In chapter 4, John introduced many of the ideas about love that he develops in the present chapter[ 1 ] (see charts LOVE; LOVE IN THREE CHAPTERS; UNFOLDING LOVE and ABOUT LOVE at 1Jo 4:7). He again cautions about sinning but gives assurance that prayers will be answered, especially for sin not leading to death. He closes with a thought similar to that with which he began the epistle by referring once again to Christ and the Father. The letter ends rather abruptly with a timely warning against idolatry (see chart OUTLINE OF 1 JOHN 5).
OUTLINE OF 1 JOHN 5
- Overcoming the world (1Jo 5:1-4).
- The witness of Christ (1Jo 5:5-12).
- Knowing one has eternal life (1Jo 5:13).
- Answered prayer (1Jo 5:14, 15).
- Sin unto death (1Jo 5:16, 17).
- Danger of sin; hope in Christ (1Jo 5:18-20).
- Guarding selves from idols (1Jo 5:21).
BELIEF AND LOVE CONFIRM NEW BIRTH
5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God, and whoever loves Him who gives birth, loves him also who is born of Him.
Whoever believes [whosoever believeth, every one who, that, believes].[ 2 ] The children of God are to be separate from Docetists and other heretics. The first precise point of separation has to do with believing that Jesus is the Christ. The Greek present participle specifies one who continues to believe. Dedicated children of God have a living and obedient faith (see Jas 2:20-26). Belief alone was never intended by John or any other apostle to be the sole means of salvation (see notes on Joh 1:12; Ga 3:26, 27; Jas 2:17, 24) any more than was the confession of faith in Christ (see note on 1Jo 4:15).
- Denying Jesus was Christ (repudiating His deity).
- Denying Christ was Jesus (disclaiming His humanity).
- Saying His body was an apparition (denouncing His reality).(Adapted from Woods 308)
- Confessing that Jesus was Christ (acknowledging His deity).
- Confessing that Christ was Jesus (accepting His humanity).
- Saying His body was actual (recognizing His reality).
That Jesus is the Christ.[ 3 ] The Gospel of Matthew begins by saying it is "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ; son of David, son of Abraham" (Mt 1:1). The truth that He is the promised Messiah, the Son of the living God, is the rock of truth upon which the church is built. This was revealed by the heavenly Father Himself (Mt 16:16-18). When Jesus was on trial, the high priest Caiaphas asked Him, "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" Jesus said, "I am. And you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, coming with the clouds of heaven" (Mk 14:61, 62). Belief in Jesus as the Christ is important because "The blood of Jesus, His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1Jo 1:7). Docetic heretics denied Jesus was the Christ. They believed something related to that but their modified theology was far from being sufficient for them to be born of God.
- Believing that Jesus is the Christ is evidence that one is begotten of God.
- Being begotten of God necessitates loving Him.
- Loving God requires one to love His children.
- Those who love God's children have been begotten of Him.
- Therefore, to believe Jesus is the Christ requires love for God's children, and evidences one is begotten of God.(Adapted from Woods 309)
*Sorites - an argument that consists of an abridged series of syllogisms. The predicate of the first becomes the subject of the second, etc.
Is born of God [is begotten of God, is a child of God].[ 4 ] In the present verse, belief stands for the entire process that makes one "born of God."[ 5 ] Other prerequisites include hearing the gospel, repenting, confessing faith in Christ and being baptized. Belief alone does not make one a child of God anymore than confession alone or love alone or doing what is right alone (see note on 1Jo 3:9; 4:7; charts BORN OF FATHER, SON AND SPIRIT A and B at 1Jo 2:29; HAS BEEN AND REMAINS BORN OF GOD at 1Jo 3:9).
TO LOVE GOD IS TO LOVE HIS CHILDREN
And whoever loves Him who gives birth [and whosoever, and every one, whatever, that loves, loveth, him that begat, that has begotten, the parent].[ 6 ] The Greek present tense is, literally, the [one] begetting or the Begetter. Not only was Christ God's only begotten Son but each Christian, in a secondary sense, is a child born of God.
Loves him also who is born of Him [loveth him also, loves the child, also him, that is begotten of him].[ 7 ] In the world, it is generally true that a person who loves a parent regards that parent's offspring with a degree of affection as well. Christians who love God, love one another also.
LOVING GOD PROVES WE LOVE HIS CHILDREN
5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and do His commandments.
By this [hereby].[ 8 ] John now gives a simple test to prove his thesis that Christians love the children of God.
We know [know we].[ 9 ] The test John submits is absolutely dependable. By it anyone can determine beyond doubt whether he loves the children of God.
That we love the children of God.[ 10 ] John has already told us that love for the brethren shows that Christians love God and keep His commands (see 1Jo 3:14, 15; 17-19; 4:20, 21). It is especially true in the Lord's church that those who love God, in turn, love their brothers (see 1Pe 1:22).
When.[ 11 ]
We love God.[ 12 ] The first evidence John gives to show that one loves the children of God is that he loves God. Jesus proposed a profound thought to the Jews who believed on Him. He said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me; I am here because I came from God, for I did not come of Myself, but He sent Me" (Joh 8:42; compare verse 31).
And do His commandments [and keep, and obey, his commandments].[ 13 ] The second evidence one loves God's children is that he observes God's commandments. True faith is demonstrated by obedience (see Jas 2:19). Similarly, love of other Christians is demonstrated by keeping God's commandments. Jesus pronounced a blessing upon those who practice the truth. "But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be shown to be performed in God" (Joh 3:21). Faith plus obedience to the truth makes one a child of God and keeps him so (see Ga 3:26, 27). Jesus is the source of eternal salvation "to all who obey Him" (Heb 5:9). "Happy are they who keep His commandments, that they may have the right to eat of the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city" (Re 22:14 ESB).
LOVE OF GOD IMPLIES KEEPING GOD'S COMMANDMENTS
5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
- This is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith (1Jo 5:4).
- Facts believed: a. Jesus is the Son of God. b. The one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ (1Jo 5:5, 6).
- Evidence for belief: a. The witness of the Spirit. b. The Spirit and the water and the blood [in agreement] (1Jo 5:7, 8).
THE WITNESS OF GOD
- God has borne witness concerning His Son (1Jo 5:9, 10).
- Result number 1: He gives us eternal life (1Jo 5:11) [This life is in His Son].
- Result number 2: He who has the Son, has life (1Jo 5:12a).
- Result number 3: He who does not have the Son of God, does not have life (1Jo 5:12b).
For this is the love of God.[ 14 ] By using the Greek present tense, John explains what continuous love for God involves.
KEEPING GOD'S COMMANDMENTS
- If you love Me, you will keep My commandments (Joh 14:15).
- He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me (Joh 14:21).
- If anyone love Me, he will keep My word (Joh 14:23).
- If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love (Joh 15:10).
- But whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected (1Jo 2:5).
- For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments (1Jo 5:3).
- And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments (2Jo 6).
That we keep.[ 15 ] Some 'liberal' preachers, who evidently do not read the Scriptures very much, have forgotten that the NT contains commandments to be kept. They say we should emphasize the love of Christ and not be concerned about commands. This is usually said in relation to some command they do not want to keep! But Jesus said: "If you love Me you will keep My commandments" (Jo 14:15). John says that keeping commandments is the love of God! In response to the false claim that commands are unimportant in the NT, my friend and brother George McCane brought me a computer print-out of NT commands, single spaced on continuous feed paper.[ 16 ] The list was thirty-five pages long and measured just over thirty-two feet.
His commandments.[ 17 ] One of the Lord's commandments is that Christians love one another. Jesus said to the eleven apostles, "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).
And His commandments are not burdensome [and his commandments are not grievous].[ 18 ] When Christ said, "For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (Mt 11:30), He indicated that serving Him is "easy" and "light." This is so because of love for Him. I am afraid some people regard His commandments as unimportant because John says they are not "grievous" or "burdensome." Nothing could be more wrong. Even the BARUTERA weightier commandments of the law were not BAREIAI heavy or burdensome because of love for God (Mt 23:23).
THE OVERCOMER = THE BELIEVER
- The overcomer is he who believes Jesus is the Son of God (implied by 1Jo 5:4, 5).
