Clarifying Confusion

1 John 5:19–21 19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20And 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. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols

Do you wonder where you stand with God in Christ? Are you safe and secure, or should you be concerned?

The Apostle John wrote the letter of 1 John to explain how people can know they are truly children of God and recipients of eternal life. This is an important letter because it confronts duplicitous people who have a false hope of eternal life, and it comforts Christ-centered and loving people who long for the assurance that they possess eternal life. The message of this letter is relevant because some people continue to think they’re good with God even though they practice selfish and sinful ways. Some people trust Jesus as their Savior and walk in love, truth, and righteousness, but struggle with assurance. John’s letter condemns the compromisers and emboldens the confidence of the true children of God.

Verses 19-21 sum up the teaching of John’s letter. There are only two kinds of people on Earth. The first kind is those with saving faith in Jesus who reside in God and are empowered by God. The second kind is those whose lives give consistent evidence that they remain under the control of Satan. Even though some among this second group claim to know God, John presents the truth that their sinful and selfish conduct is evidence that they are without God and hope.

People living under the power and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ are blessed with spiritual life and understanding. They know and trust Jesus Christ alone as their Savior from the curse of sin and the power of sin. They consistently love the Lord and walk in the light as He is in the light. It is not that they achieve sinless perfection, but they entrust themselves to the gospel grace of the Lord and are consistently faithful and obedient, resisting all forms of idolatry.

If the truth of God’s word convicts you of your sin and selfishness, repent and trust in Jesus as your Savior and Lord. If the truth of God’s word confirms your faith and grace-enabled obedience, rejoice, child of God, all is well!