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Three Things that the World Needs but Hasn’t Got – 1 John 5:18-20


Three Things that the World Needs but Hasn’t Got

Text. 1 John 5:18-20.
John is going to remind Christians of three things we know, three blessings of the Christian life and they are all found in Christ alone. They are freedom from sin, victory over the world and a new perspective on life and death, AND these are what every person in the world really needs! I know they won’t admit it, for what they THINK they need is greatly different from what they REALLY NEED, but, you see, what we think people need, and even what they think they need, is nowhere near as important as what THE BIBLE says they need! Look again at the blessings we have in Christ, blessings that everyone needs to have, and which we should be telling them about…

1. Freedom 18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning…
Freedom from sin! People seek freedom! In Christ, we are set free free from the bondage of sin. We do not keep on sinning. Now this is the most basic need of mankind. Why is that?

  1. Because sin causes all the misery of this world! All the unhappiness, all the sickness and the famine and the pain. The wages of sin is DEATH.
  2. Because sin SEPARATES us from God! There are terrible consequences that result from sin. We cannot be in his presence because we are sinners and He is holy. We are separated for time and for eternity.
  3. Because God cannot just IGNORE or OVERLOOK sin! You see, God is a just God! If God could just overlook sin, then Jesus’ death was totally in vain.

But John tells us here that everyone who has been ‘born of God’ does not keep on sinning! ESV: everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning We have a new nature, and instead of just wallowing in our sin, we regret it and mourn over it and confess it and repent of it, and we are forgiven. How does that FREEDOM FROM SIN affect the believer:

  • We are free from the guilt of sin! All of that guilt is taken away! A person who has guilt can hardly look at the person they have wronged. They are embarrassed when their paths cross. We would be embarrassed, if we stood before God, knowing our thoughts, and our deeds. In Christ all the guilt of our sin is taken away, and we have no embarrassment when we stand before God!
  • We are free from the power of sin! Sin’s power is broken! We are tempted and we sometimes fail and fall, but we have a new nature, and we abhor sin, and we bring it to the Lord in confession and for forgiveness.
  • We are free from the penalty of sin! Because Jesus has borne our sin upon the Cross. Jesus DIED for sinners! 1 Peter 2:24:
  • We will be free from the presence of sin! One day, when we get to glory, there will be no more sin and no more temptation, and the problems that sin causes will be gone too…
    So the good news, the message of the church, is that there is forgiveness for sins! John 8:36 We are set free from sin.

2. Victorybut he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
Here’s another need. People without Christ live lives that ultimately end up in defeat and disappointment and death. Not so the Christian. We are PROTECTED BY GOD! One modern paraphrase reads, “The God-begotten are also the God-protected.” The sense of the Greek text is that it is God who is active in this verse, and man is passive. God is our father, and he has fathered us, and he protects us, and he will not let the evil one touch us. The only one who can keep himself is God’s only begotten son, Jesus – not you or me. BUT if we are IN CHRIST, if we are trusting him, and he has made us his own, trough the new birth, HE KEEPS US. …

  1. We have a dangerous enemy! He is evil! The word that is translated ‘touch here is οὐχ ἅπτεται αὐτοῦ. (aptetai) It is a satanic grip, with the intention of dragging you away from God, and down into the fires of hell. You can see that all around you – there is a deep pervasive evil in the world. BUT
  2. We are protected from him! Amazingly, despite the power and subtlety and evil that is in this world, John’s core understanding here is that we are protected by God, and even the devil doesn’t have a long enough reach to get past that protection and lay a finger on us. God is victorious and so then are we. Romans 8:36-39

3. Reality 20 And 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.
There’s a form of entertainment called ‘reality TV. It is NOT reality! There are plenty of people who don’t want to face the harsh realities of life, and especially the reality that this world and this life will one day end for them. Christians have already faced that reality. They should already know:-

  1. The Son of God has come! And we know that the Son of God has come. He has opened our eyes to reality! has given us understanding.
  2. We KNOW Him! We know him intellectually. so that we may know him who is true; We know the truth about him. But it is not enough just to have a head knowledge of Christ. So, We know him personally. we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. We have a relationship with Jesus, we are IN HIM who is true, through Jesus!
  3. We know about eternity! He is the true God and eternal life We have faced reality. This world will end, and the only way to be sure where we will be in eternity is to be clothed in Christ’s righteousness.

So, in this passage, John reminds of three facts that we as Christians have knowledge of, and which are the issues that this sinful world need to grasp and face up to. That sinners are in bondage to sin, when there is freedom in Christ, that sinners are defeated and dying, when there is victory in Christ, and that life will end and eternity come, when there is eternal salvation in Christ.

© Bob McEvoy

From → 1st John

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