- Belief is in Him who came by water and blood (1Jo 5:6).
- The one believing in the Son of God has the testimony in himself (1Jo 5:10).
- The testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (1Jo 5:11).
5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith!
For whatever is born of God [for whatsoever is, for all that has been, begotten of God].[ 19 ] Have you wondered why John uses the neuter TO GEGENEEMENON whatever is born?[ 20 ] A possible reason is because, in Greek, words for children are neuter. He refers to all the children of God, to the entire body of Christ of which every saved person is a member.
THOSE BORN OF GOD
- Believe in Jesus as the Christ (1Jo 5:1).
- Love God (implied in 1Jo 5:1, 2).
- Love one another (implied in 1Jo 5:1, 2).
- Obey commands (implied by 1Jo 5:2, 3).
Notice the divine side to the new birth.
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old things have passed away; behold all have become new. But all things are of God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation" (2Co 5:17, 18).
It is God who places the saved in the kingdom or church of Christ. "Who also delivered us out of the power of darkness, and transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son" (Col 1:13; compare Ac 2:38, 41, 47).
Overcomes the world [overcometh, gets the victory over, the world].[ 21 ] Earlier, John wrote, "I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one" (1Jo 2:13). Neither in that passage nor in the present one does he necessarily speak of final and ultimate victory. The Greek word for "overcomes" is present tense and denotes a ceaseless effort that brings a continuous victory. There is a sense that Christians overcome the world in the here and now. They continue to overcome because of faith and because the seed (the word of God) continues to abide within their hearts (1Jo 3:9). We have previously noticed that God's commands are not burdensome because of love. Another reason they are not burdensome is because of the present victory over the world.
And this is the victory.[ 22 ] In ancient times, it was customary to speak of an emperor's NIKEE victory in the sense of his power that made victory possible. The basis of the Christian's victory is his belief that Jesus is the Son of God who overcame. Recall Christ's statement before His crucifixion, "In the world you have trouble, but be of good courage, I have overcome the world" (Joh 16:33). When men and women become His children, by faith they partake of His victory. The victorious Christ lives within them (see notes on Ga 2:20; 3:26, 27). "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1Jo 4:4; compare Eph 3:17).
That has overcome the world [that overcomes, overcometh, hath overcome, which has gotten the victory over, the world].[ 23 ] The Greek aorist tense may refer to a point action in past time. If this is the case here, one might understand John to say that [the means of] victory has already overcome the world. Some scholars insist that the aorist indicates ultimate victory (see footnote).
Our faith! [even our faith].[ 24 ] Victory over the world is due to "our faith."
OVERCOMING THE WORLD
5:5 And who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
And who is he who overcomes the world? [who is it, who is he, and who is he, that overcomes, overcometh, that gets the victory over, the world].[ 25 ] As in verse 4, the Greek present participle indicates a continuous, perpetual overcoming of the world.
But he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God [but he that believes, believeth, that Jesus is the Son of God].[ 26 ] Belief in Jesus includes belief in His humanity. Faith in Him as the Son of God, embraces His deity. Any faith that discounts either His humanity or His deity is inert and lifeless. All those with an active, obedient faith in Him as the Son of God overcome the world.
HE WHO CAME BY WATER AND BLOOD
5:6 He is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not in the water only, but in the water and in the blood.
He is the one [this is he].[ 27 ]
POSSIBLE MEANINGS OF
WATER AND BLOOD
- Christ's baptism and death.
- Blood and water that flowed from His side (Joh 19:34).
- Purification and redemption.
- Baptism and Lord's supper.
- A combination of the above.
Who came by water and blood [that came by water and blood].[ 28 ] Jesus was the "Coming One" (Mt 11:3; Lu 7:19), the one of whom John the Baptist said, "He who comes after me is before me, because He was before me" (Joh 1:15, 27).
Jesus Christ [even Jesus Christ, Jesus the Christ].[ 29 ] It is my view that the water primarily has to do with Jesus' own baptism (Mt 3:14, 15) and the blood, His death (Joh 19:34). The two elements serve as witnesses (verse 8). Actually, His baptism pictured His own death, burial and resurrection.
Not in the water only [not with the, not by, water only].[ 30 ] John's reference to water goes all the way back to the baptism of Jesus when the Father bore witness from heaven, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" (Mt 3:17; compare Isa 42:1; Mt 12:18). To supplement this thought Peter related events on the Mount of Transfiguration as proof of His deity (see 2Pe 1:16-18; compare Mt 17:5; Mk 9:7; Lu 9:35).
But in the water and in the blood [but with the water, but by water and blood, and the blood, and with the blood].[ 31 ] It was through His own blood that Jesus entered the holy place, heaven (Heb 9:12). The witnesses of the water and blood are very important. Both water and blood are significant in salvation. Christians recall the significance of both in the weekly observance of the Lord's supper.
DOES 1 JOHN 5:7 BELONG IN NT?
- Is not in any of the Uncial Greek manuscripts [ancient uncial letters were rounded capitals].
- Appears for first time in a cursive Greek manuscript translated in 15th or 16th century [appears in margins of one 11th and 12th century manuscript].
- Omitted in all ancient versions, including the Vulgate by Jerome [though in modern Vulgate editions].
- So-called Greek "fathers" did not use it in writings to support the trinity.
- Latin writers omit it until end of the 5th century.
- First included in a 4th century Latin exegesis by Cyprian [may have been written in the margin and later copied into the text].
(Adapted from Stott 182, 183; Woods 325, 326).
The OPV and NASB take part of what was verse 6 in the KJV and NKJV and make verse 7 out of it. What the KJV carries as verse 7 is omitted entirely from most modern versions. The KJV reads, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (see chart DOES 1 JOHN 5:7 BELONG IN NT?). The answer to the question proposed in the chart is "No!" (see note on verse 7).
THE SPIRIT BEARS WITNESS
5:7 And it is the Spirit who is testifying, because the Spirit is the truth.
And it is the Spirit who is testifying [that bears, beareth, witness, and the Spirit is the witness].[ 32 ] In the previous context, that testimony related primarily to the baptism and atoning death of Christ. John now calls attention to the testimony of the Holy Spirit. By the Holy Spirit, John the Baptist bore witness to Him (Joh 1:7). He said, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven as a dove, and it remained upon Him" (Joh 1:32). He added, "And I saw, and I testify that He is the Son of God" (Joh 1:34). The coming and work of the Holy Spirit was predicted by Christ Himself (see Joh 14:26; 15:26; 16:8-15). The apostles received the miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost before the first gospel sermon was preached (Ac 2:1-4). With miracles, the Holy Spirit also bore witness of the exaltation of Christ (Ac 5:32). Through the revealed word, the Spirit continued to bear witness from the beginning to the end of Christ's earthly ministry.
Because [for].[ 33 ]
The Spirit is the truth [the Spirit is truth].[ 34 ] The Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of truth" (Joh 14:17; 15:26). I do not believe the Greek construction allows the converse, "truth is the Spirit." However, Jesus did say, "The words that I have spoken to you, they are spirit and they are life" (Joh 6:63).
[For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth: the Father, the Word,[ 35 ] and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one]. The bracketed words are retained as verse 7 in the KJV and the NKJV. Apparently, they do not appear in any known Greek manuscript prior to the fourteenth century.[ 36 ] During the first 450 years of the church, these words were never quoted to support a trinitarian position.[ 37 ] The whole passage is regarded as a gloss.[ 38 ]
THREE THAT BEAR WITNESS
5:8 For there are three who are testifying: the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, and the three agree as one.
For there are three who are testifying [for there are three who bear witness, there are three witnesses, for they that bear witness are three, and there are three that bear witness (in earth, on earth)] (see note on verse 7).[ 39 ]
The Spirit, and the water, and the blood [the Spirit, the water, and the blood].[ 40 ] The three that bear witness are the Spirit, the water and the blood. They testify that Christ came in the flesh and died for the sins of the world (see note on verse 7).
And the three agree as one [and the three, these three, agree, agree in one].[ 41 ]
GOD HAS BORNE WITNESS CONCERNING HIS SON
5:9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is God's testimony, that He has testified concerning His Son!
If we receive.[ 42 ] The Greek indicative mood assumes the reception of man's testimony as being a common practice.
