“We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 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.” 1 John 5:18-20
As I read through this passage of Scripture, I realized that the apostle John is not treating this section as new information being given to his audience. John is not ending this letter with any mind-blowing information. Instead, John chooses to have this section serve as a reminder to the believers reading this of things that have already been taught either earlier in this letter, or the Gospels themselves. Why is this so important?
Being that I am not yet a parent, I cannot attest to the parental side of this, but I can speak for the child side of what I am about to say. I can remember growing up and having my parents tell me things multiple times. Usually, the things that mattered the most were told to me hundreds, if not thousands, of times. These were the things that were life and death. Sometimes I would understand and follow these things right away, and then sometimes it took thousands of times to hear it until it finally clicked, and I began to understand the importance of what was being told to me. The same thing is going on here. If we, as followers of Christ, could read the Bible once and understand and apply everything we have learned to our lives the first time, life would be amazing. Instead, it takes multiple times hearing and trying to follow the Scriptures until it finally sticks.
The apostle John is wrapping up his letter with reminders to stop living in our sinful ways. We need to understand that God will protect us, and if we are faithful followers, then the evil one cannot touch us. We need to remember that we live in a world that is filled with the power of the evil one. Finally, we need to understand that God has given us understanding so that we may know Him and understand that through His Son, Jesus Christ, we can have eternal life. This should serve as our battle cry as followers of Christ. We are so blessed to have a God that has given us protection from the desires of the evil one and has given us the ability to live eternally through Him.