I John 5 is full of explanations about the basics of our faith. It starts with the explanation of who is a child of God: “everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ.” Staying a child of God is given more explanation. “Through faith in Jesus, we defeat evil and as God’s children, we do not make a practice of sinning (v. 18).” “Jesus holds us as God’s children securely so the evil one cannot touch us.”
I found Verse 18 (to “not make a practice of sinning”) together with verse 21 to be helpful guidance for my everyday life: “…to keep away from anything that might take God’s place in [our] hearts.” Every day I have good intentions to be kinder and more patient, and every day, I think and do things that are not kind and patient. But for all of us as God’s children, with prayers to God, with God’s encouragement and forgiveness, and by our keeping God uppermost in our lives, God will help each of us. He gives us a change of heart and a will to be that kind and patient person that forgives easily. Over time, as we seek God’s help, we do not continue to make a practice of a particular sin. As we pray for His help, we can be confident that God hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. What a wonderful assurance to be listened to by our heavenly Father!
Then the chapter also explains what it means to be a child of God:” to love God’s children.” How do we love God’s children? This explanation seems straightforward in the chapter. We do so by “loving God and by obeying His commandments which are not burdensome.” Though the explanation is straightforward, our obedience will require God’s help through prayer. Jesus is our model as he continually wanted to obey God, the Father and was obedient to God’s will. Thank God for sending us His Son who is our example of faith and obedience and who holds us securely.