THE WITNESS OF MEN
- At the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses a matter shall be established (De 19:15).
- Upon the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established (Mt 18:16).
- And even in your own Law it is written that the testimony of two people is valid (Joh 8:17).
- One of themselves, a prophet of their own said, Cretins are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons. This testimony is true (Tit 1:12, 13).
- Of Demetrius a good testimony has been given by all and by the truth itself. We also testify on his behalf, and you know that our testimony is true (3Jo 12).
The testimony of men [the witness of men].[ 43 ] It is an accepted fact that people customarily recognize and permit the testimony of men.
The testimony of God is greater [the witness of God is greater].[ 44 ] The witness of God concerning the Spirit, the water and the blood is greater than the combined testimony of every man on earth. His witness comes through the Spirit via the words of the NT. Believers accept it without question (see charts THE WITNESS OF MEN; THE WITNESS OF GOD).
THE WITNESS OF GOD
- There is another who bears witness about Me; and I know that the testimony which He bears of Me is true (Joh 5:32).
- But I have a greater witness than John; for the works that the Father gave Me to finish, even the works that I do, testify of Me, that the Father has sent Me (Joh 5:36).
- The one not believing God, has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has testified concerning His Son (1Jo 5:10).
- And the testimony is this, that God gives us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (1Jo 5:11).
For.[ 45 ]
This is God's testimony [the witness of God is this, this is the witness of God, this is the testimony of God].[ 46 ] John's argument is that God's witness about His Son should be received because His witness is greater than man's.
That He has testified [that he has, hath, borne witness, which he hath testified, which he has witnessed].[ 47 ]
Concerning His Son [of, to, his Son].[ 48 ]
THE WITNESS IN THE BELIEVER
5:10 The one believing in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. The one not believing God, has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has testified concerning His Son.
The one believing in the Son of God [he that believes, believeth, in, on the Son of God].[ 49 ]
Has the testimony in himself [hath, has, the witness in him, in himself].[ 50 ] It is excellent and harmonious when a believer takes within his inner being the true testimony that God gave concerning His Son Jesus Christ.
The one not believing God [he that believeth not God, he that, who, does not believe God].[ 51 ]
Has made Him a liar [hath made him a liar].[ 52 ] When a person rejects the fact that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, his inner being is discordant. When he denies that He came in the flesh, he denies the entire redemptive plan of God.
Because he has not believed in the testimony [because he hath not believed in the witness, believeth not the record].[ 53 ] The Greek perfect tense indicates the unbelief took place some time in the past and the present state of unbelief still persists.
That God has testified concerning His Son [that God gave, has borne, hath borne, in the witness which God has witnessed, of, to, concerning, his Son].[ 54 ] God bore direct witness to His Son at His baptism (Mt 3:17; Mk 1:10; Lu 3:22; compare Mt 12:18), on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mt 17:5; Mk 9:7; Lu 9:35) and before the Greeks (Joh 12:28). The Docetist heretics had no divine testimony. The best their false teachers could do were tricks like those performed by Pharaohs magicians and others (see Ex 7:8-12; compare Mt 24:24; 2Th 2:9).
ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST
5:11 And the testimony is this, that God gives us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
And the testimony is this [and the witness is this, and this is the record, the testimony, the witness].[ 55 ] God's personal testimony endorsed the person, mission and purpose of His Son. In addition, He sent the Holy Spirit to testify of it. The same Holy Spirit who bore witness through Christ descended upon the apostles (see Ac 2:1-4).
That God gives us [that God gave unto us, that God has, hath, given to us, that God gave us].[ 56 ] Jesus came to give eternal life (see Joh 3:16, 17; 9:28). Heavenly testimony authenticated that. The Holy Spirit bore witness through the apostles (Ac 5:32).
Eternal life.[ 57 ]
And this life is in His Son.[ 58 ] This is a beautiful passage describing blessings in Christ (see note on Eph 1:3). Only baptized believers are in Him (Ro 6:3; Ga 3:27). Those who remain outside of Christ have no claim to eternal life in heaven.
HE WHO HAS THE SON HAS LIFE
5:12 He who has the Son, has life. He who does not have the Son of God, does not have life.
He who has the Son [he that has, hath, the Son].[ 59 ] From the preceding verse, we may infer that to "have" the Son is equivalent to being "in" the Son.
Has life [hath life, the life].[ 60 ] Jesus said to certain Jews who desired to kill Him, "For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has given to the Son to have life in Himself" (Joh 5:26). To Martha, He confessed, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me shall live, even if he die" (Joh 11:25). Paul regarded Jesus as the life of Christians. "When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory" (Col 3:4). If a person understands that life is in the Son (1Jo 5:11), then verse 12 makes a lot of sense. To have the Son is to have the blessings available "in Him," especially, eternal life. To be in the Son, therefore, is to have eternal life.
He who does not have the Son of God [he that has not, hath not, and he that hath not, the Son of God].[ 61 ] Anyone who does not "have the Son of God" is out of Christ and does not enjoy the blessing of eternal life in Him.
Does not have life [has not, hath not, life, the life].[ 62 ] My heart aches because of the sad condition of those who have chosen not to believe in Christ and have not obeyed the gospel. Unless they correct their course of life, they have no eternal hope (see Mk 16:16).
KNOWING ONE HAS ETERNAL LIFE
5:13 I have written these things to you so you may know that you have eternal life -- to the ones who believe in the name of the Son of God.
I have written [have I written, I write].[ 63 ] (see note on 1Jo 2:13).
These things to you [these things unto you, this to you, these things to you].[ 64 ] By "these things" John alludes to the entire inspired letter of 1 John.
So you may know [that ye, you, may know].[ 65 ] For more on the word "know" in John's letters, see 1 John 1:2, 3, 4, 5, 13, 18, 29; 3:1, 6, 10, 20, 24; 4:2, 6, 7, 8, 13, 16; 5:2, 20; 2 John 1.
That you have eternal life [that ye have eternal life].[ 66 ] Readers should not assume John was not inspired because any scholar suggests he added the adjective "eternal" as an after-thought. The word was given by the Holy Spirit as a clarification and to emphasize the kind of life in view.
To the ones who believe [even unto you that believe, and that ye may believe].[ 67 ] John emphasizes a knowledge that is only for believers, especially for those to whom his letter was originally addressed.
CONFIDENCE OF FAITH
- May know that you have eternal life (1Jo 5:13).
- God hears, and gives life for a non-deadly sin (1Jo 5:15, 16).
- We know that anyone having been born of God does not continue sinning (1Jo 5:18).
In the name of the Son of God [on the name of the Son of God].[ 68 ] In the prologue of his Gospel, John introduced the possibility of becoming Sons of God. "But to all who accepted Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God" (Joh 1:12). Many took advantage of the opportunity. "Now when He was in Jerusalem in the Passover, during the feast, many saw the signs which He did and believed in His name" (Joh 2:23). The climax of faith in the Gospel of John was when Thomas confessed, saying to the risen Jesus, "My Lord and My God!" (Joh 20:28). According to the Great Commission, belief must be followed by baptism in order to obtain salvation (see Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38).
[That you have eternal life, that ye have eternal life]. These words appear in the KJV, NKJV and RSV (compare verses 11, 12).
GOD HEARS OUR PRAYERS
5:14 And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we ask something according to His will, He hears us.
THE CHRISTIAN'S CONFIDENCE
- In whom we have boldness and confident access through the faith of Him (Eph 3:12).
- Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we find mercy and grace for timely help (Heb 4:16).
- So do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward (Heb 10:35).
- Therefore we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall man do to me (Heb 13:6).
- Remain in Him, so when He is revealed we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (1Jo 2:28).
- Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God (1Jo 3:21).
- This is how love has been perfected among us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgement (1Jo 4:17).
- If we ask something according to His will, He hears us (1Jo 5:14).
And this is the confidence [and this is the boldness].[ 69 ] (see charts CONFIDENCE OF FAITH; CONFIDENCE; THE CHRISTIAN'S CONFIDENCE).
Which we have before Him [which we have, that we have in him, toward, towards, him].[ 70 ] The Greek present tense suggests that Christians continue to have confidence before God.
