Text: 1 John 1:5-10; 5:18-19
Summary: Our path to total victory in Jesus is available if we do these 2 things. First, confess internal sin (i.e. worldliness). Second, ask Jesus to protect you from external sin (i.e. the evil one).
Good morning, everybody. Please turn with me to 1 John 5. We’re going to jump around a bit today.
1 John 5
4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Father, we ask for your help today because we want to learn how to be victorious children of God. You say in your word that Jesus overcame the world and we too will be overcomers in the world. In our daily life, we see so much defeat. And Lord, we want to understand why. And we want to know the pathway to victory. total victory that is found in Christ Jesus and in Him alone. Teach us now. Holy Spirit, we pray for your anointing that you would teach us everything that is required to be victorious in this life. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.
Last week I mentioned that if you meditate on John 14-17 you’ll be surprised at how much more understanding the Holy Spirit will give to you about the themes that were introduced to us from John 14-17 by studying 1 John.
32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
This is speaking about Jesus. He sees the disciples and they are starting to be sorrowful because Jesus has been telling them that He’s going to depart from them. And this is the first tribulation that they will go through among many other tribulations in this life that they will go through. And Jesus’ promise is to take heart. And He tells them that it will feel like childbirth. But soon you will see the child. Soon you will see me and your sorrow will be turned to joy. And you will survive this first tribulation. Jesus says, I have overcome the world.
And then He says in 1 John 5:4…
1 John 5
4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
So which one is it? Is it Jesus overcoming the world? Or is it ourselves, you and me, overcoming the world? Is this contradictory or are they saying the same thing? From what I can read in Scripture and God’s revelation from John 16 and 1 John 5, the pathway to victory in Jesus is first, you must confess internal sin. You must confess internal sin.
For example, our worldliness. And we’re going to be talking about the world today. We must confess all the sin that is within, internal sin. And second, we must ask Jesus to protect us from external sin, especially in the form of the evil one who is coming to tempt you, to rob you, who is coming to bother you and to distract you and to deceive you and to drag you down to hell.
We must confess internal sin. Then, we must ask for Jesus to protect us from external sin, namely in the form of the evil one, Satan, the ruler of this world. If you do these two things, you will be victorious completely as Jesus was victorious.
There are sins that you commit intentionally and that one you can’t blame on anybody because you know certain things are sinful and you just decided, I’m going to do it. That one you can’t blame anybody. You can’t even blame Satan. You just have to confess your sins.
There are other things that you do not intend on sinning when you began the day, but you just stumbled into it. If you notice that if you are reading news sites, there are advertisements that you did not want there and are tempting you. And then you click it and without knowing it, you’re falling. You’ve stumbled into sin. That is, I would say somewhat external to you. It is from the evil one.
And Luke 18 describes a widow who is persistent in prayer. And she is going to this judge who is an unrighteous judge, who is in bed asleep with his family, and this widow is just knocking on his door. And then this unrighteous judge grudgingly gets out of bed and answers this widow because this widow is so persistent.
And did you know that the widow is asking for a very specific request? She’s asking for justice from her adversary. And there is an adversary in this world, Satan, who bothers you. Think about this widow. Who is this adversary? What is this neighbor doing to this widow who has so little? But this adversary is coming in and trying to take what is not his from this poor widow.
And that is a picture of the Christian life. We are like this poor widow. And in Christ we’ve been given all of these promises of peace and victory and abundant life. And yet why is it not our reality? It is because there is an adversary who is stealing things from you, the things that God has promised.
He has plucked it out of your life and he’s bothering you. He’s harassing you. He’s even tormenting you. And the promises of God are elusive to you. They’re out of your reach. You experience it in moments. But for the most part, this adversary has been very successful and stealing from you and robbing from you.
And 1 John is just an amazing book that if you meditate on it, you’ll be so blessed.
1 John 2
12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. 14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
You see a progression here that in the beginning we are just little children. And the main thing that you are learning as a child of God is that you are forgiven from your sins. And then as you progress and as you mature, the next thing you will experience in your life is overcoming the evil one.
