1 John 5

In the first three verses we have the results of faith in God

1. There is the new birth.

2. There is love for God and fellow believers.

3. There is obedience to God’s commandments.

1. The new birth is not an intellectual assent, but rather a committal of one’s life to Jesus as the Christ. The N. B. involves the intellect – emotions – will.

2. An obvious result of the new birth is that we will love God and also will love his children as well. Notice we are to love all believers – not just those of a certain denomination or fellowship.

3. Then finally those who are born again will obey God’s commandments. True believers are characterized by a desire to do the will of God. A believer’s love for God is measured by his obedience to God’s commandments. If you love me, keep my commandments. When John says that the commandments are not grievous, he does not mean that they are not difficult… they are sometimes. He means rather that born again people love to obey them.

v. 4-5: “Love not the world.” “Be not conformed to the world”. We learn in these verses the secret of victory over the world. The world system is great monstrous scheme of temptation, designed by the devil to draw men away from God. Men of the world are completely taken up by the things of time and sense. The born again believers can overcome the world through His faith in God. He can see things in the true eternal perspective. Hebrews 11:24-27.

v. 6: this is He that came. Etc. This is a difficult verse. “This is He that came by water and blood.” Consider the alternatives.

1. The blood and water which flowed from the Savior’s side.

2. The water refers to the Spirit and the blood refers to the blood shed on the cross.

3. Some believers think it refers to the natural birth of the Savior

4. Then there is a fourth, to which I lean. To contrast the Gnostic theory, John says that he came by water (His baptism) and blood (His atoning death). Note the emphasis, “Not by water only, but by water and blood”. John is saying here that Jesus was just as much the Christ when He died on the cross as when He was baptized in the Jordan. The Spirit of truth bears witness to the truth.

v. 7: This verse is not found in the best manuscripts.

v. 8: Our belief in Christ to be the Son of God is substantiated by a threefold witness. The Spirit – the water – and the blood.

The spirit bears witness to the truth that Jesus Christ is God and that He is the only Savior of the world. The witness of the Spirit is found in the word of God.

Then there is the witness of the water. This refers to the baptism of Christ. At this time God publicly proclaimed, “This is my beloved Son,” etc.

Finally there is the witness of the blood. On the cross, the Lord bore witness that he was the Son of God. He laid down His life – no one took it from Him. His blood settled the sin question forever.

As these witnesses agree concerning the Deity of Christ and the perfection of His work.

v. 9: Quote. We trust and accept the word of our fellow men everyday. We should trust more the witness of God, who cannot foil or lie.

v. 10: Anyone who disbelieves God’s record of His Son is a liar.

v. 11: John summarizes the Christian message. Think for a moment of these tremendous truths.

1. God Has given to men eternal life.

2. The source of this life is His Son.

v. 12: The evidence of this verse is inevitable. “He that hath the Son hath life”. “He that hath not the Son of God hath not life”. The teaching is unmistakable. Eternal life is not found in education, philosophy, science, religion or church. To have eternal life one must have the Son of God. Eternal life is inseparable from Jesus Christ.

v. 13: In this verse John states the purpose for which he wrote the letter. The purpose is that there are those who have believed on the name of the Son of God may know that they have eternal life. Another precious truth here is that assurance of salvation through the word of God. Our salvation does not depend on our hoping, guessing, or feeling. John states in the clearest possible manners that those who have truly believed in the Lord Jesus have eternal life.

v. 15-16: When we know the Lord Jesus as Savior we can go before the Lord with confidence. John describes this confidence in these verses. Any prayer requests made to God, which is in accordance with His will, He will answer. How can I know His will? God’s will is revealed in the scriptures. So we should study God’s word, that we may know God’s will, then we can pray intelligently.

v. 16: In this verse John gives two examples.

1. One way in which a believer can have confidence in prayers

2. Another is which confidence is not possible.

The first case is that if a follower believes who is engaged in some sort of sinful activity. This sin is not the type that would bring death on the person committing it. One can pray for this person with confidence, God will recover this one from his sinful ways. On the other hand there is a sin unto death, for which a believer should not pray for. The question now is, what is that sin? There are a number of suggestions.

1. 1 Corinthians 11-30 Sin persisted in and left unconfessed.

2. The sin of murder. If a Christian commits murder we should not pray for the death sentence to be commuted. God has state in His word. “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.”

3. Some believe this sin to be blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

4. Others believe that this sin unto death is some special form of sin such as that committed by Moses and Aaron, Annanias and Sapphira.

