1 John 5:19
David Martyn Lloyd-Jones was one of the greatest preachers of the last century. He served as the pastor of the great Westminster Chapel in London for thirty years. His commentary on the epistle of 1 John consists of five volumes of sermons that he preached from the book. I recently read the first sermon in his commentary, and his text was taken from 1 John 5:19, which says, “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” This is an interesting place for him to begin, but Lloyd-Jones said that it serves as a fitting introduction because it encapsulates John’s theme. There are things that we Christians know with certainty and assurance, things that we can be confident in.
To begin with, John says that we can be confident that we are from God. We can know that we have the life of God within us as those who trust Christ. In a culture that says such absolute assertions are arrogant, John says they are true. Such knowledge is not based on human opinion or shallow emotion. Instead, it is based upon divine revelation. We ‘know’ that we are from God because God has said so. My spirit bears witness with His Spirit that I am a child of God. The eternal life of God has come to take up residence in me. Though my outer man perishes, my inner man is being renewed day by day. It is only through the new birth that such knowledge is possessed.
Next, John says that we know what has gone wrong in the world. He says that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. We live in a world that is fallen and broken, a world that has been marred by the curse of sin. Mass shootings, violence, sexual immorality, and ugliness are all symptoms of a much greater ‘heart’ problem. The world’s fallen system lies under the influence of the evil one, Satan. That’s why we believers are pilgrims and strangers here. We can expect pressure, opposition, and persecution. Satan hates the life of God and the light of God that is within us, and he will try to extinguish it. At times, it will feel as if we are outnumbered and outgunned. However, He that is in me is greater than these that be against me! We know that Jesus is coming again and will make everything new.
As one who trusts in Christ, be grateful today that you can live with the confidence and assurance that you belong to the Lord!
For more, read Jeremiah 17:7; Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 4:16