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Read Introduction to 1 John


“We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.”


Now we come to the epilogue of the epistle (5:18-21).  John here summarizes the leading thoughts of 1 John. 

We know

John concludes the epistle with three clear and candid certainties, each introduced by the word “know.”  There is no hesitation here, but rather dogmatic affirmations beyond dispute.  He fixes the truth with these facts:

Christians “know” that their divine capacity cannot sin because it originates from God’s nature (2:1,14,20; 3:6,9; 4:13; 5:4)

Christians “know” that their origin is from God (2:29; 3:9; 5:4,5)

Christians “know” with an assurance that they have eternal life coming from their new birth (2:3,27; 3:2,24; 4:7,12,15,16)

There is no speculation here.  “Know” has to do with intuitive knowledge, knowledge divinely imparted.  We know not because we academically learned it; we know by inner assurance. 

that whoever

“Whoever” indicates that the subject is more than spiritual Christians, mature Christians, veteran Christians; anyone with a divine nature does “not sin.”  All true believers are in view here.  There is no exception to the sinlessness of the new nature. 

1 Jn 3:9, “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”


Once it was natural to sin, but now it is unnatural. 


God divinely imparts intuitive assurance to Christians that they have a status quo and the capacity to gain victory over sin and the devil.  The believer has the power from his new life in Christ to gain victory over sin (2:1, 14, 20; 3:6, 9; 4:13; 5:4).  This power comes from his new birth.  We appropriate this power by addressing the sin issue in our lives (2:29; 3:9; 5:4,5). 

1 Jn 5:1, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.”

We must understand our status quo in the battle against sin.  We must remember who we are.  We have God’s sinless nature dwelling in us.  That nature cannot sin.  We have another nature that can sin.  The new nature or divine nature protects us against the power of the devil.  We have all the capital we need to conquer sin.  The non-Christian does not have these resources.