By Stan Brown
I John 5:18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him and the evil one does not touch him.
John ends his epistle with a series of three statements beginning with the words we know. The first statement is we know that no one who is born of God sins. John has already discussed this concept earlier in 3:9 where he said. Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because his seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God. We know that this cannot mean that believers are sinless as he has also written If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
In discussing 3:9. I wrote the following, “John has been emphasizing the fact that sin has no place with God. God is righteous . Sin can have no place in Him or His presence. All righteousness is sourced in God. Sin is sourced in Satan and his minions. When we sin, it is because we succumb to the lures of the world and the antichrists dominated by the devil. John is encouraging us as believers to choose righteousness. There would be no need for him to write this if we were already righteous. We struggle with sin because the old man still exists within us. Paul describes it in detail. (Rom. 7:22-24 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?)”
In the beginning of his epistle John had elucidated the way that believers may deal with sin in their lives and walk in fellowship with God as the blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness. We are born with an innate sin nature that does not leave us until we see Jesus face to face and the words of Paul are fulfilled, For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1Cor. 15:53). John gives us assurance here at the end of the epistle that in the new birth we have been given the resources to defeat sin in our lives. We are born of God.
The assurance might be described in these words, “The words of this epistle have been written to tell you how to deal with sin in your lives. When you examine your own lives, you know how powerful it is including the enticements of the world and the lies of the antichrists as they deny everything you believe. Now, you need to be assured that you are completely secure in Christ. You are born again from above. You have been born of God. Sin remains a real enemy as Paul states but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin. Yet, there remains in you that which is born of God and Satan can never touch that. Strive to live in light of who you are, remembering that you are born of God.”
John will explain this further with additional we know statements.