DIVINE SONSHIP TESTED BY BELIEF
- This test is certain (1Jo 3:24).
- Must test false teachers (1Jo 4:1).
- False spirits do not confess Jesus (1Jo 4:2, 3).
- Relation of church and world to belief (1Jo 4:4-6).
(Adapted from Law 22)
This chapter[ 1 ] deals with the testing of false prophets and the spirit of error (1Jo 4:1-6). Love for God and for others is again enjoined (1Jo 4:7-11). The topic of love is entwined with abiding in God and He in Christians (1Jo 4:12-17). The chapter closes with perfect love casting out fear, and the one who loves God loving also his brother (1Jo 4:18-21).
4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Beloved[ 2 ]. Christians are "beloved of God" (Ro 1:7). This includes all Gentiles (and Jews) who have obeyed the gospel (Ro 9:25; Eph 1:6; Col 3:12; 1Th 1:4; 2Th 2:13). The Corinthians were Paul's "beloved children" (1Co 4:14). "Beloved" was one of John's favorite designations for God's people (see 1Jo 2:7; 3:2, 21; 4:7, 11). With that, he calls special attention to a topic of significance, the testing of spirits. Just as Christians were commanded, "Do not love the world" (1Jo 2:15), they are now commanded, "Do not believe every spirit." What a Christian loves makes a great difference. So does what one believes.
Do not believe every spirit [believe not every spirit][ 3 ]. Early saints were not totally gullible but neither were they immune to diverse teachings (compare Ga 1:6, 7). In Thessalonica, a "false spirit" was attempting to lead them away from the truth. Paul wrote, "That you may not be quickly shaken in mind, neither be alarmed; neither by spirit, nor by message, nor by letter purported to be from us, saying that the day of the Lord is here" (2Th 2:2). In line with Charles B. Williams' rendition, "Stop believing every spirit" Charles C. Ryrie was of the opinion that some of John's readers were being carried away by Gnostic teaching. I do not believe the Greek present tense necessarily proves they were inclined toward unwholesome doctrine. It is probable that John was merely warning them to be careful not to accept false teaching.
But test the spirits [but prove, try, the spirits][ 4 ]. In the first part of the verse, "every spirit" included lying spirits or false teachers.[ 5 ] During the first century, various false prophets claimed their own special anointment that gave them inspiration. Many Christians were blessed with a genuine anointment that gave them miraculous ability to discern or distinguish false teachers (see 1Co 12:10; compare 1Jo 3:24). Not all early Christians had this gift. Ungifted Christians were able to test the spirits by comparing their teaching to the portions of the written NT already available as well as by listening to divinely inspired prophets and teachers.
Christians must reject "doctrines of demons" presented by false teachers (1Ti 4:1). John points out some of their basic errors. These include rejection of Jesus as the Christ the Son of God, lack of love for the brethren, and moral unrighteousness. Christians were not to encourage them even by inviting them into their homes (2Jo 10).
TESTING FALSE TEACHERS (OT)
- If there arise . . . a prophet . . . and he give you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke to you, saying, Let us go after other gods . . . you shall not hearken (De 13:1-5).
- In the prophets of Jerusalem also I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies, and they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that none returns from his wickedness (Jer 23:14).
TESTING FALSE TEACHERS (NT)
- Know them by their fruits (Mt 7:16).
- But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel different from the gospel we preached to you, let him be accursed (Ga 1:8).
- Prove all things; hold fast that which is good (1Th 5:21).
- Any one who does not practice righteousness is not of God, also someone who does not love his brother (1Jo 3:10).
- Test the spirits, whether they are of God (1Jo 4:1).
- Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not of God (1Jo 4:3).
- He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love (1Jo 4:8).
DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING
"The simple believes every word, but the prudent man looks well to his going" (Pr 14:15). How desperately Christians need to be on guard against error today. Proving and testing ought to go on constantly. Teachers should be tested by the written word of God. The primary purpose is not to disfellowship them but to please the Lord. In NT times, when spirits were tested, many proved to be of God. The faith thus confirmed was precious indeed (see 1Pe 1:7). On the other hand, when men or women caused "divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine" they were disciplined (Ro 16:17).
Whether they are of God [if they are of God, to see whether they are of God][ 6 ]. Christ prophesied that, if possible, by showing great signs and wonders, some would deceive the very elect (see Mt 24:11, 24). There is a suggestion in John's epistle that the "lying spirits" were literal evil spirits inspiring the false teachers. For one thing, they are contrasted with the Spirit that is "from God." However, Vine[ 7 ] points out that sometimes "spirit" is used in Scripture equivalent to a personal pronoun. The word "spirit" may merely be used for emphasis and effect to designate a false teacher (see 2Ti 4:22; Phm 25; compare Ps 139:7).
Christians need to be careful not to believe the errors of religious huxters and cultists. They must not be swayed by extreme anti-ism or ultra-liberalism. The Lord's word is eternally true and is to be carefully searched out, accepted and defended. At the same time, a tendency to be suspicious of everything others teach ought to be avoided.
MANY FALSE PROPHETS
- Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are greedy wolves (Mt 7:15).
- And many false prophets will rise up, and deceive many (Mt 24:11; Mk 13:22).
- They found a certain man who was a magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus (Ac 13:6).
- Even from among your own selves men will arise, speaking erroneous things to lead the disciples astray after them (Ac 20:30).
- But there were false prophets among the people, as there shall also be false teachers among you (2Pe 2:1).
- Many false prophets have gone out into the world (1Jo 4:1).
- And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs before him (Re 19:20).
Because many false prophets [for many false prophets][ 8 ]. The spirits of the false prophets correspond to "the spirit of error" (verse 6). Some of them performed signs and wonders (Mk 13:22).
Have gone out into the world [are gone out into the world][ 9 ]. By stating that the spirits had "gone out" into the world, some have supposed that they were literal evil spirits. This, by itself, does not offer conclusive proof of it.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE THE SPIRIT FROM GOD
4:2, 3 By this you know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ, come in the flesh, is of God. 3 But every spirit that does not confess Jesus, is not of God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming, and now is in the world already.
By this [hereby][ 10 ]. The Spirit enabled at least some of John's readers to identify the false teachers who also claimed divine inspiration (see note on verse 1).
You know [know ye, ye know][ 11 ]. The Greek present tense suggests that John's first century readers continued to recognize the Spirit of God. It was possible to know whether an "inspiring" spirit was from God or from Satan by the content of the message. A message is false if it contradicts God's revealed word. The specific test given to the Gnostics had to do with the confession that Jesus Christ had come in the flesh. The Gnostics denied this.
The Spirit of God[ 12 ]. The Spirit of God, probably the same as the "spirit of truth"[ 13 ] (verse 6) inspired the true prophets. The Holy Spirit honored Christ by glorifying Him, bearing witness of Him and bringing His teachings to the remembrance of the apostles (Joh 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-15).
Every spirit that confesses [every spirit that confesseth, which confesses][ 14 ]. There is generally an implication that goes along with the word "confess." Even when it is used in the sense of acknowledge or declare, something more is often implied. On the judgment day, Jesus will "confess" that He never knew certain false religious workers. "And then HOMOLOGEESOO I will declare to them, Go away from Me, you who practice lawlessness, I never knew you" (Mt 7:23). Their eternal destiny will then be pronounced. The same Greek word is used again of the confession of Christ as Lord by the disciples and of Jesus' acknowledgement of them before the Father. "Therefore, whoever HOMOLOGEESEI will confess Me before people, I also HOMOLOGEESOO will confess him before My Father who is in the heavens" (Mt 10:32). The ones Christ confesses before the Father are approved in His sight. The confession of Christ before men implies a bold profession and a resolve to follow Him in faithful allegiance. A mere acknowledgement of Jesus as Christ come in the flesh, without faith and obedience, is not sufficient for salvation.[ 15 ]
Jesus Christ, come in the flesh [That Jesus Christ is come in the flesh][ 16 ]. The Holy Spirit guided men and women to say, "Jesus is Lord" (1Co 12:3) and, in the present verse, that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.
JESUS CHRIST COME IN THE FLESH
- And the Word became flesh, and lived among us, and we saw His glory (Joh 1:14).
- Revealed in the flesh (1Ti 3:16).
- In the days of His flesh, with strong crying and tears, He offered up prayers and supplications (Heb 5:7).
- Every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ, come in the flesh, is of God (1Jo 4:2).
- For many deceivers have gone out into the world, they who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist (2Jo 7).
By "come" John means a little more than our English word "come." Stott and others understand the Greek perfect tense to indicate not only that Christ came in the flesh but that His incarnation was permanent. The Gnostic idea that Christ came upon Jesus at His baptism and left Him prior to His crucifixion does not match what John said at all. The truth is that the Divine Being took upon Himself a human body (Php 2:7). He did not fly in and out of it as the false teachers asserted.
W. E. Vine[ 17 ] suggests that Christ's coming in the flesh is a figure of speech called synecdoche.[ 18 ] He thinks it stands for the totality of His spirit, soul and body. Note that John did not say Christ came "into" the flesh. Jesus Himself was the Christ come in the flesh.
Is of God[ 19 ]. Insofar as inspiration is concerned, "No one speaking in the Spirit of God can say, Jesus is accursed. And no one can say, Jesus is Lord, except in the Holy Spirit" (1Co 12:3).
But every spirit that does not confess Jesus [and every spirit which does not confess Jesus, that confesseth not Jesus, Jesus Christ come in flesh, that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh][ 20 ]. Because of a textual variation, certain versions such as Darby, the KJV and NKJV add "come in the flesh" (compare verse 2). "Spirit" may simply refer to persons who claimed divine gifts. Some[ 21 ] understand this to be a figure of speech called metonymy. In this figure, like synecdoche, a part may be put for the whole. For example, "wheels" may refer to an automobile. "Threads" stand for clothing. A drama stage may be called "boards." Thus "spirit" may refer to a person claiming miraculous gifts. Regardless of a possible figurative interpretation, be sure that John points out that the antithesis of his former statement is also true, namely, that a spirit who does not confess Jesus Christ is not of God.[ 22 ] Who were those who did not confess Jesus? No doubt, many Jews had difficulty accepting the truth of His Messiahship (compare Ac 18:28; 28:23-28) but, in the present context, the reference is mainly to the Gnostic heretics.