And then you progress. You become a spiritual father, a spiritual mother, someone who is matured in their spiritual journey. And it says you know Him who was from the beginning. And 1 John begins with that which was from the beginning.
1 John 1
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
And so a spiritual father ends his life where he began, with the person of Jesus Christ who was manifested to him and through the manifestation of the Son, you got connected, reconnected and reconciled to the Heavenly Father.
And this is eternal life, that you believe in the Son and you believe that He was sent from the Father. A spiritual person ends his life where he began. But a little child is just struggling with sins. He’s not a young man, a young woman. He is not overcoming sin yet.
And so there’s just this defeat, this wondering of, am I forgiven? And so it begins with the assurance that your sins are forgiven. But if you read 1 John 1:5
1 John 1
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
I think we would all agree that we are sinners, but there’s a key step that a Christian does that a non-Christian doesn’t do. A non-Christian does not confess sin. A Christian confesses. There are some Christians who never confess unless they are caught. That is a liar. That is someone who is saying, I have no sin. I don’t need to confess sin.
There are people who say they confess to God, but they never confess to anybody else. And I would question that person. Do they really confess sin before God? Because if they did, they would confess to one another.
It is a hard thing to confess your sin, but that is the beginning of your Christian journey. When you are able, when no one’s in the room and you just know you’ve sinned. And there’s a compulsion from within to confess.
And that person who confesses often will confess to somebody else not because they need that person to affirm. But just because it naturally comes out that if you’re serious about dealing with sin that you confess it with your mouth. It is something you exercise being humble before the Lord and before one another. You’re not doing it because you got caught. You’re doing it because something within, there is a conviction by the Holy Spirit of some unrighteousness, something that is not right.
Jesus Christ, the righteous. He is the standard of righteousness. And so when we look at our life compared to Him, we just confess sin because sin is missing the mark and Jesus Christ is our target, and we’ve missed Him. And so we confess with our mouth, all of our sin and unrighteousness. Someone who never confesses, it says in v8
1 John 1
8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If you do not confess sin, the truth is not in you and you are deceiving yourself. But if you confess with your mouth audibly, John is speaking to little children, people who are struggling with, am I forgiven. My question to you is, have you confessed your sin? Because if you confess your sin, you’re on the pathway to victory. You need to confess it with your mouth, confess the sin with your mouth and you are on the pathway to victory.
And I want to talk about a Christian’s worldview, and that’s different from a Christian worldview. A Christian worldview is what Christians believe. I want to talk about a Christian’s worldview, or a Christian’s view of the world because that is a very important part of our discipleship.
In John 15, if you recall the second half of the chapter, Jesus says that the world hates us because we are Christian. The world hates us, and we have to ask the question, why does the world hate us? And the answer is surprisingly given in 1 John 3:12.
1 John 3
12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.
Why does a world hate a Christian who is living righteously, who is minding his own business, who is not going and necessarily pronouncing sin upon an unrighteous world, a Christian just minding his own business? Why does that elicit such a strong reaction from this world?
It is because the world knows that its deeds are unrighteous, and it sees a Christian living righteously, and it’s like a slap in their face. It’s not because we’re going to their home and trying to shove the gospel down their throat. It’s just our mere existence.
Our presence spiritually is so disruptive and so disturbing to a world that is hiding in darkness and enjoys living unrighteously, and they see a righteous Christian and they can’t stand the presence of that person. And they have to say something. They have to do something. If they get a chance, they will kill that person so that they can live with themselves and not have their conscience pricked with the presence of a Christian. That is a spiritual reality of a Christian in this world.
Another verse about the Christian’s worldview, or the Christian’s view of the world is in 1 John 5.
1 John 5
19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
Do you believe this? Do you believe that every corner of this world, except for the universal church, the true bride of Christ, that one is in God’s hands and Satan cannot go there, and we’ll talk about that later. But every other aspect of this life, every other corner of this world is under the control and the power of the evil one.
