But we also know that the Son of God is now here and has given us acuity so that we learn the truth and so that we are in the truth; in His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. -MGV
The beginning of the verse differs from verses 18 and 19 with the addition of the conjunction ‘de’. ‘de’ is most often translated ‘but’, and here I translate it as ‘but also’ to link it to the two proceeding verses. This indicates that this is the principle point that John has been building up to through 18 and 19. Using ‘but’ instead of ‘therefore’ shows that this thought doesn’t flow out of the proceeding thoughts, but takes the context of the proceeding thoughts and goes far beyond it to something greater.
So let us look at this line of thought:
- We know we are protected
- We know that the world is dominated by evil
- But we also know that Jesus is here now
The first two verses are talking about our awareness of the depravity of the world. It is controlled by evil, and that we need to be protected from it for otherwise it will destroy us. But the coming of the Son has changed this situation! He is come and He has defeated the evil that dominates the world! There is now freedom in Christ, not just merely protection. It is not our role to live in fear of the world, though the world is dangerous. Instead, we are to live in the power and authority that comes from being in Jesus Christ.
When Jesus came, He came as the image of God on the earth. He is the Word of God; He is the understanding of God made flesh. Through Him we come to know who the Father really is, and what He really wants. We gain the sense of what it means to live by the power and favor of the Almighty God. Jesus did more than merely deliver our souls from the power of world, He also delivered our minds from the patterns of the world.
So often we return to thinking like the world, resubmitting ourselves to that wickedness, often not being aware that that is what we are doing. We seek understanding from the people around us, instead of looking towards the Christ event as the focus of our understanding. When we learn the truth, that is the true God, by examining the Christ we enter Christ ourselves and live in Christ, as the Bible describes it. This is the secret to eternal life: by worshipping the one true God through His Son.
Do you pattern your thoughts off of Christ? Do you look to His death and resurrection, not just in your heart, but with all your mind? Or do you listen to the patterns of this world? Christ turned the thinking of the world upside-down so that we may know that relying on Him is the true answer. Turn to Him and trust Him. He’ll take care of you far better than the world can.