We Know

1 John 5:19

19We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. NKJV

9 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the power and control of the evil one. (1996). Holy Bible, New Living Translation.

19 We know that we belong to God, but the Evil One controls the whole world.(NCV) (1987, 1988, 1991). The New Century Version.

Preached at FBC Toulon, IL on May 20, 2001 by Albert Harmon toulonbaptist.com

In John's little letter of First John we have some very dynamic teaching. Teaching that goes against the grain of the world and even of the modern church.

It goes against the morals of many Christians who want to play at Christianity more than that to live it. John is very hard hitting. His little book is filled with absolutes and high principles.

John is not like Paul who lays down argument after argument to prove his subject. John simply states the facts with no room for discussion or denial. I think we need the teachings of John in our neither black or white world where everything is a varying shade of gray.

In an age of subjectivity where no one has any sure answers to the multitude of perplexing questions it is good to find that the Bible doesn't leave us groping in the dark. There is a revelation from God and it is sure.

  1. We Know
    1. There is a certainty in the message of John.
      1. But John is by no means the only one certain.
      2. I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. 2 Tim 1:12
      3. Even Job in the Old Testament wrote in Job 19:25 "But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. 26 And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! 27 I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought! NLT
    2. John is a very black and white type of person, no shades of gray.
      1. Either you are or you are not.
        1. We have renamed all the sins so as to not make them sound too bad and someday I expect to hear of a man how breaks into a home to burglarize it as a domestic appropriation.
        2. Vance Havner used to say, "I expect to run into a Christian pick-pocket one of these days and when I ask him how it does it he will say I pick the pocket with this hand and put a gospel track in with this hand."
        3. We live in a day when the Boy Scouts are the bad guys and the homosexuals are the good guys.
        4. When the Supreme Court made abortion on demand the law of the land, Christians were expected to accept that as a done deal.
        5. But when the Supreme Court vindicated the Boys Scouts against predatory gays, as far as the liberals were concerned it was far from a done deal.
      2. Either you know or you don't.
      3. John knows no middle ground.
        1. How is it that we think that God has somehow changed over the centuries?
        2. We have such a human view of God that He is about like we are.
        3. John would not have fit in very well with our day and even in many of our churches.
    3. In an age when the only thing we are certain of is that nothing is certain, it is good to find an anchor.
      1. John is not guessing or hoping.
      2. John is not supposing, he knows.
    4. How can John be so certain?
      1. He was there.
      2. He heard Jesus personally.
      3. He saw Jesus in the flesh.
      4. He touched Him, handled Him.
      5. He was the last of the Apostles.
  2. We Are of God
    1. Sons of God
      1. 1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
      2. We are of God as His children.
      3. Nothing can ever change that relationship.
    2. Born of God
      1. Seven times in five verses John uses this term in relationship to the believers.
        1. 1 John 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.
        2. 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
        3. 1 John 5:1 1Whoever 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.
        4. 1 John 5:4 4For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.
        5. 1 John 5:18 18We 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.
    3. Partakers of the divine nature
      1. 2 Peter 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
    4. This we know
      1. By the testimony of the Holy Spirit
        1. 1 John 4:13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
        2. Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God
        3. Romans 8:23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
        4. 2 Corinthians 1:22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
      2. By our changed outlook and purpose
        1. We keep His commandments
          1. 1 John 2:3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
        2. We keep ourselves from sin
          1. 1 John 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.
        3. We love the brethren
          1. 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
  3. The World Lies Under the Sway of the Wicked One
    1. Not everyone is equally wicked or equally under the influence of the wicked one.
    2. But they are all under Satan's influence- all children of wrath.
      1. Ephesians 2:3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
    3. John contended that there were but two forces at work, God's and Satan's.
    4. This is the text of a sermon which I have preached on several occasions entitled "When the Devil Puts the Baby to Sleep." "And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth [actually, lies asleep] in wickedness [or, in the arms of the wicked one]." In other words, the Devil has the world asleep. The Devil is saying to Vernon McGee, "Sh-h-h. Hush! You're waking people up, and we don't want to do that! They are very comfortable. Many people in churches are dead in trespasses and sins, and we don't want to wake them up. Let's leave them alone." The Devil is concerned when people are awakened. You and I are living in a world that is asleep in the arms of the wicked one--if you look around today, you must agree with that statement. J. Vernon McGee. (1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee). Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System.
    5. As John saw it you were on one side or the other.
    6. One belongs either to God or to Satan's dominion.
      1. 1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.
    7. Because the whole world belongs to Satan, Christians should avoid its contamination.
      1. It is, then, the sum total of human culture and institutions, the collective living human community. This community is controlled by Satan. Expositors Commentary
      2. 1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
  4. Do You Know
    1. That you have been translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of Light.
    2. That you know that you know Him.
      1. The very purpose of this book is so that we might know.
      2. 1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life,
    3. That you are of God that you are His child and He is your Father.  

This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com