That means Satan has made his main weapon deception. And so he has infiltrated every institution, every discipline, every form of knowledge and he has distorted it. He has introduced deception and his main goal is that a Christian who goes through this world thinking this world is not that bad, that person has no idea who is in control and what the agenda of this evil one is. A person who just blindly and carefreely goes through this world, and they are surprised that at the end of their life, they are an unbeliever. It is designed that way.
If you believe that Satan has control and has power over this entire world and all of its institutions, that will give you a clue how we should be in this world. It reminds me of Genesis, and the two trees. There’s a tree of life, which is the cross of Christ, cross of Calvary, and there’s Jesus and you go through Him. You go to the tree of life and you are cleansed by the blood that flows from that tree and you enter the Kingdom of God. That is one pathway that is reserved for the believer.
And then there’s the other pathway, which is the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That one is without Christ. That is without His sacrifice on the cross. You are determining for yourself through the acquisition of knowledge. You are the ultimate judge, and you are saying I know good from evil. I don’t need God to tell me because I’m smart enough. I am the ultimate judge and let me go through this life and acquire as much knowledge as I can. And I don’t need God. That is the other pathway of life.
And if you just take a few little segments of this life. I want to try to educate you of how we should be in this life and what the Christian’s worldview is. How should we view the world? You take something like medicine. It is not a precise science.
A few decades ago, researchers in America said that the enemy in our diet is fat and sugar is safe. In other countries, like the U. K., they had the complete opposite conclusion. They said, no, fat is fine. Sugar is the enemy. If you look at the obesity problem in America, you know who’s right. Which country was telling us the truth? And it’s not America. That’s just one example.
We take something like history. Are we getting the complete facts? When we study history, you take, Korean occupation by the Japanese. You study that in Korea, and you study that same period of time in Japan, you will get a completely different set of facts. You take the Holocaust. I wonder how that is taught in Germany versus other parts of the world.
How about the founding of America? How was that taught in U. S. Schools? How is that taught among Native Americans whose land was stolen from them? It all depends where you’re coming from and who the victor was and how the narrative is spun. Satan has control of this world. He is spinning lies.
And I think we would all agree mathematically, that two plus two does not equal 3.999999. That is a mathematical falsehood, and Andre is smiling. He agrees with me. If something is 99.99% true, it is 100% false. If something is 99.999% true, it is 100% false.
And there’s only one Person, only one thing that is 100% true. It is Jesus. And God describes Himself as a light. Everything else compared to Him is darkness. And God says there is no variation. There’s no shadow. There’s no shadiness in Me. I am trustworthy. Believe in Me.
If you follow the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we make the mistake of elevating people with degrees. That’s as absurd as me saying, because I have a masters in divinity, I know God better than you and I look down on you and you are at a second tier from me because I got educated. That is so absurd. And yet we do that with people with PhDs. In whatever field we say, they are the expert.
If they are honest, they would say they know how vast their field is and they’re just scratching the surface. Even with multiple PhDs, they know nothing compared to the complete, exhaustive knowledge of one discipline. And yet we act as if the person with the degree knows everything. Everybody else, you know nothing. And that’s how we talk to another. We don’t listen because we say their opinion is so invalid compared to me, because I know better.
And that is so proud. We have to understand there’s only one Person who is absolutely truthful to you because He is truth. It is Jesus Christ. And there is a Heavenly Father who describes Himself as light in whom there is no darkness. Everything else has a tinge of darkness in it, and maybe 99.99% true, but is it so trustworthy that you can bank your life on it? And think, I will believe in this and I can’t possibly be wrong because I’m a smart person and I trust this? No, we just have to be humble and say, I am not God, I don’t know the truth.
Even the news. Do we know what’s true? Think of people living in North Korea, they believe their worldview is true. Those people who are deceived in South Korea right now, they believe they are hearing the truth. We also believe we’re being told the truth here for so long. Trump was a Russian spy, and people were speaking with such confidence as if they had reams of evidence. And yet there is not even one piece of evidence that has emerged after three years. And so we have to wonder, were we lied to for three years?