Mormons and others offer their own peculiar definitions for certain Bible words. For example, their "concept" of God and Christ may be quite different from those gleaned from a simple reading of the Bible. Gnostics, too, had their own definition of Christ. Instead of Jesus Christ coming in the flesh, they said "Christ" was one of the "aeons" or "spiritual existences" emanating from the Godhead -- who appeared on earth in a temporary embodiment in Jesus. John taught that Christ was the Word, the Son of God, a divine being with eternal existence with God. The heretics taught that "Christ," a divine aeon, descended upon the man Jesus[ 23 ] at his baptism, and withdrew from Him before His death. John repudiates these erroneous doctrines.
Is not of God[ 24 ]. In 1 John 2:23, we learned that one who disowns the Son cannot have the Father. In the present verse, it is implied he cannot have the Holy Spirit.
And this is the spirit of the antichrist [this is, and this is that power of antichrist, the antichrist][ 25 ]. The spirit of the antichrist is the "spirit of error" (verse 6). Anyone who denies either the divine pre-existence of Him who was born of the virgin or His sojourn on earth as a man is antichrist.
Which you heard was coming [whereof, of which, you heard, ye have heard, that it comes, cometh, should come, was coming][ 26 ]. Recall 1 John 2:18: "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour."
And now is in the world already [and now it is already in the world, in the world already, and even now already is it in the world][ 27 ]. The apostle speaks of an evil influence already at work. The canny operation of Satan was seen in the first-century variant of Antichrist unmistakable in the fascinating metaphysical, but deceitful, teaching of Cerinthus. That heretic taught various errors about Jesus Christ (see note in Introduction to 1 John).
GREATER IS HE WHO IS IN YOU
4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
CHRISTIANS ARE OF GOD
- The kingdom of God (Ac 8:12).
- Heirs of God (Ro 8:17).
- Sons of the living God (Ro 9:26; 1Jo 3:10; 5:2).
- The church of God (1Co 1:2; 2Co 1:1).
- A Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me (2Co 6:18).
- Fellow-citizens with the saints, and you are of God's family (Eph 2:19).
- The house of God (1Ti 3:15).
You are of God [from God][ 28 ]. The phrase "of God" or "from God" indicates relationship with God. God is the source of what they are. Such persons have been born again (see Joh 3:3-5; Jas 1:18). In fact, the same construction "of God" (literally, out of God) is used in "born of God" (1Jo 3:9; 5:18, 19). It is also used in the sense of being closely related to God or belonging to Him (Joh 8:47; 3Jo 11; see chart CHRISTIANS ARE OF GOD). They are His children and are led by by the Spirit's word. Idolaters and pagans were expected to follow error but those of God believe the truth. Of all people, they ought not to be led astray! Those with the gift of divine inspiration were doubly protected from error.
In a secondary sense, all Christians are of God (see chart CHRISTIANS ARE OF GOD).
Roy Davison[ 29 ] wrote:
What a great comfort and encouragement to know that we belong to God. As Peter assures us: "But ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: who in time past were no people, but now are the people of God: who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy" (1Pe 2:9,10 ASV).
[Jesus] says of His followers: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who hath given them unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand" (Joh 10:27-29 ASV). The safety of Jesus' sheep depends on their knowing His voice and following Him (rather than false teachers, for example). They then have the full protection of the Father. Notice that Jesus says they are in His hand and in the Father's hand. It has been a comfort to me in difficult times to think of myself as being safely enfolded in the hand of God.
Little children [children, my little children][ 30 ]. The Greek TEKNION little child is the diminutive[ 31 ] of TEKNON child. In the present verse, John uses the term TEKNIA little children (the diminutive of TEKNA children; see notes on Joh 1:12; 1Jo 2:1).
- I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one (1Jo 2:14).
- You are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1Jo 4:4).
- For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith! (1Jo 5:4).
- And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1Jo 5:5).
And have overcome them[ 32 ]. The antecedent of "them" is "every spirit that does not confess Jesus" (verse 3). These are the same as "false prophets" (verse 1; see chart OVERCOMING).
Because He who is in you is greater [because greater is he that is in you, for he who is in you][ 33 ]. It is difficult to pin down the antecedent of "He." It may be God, Christ or the Holy Spirit. They are all in Christians. The Holy Spirit is in them (1Co 6:19). Christ is in them (Eph 3:17). God is in them (see 2Co 6:16; 1Jo 4:12, 13). He "is greater than our heart" (1Jo 3:20). Even though miraculous powers are generally attributed to the Holy Spirit, it is not possible for one member of the Godhead to indwell a Christian without them all.
HE WHO IS IN YOU
- He who partakes of My flesh and drinks of My blood remains in Me, and I in him (Joh 6:56).
- In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you (Joh 14:20).
- Abide in Me, and I in you (Joh 15:4).
- He who abides in Me, and I in him, shall bear much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing (Joh 15:5).
- If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, request what you will, and it shall be done with you (Joh 15:7).
- I in them, and You in Me (Joh 17:23).
- That the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them (Joh 17:26).
God abides in Christians. An event in Exodus to which Paul referred in 2 Timothy, parallels what John is writing about.
"Even as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these also oppose the truth; people of depraved mind; concerning the faith, rejected. But they shall make no further progress, for their folly shall be evident to all, even as theirs was" (2Ti 3:8, 9).
Though not named in the OT, it is thought that Jannes and Jambres were magicians in the court of Pharaoh. When Moses cast his rod down and it became a serpent, they did likewise. Then Moses' staff swallowed up theirs (Ex 7:12). The NT parallel to Jannes and Jambres is any lying spirit with ability to perform signs and wonders. The parallel to Moses is anyone in the first century in whom the Holy Spirit dwelt in a miraculous way.
Than he who is in the world [than he that is in the world][ 34 ]. Satan is the ruler of the world (see Joh 12:31). He is in the world (Job 1:7) and the world is in him (1Jo 5:19). The power of the Holy Spirit is greater and overcame him and his false miracle workers (compare Mt 24:24; see chart HE WHO IS IN YOU).
WHAT THEY SPEAK IS OF THE WORLD
4:5 They are of the world. Therefore what they speak is of the world, and the world listens to them.
THE WORLD (A)
- The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its works are evil (Joh 7:7).
- You are from below. I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world (Joh 8:23).
- I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world comes, and he has nothing in Me (Joh 14:30).
THE WORLD (B)
- Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God (1Co 2:12).
- When we were children, we were enslaved to the basic things of the world (Ga 4:3).
- In the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world is crucified to me and I to the world (Ga 6:14).
- See to it that no one carries you away as his prey through philosophy and vain deceit, in agreement with the tradition of men, in agreement with the principles of the world, and not in agreement with Christ (Col 2:8).
- Keep oneself unstained from the world (Jas 1:27).
They are of the world[ 35 ]. False teachers are "from the world," that is, from the realm of Satan.
Therefore what they speak is of the world [therefore speak they, what they say is, for this reason they speak as, of the world][ 36 ]. "We know that we are of God, and the whole world is found the evil one" (1Jo 5:19; see charts THE WORLD A and B). The world is the domain of Satan, the father of lies. In the present verse, John is saying the false teachers "speak as from the world." The suggestion is they are liars.
And the world listens to them [heareth them, hears them][ 37 ]. Some believe a lie because they do not love the truth (see 2Th 2:9, 10).
HE WHO KNOWS GOD LISTENS TO THE APOSTLES
4:6 We are of God. He who knows God listens to us. He who is not of God, does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
We are of God[ 38 ]. (See note on verse 4.)
He who knows God [he that, whoever, knoweth, knows, God][ 39 ]. Knowing God implies keeping His commandments (see 1Jo 2:3, 4). The Greek present tense implies one who continues in the knowledge of God with the suggestion that he should be increasing in it.
- Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them; they have no delight in it (Jer 6:10).
- Son of man, you live in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house (Eze 12:2).
- But they refused to pay attention, and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing (Zec 7:11).
- For the heart of this people is insensitive, and their ears barely hear; and they have closed their eyes that they might not see with the eyes, and hear with the ears, and understand in the heart and be converted (Mt 13:15; compare Ac 28:26, 27).
- They will turn their ears from the truth, and turn aside to myths (2Ti 4:4).
- Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts (Pr 8:34).
- He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise (Pr 15:31).
- Draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools (Ec 5:1).
- Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run (Hab 3:2).
- But those in the good soil are those who hear the word in an honest and good heart; who retain it and with perseverance bear fruit (Lu 8:15).
- Swift to hear, slow to speak slow to anger (Jas 1:19).
- Let him who has an ear hear what the Spirit says to the churches (Re 2:11).
Listens to us [heareth, hears us][ 40 ]. The Greek present tense implies that one who knows God continues to listen[ 41 ] to the apostles. If one continues to hear them, he continues to increase in the knowledge of God. "He who is of God AKOUEI hears the words of God. For this reason you do not AKOUETE hear, because you are not of God" (Joh 8:47). Alluding to Himself as the Good Shepherd, Jesus said, "The sheep AKOUEI hear his voice" (Joh 10:3). To Pilate, He said, "Everyone who is of the truth AKOUEI hears My voice" (Joh 18:37).
I reject Calvinistic doctrine that certain people were predetermined to hear the truth and others forever divinely prevented from doing so. If that doctrine were true, since God is sovereign, the chosen ones would hear the gospel whether or not anyone obeyed the Great Commission and preached to them, for example, in foreign lands. An invitation would be a pointless waste of time because, according to Calvinism, those who were going to be saved would be saved anyway and those who were going to be lost could never be saved regardless of how much pleading was done to try to save them. Who can believe such a tangled system of thought?
LOVE AND BELIEF
- Love's origin (1Jo 4:7-12).
- Harmony of love and belief (1Jo 4:13-16).
- Outcomes, motives and unveiling of love (1Jo 4:17-5:3).
- Belief's basis and power (1Jo 5:3-12).
- Assurance of eternal life, answered prayer (1Jo 5:13-21).
He who is not of God [and he who is not of God][ 42 ] .
