16If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.
17All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.
18We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.
19We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
20And we know 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, in His Son Jesus Christ This is the true God and eternal life.
21Little children, guard yourselves from idols.
This passage has confused me. I read it yesterday and yet again today and I’m not quite sure I fully grasp what John is saying here.
With the aid of my study bible notes, it says John is talking about sin that results in physical death. As we all know, while believers are saved from the eternal consequences of sin, we still do sin, as we are imperfect beings, and we are still subject to the consequences of those sins. It seems to me John is saying here that there is still hope for those who are physically alive. That we are to pray for their salvation. there is sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. I feel John is telling us that it is pointless to pray for those already dead, for their fate is already sealed and their salvation is where it was when they died physically.
John goes on to explain that those of us reborn through Christ into God’s family is safe from the reach of the devil in regards to spirituality and eternal death. Here we see that Satan has power over this world, so we should not, therefore, lend ourselves to the ways of this world. We have been granted to understanding of the Kingdom and therefore should live as such, instead of making for ourselves the idols of this world.
I like how John calls his readers “little children.” At first, I was kinda put off by this as if he is talking down to us and then I remembered Christ saying that we should come before the Father as children. I want to be a child before God and in Christ. Innocent and pure minded.
How much of a child are you?