Satan is in control of the educational system, every field of study, his control of the news. The whole world is under the power of the evil one. And if you believe this, there is humility that says, okay, I will learn some things, but I’m not saying I’m an expert in this. I’m not trusting in the experts, no matter how knowledgeable they seem to be. There are pieces of the story that are being left out intentionally because Satan is a deceiver. And so if he controls this world, he is deceiving you if you just blindly trust the gatekeepers of this world.
1 John 2
26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
And, of course, we need the Holy Spirit’s help to not be deceived. And what the Holy Spirit does, He shows you the true Christ so that when a false teacher is pointing to a counterfeit Christ, you can tell the difference. It’s like if you give me a piece of glass, I might think it’s a diamond because I am not trained. I’m not an expert in jewelry. But you go to an expert jeweler. He will be able to inspect the jewel and tell you if it is real or counterfeit.
And so the Holy Spirit shows you the real Christ. And so when a false prophet or false brother or sister who is being inspired by a false spirit, a spirit of the anti-Christ, and this person gives you a false Jesus, you can tell because you know the true Jesus.
But the interesting thing here, in light of what I’ve been saying about a Christian’s worldview, is that did you notice that the Holy Spirit is not there just to help us to know true Christ from a false Christ? It says that you have no need that anyone should teach you but as his anointing, the Holy Spirit’s anointing, his teaching ministry teaches you about everything.
If you’re filled with the Holy Spirit and you’re confused about any topic in this world and you bring it before Him, the Holy Spirit will tell you what’s true and what’s false. There are many things a few years ago that I didn’t actually agree that Satan controls this world, and this world is under the power of the evil one. But step by step, the Holy Spirit has shown to me, ah, that one, you better look into that a little bit more. This one that you think is undeniable truth, look into that. This thing that you say is a fact, you better not trust it.
And just one by one, it’s the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. He has taught me not just about spiritual things. It says He teaches you about everything. And the Holy Spirit, if you ask Him, and you bring something in this world to Him, He will tell you there’s falsehood there. Why don’t you find it? I’m going to help you. I will guide you to the truth about this topic.
Okay, Now we’re getting it to the meat of 1 John. What is a Christian’s worldview, or a Christian’s view of the world.
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. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
A Christian who is worldly is an oxymoron. You cannot be a worldly Christian. You cannot love this world or anything in this world. Because remember I told you who owns this world? Whose influence and whose fingerprints are in every part of this world?
And if we have been saved, we’re still in this world but we’re no longer of this world. We’ve been brought into a new kingdom. Why, as a Christian, would we be worldly and want more of this world when Jesus is taking us in an opposite direction out of this world?
And so if you’re a Christian, your confession of sin needs to start here, am I worldly? Do I want the world? Do I want the things in the world, the things that other people who are non-Christian chase after? Am I chasing after the same things? And if that is you, that is the beginning of where you start confessing your sins.
That’s the first step to move from deceit to victory. You need to confess all the worldliness that is in you, and there are three Ps here for worldliness. The first one is the desires of the flesh. That means pleasure. The desires of the eyes, that is praise. And the pride of life, another way to translate it is, a boasting of one’s goods. This is possessions.
And so, if you desire pleasure in this life, there will be no shortage of things, counterfeit things that Satan will give to you to indulge in a life of pleasure. And you have to ask yourself, you’ve done that before. You’ve seen the end of the story when you pursue that thing, did it satisfy you? Why do you keep going back?
It’s like an insane person who does the same thing over and over. They expect a different outcome. Even though it’s the same thing. Shouldn’t we learn that there is no ultimate satisfaction in pursuing the thing that seems pleasurable on the surface. You know where that road leads, and so you have to say, I renounce all worldliness. I am not going to make my life a pursuit of pleasure apart from God. Pleasure in this world is one of Satan’s pitfalls. We must recognize and repent of it.
