By Stan Brown
I John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
We know that the only protection from sin lies in the power of God. When we believe in Him, we are truly born again. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature (2Cor. 5:17). When we believe in Him, we are given access to the only power in the universe that can defeat the power of sin. We are not sinless but God gives us all the resources necessary to defeat sin in our lives. We know that no one who is born of God sins. This is what John has declared in the first of his three we know statements.
Today we move on to the second we know statement with an exceedingly powerful contrast between the world controlled by Satan and the sphere in which we as believers are to live. (Pause briefly to remember that John speaks with absolutes. He does not mean that believers never sin. He took care of that false notion ealy in this epistle. Neither does he mean that unbelievers never do anything that we would consider good. Some of them live lives that outshine the lives of some believers hence the parable of the “Wheat and the Weeds (Matt. 13:24-30)”. Yet John says there is no connection between the world controlled by Satan and those who are of God. Pause ends here.)
Hodges writes, “We as believers are (or should be) be the active agents of God in a world that has chosen simply to lie down in the power of Satan. The believer must not only be aware of his own sinless inward man but also of his own utter separateness from the whole world that lies under Satan’s sway.” We are not separate from the sinners who live in this world for we are God’s message of love to the world. The truth is that the world is unknowingly held under the deluding power of Satan. Sometimes Satan reveals the darkness of who he is. Sometimes Satan emulates light as he deceives the world and often believers as well.
John describes only two options. (1) We are of God and no one who is born of God sins. (2) The whole world lies in the power of the evil one. Satan is the great deceiver and uses every device he can including simulated light to have evil reign supreme and he is really good at it. He is often much better at it than believers are at living out all that is involved in being born of God. We must be sure that we are seeing God’s truth rather than our own ideas as we look into the mirror of His Word.
We must stand back for just a minute and ask ourselves the questions; Are we living the message of God’s love to the world? Are we walking in the light enjoying intimate fellowship with God? Are we listening to God when He reveals our sins so we might confess them? Do we really know Him? As the world moves ever closer to the chaos, are we moving with them or are we abiding in Him and He in us? Are we loving? Are we obeying His commandments? Satan will always make it appear as if believers are the ones who are wrong. It is in His interest. It remains in our interest to eschew the power of the evil one as we live in light of the fact that we are in God. I started today with the statement “When we believe in Him, we are given access to the only power in the universe that can defeat the power of sin”. We must continually advantage ourselves of that power in a world that inexorably and increasingly slides into self destruction propelled by the lies of the evil one.