Does not listen to us [heareth us not, heareth not us, does not hear us][ 43 ]. One of the tests of a spiritual person is that he listens to the apostles. This is effectively accomplished by hearing or reading what they wrote in the NT.
By this [hereby, from this][ 44 ]. Not only must one read the word but he must regard the writings of the apostles as inspired of God. "If any one thinks that he is a prophet or spiritual, let him know that the things I write to you are the commandment of the Lord" (1Co 14:37).
We know the spirit of truth [know we the spirit of truth][ 45 ]. It is my opinion that the "spirit of truth" is an indirect reference to inspired teaching (see note on verse 2). Prophets, who listened appreciatively to the apostles, were of God.
And the spirit of error[ 46 ]. False prophets refused to heed the oral or written word of the apostles. This was proof that they were false. Modern "change agents" who introduce cultural arguments to discount apostolic teaching are equally wrong.
LOVE IN THREE CHAPTERS
- Love is an old/new commandment (1Jo 2:7, 8; also verses 5, 10).
- We know that we have passed from death into life because we love the brethren. He who does not love remains in death (1Jo 3:14; also verses 16-18).
- Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God (1Jo 4:7; also 4:8-12; 16-21).
- Love is imperative because God is love (1Jo 4:7, 8).
- God's love was proved by sending Christ (1Jo 4:9, 10).
- If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1Jo 4:11).
- If we love one another, God abides in us (1Jo 4:12).
- If we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us (1Jo 4:12).
- Love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God (1Jo 4:7).
- He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love (1Jo 4:8).
- The love of God has been made known among us, that God has sent His one-and-only Son (1Jo 4:9).
- This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the expiation for our sins (1Jo 4:10).
- Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1Jo 4:11).
SPIRIT OF ERROR
- My brethren, if any of you wander from the truth (Jas 5:19).
- Entice by fleshly, intemperate lusts those who have barely escaped from those who live in error (2Pe 2:18).
- Be on guard so that you will not be led astray by the error of the wicked, and fall from your own steadfastness (2Pe 3:17).
- Rushed headlong into the error of Balaam (Jude 11).
LOVE ONE ANOTHER FOR LOVE IS FROM GOD
4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
Beloved[ 47 ] (see note on verse 1).
Let us love one another[ 48 ] (see charts ABOUT LOVE; LOVE A and B).
- Love is of God (1Jo 4:7).
- God is love (1Jo 4:8).
- God's love made known by sending Christ (1Jo 4:9, 10).
- We also ought to love one another (1Jo 4:11).
- If we love one another God abides in us (1Jo 4:12).
- He who abides in love, abides in God, and God abides in him (1Jo 4:16).
- This is how love has been perfected among us (1Jo 4:17).
- Perfect love expels fear (1Jo 4:18).
- We love, because he first loved us (1Jo 4:19).
- If a man says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar (1Jo 4:20).
- Whoever loves Him who give birth, loves him also who is born of Him (1Jo 5:1).
- We know that we love the children of God, when we love God and do His commandments (1Jo 5:2).
For love is of God [because love is of God][ 49 ]. Love originates within God. It is His very nature (see note on verse 8).
And every one who loves [that loveth, that loves, and he who loves][ 50 ].
Is born of God [is, has been, begotten of God][ 51 ] (see notes on 1Jo 3:9; 5:1).
And knows God [and knoweth God][ 52 ]. Knowing God requires some growth. It also implies faithfulness. To the fickle Galatians, Paul wrote, "But now, knowing God, or rather being known by God, how can you turn again to the weak and worthless elements, and wish to be enslaved to them again?" (Ga 4:9).
GOD IS LOVE
4:8 He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love.
He who does not love [he that loveth not, loves not][ 53 ].
- God is spirit (Joh 4:24).
- God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29 from De 4:24).
- God is light (1Jo 1:5).
- God is love (1Jo 4:8).
Does not know God [knoweth not God, has not known God][ 54 ]. Knowing God is equivalent to being saved. God is love but, in the thoughts of a person who does not love, He must seem to be a kind but alien ruler or one to be dreaded. An unloving person does not know His ways nor speak His language and is, no doubt, afraid in His presence.
For God is love[ 55 ]. God's very nature is love (see chart GOD'S NATURE). He is also a God of truth (see Heb 6:18; 1Jo 1:6; 1Jo 2:5; 2:27; 5:6).
GOD'S LOVE MANIFESTED IN SENDING HIS SON
4:9 By this the love of God has been made known among us, that God has sent His one-and-only Son into the world that we might live through Him.
By this [herein, in this][ 56 ].
The love of God[ 57 ]. The context shows the "love of God" is not the love man has for God but the love that He has shown to mankind, manifested especially in the sending of Christ.
Has been made known [was manifested, has been manifested, was made manifest][ 58 ]. The meaning of "made known," "revealed" or "manifested" may be clarified by looking at other verses. For example, "After these things Jesus revealed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias; and He revealed Himself like this" (Joh 21:1). The context shows that He was revealed by speaking to the disciples and eating fish with them. In the broad sense, He was manifested by His entire earthly sojourn from Bethlehem to Calvary. The transcending purpose of His manifestation was the making known of God's love in the salvation of mankind. "And you know that He was revealed[ 59 ] so He might take away sins, and there is no sin in Him" (1Jo 3:5; compare 3:16).
Among us [in us, toward us, as to us][ 60 ].
That God has sent His one-and-only Son [that, because that, God sent, hath sent, his only begotten Son, his only Son][ 61 ]. Jesus was "as of the only begotten of the Father; full of grace and truth" (Joh 1:14). In order to give Him the honor He deserves and to distinguish Him from Christians who are also called sons or children of God, John calls Him God's "one-and-only Son" or His "only begotten Son" (see also 1Jo 3:1, 2, 16).
Some modern "scholars" and translators want to leave out "only begotten." Apparently, they think Christ was conceived like any other human and only by His exemplary life earned the honor of being called Son of God. If that were the case, why do the Holy Scriptures refer to Him as "only begotten" or the equivalent in addition to "Son of God"? It must be that He was exceedingly unique, extraordinary, special and above all others from His very "beginning." To omit "only begotten" is, in my opinion, to detract from the honor due Him.
Into the world[ 62 ]. Did Christ become the only begotten at the time God sent Him into the world? Did the Spirit become the Holy Spirit when He was sent (see Joh 14:26)? I cannot answer yes to either question. It is my view that Christ was the only begotten before His incarnation just as the Spirit was the Holy Spirit before Pentecost.
THAT WE MIGHT LIVE
That we might live through Him [so that we might live through him][ 63 ]. This gives the purpose of God sending Christ into the world. That purpose was so that people might live through Him (see Joh 3:16; 4:10; Ro 5:15; 6:23; 8:32; 2Co 9:15; Eph 2:8).
TO BE THE PROPITIATION
4:10 This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.
This is love [herein is love, in this is love][ 64 ]. John highlights love, the very nature of God.
Not that we loved God[ 65 ].
But that He loved us[ 66 ]. Here John emphasizes the essential divine side of salvation. Without God's love and grace there would be no Savior and no salvation.
And sent His Son[ 67 ]. The glory of God's love was displayed in splendor by the sending of Christ to the earth.
To be the expiation for our sins [to be the propitiation for our sins, a propitiation for our sins][ 68 ]. Some versions render "expiation" or "an atoning sacrifice" or "the remedy for the defilement" (see note on 1Jo 2:2).
GOD'S LOVE INSPIRES LOVE TO OTHERS
4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Beloved[ 69 ] (see note on verse 1).
If God so loved us [if God has so loved us][ 70 ]. The attitude and actions of God obligate man to imitate Him wherein it is possible.
We also ought to love one another [we ought also to love one another][ 71 ]. Christians are constrained to love others because God loves them. If they walk as Christ walked and as they ought to walk (1Jo 2:6), they will, as much as is humanly possible, love like He loved.
NO ONE HAS SEEN GOD
- You cannot see My face, for man shall not see Me and live (Ex 33:20).
- Lo, He goes by me, and I see Him not; He passes on also, but I perceive Him not (Job 9:11).
- Behold, I go forward, but He is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him (Job 23:8).
- You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form (Joh 5:37).
- The Son is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation (Col 1:15).
- Now to the King who is eternal, immortal, unseen, only wise God; honor and glory forever and ever. Amen (1Ti 1:17; compare 6:16).
IF WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER, GOD ABIDES IN US
4:12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.
No one has ever seen God [no man hath beheld God, has, hath, seen God at any time][ 72 ]. In his Gospel, John expands the idea about seeing God. "No man has ever perceived God; the only begotten Son[ 73 ] who is in the bosom of the Father; He has revealed Him" (Joh 1:18). Yet, Isaiah said, "Your eyes shall see the King in His beauty" (Isa 33:17). And yes, those who have seen Jesus have seen the Father (Joh 14:9; see charts NO ONE HAS SEEN GOD; SEEING GOD).
- And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, for said he, I have seen God face to face and my life is preserved (Ge 32:30).
- Then went up Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel; and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and as it were the very heaven for clearness (Ex 24:10).
- So Manoah said to his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God (Jg 13:22).
- I had heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees Thee (Job 42:5; see Ps 141:8).
- Woe is me . . . for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts (Isa 6:5).
If we love one another[ 74 ]. Notice that God is not said to abide in Christians nor is His love perfected in them by an isolated returned love for Him. His abiding with them also is conditional upon their love for each other.
God abides in us [abideth, dwelleth, in us][ 75 ] (see note on verse 4; compare 1Co 6:16).
And His love is perfected in us[ 76 ]. God's love for mankind comes to fruition in us as we pick up its glow and start loving Him in return. Almost simultaneously, Christians begin loving one another as they love Him (see 1Pe 1:22, 23).
WE KNOW WE ABIDE IN HIM
4:13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us a portion of His Spirit.