5. Some believe that this sin is the sin of apostasy, this explanation probably fits the context. The Gnostics were apostles. Intellectually they had been convinced of the great truths of the Christian faith, some had even made a profession of faith. After having tasted of the good things of Christianity they turned their back on them and rejected them. The Christian has no liberty to pray for the restoration of such because they have sinned unto death.

v. 17: This verse points out that there are carious degrees of sin. There are sins, which do not carry the death penalty, and sins which do.

v. 18-21: John brings his letter to a close by reiterating the great certainities of the Christian faith. We know that whoever is born of God sinneth not. We know that we are of God’s and the world lieth in wickedness. John sees two spheres “In Him” – “In the wicked one”. We know that the Son of God has come. The incarnation. John began his letter with the incarnation, now he closes on the same note. “That we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is True.”

v. 21: Keep yourselves from idols: This is not idols carved out of wood. But the putting of something that is false in place of the true. John is urging is readers not to allow anything to come between them and God.

I John 5:1

v. 1: “Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God”. I want to talk to you about faith – “faith in God”. The Savior admonished those who listened to Him on one occasion to, “Have faith in God”. Faith is more then mere belief. Inconvincibly the Amplified New Testament interprets the word “Believe” as trust in – cling to – rely on. This is a very important point, for there are many who “believe in a historical Jesus and the martyr Jesus, but who are still on their way to a lost eternity. John says here that “Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,” or born again. Belief and faith in the God Savior is necessary for salvation. John uses this word believe which is coupled with faith 100 times in his writings. In the first 10 verses of this chapter it is mentioned 6 times.

There were three in John’s day who did not believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ. (They believed in Jesus). This disqualified them from being saved. Paul had the same problem with some of the people in Colosse. While they believed in Jesus their belief was limited. For instance these people taught that between a Holy God and a host of angles formed a bridge of which Christ was the lowest form, therefore He was not Deity, and was not the expression of the “fullness of the God head”. Such belief is contrary to the revealed word of God. The belief on faith that saves, is that which trusts in – clings to – and relies on the hand of Jesus Christ.

Three examples:

1. The Roman centurion Luke 7:1-10

2. The widow of Zarephath Luke 4:25-26; 1 Kings 17:1-7

3. The lepers of Syria Luke 4:27; 2 Kings 5:1-15

Describe these two incidents in the light of he context. The scene in the synagogue at Nazareth and the parchments to need from were given to Him. (vs. 18-19) Isaiah 61:1-2

v. 20: Every eye was fastened on Him

V. 21: This day is the scripture fulfilled in your ears.

v. 22: The congregations were amazed at His words, they were presented with a challenge. Is not this Joseph’s son?

Faith Illustrated

“Except you are converted and become as a little child you cannot enter the kingdom of God”. Matthew 9:22, Matthew9:29, Matthew 7:50

Do you know anything of the saving faith?

“For by grace are you saved through faith” etc.

“Lord I believe, help my unbelief”.

I John 5: 1-10

“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. This is not intellectual assent but rather a giving of one’s whole being to Jesus as the Christ. As prophet He revealed the way of salvation. As Priest He works out that salvation. As King He confers that salvation upon us.

Note the four things in the first three verses which are the result of faith.

1. We are born of God.

2. We love God.

3. We love all true believers.

4. Obedience to God’s commandments.

v. 3: His commandments are not grievous. Mathew 11:28-30.

v. 4: The secret of victory over the world.

1. Born of God … New Birth.

2. Our faith. The Christian armor. Ephesians 6

Loins girded – breastplate – feet shod – shield of faith – helmet of salvation – sword of the Spirit – praying always.

The World: What is the World?

Everything that would hinder us from keeping God’s commandments or that would draw us away from God. 1 John 2:15-17. Demas, the world system is a vast scheme of temptation to draw all men away from God.

1. Because we are born of God. Because greater is He that is in you than he that is against us. Who is He who is in us? Ch 3:24

2. Through our faith, by our faith we put the correct value on things. By faith we view the eternal rather than the temporal. Hebrews 11:26. When we see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ – the glory of this world pales into obscurity. II Corinthians 3:18.

v. 5: Who else overcomes? Those who believe that Jesus is the Son. “All power is given unto me, etc.”

v. 6: This is He who came by water and blood. Describe the Gnostics’ belief. Water – his baptism. Blood – His death. Not by water only, but by blood. The Atonement. “It is the Spirit that bears witness – the Spirit is truth”.

v. 7: Not included in the original text.

v. 8: The witnesses omit “in earth”. Having described the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus, he now calls three witnesses to verify the facts.

