posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 09:44 AM
1John CHAPTER 5
1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By
this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his
commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the
world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness,
because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8
And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. 9 If we receive the witness of
men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the
record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the
Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God;
that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
14 And this is the confidence that we have inb him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear
us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. 16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he
shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 17 All
unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. 19 And we
know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. 20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that
we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 21 Little
children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
Source King James Bible
FELLOWSHIP AND ASSURANCE. 5:1–17.
A. Assurance of Victory. 5:1–8.
5:1–3. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Is born (Gr gennaō) should rather be translated, “has been truly born,”
since it is perfect tense in the original. This is another test for the believers to use on the false teachers. Every person who believes (John does
not mean merely intellectual assent, for that would contradict the total message of his writings) that Jesus is the Christ is a real Christian (see
again on 2:22; 4:2). He now moves on to reiterate several of the tests in their connections to each other. Since the true believer loves God (the
begetter, active voice of Gr gennaō, meaning to give birth to), it follows that he will also love other believers (loveth him also that is begotten
of him, is passive voice of the same verb; in this context John is not referring to Christ, though he does in 5:18). The tests are mixed: By this we
know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. Love to God is again defined, it is keeping His commandments which
are not grievous (Gr barys), that is they are not difficult to fulfill because we are truly “born of God” and have therefore easy victory.
4–5. Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world. Overcometh (Gr nikaō) denotes gaining victory over; it is used four times in these two verses
(4–5). Its first occurrence is present tense in the original, giving the sense: “The true believer is always victorious over the world.” Victory
is normal and natural, and that is why His commandments are not difficult. This is the victory that overcometh (gnomic aorist) the world, even our
faith. This could be put, “Our faith is the key to victory over the world.” Faith, in verse 4, is defined as “believing” that Jesus is the Son
of God; the words are cognate and reiterate the same test found in 2:22; 4:2; and 5:1. This faith, saving faith, is what makes us true children of
God, which in turn assures us of victory over the world.
6–8. John now gives a description of Jesus Christ as he that came by water and blood. No one knows (now) exactly what John had in mind when he used
these two symbols. Tertullian’s guess seems to fit the facts best: the water is a reference to His baptism or inauguration, where the Voice from
heaven declared, “This is my beloved Son,” and established that Jesus was the Christ. The blood is a common symbol for His death, where there were
also supernatural miracles to cause even the confirmed and cruel Roman centurion to realize that this man (Jesus) was more than a mere man (Mt 27:54);
also, by the Resurrection, the Father confirmed Jesus as the Son of God (Rom 1:4). This interpretation also fits the facts concerning the gnostic-type
beliefs of Cerinthus who taught that the Christ came upon Jesus at the baptism but left Him before the Cross; John could have been refuting some such
heresy. It is interesting that John called attention to the water, and the blood which came from the side of Jesus on the cross (Jn 19:34–35). At
any rate, these were important symbols or witnesses to the deity of Christ in John’s mind. He also adds a third witness, the indwelling Spirit.
Thus, according to John’s count here, there are three that bear record. The rest of verse 7 and the first nine words of verse 8 are not original,
and are not to be considered as a part of the Word of God (refer to the marginal notes in any reference Bible). John’s three witnesses then are: the
spirit, and the water, and the blood: and the three agree in one. Agree in one is an idiom which is properly translated simply, agree. Only two or
three witnesses were needed to establish the truth of a fact (Deut 19:15; Jn 8:17).
B. Assurance of Eternal Life. 5:9–13.
9. The witness of God is greater. It is greater because he is God; if numbers are important (and John did stress the numbers in Jn 8:17–18, where
Christ’s own testimony is counted with the Father’s for the necessary two), God’s testimony is three in one. The point is only that there is
plenty of evidence to confirm the fact that Jesus is the Christ. Which he hath testified (Gr martyreō); the Greek perfect tense is used for this word
to stress the certainty of the fact of God’s witness.
10. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; by believing, a person mystically lives in Christ, and Christ lives in the
believer. The believer also has the Spirit who is once more a third witness. Because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. There is a
play upon the cognate forms record (Gr martyria), and gave (Gr martyreō), here, with the latter being in the perfect tense stressing again the
absolute certainty of the truth of the witness; the allusion is to the apostolic preaching of which the content is now specified in brief.
11–12. The message of the apostles was essentially, God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. The one who has the Son, that is
in the sense of believing in Him (2:22; 4:2; 5:1), hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. See again 1:1–4 on giving the
testimony or “preaching.”
13. In summary and conclusion, John wants to make his purpose clear; These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God.
Note the similarity to John 20:31; “…that ye might believe.…” which was the purpose there, is changed to … that ye may know … . The letter
is written so that believers might have “knowledge” or assurance about eternal life. In these last few verses, John refers to “knowledge” nine
times by means of four synonyms; it must be clear that there were false teachers who were engrossed in a quasi-Gnosticism.
C. Assurance of Answered Prayer. 5:14–17.
14–17. This is the confidence (Gr parresia). This word originally meant “speaking out” boldly, but later came to denote the boldness or
confidence without reference to the “speaking.” In this book, it means “joyous confidence” toward God; in 2:28 it can be seen as the opposite
of shame. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death. It is important to keep the context in mind while focusing on the meaning of
the sin … not unto death. It has been emphasized by John that believers have passed over from death into life (3:14). It is quite possible that John
is still on the same track; his concern could be over believers who might have already been influenced by heresy, and are living in sin because they
think it has nothing to do with worship of God. He would stress that God would answer prayers like this and restore such backsliders to life in
Christ. It may be, too, that some who were in the church and considered to be brothers in Christ (although they were not, they went out from us, but
they were not of us 2:19) have been so influenced by the false teachers that they have, speaking figuratively, now already passed back over from life
into death. In this sense the sin unto death would be rejection of God’s truth to the point that one died in unbelief. Others suggest that the sin
unto death is not a particular act of sin, but any sin that occasions one’s untimely death. Therefore, a living person need never fear that he has
already committed the sin unto death, since he is still alive. Only total rejection and rebellion against God, and rebellion to God’s laws, may
cause one to sin unto death.
VI. CONCLUSION. 5:18–21.
18. Whatsoever is born of God sinneth not reiterates the principle which has been stated in many different ways throughout the book, that if a person
is genuinely born of God (Gr gennaō is used in the perfect tense), he will not live in sin (Gr hamartanō is used in the present tense to imply a
life characterized by sin, rather than an isolated act of sin). John again plays upon the word born by using it to refer to Christ; he that is
begotten of God keepeth himself should rather be translated, “The One who was born of God keeps him.” It is because Christ keeps the believer that
the evil one cannot touch him.
19–21. The theme of assurance and true knowledge continues its intensity to the very end of the epistle as John repeats in the perfect tense, we
know (for sure!) that we are of God … we know (for sure!) that the Son of God has come (for sure!), and hath give us an understanding (for sure!).
The purpose for all this assurance and certainty is, “so that we might enjoy knowledge (Greek present tense denoting not just coming to know, but
enjoying continually) of the True One.” In place of the benediction is the closing exhortation, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.