By this we know [hereby we know, know we][ 77 ]. There is a tendency by some to question the truthfulness of the gospel. Even those who have obeyed it may have seasons of doubt. This was especially a problem with Jewish Christians who had served faithfully under the OT for many years. They questioned whether the old system might not be right after all. Feelings offered no dependable proof. A clear answer was given them by the word and work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit inspired the apostles and others and empowered them to perform confirmatory miracles. In the first century, there were always convincing demonstrations of the truthfulness of the divinely-inspired revelation. Many in that age could perform miracles. Multitudes, if not all, witnessed them. The miracles of the Spirit left no doubt.
FUSION OF BELIEF AND LOVE
- Knowledge that "we abide in Him" is made possible by the Spirit (1Jo 4:13).
- Apostles beheld and testified [by the Spirit] (1Jo 4:14).
- Confession of true belief: Jesus is the Son of God (1Jo 4:15).
- God abides in the one who confesses, and he in God (1Jo 4:15).
- True belief entails God's love (1Jo 4:16).
- He who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1Jo 4:16).
That we abide in Him, and He in us [that we dwell in him, and he in us][ 78 ] (see charts FUSION OF BELIEF AND LOVE here, and ABIDING IN THE LORD at 1Jo 3:6).
Because He has given us a portion of His Spirit [because he hath given us, that he has given to us, of his Spirit, of his own Spirit][ 79 ]. By "us" John primarily alludes to the apostles and other inspired first-century Christians. In a secondary sense, he refers to all Christians.
WE HAVE SEEN AND TESTIFY
4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as the Savior of the world.
And we have seen [and we have beheld, and we have seen][ 80 ]. Long after the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, John wrote, "And we saw His glory" (Joh 1:14). The apostles not only saw the glory of Christ but they looked at it carefully and contemplated it. In 1 John 1:1, John mentions "what we have seen with our eyes" and then adds what we "observed" or "beheld." The second word suggests more than just seeing (see footnote).
And testify [and bear witness, and do testify][ 81 ]. The testimony the apostles continued to give was based upon actual seeing and observation or beholding. Through their written word in the NT, they continue to testify.
That the Father has sent the Son [sent, hath sent, His Son][ 82 ].
GOD THE SAVIOR
- By the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus our hope (1Ti 1:1).
- This is good and pleasing before God our Savior (1Ti 2:3).
- According to the command of God our Savior (Tit 1:3).
- Adorn the doctrine of God our Savior (Tit 2:10).
- But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared (Tit 3:4).
- To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, might and power to all the ages both now and forever (Jude 25).
CHRIST THE SAVIOR
- Because this day in the city of David a Savior is born to you, who is Christ the Lord (Lu 2:11).
- This same One God raised to His own right hand as Ruler and Savior (Ac 5:31).
- According to the promise, God has brought to Israel the Savior, Jesus (Ac 13:23).
- Our Savior Christ Jesus (2Ti 1:10).
- Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior (Tit 1:4).
As the Savior of the world [to be the, as, Savior of the world][ 83 ]. After
teaching Nicodemus about the new birth, Jesus said, "For God did not send the
Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through
Him" (Joh 3:17). The believing Samaritans said, "It is no longer because of what
you said that we believe, for we have heard Him, and we know that He is in truth
the Savior of the world" (Joh 4:42).
4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him,
and he in God.
Whoever [whosoever][ 84 ].
Confesses [shall confess][ 85 ] (see note on verse 2).
JESUS, THE SON OF GOD
- The One proclaimed (1Jo 1:3).
- By whom God forgives sins (1Jo 1:8).
- Our Advocate (1Jo 2:1).
- The expiation for our sins (1Jo 2:2).
- Has come in the flesh (1Jo 4:2).
- The Father has sent the Son (1Jo 4:14).
- As the Savior of the world (1Jo 4:14).
That Jesus is the Son of God[ 86 ]. The Greek present tense indicates that Jesus
continues to be the Son of God. Gnostics denied this. Unless they changed and
confessed that He was the Son of God they were lost. The confession implies
obedient trust in Him.[ 87 ] It seems popular today to give a muted honor to Christ
by saying He was such a good man that perhaps He deserved to be called the Son
of God. This kind of toned down confession leaves out obedient trust. It is not
at all what John had in mind.
God abides in him [abideth, dwells, dwelleth, lives in him][ 88 ]. Christians
dwell in, and are in close fellowship with, God who is light and love (see notes on
Joh 14:23; 1Co 3:16; 2Co 6:16).
And he in God[ 89 ]. Believers are baptized into union with Christ (Ro 6:3; Ga 3:27).
To be in Christ implies being in God as well. From day to day, Christians
continue to confess the sweet name of Jesus and live in accordance with His word.
4:16 And we have known and have believed the love which God has in us.
God is love, and he who abides in love, abides in God, and God abides in
And we have known [so, and we know][ 90 ]. John uses "we" to
denote the apostles who had seen, known by experience and believed what God did
through Christ to bring salvation to mankind.
And have believed [and believe, believed][ 91 ]. In 1 Corinthians 13:7, we have
love believing all things. Here we have "believed the love."
The love which God has [the love God has, that God hath][ 92 ]. God's love
was the motivation for His kindness to OT people (see De 7:8; Ps 146:8; Jer 31:3).
The same is true in the NT (see Joh 3:16; 16:27; Ro 5:8; Eph 2:4, 5; 1Jo 3:1).
His love within Christians has a purpose (see following paragraph). It has to do
with His sending Christ into the world that they might live through Him (1Jo 4:9).
That purpose is to be displayed (compare Joh 9:3).
In us [to us, for us][ 93 ]. The display of God's love "in us" helps the world to
identify Christ's disciples (Joh 13:35; compare Ro 5:5).
God is love[ 94 ]. Once again, John highlights God's essential nature, love (see
note on verse 8).
And he who abides in love [that abides, abideth, dwelleth, in love][ 95 ]. This
is a passage that commentators puzzle over. They are hopelessly uncertain
whether the love in which Christians abide is the love they exhibit or the love that
God has for them. Actually, there is no need to spend a great deal of time
worrying about this technical problem. God's love sent Christ and gives salvation
to Christians. This inspires a returned love to Him as well as a love radiating to
others (see verse 19). When speaking to His apostles, Jesus tied it all together:
"As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you; abide in My love. If you
keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love; just as I keep My
Father's commandments and abide in His love" (Joh 15:9, 10; compare Jude
Abides in God [abideth, dwelleth, in God][ 96 ].
GOD [AND HIS BLESSINGS] WITH US
- Emmanuel, which is translated, God with us (Mt 1:23).
- And they reported all that God had done with them (Ac 15:4).
- The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren (Ga 6:18).
- Grace, mercy and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son in truth and love (2Jo 3).
And God abides in him [and God in him, abideth in him][ 97 ].
4:17 This is how love has been perfected among us, that we may have
confidence on the day of judgment, because as He is, so are we in this
WE MAY HAVE CONFIDENCE
- In whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him (Eph 3:12).
- For those serving well as deacons earn to themselves a good standing and great confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus (1Ti 3:13).
- Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:16).
- Boldness to enter the Holy Place by the blood of Jesus (Heb 10:19).
- This is how love has been perfected among us, that we may have confidence on the day of judgment (1Jo 4:17).
EFFECTS OF LOVE
- As He is, so are we in the world (1Jo 4:17).
- Love perfected yields confidence in the day of judgment: no fear in love (1Jo 4:17, 18).
- Motivated to love: because He first loved us (1Jo 4:19).
- Responding to God's love: he who loves God should love his brother also (1Jo 4:20, 21).
- We know that we love the children of God, when we love God and do His commandments (1Jo 5:2).
This is how [herein, in this][ 98 ].
Love is perfected among us [is love perfected with us, made perfect with
us, is our love made perfect, has love been perfected with us][ 99 ].
That we may have confidence [that we may have boldness][ 100 ]. John previously indicated Christians must abide in Christ in order to have confidence. "And now, little children, remain in Him, so that when He is revealed we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming" (1Jo 2:28).
On the day of judgment [for, in, the day of judgment][ 101 ]. On the last day,
the judgment day, the dead will be raised (see chart RAISED ON THE LAST
DAY, THE DAY OF JUDGMENT). On that day, various problems may arise.
For example, the men of Nineveh and the Queen of the South will rise to condemn
Jesus' generation (Mt 12:41, 42; Lu 11:31, 32; see chart THE DAY OF
JUDGMENT). In that day, the saved will have confidence because their love was
active while on the earth. Jesus explained the necessity of an active love:
"Then the King will say to those on His right, Come, you blessed of My
Father! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the
world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty,
and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you lodged Me;
naked, and you clothed Me; ill and you looked after Me. I was in prison,
and you came to Me" (Mt 25:34-36).
THE DAY OF THE JUDGMENT
- Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name? (Mt 7:22).
- More tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city (Mt 10:15).
- More tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, than for you (Mt 11:22; Lu 10:14).
- More tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you (Mt 11:24; Lu 11:12).
- Every idle word that people will speak, they shall give an accounting of it in the day of judgment (Mt 12:36).
RAISED ON THE LAST DAY,
THE DAY OF JUDGMENT
- That of all He gave Me not a thing be lost, but that it be raised up in the last day (Joh 6:39).
- Everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have life eternal; and I will raise him up in the last day (Joh 6:40).
- No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draw him, and I will raise him up in the last day (Joh 6:44).
- He who partakes of My flesh and drinks of My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day (Joh 6:54).
WRATH IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT
- Storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God (Ro 2:5).
- The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and how to reserve the ungodly to the day of judgment for punishment (2Pe 2:9).
- The present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire by his word; kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly people (2Pe 3:7).
Because [that][ 102 ].
As [even as][ 103 ].
He is[ 104 ]. What are the characteristics of Christ? He is righteous (1Jo 2:1).
He is pure. Christians are righteous when they purify themselves because of Him
(1Jo 3:3). Yet, they are not yet flawlessly like Him. "We do know that when He
is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1Jo 3:2).
But the immediate thought here concerns love. Christians have learned to love
others on the earth because of God's great love and the marvelous example of Christ's
So are we in this world [even so are we, we also are, in this world][ 105 ]. How people are "in this world" determines how they will be in the judgment day. Here, Christians strive to be like Christ, to walk as He walked, to become like Him in compassion and obedience, to love as He loved.
4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love expels fear, because fear has
to do with punishment, and he who fears has not been perfected in love.
