People's New Testament
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.
SUMMARY OF I JOHN 5:
How We Show That We Love God. Overcoming the World. The Three Witnesses. The Witness in Ourselves. Prayer. Praying for a Brother Who Sins Not Unto Death.
Whoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. This belief, accepted in the heart, confessed with the mouth, and perfected by the obedience of faith makes one a child of God (Ro 1:5; Jas 2:22).
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God. But all born of God must love God's children. The proof that we have this love is that
we love God, and keep his commandments. We so love God as to obey his commandments, one of which is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Le 19:18 Mt 19:19 22:39 Mr 12:31 Ro 13:9 Ga 5:14 Jas 2:8).
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
5:3 This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. Its outward manifestation is in obedience. See Joh 14:23. We may test our love thus.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
5:4 For whatsoever is born of God. All who are born again, and have the new life,
overcometh the world, in the sense that they do not love it and obey its dictates.
The victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. The source of victorious power. As faith gains in strength the world loses its power.
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world? Only the men of faith; those who believe upon Jesus Christ.
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.
5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ. The subject of faith in Christ calls out a statement concerning some of the constantly testifying witnesses of Christ. The water and the blood refer primarily to the baptism that revealed him at the beginning of his earthly ministry and the blood which he shed at its close. John came baptizing in order that Christ should be made manifest (Joh 1:31). It was while in the waters of the Jordan that Christ was manifested and anointed. On the cross flowed the water and the blood (Joh 19:34). Two rites, both monumental institutions, hence both of them witnesses, testify of him. We are baptized into his death (Ro 6:1-3); the Lord's Supper points to his shed blood.
Not by water only, but by water and blood. The revelation of Christ in water at the baptism does not stand alone; Calvary came also with its shedding of blood.
It is the Spirit that beareth testimony. Witness is usually borne in words. The Spirit which descended on the apostles on Pentecost bore witness with mighty power that the crucified Jesus was Lord and Christ (Ac 2:4 4:31 5:32).
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
5:7 There are three that bear record in heaven, etc. This verse is not found in the Revised Version or in any ancient MS. It is no doubt an interpolation.
And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
5:8 There are three that bear testimony. For notes on how these three (the water, blood, and Spirit) bear witness, see 1Jo 5:6.
These three agree in one. They bear testimony to the same end.
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.
5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater. We do receive human testimony. We have human testimony of many and unimpeachable witnesses to the facts of the life of Christ, but we have also the greater witness of God. We have the Father's testimony on record, and we have it constantly repeated in his transforming grace. Every one born again to a new life is a new demonstration.
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.
5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself. He hath the witness in his changed heart and life.
He that believeth not God hath made him a liar. He makes God a liar by rejecting the witness God gives to the Son.
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
5:11 This is the record. God gives us eternal life through this Son. We know that we have it because we know that we have a new life.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
5:12 He that hath the Son hath life. We lay hold of the Son by faith in him and thus come to life.
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.
5:13 These things have I written unto you. He writes that they may understand how they may know that they have eternal life. Tests have been given. For example, see 1Jo 5:1,2 4:13.
That ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. Put the fullest trust in the name of Christ.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
5:14 And this is the confidence that... if we ask anything. We may be assured our prayers will be granted, if we ask
according to his will. There is this condition.
And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
5:15 If we know that he heareth us. Hear us with open ears. Then we may know that we have what we ask. It will be granted.
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.
5:16 If a man see his brother sin a sin. Then a brother can be overtaken by sin.
Not unto death. There is a sin not unto death, and one unto death. The sin described in Heb 6:4-6 is evidently unto death; that described in Ga 6:1 is one not unto death. In the latter case the sinners can be restored, and we may pray for them with the assurance that they will be. This implies both work and prayer.
All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
5:17 All unrighteousness is sin. All wrong doing is sin, but the condition of soul that sets it against righteousness and against Christ as steel is a sin unto death. Such a soul repels Christ the life.
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.
5:18 Whosoever is born of God sinneth not. Does not live a life of sin. He will not sin unto death, though he may be overtaken in a fault. See PNT 1Joh 5:21.
That wicked one toucheth him not. Cannot lay hands on him so as to hold him.
And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
5:19 We know that we are of God. The church is God's temple in which he dwells, and around it the world of wickedness.
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.
5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come. Not only by testimony from men but by God's witness. We have life in Christ, and Christ dwells in us.
This is the true God, and eternal life. In Christ the true God is revealed to us, and in him we have eternal life.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
5:21 Keep yourselves from idols. Flee from idolatry, the besetting sin of that age. So too we need to flee from the idols of our age. Whatever takes our worship from God is an idol.
NOTE.--SIN IN THE FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN. A comparison of passages will show that an extreme and false doctrine might be reached by pressing one class to the exclusion of another class. I give a list:
I. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves (1Jo 1:8). If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (1Jo 1:9).If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar (1Jo 1:10). These things I write to you, that ye sin not (1Jo 2:1). If any man sinneth ( man is not in the Greek), we have an Advocate with the Father (1Jo 2:1). If any man shall see his brother sin a sin which is not to death (1Jo 5:16). There is a sin not to death (1Jo 5:17).
These passages all refer to Christians; they teach their liability to sin; show how they may obtain pardon, and show how also they should labor to save an erring brother. One the other hand, there is another class which teaches that the Christian is freed from sin.
II. The blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth from all sin (1Jo 1:7). Whoever abideth in him sinneth not (1Jo 3:6). He cannot sin because he is born of God (1Jo 3:9). Whoever is born of God sinneth not (1Jo 5:18).
If this second class of passages was alone considered, they would teach apparently the absolute holiness of the saint. The two classes are to be interpreted in the light of each other. They teach that the germ of sin, dormant, perhaps, remains in us as long as we are in the flesh. The flesh lusteth against the Spirit (Ga 5:17). We may be overtaken in a fault, the dormant germ waken, and we be betrayed into sin for the moment (Ga 6:1). The sin is due to the temporary revival of the old nature. The new nature, the spiritual being born of the new birth, is not disposed to sin, and will be destroyed if the sin is willful and continued. One born of God cannot engage in willful sin. Nor can he who abides in Christ. He who becomes a willful sinner does not abide in Christ, nor remains a child of God.