That if we ask something [that, if we ask anything, ask him anything].[ 71 ]
According to His will.[ 72 ] A true Christian sincerely desires God's will to be done and will so pray. His will is revealed in the pages of the Bible. In addition, consider the sweeping scope of His eternal purpose (see Ga 1:4; Eph 1:5; 11). His specific and providential will may apply to individuals as His plan unfolds in their lives (see Mt 6:33; 1Pe 4:19).
He hears us [he heareth us].[ 73 ] God hears and answers (see verse 15). The man born blind used the word "hears" to imply that God answers prayer (Joh 9:31). At the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus thanked God for answering His prayer with these words, "Father, I thank You because You heard Me" (Joh 11:41). He said this because of the people (Joh 11:42).
WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE THE REQUESTS
5:15 And if we know that He hears us when we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked of Him.
And if we know that He hears us [and if we know that he heareth us, that he hear us].[ 74 ]
When we ask [whatsoever, in whatever, we ask].[ 75 ] It is implied that the request of Christians is according to God's will (see verse 14).
We know that we have the requests [have the petitions, obtained the requests].[ 76 ] AITEOO, the verb from which "requests" comes is generally used of an inferior making a request of a superior. NT writers never use AITEOO of Jesus making a request of the Father.[ 77 ] The NT writers were all conscious of Jesus' equality with God. Christians, on the other hand, make requests to God who is superior so the word AITEEMATA requests, as used here, is a proper word (see charts WE KNOW; SUMMARY OF WHAT WE KNOW at 1Jo 5:19).
Which we have asked of him [that we desired of him, made of him].[ 78 ] Fervent petitions from righteous hearts are granted from the heavenly throne (see Jas 5:16).
A NON-DEADLY SIN
5:16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a non-deadly sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those who are committing non-deadly sins. There is deadly sin. I am not saying that you should ask concerning that.
If any one sees [if any man see, if any one see].[ 79 ] John does not accuse any brother of actually committing a sin. However, he presents the idea as a possibility.
His brother.[ 80 ] The Greek ADELPHON brother can mean either a brother or sister in Christ. In the NT, the term is used of disciples or Christians without specifying sex (see Mt 23:8; Ac 1:15; Ro 1:13; 1Th 1:4; Re 19:10).[ 81 ]
SIN AND FORGIVENESS
- Every Christian sins (1Jo 1:8-10).
- The one practicing sin is of the devil (1Jo 3:8).
- Sin may be prevented by gospel "seed" abiding within (1Jo 3:9).
- If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1Jo 1:9).
- Christ, our Advocate, petitions the Father (1Jo 2:1).
Sinning a non-deadly sin [sinning a sin not unto death, sin a sin which is not unto death, committing what is not a mortal sin].[ 82 ] The sin under consideration is not a secret sin such as an evil thought. It is something that can be seen (see chart SIN AND FORGIVENESS).
Several commentators have understood John to speak of physical death because, in some instances, sin has led to physical death as a punishment from God. We have the case of Ananias and Sapphira (Ac 5:1-10). James authorized confession and prayer for the sick (Jas 5:14-16). If physical death was in view by John, his instruction not to pray for one committing a sin unto death is in line with the rest of Scripture. Nowhere in the Bible are Christians instructed to pray for the souls of those already dead and buried.
Sin leads to a separation between man and God (see Isa 59:1, 2). Another term for separation from God is spiritual death (Ro 6:23; Eph 2:1). The death in the present context is probably not physical but spiritual. If that be the case, then prayer is advised for a penitent sinner who has confessed his wrongs.
He will ask [shall ask].[ 83 ] The brother or sister who sees another Christian sinning is not only permitted to pray but, because of love for a brother, he will do so. Prayer for forgiveness is presumed to take place without fail at the time of the observed sin or afterward, most likely at the time of confession. "Confess your sins to one another, brethren, and pray for one another, that you might be restored" (Jas 5:16).
And God will give him life [and he shall give him life].[ 84 ] Our merciful God hears prayer and forgives the sin.
For those who are committing non-deadly sins [for them, for those, that sin not, that do not sin, unto death, for those whose sin is not mortal].[ 85 ] (see chart SIN GOD WILL NOT FORGIVE).
There is deadly sin [there is a sin to, unto, death, which is mortal].[ 86 ] A similar wording is found in the OT. The "sons of Israel" (not the Levites) were not to "come near to the tent of meeting, lest they bear sin and die" (Nu 18:22). Apparently, in the case of the Israelites, this was physical death.
SIN GOD WILL NOT FORGIVE
- God will forgive every sin confessed (1Jo 1:9).
- There is a sin God will not forgive (1Jo 5:16).
- Therefore, the sin which God will not forgive is simply a sin, any sin, all sin that a brother will not confess!
(Adapted from Woods 322)
- Murder: My punishment is greater than I can bear! (Ge 4:13).
- The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence (Ge 6:13).
- How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? (Ge 39:9).
- But the soul who does anything with a high hand . . . the same blasphemes the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the Lord, and has broken His commandment, that soul shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him (Nu 15:30, 31).
- The Lord will cut off all flattering lips (Ps 12:3).
An unrepentant sinner will perish (Lu 13:3). One who has committed "wickedness" and is in "the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity" must repent and pray for forgiveness or else be lost (Ac 8:22, 23). Unforgiven sin leads to death[ 87 ] (see Ro 6:23). Failure to repent and confess sins causes one to fall from the grace of Christ (compare Ga 5:4; 1Jo 5:12). "He who does not love, remains in death" (1Jo 3: 14). "And you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him" (1Jo 3:15).
What is the sin leading to death? It is "a disposition of heart, a perverseness of attitude and an unwillingness of mind to acknowledge one's sin and from it turn away. Such a disposition effectively closes the door of heaven in one's face."[ 88 ] Nevertheless, even that door is not slammed in unforgiving wrath. It is my trust that our merciful God will gently re-open the door whenever His erring children humbly seek pardon according to His will.
I am not saying that you should ask concerning that [not concerning this do I say that, I do not say of that, he should make request, a request, he shall pray for it, one is to pray for that].[ 89 ] Notice the gentle way this sentence is phrased. Prayer for an impenitent sinner is not absolutely prohibited. It is just not recommended. To illustrate, a parent may have a grown son or daughter who has turned into a sinful life. The parent's tender heart is tormented. He or she goes to God in prayer on behalf of the child. Such tenderness on the part of parents is not forbidden.
ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS IS SIN
5:17 All unrighteousness is sin. But there is non-deadly sin.
All unrighteousness [all wrongdoing, every unrighteousness].[ 90 ] "For all Thy commandments are righteousness" (Ps 119:172). The violation of any of God's commandments is unrighteousness. Not only is it a sin to flagrantly violate a command of God but the failure to do what is right is also sin (Jas 4:17). Are there different degrees of sin in God's sight? Yes (see note on Joh 19:11). Regardless, one must not rationalize to excuse any sin because "All unrighteousness is sin."
"And do not continue to present your members as instruments of unrighteousness in sin; but present yourselves to God as alive from the dead; and your members as instruments of righteousness to God" (Ro 6:13).
Is sin.[ 91 ] (See note and charts on 1Jo 3:4.)
But there is a non-deadly sin [and there is sin, a sin, not to, unto, death, which is not mortal].[ 92 ]
ANYONE ONE BORN OF GOD DOES NOT CONTINUE SINNING
5:18 We know that anyone having been born of God does not continue sinning, but He who is born of God watches over him, and the evil one does not have a hold on him.
WHAT WE KNOW (A)
- That when He is revealed, we shall be like Him (1Jo 3:2).
- That we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren (1Jo 3:14).
- That anyone having been born of God does not continue sinning (1Jo 5:18a).
- But He who is born of God watches over him (1Jo 5:18b).
- And the evil one does not have a hold on him (1Jo 5:18c).
WHAT WE KNOW (B)
- That we are of God (1Jo 5:19).
- The whole world is found in the evil one (1Jo 5:19).
- That the Son of God has come (1Jo 5:20).
- That He has given us understanding (1Jo 5:20).
- That we might know the True One (1Jo 5:20).
- That we are in the True One (1Jo 5:20).
- This is the true God, and eternal life (1Jo 5:20).