There is no fear in love[ 106 ]. As one matures in Christ, he learns to love as
Christ loves. His love motives the Christian to become completely wrapped up in
But perfect love[ 107 ]. The word "perfect" describes a complete, full grown or
mature love (compare the word in Heb 5:14; Jas 1:4; 3:2). It is more than an
emotion but implies sincere obedience as well.
Expels fear [casteth out, casts out, fear][ 108 ]. The one who is perfected in
love has no reason to fear the judgment day.
Because fear has to do with punishment [for fear, because fear, hath, has,
torment, punishment, has to do with punishment][ 109 ]. In verse 17, John spoke
of confidence. Without confidence one ought to be afraid before God (compare 1Jo 2:28).
And he who fears [he that fears, feareth, and he that feareth][ 110 ]
Has not been perfected in love [has not been, is not, made perfect,
perfected, in love][ 111 ].
4:19 We love, because He first loved us.
We love [we love him][ 112 ]. It is not surprising that spirits created in the image
of God have the capacity to love. What is amazing is that God can love His
creatures after they have dabbled in the ugliness of sin (Hab 1:3).
Because He first loved us [because he has first loved us] [ 113 ]. Gratitude for salvation in Christ motivates the saved to return their love to God and to care for others with a love akin to that which God Himself has for them.
4:20 If a man says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar. For he
who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he
has not seen.
If a man says, I love God [if a man say, if any one say, says, I love
God][ 114 ]. The Greek present tense has a hypothetical person saying that he
continues to love God.
And hates his brother [and hate, and hateth, his brother][ 115 ]. The Greek
present tense suggests an abiding hate.
He is a liar[ 116 ]. This is plain language. The one who professes to love God
and hates his brother is not guilty of neglect, a mendacity or a mistake. He is a
For he who does not love his brother [for he that loves not, loveth not,
his brother][ 117 ].
Whom he has seen [hath seen][ 118 ]. It is easier to love a person with whom
one has eaten a meal than a stranger. It is natural to have compassion upon one
who is seen or with a person with whom one is pretty well acquainted. It is a little
more challenging to love an anonymous individual or someone of another race and
culture in a distant land.
Cannot love God whom he has not seen [whom he hath not seen, how can
he love God whom he hath, has, not seen?][ 119 ]. The greatest OT command had
to do with love for God (see De 6:5; Mt 22:36-38). Some may find it difficult to
start out loving God. They may first begin to love their fellow-man. Then they
learn to love God. However, the very act of believing implies an appreciation of
the love God has for lost man. Because of this, for some, love for God comes
first, then love for others (see note on verse 12; compare 1Pe 1:22).
4:21 And this commandment we have from Him, that he who loves God
should love his brother also.
And this commandment we have from Him [have we from him][ 120 ]. Love
is commanded. "A new commandment I give you, that you love one another. You
are to love one another as I have loved you" (Joh 13:34). How can anyone obey
a command to have an emotion or a feeling? Actually, the command to love is not
to generate a particular feeling. It stands back of emotions. When one
understands that the love commanded is to demonstrate active good will, it
becomes more obeyable.
That[ 121 ]. The intent of the command to love God is that each Christian extend
love to others. Jesus stressed love for others while alluding to His own love for
mankind. "No one has greater love than this, that one lay down his life for his
friends" (Joh 15:13; compare 1Jo 3:16).
He who loves God [he who loveth God, he that loves God][ 122 ].
Should love his brother also [love his brother also, love also his brother][ 123 ]. John wrote about love for others in chapter 3. "For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning: that we should love one another" (1Jo 3:11). He now explains how love for others relates to God. When Augustine was trying to express this thought, he alluded to what Jesus said to Saul on the Damascus road. However, he put additional words into the Lord's mouth when he wrote, "To the persecutor Saul, Christ said, `Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? I have ascended into heaven, yet still I live upon earth. Here I sit at the right hand of the Father; there I still hunger, thirst, and am a stranger'"[ 124 ] (compare Mt 25:31-45; Ac 9:4).
[ 1 ] The basic text in this chapter of notes is the Old Path's version (OPV). Quotations from 1, 2 and 3 John and from Colossians are from the OPV unless otherwise noted. Alternate phrases are from the ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV. Most OT quotations are from an updated but unpublished ASV. Except for 1, 2, 3 John and Colossians, NT quotations are from the English Study Bible (ESB) unless otherwise noted. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ] 'AGAPEETOI, beloved (Marshall 941); again the recognition of danger from false spirits prompts this affectionate address (Vincent 2:354); [from AGAPAOO to love], often, as a form of address (Vine 110).
[ 3 ] MEE PANTI PNEUMATI PISTEUETE, not every spirit believe ye (Marshall 941); second person plural present active imperative of PISTEUOO (Han 430); literally, stop believing (Harrison 1474); one in whom a spirit (PNEUMA) is manifested or embodied; hence one who is actuated by a spirit, whether divine or demonical; one who either is truly moved by God's Spirit or falsely boasts that he is (Thayer 522); stop believing every so-called spiritual utterance (Williams).
[ 4 ] ALLA DOKIMAZETE TA PNEUMATA, but prove the spirits (Marshall 941); DOKIMAZETE is second person plural; present active imperative of DOKIMAZOO (Han 430); prove (Vincent 2.354); test, prove, with the expectation of approving; [spirits] by metonymy, [alludes to] those who claim to be depositories of divine gifts for service (Vine 898, 1076); put to the test for the purpose of approving . . . another word PEIRAZOO try or tempt generally means to try with the purpose that the thing tried will be found wanting (Harrison 1474); but keep testing them (Williams).
[ 5 ] Although he knew the Greek was literally "every spirit" because the emphasis is on spiritual utterance, Charles B. Williams understood it figuratively and rendered it "every so-called spiritual utterance" (see first part of verse 1); a careful reading of verse 2 indicates the "spirits" were actual beings.
[ 6 ] EI EK TOU THEOU ESTIN, if of God they are (Marshall 941); out of: proceeding from [God] (Vincent 2.355); to see whether they come from God (Williams).
[ 7 ] Vine 1075.
[ 8 ] HOTI POLLOI PSEUDOPROPHEETAI, because many false prophets (Marshall 941); applied in the NT to rivals of true prophets under the old dispensation (Lu 6:26; 2Pe 2:1), and to rivals of the apostles under the gospel economy (Vincent 2.355); false prophets in the present period since Pentecost (Vine 894).
[ 9 ] EXELEELUTHASIN EIS TON KOSMON, have gone forth into the world (Marshall 941); EXELEELUTHASIN is third person plural, perfect active indicative of EXERCHOMAI (Han 430); perfect tense indicates that the influence of their going out on their false mission is in operation at the present (Vincent 2.355).
[ 10 ] EN TOUTO, by this (Marshall 941).
[ 11 ] GINOOSKETE, know ye (Marshall 941); present active indicative or imperative (Han 430); perceive (Vincent 2.355); take in knowledge, come to know, recognize, understand, or understand completely (Vine 627); learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of. . . find a sign in a thing by which to know, to recognize in or by something (Thayer 117); the verb you can recognize (GINOOSKETE) could be an imperative or an indicative . . . the indicative seems preferable (Stott 157); I understand GINOOSKETE to be indicative, telling Christians how to know the Spirit of God; others understand it to be imperative, commanding them to do so.
[ 12 ] TO PNEUMA TOU THEOU, the Spirit of God (Marshall 941); by metonymy, those who claim to be depositories of divine gifts for service (Vine 1076); one in whom a spirit (PNEUMA) is manifested or embodied; hence one who is actuated by a spirit, whether divine or demonical; one who either is truly moved by God's Spirit or falsely boasts that he is (Thayer 522).
[ 13 ] It is possible the "spirit of truth" is a disposition of truth. This view is held by translators who did not capitalize "spirit."
[ 14 ] PAN PNEUMA HO HOMOLOGEI, every spirit which confesses (Marshall 941); third person singular present active indicative (Han 430); by metonymy, those who claim to be depositories of divine gifts for service; declares openly by way of speaking out freely, such confession being the effect of deep conviction of facts (Vine 216; 1076); openly acknowledges (Harrison 1474); confesseth (Vincent 2.355); one is said [to confess] that of which he is convinced and which he holds to be true (Thayer 446); when the verb HOMOLOGEIN to acknowledge or confess is followed by an accusative, the latter may be single or double. The single accusative occurs in 1 John 2:23 and 4:3, to acknowledge "the Son" and to acknowledge "Jesus", and the double in John 9:22, to acknowledge Jesus as "the Christ" (Brooke via Stott 158, 159); we should probably adopt the alternative double accusative, namely to acknowledge "Jesus" as "Christ come in the flesh", or "the Christ incarnate" [Moffatt] (Stott 159).
[ 15 ] Unclean spirits often acknowledged Christ's deity (Mk 1:24; 3:11; 5:7, 8; Ac 19:15; compare Jas 2:19).
[ 16 ] 'IEESOUN CHRISTON EN SARKI ELEELUTHOTA, Jesus Christ in [the] flesh having come (Marshall 941); ELEELUTHOTA is the perfect active participle, accusative singular masculine of ERCHOMAI (Han 430); literally, Jesus Christ having come, etc. The whole phrase forms the direct object of the verb confesseth (Vincent 2.355); by synecdoche, of the holy humanity of the Lord Jesus, in the totality of all that is essential to manhood, that is, spirit, soul, and body, John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 7 (Vine 437, 438); perfect tense of come (Harrison 1474); ELEELUTHENAI and ERCHESTHAN EN SARKI are used of the form in which Christ as the divine Logos appeared among men (Thayer 251); the Greek perfect tense of the verb "has come" denotes the present state resultant upon a past action (Machen 452).
[ 17 ] Vine 437, 438 (also see his comment on metonymy: Vine 1076).
[ 18 ] Synecdoche is derived from SYN with and EKDOCHEE sense or interpretation. It is a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole or sometimes the whole for a part.
[ 19 ] EK TOU THEOU ESTIN, of God is (Marshall 941); comes from God (Williams).