The other one is desires of the eyes. And Ephesians 6 talks about a slave and a master and a slave who only works, and it’s described as eye service, he only works when the boss is watching. And there are workers like that in companies. They are lazy. But when the boss comes around, they are suddenly diligent because their eyes are always darting, they’re always taking notice of their surroundings, they are so man-centered. It’s the praise of man. They’re seeking their eyes, you can see it in their eyes.
And if that’s the pursuit of your life, Satan will give you no shortage because every potential person is somebody that you’re looking to be praised by. And you can spend your whole life seeking the praise of your boss, of people that you respect and admire, and that could be all consuming for the rest of your life. And that’s a second pitfall. Praise.
The third one is the boasting of one’s goods, or one’s possessions. It is having a greed for stuff. And as a Christian we have to confess if we desire pleasure, praise or possessions. These are Satan’s pitfalls. We need to renounce them and repent of them and confess them with our lips. So now that you’ve been warned about what the pitfalls are, if you deliberately continue to chase after these things, it is on you.
You need to repent that you cannot blame anybody else. Now that you know what is the Christian’s attitude toward the world, you cannot love it. You cannot love anything in it. You shouldn’t pursue possessions. You shouldn’t pursue the praise of people. You shouldn’t pursue pleasure.
Now that you’ve been warned, if you keep doing it, it’s on you. You can’t blame anybody. You can’t even blame Satan. God’s word is clear. If you disobey it, it’s on you. You’ve been warned, and you need to confess it over and over until this worldliness has been purged from you. That is the first step to victory.
1 John 2
18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life. 26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
Now that I talked about the world on a somewhat physical level. Now I want to talk about the world on a spiritual level.
There are two fathers in this world. There is the one true Father who is described as light, in whom there is no darkness. And there’s another lower case ‘f’ father who is the father of lies. Two fathers in this world.
Spiritually speaking, there are two Christs in this world. The true Christ and the antichrist. There are two spirits in this world. The Holy Spirit which is the true spirit, the spirit of truth. And there is a false spirit, unclean spirit, deceptive spirit, or the spirit of the antichrist. And there are two sets of offspring, true Christians and false Christians.
There are two christs. When it says antichrist, it obviously means opposed to Christ. Anti means opposed. We know that Jesus Christ became a man and He is the true Christ. And then we also know that in the future there will be a counterfeit Christ, a capital ‘A’ antichrist, a human political figure of some sort who will bring all the world together maybe through a pandemic, maybe a financial crisis. The world is falling apart, and every citizen of every country is looking for one person to bring wholeness and peace and order to this world.
There’s a capital ‘A’ antichrist that is coming into history just as there was a true Christ that came as a man in human history. But right now there is the Holy Spirit and there’s a spirit of lowercase ‘a’ antichrist.
And when I think about the spirit of the antichrist, I don’t think about anti as opposing Christ. I think of anti as ‘in place’ of Christ, just a counterfeit slipping in, a counterfeit Christ. That is what the antihrist does, because if it’s so obvious that this person is satanic, of course we’re not going to be deceived.
But if somebody is saying the name of Jesus and they are speaking the same language, and they seem to bear the right kind of food but you’re not sure, because something seems off and you don’t understand, there is a spirit of the antichrist trying to slip into your life, a false Christ, a counterfeit Christ. Whereas the Holy Spirit’s job is to shine light on the counterfeit and point you to the real thing. That is the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and that is against an antichrist spirit.
And so I think there are three spiritual states. There is the Holy Spirit who fills a person and that person is Spirit-filled. There is the spirit of the antichrist filling a person, an unclean spirit. And I think there’s also a mixed spirit. On some days, it’s the Holy Spirit coming out, but on other days, it’s an unclean spirit.
And so there are three states, and we have to cleanse ourselves of all unclean spirits and ask for the true Holy Spirit so that we will never fall victim to a counterfeit and only follow the real Christ. Because the offspring of these two spirits, people filled with the Holy Spirit versus false spirits, they all started together. John is saying they were once with us. They were once in the church, they were standing next to you. They’re calling themselves a brother or sister in Christ. They were with us. But yet at some point they departed. They left us. They’re no longer continuing with us.