We know that.[ 93 ] Note that verses 18, 19 and 20 begin with OIDAMEN we know or OIDAMEN DI and we know (compare 1Jo 3:2, 14; 5:15). John had not a doubt in the world that what he wrote was the truth (see 1Jo 3:6, 9).
Anyone [whosoever, any one, every one].[ 94 ]
Having been born of God [begotten of God, is begotten of God, born of God, is born of God].[ 95 ] Every Christian is born of God (see note on verse 1; also Joh 3:5; 1Jo 3:9).
Does not continue sinning [sinneth not, does not sin].[ 96 ] The Greek present tense denotes a practice of sinning as in 1 John 3:6, 9.
But He who is born of God [but he who was, that was, that has been, begotten, born, of God].[ 97 ] Because some manuscripts have "himself" rather than "him" in the following phrase,[ 98 ] there is some question as to whether the one born of God refers to Christ as translated here, or to the believer. It is my view that this refers to a Christian.
Watches over him [keepeth himself, keeps him, keeps himself].[ 99 ] As translated in the OPV, anyone born of God is protected by Christ who is born of God. A similar thought is expressed in 2Pe 2:9. "The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials."
According to the alternate translation, a Christian needs to practice purging things from his immediate environment in order to remain faithful to God.
There is also a positive side to keeping oneself faithful. Jude encouraged his readers. "But you, beloved, building up yourselves in your most holy faith, praying in a spirit that is holy. Keep yourselves in the love of God" (Jude 20, 21). Jesus explained how to abide in His 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 15:10).
Before the Israelites entered Canaan, they were instructed to burn the asherim.[ 100 ]
"You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations that you shall dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: and you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire; and you shall cut down the graven images of their gods, and you shall destroy their name out of that place" (De 12:2, 3).
When Paul was in Ephesus, people were turning from idolatry in large numbers.
"And many who believed came confessing their deeds. And many of those who had practiced magic brought their books and burned them before all; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver" (Ac 19:18, 19).
Some Christians today need to have a burning! Some books, magazines and video cassettes ought to go up in flames.
And the evil one [and that, and the, wicked one].[ 101 ] The evil one is Satan (see note on 1Jo 2:13).
Does not have a hold on him [toucheth him not, does not touch him].[ 102 ] "Touch" does not mean a casual touch but rather a grasping or clinging. It is the kind of touch that exerts an influence upon someone. In other words, if a Christian does what is necessary to keep himself, the devil will not seize or snatch him out of the Lord's hand (see Joh 10:12, 28). Scripture supports the idea that Christians are to actively keep themselves. "So then, submit to God; but oppose the devil and he will flee from you" (Jas 4:7).
THE WHOLE WORLD IS FOUND IN THE EVIL ONE
5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world is found in the evil one.
We know that [and we know that].[ 103 ] Again, as in verse 18, John expresses his complete confidence that he belonged to God (see charts YOU KNOW at 1Jo 2:20; CONFIDENCE OF FAITH at 1Jo 5:13; CONFIDENCE and THE CHRISTIAN'S CONFIDENCE at 1 Joh 5:14; WHAT WE KNOW A and B at 1Jo 5:18, 19; compare verse 20).
We are of God.[ 104 ] (See charts BEGINNING A NEW LIVE, NEW STATUS: "OF GOD" and YOU ARE OF GOD at 1Jo 4:4.)
BEGINNING NEW LIFE:
BEGOTTEN, BORN OF GOD
- Born of water and the Spirit (Joh 3:5).
- A new creation, the old things have passed away, behold all have become new (2Co 5:17).
- Everyone also who is practicing righteousness has been born of Him (1Jo 2:29).
- Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God (1Jo 4:7).
- Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God (1Jo 5:1).
NEW STATUS: "OF GOD"
- He who is of God hears the words of God (Joh 8:47).
- Any one who does not practice righteousness is not of God (1Jo 3:10).
- We are of God. He who knows God listens to us. He who is not of God, does not listen to us (1Jo 4:6).
- We know that we are of God, and the whole world is found in the evil one (1Jo 5:19).
NEW RELATIONSHIP: GOD'S CHILD
- But to all who accepted Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God (Joh 1:12; compare Ga 3:26, 27).
- See what manner of love the Father has extended to us, that we should be called children of God (1Jo 3:1).
- By this the children of God are made known, and the children of the devil. Anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, also someone who does not love his brother (1Jo 3:10).
And the whole world.[ 105 ] NT writers sometimes use "world" to mean the sinful inhabitants of earth. Occasionally, the term means the created universe. Both meanings are inherent in at least one statement written by John.
"The true light which lights all mankind was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world did not know Him" (Joh 1:9, 10).
SHOCKING WORLD PROBLEMS
- In darkness (Joh 1:5).
- Blind (Joh 9:39).
- Judgment is come upon this world (Joh 12:31).
- Everyone who believes in Christ may not remain in darkness (Joh 12:46).
- Satan is the ruler of this world (Joh 14:30).
- The whole world is found in the evil one (1Jo 5:19).
In the present context, "the whole world" is every accountable non-Christian on earth.
Is found [lieth, is in the power, lies in].[ 106 ] Entrance into the kingdom of Christ is by the new birth. On the other hand, no special "birth" is required to enter Satan's domain. The committing of sin is enough to make that entrance automatic. Once in his kingdom, they "are found in him." They "lie" there like drugged animals in subjection to the devil.
In the evil one [in wickedness, of the evil one, the wicked one].[ 107 ] The evil one is Satan. His kingdom is filled with those who became his with or without any conscious or concerted effort (see charts THE EVIL ONE A and B). Entrance into his kingdom is rather automatic. It may be accomplished without premeditation. Unrighteousness is sufficient to achieve it (see verse 17).
THE EVIL ONE (A)
- Blinded the minds of those who do not believe (2Co 4:4).
- Minds may be corrupted from the sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2Co 11:3).
- Disobedient walk according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air (Eph 2:2).
THE EVIL ONE (B)
- Cunning schemes (Eph 6:11).
- May recover themselves out of the devil's trap, having been held by him to do his will (2Ti 2:26).
- The power of darkness (Col 1:13).
- Your adversary the devil is going about as a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1Pe 5:8).
THE SON OF GOD HAS GIVEN UNDERSTANDING
5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding that we might know the True One, and we are in the True One, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the True God, and eternal life.
And we know.[ 108 ] (See note on verse 19.)
That the Son of God has come [is come].[ 109 ] The Greek present tense suggests that Christ not only came but was continuing to abide with the apostles. Jesus had promised them, "I will not leave you bereft. I will come to you" (Joh 14:18). "If anyone love Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him" (Joh 14:23). Both the Father and the Son came in the person of the Holy Spirit.
And has given us understanding [and hath given us an understanding].[ 110 ] Note the different pronouns. There is a change from "you" in verse 13 to "we" and "us" in verses 14, 15, 18-20. The significance is that the apostles were given the "understanding." They received it via inspiration (compare Ac 2:4). The Greek perfect tense indicates the understanding was given them with abiding results.[ 111 ] This means that they still had the "understanding." For example, John was using it when he wrote this epistle. Not only had all of the apostles received "the understanding" but the Holy Spirit kept bringing to their remembrance whatever information they needed in order to preach the gospel and to edify the young churches (see Joh 14:26).
In a secondary sense, all believers receive an understanding but they have to study the Bible in order to get it and use it. They investigate, contemplate and meditate upon the written word. Pride is a factor that may block a proper understanding of God's will. Jesus' mother hinted at this idea when she praised God, saying, "He did mighty things in His power. He scattered those who were arrogant in the thoughts of their hearts" (Lu 1:51).
That we might know [that we know, may know, should know, to know].[ 112 ] "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You sent" (Joh 17:3). How can anyone know God? God Himself has been of great help in this matter. First, He created a universe that testifies of His greatness, power and unity (Ps 19:1). He has inspired prophets to write the Scriptures. Most wonderful of all, He sent His own Son in the form of a man to provide a better understanding of Him (see Joh 14:9-11). He has granted answers to prayer and has freely bestowed His providential care. He has sent the Holy Spirit to inspire and confirm the word as well as to indwell Christians. It is through a study of the revealed word, however, that His followers gain most of their knowledge of Him. This last point cannot be over-emphasized.