[ 20 ] KAI PAN PNEUMA HO MEE HOMOLOGEI TON 'IEESOUN, and every spirit which not confesses Jesus (Marshall 941); confesseth not Jesus . . . an ancient reading is LUEI TON 'IEESOUN "annulleth or destroyeth Jesus." The simple Jesus emphasizes the humanity of our Lord considered in itself (Vincent 2.355); by metonymy, [spirit alludes to] those who claim to be depositories of divine gifts for service (Vine 1076); the position of the negative following the relative pronoun requires the translation: "Every spirit who is of such kind as not to confess" (Harrison 1475); professes one's self the worshipper of one (Thayer 446).
[ 21 ] See Vine 1076.
[ 22 ] Several versions leave out "has come in the flesh" in verse 3 but the context leaves no doubt that John's view of the confession included that (compare 1Jo 2:22; 4:2).
[ 23 ] Docetists imagined that our Lord had only the "semblance" of a physical body.
[ 24 ] EK TOU THEOU OUK ESTIN, of God not is (Marshall 941).
[ 25 ] KAI TOUTO ESTIN TO TOU ANTICHRISTOU, and this is the [spirit] of the antichrist (Marshall 941); not this spirit, but this non-confession, summed up in all its manifestation (Vincent 2.355); of the evil power which already operates anticipatively of the Antichrist, 1 John 4:3 (Vine 54); the name HO ANTICHRISTOS was formed perhaps by John, the only writer in the NT who uses it, [five times]; he employs it of the corrupt power and influence hostile to Christian interests, especially that which is at work in false teachers who have come from the bosom of the church and are engaged in disseminating error (Thayer 51).
[ 26 ] HO AKEEKOATE HOTI ERCHETAI, which ye have heard that it is coming (Marshall 941); AKEEKOATE is second person plural, perfect active indicative of AKOUOO; ERCHETAI is third person singular present middle indicative of ERCHOMAI (Han 430); you have heard that it is coming (Williams).
[ 27 ] KAI NUN EN TOO KOSMOO ESTIN EEDEE, and now in the world is already (Marshall 941); now [or by] this time, sometimes in the sense of "already," that is, without mentioning or insisting upon anything further (Vine 41); and right now it is already in the world (Williams).
[ 28 ] HUMEIS EK TOU THEOU ESTE, ye of God are (Marshall 941); literally, out of God -- the world [ablative of source] (Williams); ESTE is second person plural, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 430); the ablative case has always the same form as the genitive case; the two cases are therefore treated as one in most grammars and the name "genitive" given to both. The ablative case denotes separation from and expresses many of the relations which are expressed by the ablative case in Latin (Nunn 23).
[ 29 ] BC-Live comments on 1 John 4:4-6, August 1998.
[ 30 ] TEKNIA, little children (Marshall 941); little child, diminutive of TEKNON, used figuratively in the NT, and always in the plural . . . a term of affection by a teacher to his disciples under circumstances requiring a tender appeal, for example, of Christ to the Twelve just before his death; the Apostle John used it in warning believers against spiritual dangers (Vine 179); when figuratively used, designates the spiritual relation of children to a father in the faith (see 1Co 4:15), where the idea but not the word occurs (Woods 221).
[ 31 ] Diminutive is a word that shows smallness, affection or familiarity. For example, duckling is the diminutive of duck. Kitchenette is the diminutive of kitchen.
[ 32 ] KAI NENIKEEKATE AUTOUS, and have overcome them (Marshall 941); NENIKEEKATE is second person plural, perfect active indicative NIKAOO (Han 430); overcome, used of Christ's followers (Vine 823).
[ 33 ] HOTI MEIZOON ESTIN HO EN HUMIN, because greater is the [one] in you (Marshall 941); the comparative degree of MEGAS [great] (Vine 505); [in you, plural], the Christian society (Vincent 2.356).
[ 34 ] EE HO EN TOO KOSMOO, than the [one] in the world (Marshall 941); in verse 19, the world is said to be in the evil one (Vincent 2.356).
[ 35 ] AUTOI EK TOU KOSMOU EISIN, they of the world are (Marshall 941, 942); proceeding from, as their source (EK). Different from EIS TEES GEES from the earth [Joh 3:31], as marking the whole worldly economy morally considered (Vincent 2.356); the present condition of human affairs, in alienation from and opposition to God (Vine 1245).
[ 36 ] DIA TOUTO EK TOU KOSMOU LALOUSIN, therefore of the world they speak (Marshall 942); literally, they speak out of the world; that is, the character of their utterances corresponds to their origin . . . the position of the world is emphatic: "it is out of the world that they speak" (Vincent 2.356); the present condition of human affairs, in alienation from and opposition to God (Vine 1245).
[ 37 ] KAI HO KOSMOS AUTOON AKOUEI, and the world them hears (Marshall 942); AKOUEI is third person singular, present active indicative of AKOUOO (Han 430); gives ear to one, listens, hearkens (Thayer 23).
[ 38 ] HEEMEIS EK TOU THEOU ESMEN, we of God are (Marshall 942); intensive -- "as for us, we. . ." (Harrison 1475).
[ 39 ] HO GINOOSKOON, the [one] knowing God (Marshall 942); present active participle nominative singular masculine of GINOOSKOO (Han 430); literally, the one knowing: he who is habitually and ever more clearly perceiving and recognizing God as his Christian life unfolds. The knowledge is regarded as progressive and not complete (Vincent 2.356); takes in knowledge, comes to know, recognizes, understands, or understands completely. In the NT GINOOSKOO frequently indicates a relation between the person knowing and the object known; in this respect, what is known is of value or importance to the one who knows, and hence the establishment of the relationship, for example, especially of God's knowledge [1Co 8:3; Ga 4:9; 2Ti 2:19; compare Joh 10:1; present tense, continues to listen.4, 27; Ge 18:19; Na 1:7; the relationship implied may involve remedial chastisement, Am 3:2]. The same idea of appreciation as well as knowledge underlies several statements concerning the knowledge of God and His truth on the part of believers (Vine 627, 628); present tense, indicating progressiveness (Harrison 1475).
[ 40 ] AKOUEI HEEMOON, hears us (Marshall 942); third person singular present active indicative (Han 430); present tense, indicating progressiveness (Harrison 1475).
[ 41 ] In John 8:47 (quoted in comment), notice that AKOUEI hears is present tense. The verbs in John 10:3; 18:37 (AKOUEI, AKOUETE, AKOUEI [twice] are all present tenses and denote continuing action.
[ 42 ] HOS OUK ESTIN EK TOU THEOU, [he] who is not of God (Marshall 942).
[ 43 ] OUK AKOUEI HEEMOON, hears not us (Marshall 942); AKOUEI is third person singular, present active indicative of AKOUOO (Han 430).
[ 44 ] EK TOUTOU, from this (Marshall 942); by this; not the same as the common EN TOUTO (verse 2). It occurs only here in the Epistle. 'EN TOUTO is in this: EK TOUTOU, from this. The former marks the residing or consisting of the essence or truth of a thing in something the apprehension of which conveys to us the essential nature of the thing itself. The latter marks the inference or deduction of the truth from something, as contrasted with its immediate perception in that something (Vincent 2.356).
[ 45 ] GINOOSKOMEN TO PNEUMA TEES ALEETHEIAS, we know the spirit of truth (Marshall 942); GINOOSKOMEN is first person plural, present active indicative of GINOOSKOO (Han 430); take in knowledge, come to know, recognize, understand, or understand completely (Vine 627); learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of . . . the Spirit [of God] which is truth and imbues men with the knowledge of the truth (Thayer 26, 117).
[ 46 ] KAI TO PNEUMA TEES PLANEES, and the spirit of error (Marshall 942); compare PNEUMASI PLANOIS misleading spirits [1Ti 4:1] (Vincent 2.357); a wandering, a forsaking of the right path (Vine 369); a wandering, straying about, whereby one, led astray from the right way, roams hither and thither. . . . In the NT metaphorically, mental straying, that is, error, wrong opinion relative to morals or religion (Thayer 514).
[ 47 ] 'AGAPEETOI, beloved (Marshall 942); the subjunctive is used in the first person plural when the speaker is exhorting others to join him in the doing of an action: Beloved, let us love one another (Nunn 119).
[ 48 ] AGAPOOMEN ALLEELOUS, let us love one another (Marshall 942); AGAPOOMEN is first person plural, present active indicative or subjunctive of AGAPAOO (Han 430); of the love of men to men; especially of that love of Christians toward Christians which is enjoined and prompted by their religion, whether the love be viewed as in the soul or as expressed (Thayer 4).
[ 49 ] HOTI HEE AGAPEE EK TOU THEOU ESTIN, because love of God is (Marshall 942); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIME (Han 430); flows from God (Vincent 2.357); ablative of source, love originates with God (Williams).
[ 50 ] KAI PAS HO AGAPOON, and everyone loving (Marshall 942); AGAPOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of AGAPAOO (Han 430).
[ 51 ] EK TOU THEOU GEGENNEETAI, of God has been begotten (Marshall 942); GEGENNEETAI is third person singular, perfect passive indicative of GENNAOO (Han 431); begotten, born . . . used metaphorically in the writings of the Apostle John, of the gracious act of God in conferring upon those who believe the nature and disposition of "children," imparting to them spiritual life, John 3:3, 5, 7; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18 (Vine 101); begotten, perfect tense -- "hath been begotten and remains his child" (Harrison 1475).
[ 52 ] KAI GINOOSKEI TON THEON, and knows God (Marshall 942); GINOOSKEI is third person singular, present active indicative of GINOOSKOO (Han 431); takes in knowledge, comes to know, recognizes, understands, or understands completely (Vine 627).
[ 53 ] HO MEE AGAPOON, the [one] not loving (Marshall 942); AGAPOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of AGAPAOO (Han 430); present participle -- "habitually loveth not" (Harrison 1475).
[ 54 ] OUK EGNOO THEON, knew not God (Marshall 942); EGNOO is third person singular, second aorist active indicative of GINOOSKOO (Han 431); aorist tense: did not know, from the beginning. He never knew (Vincent 2.357); in particular, GINOOSKOO, to become acquainted with, to know, is employed in the NT of the knowledge of God and Christ, and of the things relating to them or proceeding from them . . . the nature of God the Father, especially the holy will and affection by which he aims to sanctify and redeem men through Christ (Thayer 117).
