“We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also 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–even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” (Reference: 1 John 5:18-21 )
It occurred to be beloved that what I posted for this day and for this verse says very little about the verse itself except for the very last bit, about idols. Before I read what the historic Anabaptist writers (for it was a group and not an individual) wrote, I was going to make a “call and response” (if you do not know what that is . . . well, maybe you better just ask me in a comment) out of this passage. But then I got on to a different line of thought. But I did not want to just walk away from this verse.
The writer of 1 John wants us to know that being born of God means that sin cannot and should not have a part of our lives. It is a wonderful hope . . . and a good exhortation, but not always the way it is. But being children of God we can learn a different way of living, and that God’s own Holy Spirit will guide us in that way. We do not need to fear that the whole world is under the control of the evil one” because we need not be under the evil one’s control. And that we can know what is true and false, fleeing the false and embracing Truth.
And I think that is what avoiding idolatry is all about – knowing what is false and what is true. Worshiping in truth and only the Truth. And leaving completely alone what is false. Easier said than done. But it has been said by God, and God’s will is to be done on earth as God’s will rules heaven. Selah!