The True One [him that, who, is true, is true].[ 113 ] In this phrase, "Him who is true" is the Father. This is obvious from the following qualifying phrase, "and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ." Some passages that speak of God and truth together are Deuteronomy 32:4; 2 Samuel 7:28; Psalm 33:4; 146:6; Romans 3:4; Titus 1:2 and Hebrews 6:18.
THE TRUE ONE
- The true light which lights all mankind (Joh 1:9).
- The true bread from heaven (Joh 6:32).
- The true vine (Joh 15:1).
- The true light is already shining (1Jo 2:8).
- The Holy One, the True One . . . has the key of David (Re 3:7).
- The Amen, the Faithful Witness, He who began the creation of God (Re 3:14).
- O holy and true Lord (Re 6:10).
And we are in the True One [and we are in him that, who, is true].[ 114 ] In the previous phrase, "Him who is true" was the Father. Now, "Him who is true" seems to be Jesus Christ (see Joh 1:14; 14:6; 18:37; Re 19:11; chart THE TRUE ONE). Note the relationship of deity in Christ's statement: "In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me and I in you" (Joh 14:20). In the present verse, it is plain that Christians are "in Him who is true." They are in Christ (see Ro 6:3, 4; Ga 3:27; Eph 1:3; 2Ti 2:10; 1Jo 5:11). Of course, it is impossible to be in the Son without being in the Father.
In His Son Jesus Christ [even in his Son Jesus Christ].[ 115 ] Some translators view this phrase to be in apposition to "Him who is true" and supply the word "even" to indicate that Christ is in view here. Do not forget that the main point has to do with how Christians should live. There is a connection with verses 18, 19 about not sinning and keeping oneself.
This is the True God [He is the true God].[ 116 ] Several commentators take this to be Jesus Christ. Others understand "the true God" to be the same as "Him who is true" in the first phrase, that is, God the Father. It can also refer to both.
And eternal life.[ 117 ] John draws his letter to a close with a thought corresponding to that with which he began. The eternal life "which was with the Father" was manifested to the apostles. "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we observed and our hands handled regarding the Word of Life" (1Jo 1:1, 2). "And this is the promise which He promised to us: eternal life!" (1Jo 2:25).
GUARD YOURSELF FROM IDOLS
5:21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.
Little children [children, my little children].[ 118 ] (See notes on Joh 1:12; 1Jo 2:1.)
Guard yourselves [keep yourselves].[ 119 ] Peter as well as John urged Christians to be on guard lest they be carried away by the error of unprincipled men. Specifically, they were to beware lest someone lead them into idolatry (see 2Pe 3:17). Christians today must watch lest they allow someone or some thing to come between them and their devotion to Christ. Anything that does so is an idol.
From idols.[ 120 ] The Greek word for "idols" is "images" but virtually all translators appropriately interpret it to stand for idols, anything that comes before God. The apostles warned first-century Christians against the worship of literal images. "Do not worship idols as some of them did, as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose to play'" (1Co 10:7). "Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry" (1Co 10:14).
Some have seen in John's reference to idols an indication that his immediate readers may have been of Gentile background. If they resided in Ephesus, they were surrounded by idolaters. Recall the burning of magical books (Ac 20:19). Remember also the trouble caused by Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis (Ac 19:23-29). Even the town clerk spoke of "our goddess" (Ac 19:37). Jews, in the first century, did not worship images but they may have been guilty of covetousness or of allowing possessions, practices or pride to come between them and the Lord (see note on verse 20).
[Amen]. The word "Amen" appears in the KJV and NKJV but is omitted from most modern translations. It means so be it or may it be so.
[ 1 ] The basic text in this chapter is the Old Paths Version (OPV). Alternate phrases are from the ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV. OT quotations are from an updated but unpublished ASV. NT quotations are from the English Study Bible (ESB), except for Colossians and 1, 2 and 3 John which are from the OPV. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ] PAS HO PISTEUOON, everyone believing (Marshall 944); PISTEUOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of PISTEUOO (Han 431); literally, every one that believeth (Vincent 2.362).
[ 3 ] HOTI 'IEESOUS ESTIN HO CHRISTOS, that Jesus is the Christ (Marshall 944).
[ 4 ] EK TOU THEOU GENENNEETAI, of God has been begotten (Marshall 944); GENENNEETAI is the first aorist active participle, accusative singular masculine 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); peculiarly, in the Gospel and 1 Epistle of John, of God conferring upon men the nature and disposition of his sons, imparting to them spiritual life, that is, by his own holy power prompting and persuading souls to put faith in Christ and live a new life consecrated to himself (Thayer 113).
[ 5 ] I take this as a figure of speech called metonymy of the part for the whole (see note and footnote on 1Jo 4:3).
[ 6 ] KAI PAS HO AGAPOON TON GENNEESANTA, and everyone loving the [one] begetting (Marshall 944); AGAPOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of AGAPAOO (Han 431); [and] whoever loves the Begetter = and everyone who loves the Father (Williams).
[ 7 ] AGAPA TON GEGENNEEMENON EX AUTOU, loves the [one] having been begotten of him (Marshall 944); AGAPA is third person singular, present active indicative or subjunctive of AGAPAOO (Han 431); loves the begotten one = loves His child (Williams).
[ 8 ] EN TOUTOO, by this (Marshall 944); not by this or from this, as an inference (see footnote on 1Jo 4:6), but in the very exercise of the sentiment toward God, we perceive (Vincent 2.363); this is how (Williams).
[ 9 ] GINOOSKOMEN, we know (Marshall 944); first person plural, present active indicative of GINOOSKOO (Han 431); take in knowledge, come to know, recognize, understand, or understand completely (Vine 627); we can be sure (Williams).
[ 10 ] HOTI AGAPOOMEN TA TEKNA TOU THEOU, that we love the children of God (Marshall 944); AGAPOOMEN is first person plural, present active subjunctive of AGAPAOO (Han 431); universally and without regard to sex, children . . . "In St. Paul the expressions 'sons of God', 'children of God', mostly convey the idea of liberty [see however Php 2:15], in St. John of guilelessness and love; in accordance with this distinction St. Paul uses HUIOI as well as TEKNA, St. John TEKNA only" [Bishop Lightfoot] (Thayer 617, 618).
[ 11 ] HOTAN, whenever (Marshall 944); more strictly, whenever. Our perception of the existence of love to our brethren is developed on every occasion when we exercise love and obedience toward God (Vincent 2.363); literally, whenever (Harrison 1476).
[ 12 ] TON THEON AGAPOOMEN, God we love (Marshall 944); first person plural, present active subjunctive of AGAPAOO (Han 431); continuing to love God (Williams).
[ 13 ] KAI TAS ENTOLAS AUTOU POIOOMEN, and the commandments of him we do (Marshall 944); read POIOOMEN do. The exact phrase POIEIN TAS ENTOLAS to do the commandments, occurs only here (Vincent 2.363); observe, give heed to, as of keeping commandments (Vine 617); and to obey His commands (Williams).
[ 14 ] HAUTE GAR ESTIN HEE AGAPEE TOU THEOU, for this is the love of God (Marshall 944); third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 432); Christian love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments. . . . Self will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God (Vine 693); for to love God means this (Williams).
[ 15 ] HINA TEEROOMEN, in order that we keep (Marshall 944); first person plural present active indicative or subjunctive of TEEREOO (Han 432); 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); to practice obedience (Williams).
[ 16 ] Continuous feed paper consists of sheets all joined to each other at dotted lines.
[ 17 ] TAS ENTOLAS AUTOU, the commandments of him (Marshall 944); injunctions, charges, precepts, commandments (Vine 202); to His commands (Williams).
[ 18 ] KAI HAI ENTOLAI AUTOU BAREIAI OUK EISIN, and the commandments of him heavy are not (Marshall 944); literally heavy (Vincent 2.363); heavy, an oppressive and exhaustive burden (Harrison 1476); and His commands are not burdensome (Williams); grievous, weighty, galling, burdensome, distressing (Woods 311).
[ 19 ] HOTI PAN TO GEGENEEMENON EK TOU THEOU, because everything having been begotten of God (Marshall 944); GEGENEEMENON is the perfect passive participle, nominative or accusative singular neuter 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); for every child of God (Williams).