[ 55 ] HOTI HO THEOS AGAPE ESTIN, because God love is (Marshall 942); love is the expression of His personality corresponding to His nature (Vincent 2.357); the word God is preceded by an article, which means that the statement is not reversible; it cannot read, "Love is God" (Harrison 1457); God is wholly love, his nature is summed up in love (Thayer 4).
[ 56 ] EN TOUTOO, by this (Marshall 942).
[ 57 ] HEE AGAPEE TOU THEOU, the love of God (Marshall 942); literally, the love; that is, the love which is the nature of God (Harrison 1475).
[ 58 ] EPHANEROOTHEE, was manifested (Marshall 942); third person singular, first aorist passive indicative of PHANEROOO (Han 431). The first aorist is not a different tense from the second aorist but the first aorist and second aorist are merely two different ways of forming the same tense of a verb (Machen 167, 168).
[ 59 ] EPHANEROOTHEE, was manifested (Marshall 938); third person singular first aorist passive indicative of PHANEROOO (Han 429).
[ 60 ] EN HEEMIN, in[to] us (Marshall 942); not "among us," as John 1:14, nor "in us;" but in our case (Vincent 2.357); to us sinners (Macknight 667).
[ 61 ] HOTI TON HUION AUTOU TON MONOGENEE APESTALKEN HO THEOS, because the Son of him only begotten has sent God (Marshall 942); APESTALKEN is third person singular, first aorist passive indicative of APOSTELLOO (Han 431); literally, His Son, the only-begotten [Son]. A mode of expression common in John, enlarging upon the meaning of a noun by the addition of an adjective or a participle with the article [see Joh 6:41, 44, 50, 51, 15:1; 1Jo 1:22; 2:7, 8, 25; 4:4] (Vincent 2.357); in 1 John 4:9 the statement "God hath sent His Only Begotten Son into the world" does not mean that God sent out into the world one who at His birth in Bethlehem had become His Son. Compare the parallel statement, "God sent forth the Spirit of His Son," Galatians 4:6, which could not mean that God sent forth One who became His Spirit when He sent Him (Vine 913).
[ 62 ] EIS TON KOSMON, into the world (Marshall 942).
[ 63 ] HINA ZEESOOMEN DI' AUTOU, in order that we might live through him (Marshall 942); first person plural, first aorist active subjunctive (Han 431).
[ 64 ] EN TOUTOO ESTIN HEE AGAPEE, in this is love (Marshall 942); literally, the love, that is, the love which is the nature of God (Harrison 1475); in this way is seen the true love (Williams).
[ 65 ] OUCH HOTI HEEMEIS EEGAPEEKAMEN TON THEON, not that we have loved God (Marshall 942); EEGAPEEKAMEN is first person plural, perfect active indicative of AGAPAOO (Han 431); when used of love to a master, God or Christ, the word involves the idea of affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, grateful recognition of benefits received (Thayer 3, 4).
[ 66 ] ALL' HOTI AUTOS EEGAPEESEN HEEMAS, but that he loved us (Marshall 942); EEGAPEESEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of AGAPAOO (Han 431).
[ 67 ] KAI APESTEILEN TON HUION AUTOU, and sent the son of him (Marshall 942); APESTEILEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of APOSTELLOO (Han 431).
[ 68 ] HILASMON PERI TOON HAMARTIOON HEEMOON, a propitiation concerning the sins of us (Marshall 942); akin to HILEOOS [merciful, propitious], signifies an expiation, a means whereby sin is covered and remitted. It is used in the NT of Christ Himself as "the propitiation" in 1 John 2:2 and 4:10, signifying that He Himself, through the expiatory sacrifice of His death, is the Personal means by whom God shows mercy to the sinner who believes on Christ as the One thus provided. In the former passage He is described as "the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world." The italicized addition in the KJV, "the sins of," gives a wrong interpretation. What is indicated is that provision is made for the whole world, so that no one is, by Divine pre-determination, excluded from the scope of God's mercy; the efficacy of the propitiation, however is made actual for those who believe. In 4:10, the fact that God "sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins," is shown to be the great expression of God's love toward man, and the reason why Christians should love another (Vine 896, 897); satisfaction (Harrison 1475); Christ Himself is the satisfaction. Note the present tense (Harrison 1468); in Alexandrian usage the means of appeasing, a propitiation (Thayer 301).
[ 69 ] AGAPEETOI, beloved (Marshall 942).
[ 70 ] EI HOUTOOS HO THEOS EEGAPEESEN HEEMAS, if so God loved us (Marshall 942); EEGAPEESEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of AGAPAOO (Han 431); HOUTOOS emphatic (Vincent 2.358); of the benevolence which God, in providing salvation for men, has exhibited by sending his Son to them and giving him up to death (Thayer 3).
[ 71 ] KAI HEEMEIS OPHEILOMEN ALLEELOUS AGAPAN, also we ought one another to love (Marshall 942); OPHEILOMEN is first person plural, present active indicative of OPHEILOO (Han 431); moral obligation (Harrison 1475); have a preference for, wish well to, regard the welfare of; of the love of Christians for one another (Thayer 3).
[ 72 ] THEON OUDEIS POOPOTE TETHEATAI, God no man ever has beheld (Marshall 942); TETHEATAI is third person singular, perfect middle indicative of THEAOMAI (Han 431); beginning the sentence emphatically, and without the article: God as God. "God hath no man ever yet seen" (Vincent 2.358); beheld, viewed attentively, contemplated . . . a more earnest contemplation than the ordinary verbs for to see, "a careful and deliberate vision which interprets . . . its object" (Vine 107); God is in emphatic position: God no man hath beheld at any time (Harrison 1475); perfect tense denotes the present state resultant upon a past action (Machen 452); the noun form of the word TETHEATAI is theater; a place where public games were played and spectacles exhibited (Littrell 390).
[ 73 ] Some manuscripts read "God" instead of "Son" in John 1:18.
[ 74 ] EAN AGAPOOMEN ALLEELOUS, if we love one another (Marshall 942); AGAPOOMEN is first person plural, present active subjunctive of AGAPAOO (Han 431); if we practice loving one another (Williams).
[ 75 ] HO THEOS EN HEEMIN MENEI, God in us remains (Marshall 942, 943); MENEI is third person singular, present active indicative of MENOO (Han 431); God remains in union with us (Williams).
[ 76 ] KAI HEE AGAPEE AUTOU TETELEIOOMENEE EN HEMIN ESTIN, and the love of him having been perfected in us is (Marshall 943); TETELEIOOMENEE is the perfect passive participle, nominative singular feminine of TELEIOOO (Han 431); not our love to Him, nor His love to us, but the love which is peculiarly His; which answers to His nature (Vincent 2.358); of bringing to completeness; of the love of God in the case of those who love one another (Vine 846); could refer to his love for us or to our love for him [Plummer 103] or to his nature [Westcott 152; Wuest 166] (Harrison 1475); and our love for Him attains perfection in our hearts (Williams).
[ 77 ] 'EN TOUTOO GINOOSKOMEN, by this we know (Marshall 943); GINOOSKOMEN is first person plural, present active indicative of GINOOSKOO (Han 431); take in knowledge, come to know, recognize, understand, or understand completely (Vine 627).
[ 78 ] HOTI EN AUTOO MENOMEN, that in him we remain (Marshall 943); MENOMEN is first person plural, present active indicative of MENOO (Han 431); Christians are said MENEIN EN TOO THEOO, to be rooted as it were in him, knit to him by the spirit they have received from him, and conversely Christ or God is said MENEIN in one (Thayer 399).
[ 79 ] HOTI EK TOU PNEUMATOS AUTOU DEDOOKEN HEEMIN, because of the Spirit of him he has given us (Marshall 943); DEDOOKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of DIDOOMI (Han 431).
[ 80 ] KAI HEEMEIS TETHEAMETHA, and we have beheld (Marshall 943); TETHEAMETHA is the perfect passive participle, nominative singular feminine of TELEAOMAI (Han 431); have deliberately and steadfastly contemplated (Vincent 2.358); beheld, viewed attentively, contemplated . . . a more earnest contemplation than the ordinary verbs for to see, "a careful and deliberate vision which interprets . . . its object" (Vine 107); beheld, looked upon, viewed attentively, contemplated (Thayer 284).
[ 81 ] KAI MARTUROUMEN, and bear witness (Marshall 943); MARTUROUMEN is first person plural, present active indicative of MARTUREOO (Han 431); bear witness (Vincent 2.358); denotes being a MARTUS [witness] or being witness to, sometimes rendered testify (Vine 1238); of testimony borne not in word but by deed, in the phrase used of Christ MARTUREIN TEEN KALEEN HOMOLOGIAN, to witness the good confession, to attest the truth of the [Christian] profession by his sufferings and death (Thayer 391).
[ 82 ] HOTI HO PATEER APESTALKEN TON HUION, that the Father has sent the Son (Marshall 943); APESTALKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of APOSTELLOO (Han 431); the Greek perfect tense denotes the present state resultant upon a past action (Machen 452).
[ 83 ] SOOTEERA TOU KOSMOU, [as] Savior of the world (Marshall 943); Savior, deliverer, preserver, used of Christ (Vine 994).
[ 84 ] HOS EAN, whoever (Marshall 943); literally, who if there be any (Vincent 2.359); the relative pronoun HOS who and the conjunction EAN if=whoever.
[ 85 ] HOMOLOGEESEE, confesses (Marshall 943); HOMOLOGEESEE is third person singular, first aorist active subjunctive of HOMOLOGEOO (Han 431); declares openly by way of speaking out freely, such confession being the effect of deep conviction of facts (Vine 216); say the same thing; that is, agree with some authority outside of one's self (Harrison 1476).
[ 86 ] HOTI 'IEESOUS ESTIN HO HUIOS TOU THEOU, that Jesus is the Son of God (Marshall 943); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 431).
[ 87 ] I. Marshall 220.
