sin: the world, the flesh, and the devil.
The world "lies in the power of the evil one" (1 John 5:19), Satan—the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:3-4) and the prince of this world (John 14:30). He is the spirit who works in the children of disobedience (Eph. 2:2).
Satan has many devices for leading a believer into sin. He tells lies, as he did to Eve (Gen. 3; 2 Cor. 11:1-3), and when men believe his lies they turn away from and disobey God's truth. Or, Satan may inflict physical suffering, as he did with Job and Paul (2 Cor. 12:7-9). In David's case, Satan used pride as his weapon and urged David to number the people and in this way defy God (1 Chron. 21). Satan is like a serpent who deceives (Rev. 12:9) and a lion who devours (1 Peter 5:8-9). He is a formidable enemy.
Then there is the problem of the flesh, the old nature with which we were born and which is still with us. True, we have a new nature (the divine seed, 1 John 3:9) within us, but we do not always yield to our new nature.
The world is our third enemy (1 John 2:15, 17). It is easy for us to yield to the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life! The atmosphere around us makes it hard for us to keep our minds pure and our hearts true to God.
So, how do we as believers keep from sinning? We will discuss that tomorrow! Today, we need to make sure that we have a relationship with Jesus Christ and not just a religion. Is there enough evidence in your life that you could be convicted for being a follower of Jesus?