Maybe because they never dealt with this unclean or mixed state. And so the unclean side of the spirit got stronger and the voice of the true Holy Spirit got softer. And over time it became revealed that they were never of God or they got deceived and they left God. Either way, they’re no longer walking with us.
And that’s why it says in 1 John 4, we need to test the spirits. Did you know that behind every person there is a spirit? Behind every person, there is a spirit. If there are non-Christians, there are only unclean spirits and the power of the evil one is controlling that person, even if they’re the nicest person you ever met. If they do not have the Holy Spirit, if they’re not born again, they’re controlled by an unclean spirit. And so you should be careful to receive their counsel if they’re not a believer.
And behind a Christian, you have to also test the spirits. What they are saying, is it coming from a pure Holy Spirit? Yesterday, what they said seemed like it was Holy Spirit, but today, what they’re telling me seems like it’s from an unclean spirit. It is possible to be a person with a mixture of spirits, and so those unclean spirits need to be cast out in Jesus name.
So the pathway to victory, first step, go back to 1 John 1:5-10. Read those verses for yourself. The first thing you need to do is to confess your sin. You need to use your lips to confess your sins. And hopefully, if you’re serious about this and you will confess to somebody else and receive their prayers because the prayers of a righteous person are effectual.
And the first thing that person will ask you, for example, in James 5, it says an elder who comes to your home and prays for you in your sickness, one of the things that a godly elder should ask, is there any unconfessed because maybe that’s the reason why you’re sick. That is what it says in James 5.
So confess internal sin. Confess worldliness. Confess if you still have desires of the flesh, or if you still pursue praise. If you still want to be praised by men, or you have desires for possessions and you still want stuff. These are the very concrete things that we need to confess until they are no longer a problem.
And then you’ll have victory over these things and you’re coming out of this world. You are in this world, but not of it. The world is being uprooted out of you. That is step one of discipleship and a little child (1 John 2:12-14), the verses that we read, the little children who are wondering, am I forgiven and who are still struggling with these types of sins, these internal sins.
There’s a reassurance that God will give as you’re beginning your discipleship. You’re still starting out in an elementary, kindergarten discipleship, and He will reassure you that you are forgiven because you’ve confessed.
If you don’t confess, I don’t think you’ll ever be assured that you’re forgiven. But if you confess, there’s assurance that you are forgiven, not because you’ve been caught. But because the Holy Spirit is in you and is convicting you of unrighteousness and you confess it with your lips. Then as little children, there is a reassurance that you’re forgiven.
And then we progress beyond that to a young man, a young woman in the faith who is now overcoming the evil one. And for this I want to go to 1 John 5:18-19.
1 John 5
18 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. 19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
Verse 18 was confusing and just an amazing thing that the Lord showed to me. If you just look at the grammar, it starts with everyone who has been born of God. He’s talking about every believer, you have been born of God, right? And then it says, he does not keep on sinning. But he who was born of God, is he talking about us in the first half of the verse? Is He talking about us, everyone who has been born of God?
And then it says, he who is born of God protects him. Is it talking about us protecting ourselves? Who is he who protects us from the evil one so that the evil one does not touch us? Another way to translate ‘he who is born of God,’ I think it would have been better and more clear if the Bible translators translated as he who is begotten of God, the begotten Son of God. He will protect all who have been born of God.
And that’s why it says in John 16 that Jesus overcame the world. How do we overcome the world with our faith? It is because Jesus himself is protecting you. Every time you exercise your faith, you’re asking Jesus, protect me from the evil one. Defend me from the accusations of the evil one. He’s bothering me. It’s like the poor widow who is knocking, not on the unrighteous judge’s door. We’re knocking on the righteous Heavenly Father’s door for justice to silence this adversary who is bothering me continuously. The reason why she’s persistent is because the adversary must be so persistent that she just can’t take it anymore.
And so we as Christians born of God, we knock on Heaven’s door to a Righteous Judge and what does God do? He mobilizes His Son Jesus who overcame the world. Now He is helping us to overcome the world and all the flaming darts of the evil one. It says here He will protect you and the evil one does not touch him. That means if you learn this truth that Jesus is my defender. Jesus is my protector. Jesus is my shield. Jesus is my strong tower.