[ 20 ] But see "who is the one" in verse 5.
[ 21 ] NIKA TON KOSMON, overcomes the world (Marshall 944); third person singular, present active indicative of NIKAOO (Han 432); overcomes, of faith (Vine 823); present tense, implying a continuous battle (Harrison 1476).
[ 22 ] KAI HAUTEE ESTIN HEE NIKEE, and this is the victory (Marshall 944); only here in the NT (Vincent 2.363); victory (Thayer 426; Vine 1199).
[ 23 ] HEE NIKEESASA TON KOSMON, overcoming the world (Marshall 944); NIKEESASA is the first aorist active participle, nominative singular feminine of NIKAOO (Han 432); aorist tense, overcame. The aorist is to be held here to its strict sense. The victory over the world was, potentially, won when we believed in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. We overcame the world by being brought into union with Christ. On becoming as He is (1Jo 3:17) we become partakers of His victory (Joh 16:33) (Vincent 2.363); overcome, used of faith (Vine 823); here the verb is aorist, indicating the assuredness of the victory (Harrison 1476); according to T. W. Manson, "Entry into the Early Church," Journal of Theological Studies 48, 1947, 27, the aorist participle NIKEESASA can refer to Jesus' once-for-all victory (I. Marshall 229).
[ 24 ] HEE PISTIS HEEMOON, the faith of us (Marshall 944); PISTIS faith only here in John's Epistles and not in the Gospel. Our faith is embraced in the confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (Vincent 2.363); primarily, firm persuasion, a conviction based upon hearing [akin to PEITHOO to persuade], is used in the NT always of faith in God or Christ, or things spiritual (Vine 401).
[ 25 ] TIS ESTIN [DE] HO NIKOON TON KOSMON, who is and the [one] overcoming the world (Marshall 945); NIKOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of NIKAOO (Han 432); overcome, used of Christ's followers (Vine 823). The article with the participle denoting what is habitual; one who leads a life of victory over the world (Vincent 2.364).
[ 26 ] EI MEE HO PISTEUOON HOTI 'IEESOUS ESTIN HO HUIOS TOU THEOU, except the [one] believing that Jesus is the Son of God (Marshall 945); PISTEUOON is present active participle, nominative singular masculine of PISTEUOO (Han 432).
[ 27 ] HOUTOS ESTIN HO, this is the [one] (Marshall 945).
[ 28 ] ELTHOON DI HUDATOS KAI HAIMATOS, coming through water and blood (Marshall 945); ELTHOON is the second aorist active participle, nominative singular masculine of ERCHOMAI (Han 432); referring to the historic fact (Vincent 2.364); of the natural element, frequently in the Gospels; in the plural especially in the Apocalypse . . . in 1 John 5:6, that Christ "came by water and blood," may refer either (1) to the elements that flowed from His side on the Cross after His Death, or, in view of the order of the words and the prepositions here used, (2) to His baptism in Jordan and His Death on the Cross. As to (1), the water should symbolize the moral and practical cleansing effected by the removal of defilement by our taking heed to the Word of God in heart, life and habit; compare Leviticus 14, as to the cleansing of the leper. As to (2), Jesus the Son of God came on His mission by, or through, water and blood, namely, at His baptism, when He publicly entered upon His mission and was declared to be the Son of God by the witness of the Father, and at the Cross, when He publicly closed His witness; the Apostle's statement thus counteracts the doctrine of the Gnostics that the Divine Logos united Himself with the Man Jesus at His baptism, and left him at Gethsemane. On the contrary, He who was baptized and He who was crucified was the Son of God throughout in His combined Deity and humanity (Vine 1214); came is aorist, referring to actual event; Christ came through [DIA, "by means of"] baptism (Harrison 1476).
[ 29 ] 'IEESOUS CHRISTOS, Jesus Christ (Marshall 945).
[ 30 ] OUK EN TOO HUDATI MONON, not by the water only (Marshall 945); literally, not in the water only. The preposition EN in, marks the sphere or element in which; DIA by, the medium through which (Vincent 2.366); in the sphere of what baptism and his death stood for (Harrison 1476, 1477).
[ 31 ] ALL' EN TOO HUDATI KAI EN TOO HAIMATI, but by the water and by the blood (Marshall 945); DIA by, must be taken with HO ELTHOON He that came. It is not merely the sense of accompaniment, but also of instrumentality, that is, by, through, by means of. Water and blood are thus the media through which Jesus the Mediator wrought, and which especially characterized the coming (Vincent 2.364).
[ 32 ] KAI TO PNEUMA ESTIN TO MARTUROUN, and the Spirit is the [one] bearing witness (Marshall 945); MARTUROUN is the present active participle, nominative singular neuter of MARTUREOO (Han 432); literally, and the Spirit is that which is bearing witness. Note the present tense, beareth witness, and compare verse 9, hath borne witness (Vincent 2.366); bear witness, testify, that is, affirm that one has seen or heard or experienced something, or that [so in the NT] he knows it because taught by divine revelation or inspiration [sometimes in the NT the apostles are said MARTUREIN, as those who had been eye- and ear- witnesses of the extraordinary sayings, deeds and sufferings of Jesus, which proved his Messiahship; so too Paul, as one to whom the risen Christ had visibly appeared . . . that is, declare things which make it evident that he was truly sent by God, John 5:39; God is said to do the same,--through the Scriptures, in the same place 37 compare 8:18; through the expiation wrought by the baptism and death of Christ, and the Holy Spirit giving souls assurance of this expiation, 1 John 5:6-9 (Thayer 390).
[ 33 ] HOTI, because (Marshall 945); some render that, as presenting the substance of the testimony, which is absurd: the Spirit witnesseth that the Spirit is the truth. The Spirit is the Holy Ghost, not the spiritual life in man (Vincent 2.366).
[ 34 ] TO PNEUMA ESTIN HE ALEETHEIA, because the spirit is the truth (Marshall 945); just as Christ is the truth [Joh 14:6] (Vincent 2.366); the Spirit [of God] which is truth and imbues men with the knowledge of the truth (Thayer 26); of the essence of truth (Woods 314).
[ 35 ] In several passages in the writings of John, HO LOGOS denotes the essential Word of God, that is, the personal [hypostatic] wisdom and power in union with God, his minister in the creation and government of the universe, the cause of all the world's life both physical and ethical, which for the procurement of man's salvation put on human nature in the person of Jesus the Messiah and shone forth conspicuously from his words and deeds (Thayer 382).
[ 36 ] In short, if this verse be really genuine, notwithstanding its absence from all the visible Greek manuscripts except two [that of Dublin and the forged one found at Berlin], one of which awkwardly translates the verse from the Latin, and the other transcribes it from a printed book; notwithstanding its absence from all the versions except the Vulgate, even from many of the best and oldest manuscripts of the Vulgate; notwithstanding the deep and dead silence of all the Greek writers down to the thirteenth, and of most of the Latins down to the middle of the eighth century; if, in spite of all these objections, it be still genuine, no part of Scripture whatsoever can be proved either spurious or genuine; and Satan has been permitted for many centuries miraculously to banish the 'finest passage in the New Testament,' as Martin calls it, from the eyes and memories of almost all the Christian authors, translators, and transcribers" (Porson, in the conclusion of his letters to Travis, quoted by Vincent 2.367); the NASB adds the following footnote: "A few late manuscripts read in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth, the Spirit."
[ 37 ] Harrison 1477.
[ 38 ] Compare Stott 182. A "gloss" is a brief explanation that appears in the margin or between the lines of a text. It is probable that a comment or an explanation was copied into a later manuscript or translation.
[ 39 ] HOTI TREIS EISIN HOI MARTUROUNTES, because three there the [ones] bearing witness (Marshall 945); MARTUROUNTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of MARTUREOO (Han 432); literally, three are the witnessing ones (Vincent 2.366).
[ 40 ] TO PNEUMA KAI TO HUDOOR KAI TO HAIMA, the Spirit and the water and the blood (Marshall 945); the Spirit and the water are distinguished (Vine 1214).
[ 41 ] KAI HOI TREIS EIS TO HEN EISIN, and the three in the one are (Marshall 945); literally, are for the one (Vincent 2.367); and the three agree (Williams).
