Assurance of Salvation and Warning Against Idolatry

Hebrews defines faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11.1).

The knowledge of reality that God grants us not only assures us but also strengthens our faith.

What is the particular aspect of reality that John refers to, and how does it contribute to strengthening our faith?

While reading John’s concluding words in his letter, look for the phrase “we know” as it provides the answer to the question.

We know that those who are born of God do not sin, but the one who was born of God protects them, and the evil one does not touch them.

We know that we are God’s children and that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one.

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ.

He is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5.18-20).

Freedom from Sin

As human beings, we are all flawed and it is a part of our nature to sin.

However, as believers, we understand that God’s grace and provision offer us a way out of the bondage of sin. That is the point of the first “we know” in verse 18.

We are not meant to live in a perpetual state of guilt and shame for our wrongdoings. Instead, we are offered forgiveness and the opportunity to start anew.

We can rely on God’s strength and guidance to lead us toward a life of righteousness and good works.

Our Place in the World

John’s message highlights our place in the world, acknowledging that the evil one holds power over it. Nevertheless, we, as God’s children, have the power of God at our disposal.

Isaiah’s message, as depicted in chapters 7-39, urged God’s people to place their trust in God rather than forming alliances with other nations.

Both Isaiah and John understood that the world’s system, under the control of the evil one, possesses immense strength.

Nonetheless, they believed that God’s power surpasses it infinitely, and we can rely on Him entirely as His children.

The awareness of this truth should motivate us to stay loyal to God and resist the temptation to be enticed by the world’s ways.

Standing with Jesus

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14.6).

Some people believe that Jesus taught timeless truths, along with other leaders of world religions. Jesus embodied the truth in his person.

As followers of Jesus, we personally know him. By humbly following his guidance, we can trust that he will lead us to the truth.

Given that Jesus embodies the essence of truth, his followers must refrain from relying on alternatives for his counsel, as highlighted by John in his letter where he admonished, “Dear children, guard yourselves against idols” (1 John 5:21).

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I conclude our study of 1 John today. The video can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.

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