[ 88 ] HO THEOS EN AUTOO MENEI, God in him remains (Marshall 943); MENEI is third person singular, present active indicative of MENOO (Han 431); abides, of place, metaphorically, said of God (Vine 2); Christians are said MENEIN EN TOO THEOO, to be rooted as it were in him, knit to him by the spirit they have received from him and conversely Christ or God is said MENEIN in one (Thayer 399); see notes on 1 John 2:24; 3:24.
[ 89 ] KAI AUTOS EN TOO THEOO, and he in God (Marshall 943); and he in union with God (Williams).
[ 90 ] KAI HEEMEIS EGNOOKAMEN, and we have known (Marshall 943); EGNOOKAMEN is first person plural, perfect active indicative of GINOOSKOO (Han 431); the Greek perfect tense denotes the present state resultant upon a past action (Machen 452); we have come to know and still know (I. Marshall); so we know by experience (Williams).
[ 91 ] KAI PEPISTEUKAMEN, and have believed (Marshall 943); PEPISTEUKAMEN is first person plural, perfect active indicative of PISTEUOO (Han 431); and trust (Williams).
[ 92 ] TEEN AGAPEEN HEEN ECHEI HO THEOS, the love which has God (Marshall 943); ECHEI is third person singular, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 431); on the use of ECHEIN to have, see note on Joh 16:22).
[ 93 ] EN HEEMIN, in[to] us (Marshall 943); in us (Vincent 2.359); literally, in us (Harrison 1476; I. Marshall 221; Williams).
[ 94 ] HO THEOS AGAPEE ESTIN, God love is (Marshall 943); God is wholly love; his nature is summed up in love (Thayer 4).
[ 95 ] KAI HO MENOON EN TEE AGAPEE, and the [one] remaining in love (Marshall 943); MENOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of MENOO (Han 431); abideth (Vincent 2.359); and whoever continues to love (Williams).
[ 96 ] EN TOO THEOO MENEI, in God remains (Marshall 943); MENEI is third person singular, present active indicative of MENOO (Han 431); Christians are said MENEIN EN TOO THEOO, to be rooted as it were in him, knit to him by the spirit they have received from him (Thayer 399).
[ 97 ] KAI HO THEOS EN AUTOO MENEI, and God in him remains (Marshall 943); MENEI is third person singular, present active indicative of MENOO (Han 431); [see previous footnote]; conversely Christ or God is said MENEIN in one (Thayer 399).
[ 98 ] 'EN TOUTOO, by this (Marshall 943); [the meaning I prefer is that it refers] to what precedes, which is, our dwelling in God and He in us. So Westcott: "The fellowship of God with man and of man with God, carries with it the consummation of love" (Vincent 2.359).
[ 99 ] TETELEIOOTAI HEE AGAPEE METH' HEEMOON, has been perfected love with us (Marshall 943); TETELEIOOTAI is third person singular, perfect passive indicative of TELEIOOO (Han 431); love is made perfect with us . . . love is perfected in fellowship. The love of God is perfected with us, in communion with us, through our abiding in Him and He in us (Vincent 2.360); of bringing to completeness; of the love of God as "made perfect with" those who abide in God, giving them to be possessed of the very character of God, by reason of which "as He is, even so are they in this world" (Vine 846); literally, the love with us (Harrison 1476); that is, is seen among us (Thayer 4); the Greek perfect tense denotes the present state resultant upon a past action (Machen 452).
[ 100 ] HINA PARRHEESIAN ECHOOMEN, in order that we may have confidence (Marshall 943); ECHOOMEN is first person plural, present active subjunctive of ECHOO (Han 431); the absence of fear in speaking boldly; hence, confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, without any connection necessarily with speech (Vine 130, compare 1Jo 2:28).
[ 101 ] EN TEE HEEMERA TEES KRISEOOS, in the day of judgment (Marshall 943); literally, the day of the judgment (Vincent 2.360).
[ 102 ] HOTI, because (Marshall 943); likeness to Christ is the ground of boldness (Vincent 2.360).
[ 103 ] KATHOOS, as (Marshall 943); not absolutely, but according to our measure, as men in this world (Vincent 2.360); indicating comparison: just as (Arndt 391).
[ 104 ] EKEINOS ESTIN, that one is (Marshall 943); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 431); present tense. The essence of our being as He is lies in perfected love; and Christ is eternally love. "He that abideth in love abideth in God and God in him" (Vincent 2.361).
[ 105 ] KAI HEEMEIS ESMEN EN TOO KOSMOO TOUTOO, also we are in world this (Marshall 943); ESMEN is first person plural, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 431); this present economy, physical and moral. The phrase limits the conception of likeness (Vincent 2.361).
[ 106 ] PHOBOS OUK ESTIN EN TEE AGAPEE, fear is not in love (Marshall 943); PHOBOS first had the meaning of flight, that which is caused by being scared; then, that which may cause flight, fear, dread, terror, always with this significance in the four Gospels; also [here] (Vine 414).
[ 107 ] ALL' HEE TELEIA AGAPEE, but perfect love (Marshall 943); not perfected, as verse 17, but perfect as the result of having been perfected (Vincent 2.361); of things complete, perfect; of the love of God operating through him who keeps His word (Vine 846); [perfect] affection, good-will, benevolence (Thayer 4).
[ 108 ] EXOO BALLEI TON PHOBON, out casts the fear (Marshall 943); BALLEI is third person singular, present active indicative of BALLOO (Han 431); a strong expression: turneth out of doors. Fear is cast out of the sphere of the fellowship of love (Vincent 2.361); throws, hurls (Vine 163).
[ 109 ] HOTI HO PHOBOS KOLASSIN ECHEI, because fear punishment has (Marshall 943); ECHEI is third person singular, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 431); torment is a faulty translation. The word means punishment, penalty. . . . Note the present tense hath. The punishment is present. Fear by anticipating punishment has it even now. The phrase hath punishment . . . indicates that the punishment is inherent in the fear. Fear carries its own punishment (Vincent 2.361); describes a process, not merely an effect; this kind of fear is expelled by perfect love; where God's love is being perfected in us, it gives no room for the fear of meeting with His reprobation; the punishment referred to is the immediate consequence of the sense of sin, not a holy awe but a slavish fear, the negation of the enjoyment of love (Vine 903).
[ 110 ] HO DE PHOBOUMENOS, and the [one] fearing (Marshall 943); PHOBOUMENOS is the present passive participle, nominative singular masculine of PHOBEOO (Han 431); the KJV omits and [DE] which is important as closely connecting this clause with there is no fear in love, etc. (Vincent 2.362).
[ 111 ] OU TETELEIOOTAI EN TEE AGAPEE, has not been perfected in love (Marshall 943); TETELEIOOTAI is third person singular, perfect passive indicative of TELEIOOO (Han 431).
[ 112 ] HEEMEIS AGAPOOMEN, we love (Marshall 943); AGAPOOMEN is first person plural, present active indicative of AGAPAOO (Han 431); the "best texts" omit AUTON him [compare the KJV] Some render let us love, as verse 7. The statement is general, relating to the entire operation of the principle of love. All human love is preceded and generated by the love of God (Vincent 2.362); the verb is subjunctive: Let us love because he first loved us (Harrison 1476).
[ 113 ] HOTI AUTOS PROOTOS EEGAPEESEN HEEMAS, because he first loved us (Marshall 943, 944); EEGAPEESEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of AGAPAOO (Han 431); of the benevolence which God, in providing salvation for men, has exhibited by sending his Son to them and giving him up to death (Thayer 3).
[ 114 ] EAN TIS EIPEE HOTI AGAPOO TON THEON, if anyone says[,] I love God (Marshall 944); EIPEE is third person singular, second aorist active subjunctive of EIPON; AGAPOO is first person singular, present active indicative (Han 431); when used of love to a master, God or Christ, the word involves the idea of affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, grateful recognition of benefits received (Thayer 3, 4).
[ 115 ] KAI TON ADELPHON AUTOU MISEE, and the brother of him hates (Marshall 944); MISEE is third person singular, present active subjunctive of MISEOO (Han 431); hates, used especially of malicious and unjustifiable feelings towards others, whether towards the innocent or by mutual animosity (Vine 528).
[ 116 ] PSEUSTEES ESTIN, a liar he is (Marshall 944); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 430).
[ 117 ] HO GAR MEE AGAPOON TON ADELPHON AUTOU, for the [one] not loving the brother of him (Marshall 944); AGAPOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of AGAPAOO (Han 431); note the striking inversion of the clauses: He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, God whom he hath not seen cannot love (Vincent 2.362).
[ 118 ] HON HEOORAKEN, whom he has seen (Marshall 944); HEOORAKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of HORAOO (Han 431); seen with the eyes (Thayer 451).
[ 119 ] TON THEON HON OUCH HEOORAKEN OU DUNATAI AGAPAN, God whom he has not seen he cannot to love (Marshall 944); HEOORAKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of HORAOO; AGAPAN is present active infinitive of AGAPAOO (Han 431); the best texts omit, and give the direct statement cannot love (Vincent 2.362).
[ 120 ] KAI TAUTEEN TEEN ENTOLEEN ECHOMEN AP' AUTOU, and this commandment we have from him (Marshall 944); ECHOMEN is first person plural, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 431); ENTOLEEN denotes, in general, an injunction, charge, precept, commandment (Vine 202).
[ 121 ] HINA, in order that (Marshall 944); not defining the contents of the commandment, but expressing its intent (Vincent 2.362); noun clauses introduced by HINA standing in apposition to a noun or pronoun and containing an explanation of the meaning of the noun or pronoun. This construction is very common in the writings of St John. The verb is always in the subjunctive mood (Nunn 108).
[ 122 ] HO AGAPOON TON THEON, the [one] loving God (Marshall 944); AGAPOON is third person singular, present active indicative or subjunctive of AGAPAOO (Han 431); whoever loves God (Williams).
[ 123 ] AGAPA KAI TON ADELPHON AUTOU, loves also the brother of him (Marshall 944); AGAPA is third person singular, present active indicative or subjunctive of AGAPAOO (Han 431). If the verb is taken as indicative, the translation would be "loves his brother too" (Williams). If subjunctive, "should love his brother also" (NASB, OPV).
[ 124 ] Augustine, from Vincent 2.362.
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