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“We Know” — 1 John 5:19
John’s purpose throughout this epistle is to promote assurance and confidence among God’s saints. He wrote these five chapters by divine inspiration, by the dictate of God the Holy Spirit that we might know that we know Christ, that we are born of God, that we might know that we have eternal life. — Do you see that?
· “Hereby we do know that we know him” (2:3).
· “Hereby know we that we are in him” (2:5).
· “Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things” (2:20).
· “Ye know” the truth (2:21).
· “We know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (3:2).
· “Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin” (3:5).
· “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren” (3:14).
· “Hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him” (3:19).
· “We know that he abideth in us” (3:24).
· “Hereby we know that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit” (4:13).
· “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” 5:13).
· “We know that we are of God” (5:19).
· “We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” (5:20).
At least fifteen times in these five short chapters John was inspired of God to say, “we know.” I think it is both safe and accurate to say that the Holy Spirit’s intention in giving us this short, sweet epistle is that all who trust Christ might walk with him upon this earth in “full assurance of faith” and “the full assurance of hope” (Hebrews 6:11; 10:22).
Obviously, John’s purpose in stating what he does about “a sin unto death” and “a sin not unto death” was not intended to destroy assurance in God’s saints, or even disturb it, but to promote it. He does not suggest that a brother in Christ, a believer, might sin a sin unto death and be lost at last. God’s elect can never be made reprobate. The redeemed can never become unredeemed. Christ’s sheep shall never perish!
John is not suggesting here that God sometimes kills his people because they commit some specific sin, or persist in a course of sin. “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin!” — God punished our sins, all our sins in Christ. He will never punish us for sin, not if Christ died for us, not if Christ redeemed us, not if Christ paid our debt! God doesn’t kill his saints and take them to heaven to punish them for sin! — Heavenly glory, to be absent from the body and present with the Lord, is not punishment! If you trust Christ, you have not committed and cannot commit “a sin unto death.”