This is the final post in a series of studies about “1 John”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.

Feel free to comment below with your own thoughts about each verse and how you will be acting on each thought. Also, if you haven’t yet signed up to receive the notifications of new studies, you can do that today (the form is at the bottom of the page).

1 John – Day 30

1 John 5:21

Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

The Thought

This seems to me to be a strange way for John to finish his letter. He hasn’t mentioned idols all the way through, and now there is no explanation of what he means by “keeping ourselves from idols!” But this last command from John is a warning that anything that we think about or value more than Jesus becomes an idol, replacing Him as the highest authority in our lives.

God had much to say to the Israelites about idols. The first idol mentioned in the Bible is when the Israelites made a golden calf, angering God and causing dire consequences Exodus 32.

One dictionary definition describes an idol as “a person or thing that we honour above others”. So John is telling us that Jesus must be The One we honour most. The One whose advice we seek, The One whose words we remember, and pay attention to, The One we honour.

All of us have a tendency to idolise something or somebody, whether a family member whose opinion we believe is important, a child who has a tendency to be the boss in the home, a politician we think is always right, a film or TV personality that is attractive. Many people are sports enthusiasts and never miss a match, game or race, thus making an idol of the sport.

Many churches and many homes have statues of “saints”, people who have lived exceptional lives for God. Even more homes have family heirlooms (furniture or pieces of jewellery, old paintings etc.) that must be carefully looked after and preserved for the next generation. We forget that when Jesus returns, this earth and all that is in it will be destroyed!


Ask yourself today if you have made an idol of anything or anyone. Pray for revelation from the Lord.

Read some of the Biblical criticisms of those who worship idols. (Isaiah 2, Isaiah 10:10-11, Acts 7:40-42)

Remind yourself that Jesus has prepared a mansion for each of us in Heaven (John 14:1-3), and we can’t take anything with us when we leave earth.

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