1John 5:18-21 We know that whosoever is born of God sin not; but he that is begotten of God keep himself, and that wicked one touches him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
‘We know that whosoever is born of God’ for those who accept Christ as their Saviour and live their lives according to His earthly example (1Pet. 2:21-23) as they grow in love, knowledge and judgement (Php. 1:9) and are filled by joy and the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:52).
‘Born of God’ many Scriptures say that when one is born again and in Christ, he “receives power to become a son of God” (1:12); he has “crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Gal. 5:24); “his sins are blotted out” (Acts 3:19); “he is washed, sanctified, and justified” (1 Cor. 6:9-11; Rev. 1:5); “he has turned from darkness to light and from the power of satan to the power of God” (Acts 26:18); “he has salvation” (Rom. 1:16; 2 Thess. 2:13); “he is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:22-24); “he is God’s elect” (Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:2-4; Col. 3:12); and “he departs from all iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:4, 19-22).
‘Sins not’ does not practice sin (2:29; 3:5-10), live therein (Rom. 6) or give approval thereof (Rom. 1:32).
‘The wicked one touches him not’ the devil has no access to those who are born of God and keep (prevent) themselves from sin. Only by allowing sin can the devil bring destruction (3:8-10; John 8:44; 10:10). We are warned in Scripture to be sober and vigilant because the devil walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, thus he needs access. Therefore we need to resist him and be steadfast in our faith (1Pet 5:8-9) and to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might by putting on the whole armour of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:10-18).
‘Wickedness’ the wicked one. The whole world is embraced in the arms of the devil and is more or less asleep in death in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1-9).
‘Come’ has come in the flesh (4:2-3), and has brought redemption by His atoning work (1Pet. 2:24; Col. 1:20-22). ‘Understanding’ it comes before faith and redemption (Rom. 10:17; 1Cor. 1:30).
‘This is the true God, and eternal life’ eternal life is to know God and Jesus Christ (John 17:2-3).
‘Little children’ a term used nine times in this epistle (2:1, 12, 13, 18, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4, 21). It is used elsewhere only in John 13:33 and Galatians 4:19. There are four stages of Christian experience: infants; newborn (1Jn. 2:12); little children; those able to walk and talk (1Jn. 2:13); young men; those grown to the prime of life and no longer tossed about like children by fallacies (1Jn. 2:13-14); fathers; those who are matured in the Lord (1Jn. 2:13-14).
‘Keep yourselves from idols’ avoid idolatry, false gods, and have no idols in your hearts and lives. Love God first and last (Matt. 22:37). We read in 2Peter 2:19b what idolatry cost: “…for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” This is the cost of sin, bondage. Whatever you chose to serve, of that you shall be in bondage.