And every time you are harassed by an adversary, every time he bothers you and distracts you and brings all kinds of accusations day and night against you, and it’s coming in the form of the hatred of your soul. Every time that happens, you go to Jesus and Jesus who overcame the world, He will help you overcome the world, and He himself defends you. And you’re so secure in His defense that the evil one who wants to come in, he can no longer come in. He can’t even touch you. You’re untouchable to him because Jesus is there.
If you learn these two things, that any sin that is internal that you deliberately do, for example, worldliness, a desire for pleasure, praise, or possessions, these kinds of things that you know the outcome. You’ve done it before and it didn’t satisfy, but you just keep going like an insane person. You think the well is not poisonous when last time you got sick when you drank from the well, but you keep doing it. When that kind of sin happens, you must confess it and believe you’ve been cleansed. That’s a little child.
And we must progress to a young man, a young woman who starts overcoming the evil one. And not because we’re so strong but because Jesus is strong. And if you hide behind Him, He will protect you and the evil one cannot touch you.
And let’s say you are defended from the evil one. Do you think Satan is going to leave you alone? No, he’s going to go after your spouse and then you’ve got to defend her or defend him. And if the married couple, husband and wife, thinks it’s safe, do you think that Satan will think, okay, I’m going to leave this family alone now?
He’s going to go for your children. If Satan sees he can’t knock you down, he’s going to try to knock down your loved ones, and he’s going to try to discourage you. But the promis is that we can hide behind Jesus and the evil one cannot touch you, he cannot touch your spouse, he cannot touch your kids, if you constantly bring all of your loved ones behind Jesus who overcame the world.
Father, thank you for teaching us how we can be victorious in Christ. First we confess our sin. This is deliberate willful sin, internal sin. This is a desire of our own heart that leads us astray. I pray that you would purge every sin, every unrighteousness, every trace of worldliness from our hearts. We pray for the blood of Jesus to cover our hearts, our body, our soul, our spirit, our mind, will and emotion because you saved us not out of this world, but we’re in this world but no longer of it.
And so, Lord, we ask that you would purge of every trace of worldliness and sin and unrighteousness that comes from our own hearts. Every time it happens, we confess it, Lord. I confess it and we believe like little children that we have been forgiven. We don’t have to be condemned. We don’t have to wonder, am I forgiven? We don’t have to live in doubt and condemnation as a little child. We believe that when it says in your word that we confess and we’re forgiven, we will take you at your word. And when we confess our sin, we are forgiven, and we believe it, Lord.
Father, but that’s not where you want us to remain. You want us to progress toward a young man, a young woman in faith who is no longer deliberately sinning. But we may be stumbling in sin because we are not guarding ourselves as we step out into this world. Some of us may not understand that this world is under the control and power of an evil one. It’s like we’ve walked into a war and we have no armor. We have no shield. We have no weaponry. We have no helmet. We just go thinking we’re taking a stroll in a park when we’re in a war against an evil one.
Thank you, Lord, that the secret of overcoming the evil one is Jesus Christ. He overcame the world and He will help us to overcome the world. What a promise that, Jesus, you are our shield. You will defend us, you’ll protect us. And if we hide in you, if we’re in you, if we abide in you, the evil one cannot touch us. What a truth.
And as you Lord Jesus walked this earth in total victory, your promise for every disciple of Jesus is that we too can walk in total victory. You’re saying that we can walk in the manner in which Jesus walked, in total victory and righteousness.
Father, as we partake in your Lord’s Supper, your body was broken and your blood was shed. We want to be close to you. We want to be in you. We want to plead your blood to cover over all of our sin. We also ask for your protection as you teach us to pray the Lord’s prayer. Lead us not into temptation, but lead us away and out of the reach of the evil one. Thank you for teaching us such amazing things to be totally victorious in this life. Thank you. In Jesus Name, Amen