1. The Spirit through the Word.

2. The Water at His Baptist – The miracles – The Scriptures – The Father.

v. 10: If we do not believe God – we make Him a liar.

v. 11: God has given eternal life to men. The source of this life is His Son.

v. 12: The inevitable conclusion. He that has the Son has eternal life. He that does not have the Son does not have eternal life.

I John 5:10-21

v. 10: The Witness. The Holy Spirit. (See v. 8) “Believeth on the Son of God” (v. 8); Believeth not God” – makes Him a liar. The record that God gave of His son.

v. 11: This is the record. Not feelings. That God his given to us eternal life. This life is in His Son.

v. 12: He that has the Son has life”. Blessed assurance. “He who has not the Son of God does not have life”

v. 13: “these things” – this Epistle. John 20:30-31. Chapter 1:4 The object of writing “that your joy might be full”. To know that we have eternal life, is the sure way to “joy in God”. There are certain identification marks given to those who have eternal life.

1. They no longer practice sin.

2. When they sin they confess their sin.

3. They keep God’s commandments. They have hid God’s Word in their hearts.

4. They love all brothers and sisters in Christ.

5. They confess Christ with life and lip.

6. They possess the Holy Spirit.

7. They overcome the world.

8. They stand fast on the doctrine of the Deity of the Lord Jesus.

9. They know that they have eternal life.

v. 11-13: These verses are one of the great sources of our assurance of salvation. We do not trust the opinions of men nor our feelings, we trust the unalterable and unfailing Word of God.

v. 14: This is the confidence – boldness. Because we have eternal life we have this boldness to ask anything! … according to His will … we know that he hears us. Note the principle involved here … according to God’s will. How can I know God’s will? God’s will is revealed in a general way in the scriptures. This fact should prompt us to a closer study of God’s Word. Our prayers would be more intelligent, more in line with God’s will.

v. 15: If we are assured that He has heard us then we know that He will answer our prayers in his time.

v. 16: An example of boldness in prayer. Sin not unto death.

1. An example in which confidence is not possible.

2. The sin not unto death. (Confidence possible)

This sin is not one which would bring about the death of the person committing the sin. One can pray for his recovery with confidence. “In God’s will.” On the other hand there is a “sin unto death”. Physical. There is no forgiveness for this sin, therefore it would be wrong for anyone to pray for such an one guilty of this sin. The preacher who left the Lord’s work. Etc.

What is the sin unto death?

1. 1 Corinthians 11:30; Some had died who had not discerned the Lord’s body. They had not judged this sin.

2. The sin of murder. We should not pray for his release from the death penalty.

3. The sin committed by Moses and Aaron, Annanias and Sapphira

4. The sin of apostasy. Chapter 2:19

An apostate is one who has accepted the great truths of the Christian faith – has been intellectually convinced that Jesus is the Christ – has professed Christianity then completely renounces the faith and the Lord. To pray for these people is a waste of time. We cannot expect God to answer prayers for them. They have sinned the “sin unto death”.

V. 17: This verse shows the difference in the degrees of sin. There are sins which are not of such a serious nature as to cause death. There are degrees in sins, and there are degrees in punishment.

Romans 2:12: Sinned without the law shall also perish with the law. Sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.

Matthew 11:20-24: Cities wherein most of His mighty works were done, because they repented not. Woe to you Chorazin – Bethsaida – more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon. Capernaum exalted – more tolerable for Sodom than for you. Saved shall suffer loss at the judgment seat of Christ.

v. 18: “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin.” Does not practice in sin. The reason follows – He that is born of God (Christ) keeps Him. Thank God the believer does not keep himself, but Christ keeps him. We are protected from the devil.

v. 19: “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness”. Two spheres. In Him …. In wickedness … in the wicked one … the god of this world.

V. 20: “We know that the Son of God is come”. The incarnation – God manifest in the flesh. See chapter 1:1 and John 1:18.

He is confuting the Gnostic theory here. He is given us an understanding, etc. He has revealed the Father to us. We are in Him (God) and in His Son Jesus Christ. Co-equal – co-eternal. Blessed Lord Jesus. This is the true God. This is eternal life.

V. 21: Keep yourselves from idols – “Beware of any teachings which are opposed to these realities.” Keep yourself from false teaching.