[ 42 ] EI LAMBANOMEN, if we receive (Marshall 945); first person plural, present active indicative of LAMBANOO (Han 432); the indicative mood, assuming such reception as a fact. If we receive, as we do (Vincent 2.367); almost synonymous with DECHOMAI [to accept by a deliberate and ready reception of what is offered], is distinct from it, in that it sometimes means to receive as merely a self-prompted action, without necessarily signifying a favorable reception (Vine 12).
[ 43 ] TEEN MARTURIAN TOON ANTHROOPOON, the witness of men (Marshall 945); witness, evidence, testimony (Vine 1133); what one testifies, testimony . . . in a legal sense, of testimony before a judge (Thayer 391); in the religious and moral senses, of a judgment on religious or moral matters, passed by one person upon another (Arndt 493).
[ 44 ] HEE MARTURIA TOU THEOU MEIZOON ESTIN, the witness of God greater is (Marshall 945); supply mentally, and therefore we should receive that (Vincent 2.367); of superhuman testimony concerning Jesus: God attests him (Arndt 493); what one testifies, testimony . . . through the Holy Spirit, in the Christian's blessed consciousness of eternal life and of reconciliation with God, obtained by baptism . . . and the expiatory death of Christ, with a subjective genitive (Thayer 391).
[ 45 ] HOTI, because (Marshall 945); not explaining why it is greater, but why the principle of the superior greatness of divine testimony should apply and be appealed to in this case. Supply mentally, and this applies in the case before us, for, etc. (Vincent 2.367).
[ 46 ] HAUTEE ESTIN HEE MARTURIA TOU THEOU, this is the witness of God (Marshall 945); the best texts read HOTI that or because. Render that. This is the witness of God, even the fact that, etc. (Vincent 2.367).
[ 47 ] HOTI MEMARTUREEKEN, because he has borne witness (Marshall 945); testified (Vine 1132).
[ 48 ] PERI TOU HUIOU AUTOU, concerning the Son of him (Marshall 945); to his son (Williams).
[ 49 ] HO PISTEUOON EIS TON HUION TOU THEOU, the [one] believing in the Son of God (Marshall 945); PISTEUOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of PISTEUOO (Han 432); faith in the person of Christ, not merely in the fact that Jesus is the Son of God (Vincent 2.368); whoever believes in the Son of God (Williams).
[ 50 ] ECHEI TEEN MARTURIAN EN AUTOO, has the witness in him (Marshall 945); ECHEI is third person singular, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 432); MARTURIAN, witness, evidence, testimony (Vine 1133); has this testimony in his own heart (Williams).
[ 51 ] HO MEE PISTEUOON TOO THEOU, the [one] not believing God (Marshall 945); PISTEUOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of PISTEUOO (Han 432); also personal. To believe God, is to believe the message which comes from Him (Vincent 2.368).
[ 52 ] PSEUSTEEN PEPOIEEKEN AUTON, a liar has made him (Marshall 945); PEPOIEEKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of POIEOO (Han 432); the perfect tense marks the two results expressed by the verbs as connected with a past act. The act perpetuates itself in the present condition of the unbeliever (Vincent 2.368); the Greek perfect tense denotes the present state resultant upon a past action (Machen 451).
[ 53 ] HOTI OU PEPISTEUKEN EIS TEEN MARTURIAN, because he has not believed in the witness (Marshall 945); PEPISTEUKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of PISTEUOO (Han 432); the phrase only here. See on John 1:12. In one other case to believe on is used with an object not directly personal, PISTEUETE EIS TO PHOOS; but the reference is clearly to the personal Christ as the Light of the World [John 8:12] (Vincent 2.368).
[ 54 ] HEEN MEMARTUREEKEN HO THEOS PERI TOU HUIOU AUTOU, which has borne witness God concerning the Son of him (Marshall 945); MEMARTUREEKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of MARTUREOO (Han 432).
[ 55 ] KAI AUTEE ESTIN HEE MARTURIA, and this is the witness (Marshall 945); and this testimony is (Williams).
[ 56 ] HOTI ZOOEEN AIOONION EDOOKEN HO THEOS HEEMIN, that life eternal gave God to us (Marshall 945); EDOOKEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of DIDOOMI (Han 432); aorist tense, gave. The reference is to the historic fact of the gift. . . . The gift of love abides in the fact that we are now children of God [verse 2] (Vincent 2.368).
[ 57 ] ZOOEEN AIOONION, compare the phrase TEEN ZOOEEN TEEN AIOONION the life, the eternal life (1Jo 1:2), and HEE AIOONIOS ZOOEE the eternal life (Joh 17:3). For the distinction between the phrases see on 1 John 1:2. The phrase here, without either article, merely defines the character of the life (Vincent 2.368); of the redemption effected by Christ, Hebrews 9:12, and of the consequent salvation of men, 5:9, as well as of His future rule, 2 Peter 1:11, which is elsewhere declared to be without end, Luke 1:33; of the life received by those who believe in Christ, John 3:16, concerning whom He said, "they shall never perish," 10:28, and of the resurrection body, 2 Corinthians 5:1, elsewhere said to be "immortal," 1 Corinthians 15:33, in which that life will be finally realized, Matthew 25:46; Titus 1:2 (Vine 373); life real and genuine, . . . a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions [among them a more perfect body], and to last forever [the writers of the OT have anticipated the conception, in their way, by employing [a Hebrew word] to denote a happy life and every kind of blessing (Thayer 273).
[ 58 ] KAI HAUTE HEE ZOOEE EN TOO HUIOO AUTOU ESTIN, and this life in the son of him is (Marshall 945, 946); and this life is given through union with His Son (Williams)
[ 59 ] HO ECHOON TON HUION, the [one] having the Son (Marshall 946); ECHOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of ECHOO (Han 432); hath the Son (Vincent 2.368).
[ 60 ] ECHEI TEEN ZOOEEN, has the life (Marshall 946); more strictly, the life; that is, the life which God gave [verse 11] (Vincent 2.368); literally, the life (Harrison 1477).
[ 61 ] HO MEE ECHOON TON HUION TOU THEOU, the [one] not having the Son of God (Marshall 946); hath not the Son of God, pointing back to God as the giver of life in His Son (Vincent 2.368); whoever does not have the Son (Williams).
[ 62 ] TEEN ZOOEEN OUK ECHEI, the life has not (Marshall 946); note the inversion "He that hath the Son hath the life. He that hath not the Son of God, the life hath he not" (Vincent 2.369).
[ 63 ] EGRAPHA, I wrote (Marshall 946); first person singular, first aorist active indicative of GRAPHOO (Han 432); literally, I wrote. John speaks as looking back over his Epistle and recalling the aim with which he wrote (Vincent 2.369).
[ 64 ] TAUTA HUMIN, these things to you (Marshall 946); this (Williams).
[ 65 ] HINA EIDEETE, in order that ye may know (Marshall 946); EIDEETE is second person plural, perfect active subjunctive of OIDA (Han 432); not perceive [GINOOSKEIN], but know with settled and absolute knowledge (Vincent 2.369); the conscious knowledge of the possession of eternal life (Harrison 1477).
[ 66 ] HOTI ZOOEEN ECHETE AIOONION, that life ye have eternal (Marshall 946); ECHETE is second person plural, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 432); the Greek order is peculiar, "ye may know that life ye have eternal." The adjective eternal is added as an after-thought. So Westcott: "that ye have life--yes, eternal life" (Vincent 2.369).
[ 67 ] TOIS PISTEUONSIN, to the [ones] believing (Marshall 946); in the KJV, these words follow have I written, not the Greek order. The words, like eternal, above, are added as an after-thought, defining the character of the persons addressed (Vincent 2.369).
[ 68 ] EIS TO ONOMA TOU HUIOU TOU THEOU, in the name of the Son of God (Marshall 946); literally, name; in the sense of person; in the person of the Son of God (Williams).
[ 69 ] KAI HAUTEE ESTIN HEE PARRHEESIA, and this is the confidence (Marshall 946); boldness (Vincent 2.369); the absence of fear in speaking boldly; hence, confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, without any connection necessarily with speech (Vine 130); joyous confidence is the result or the accompaniment of faith (Arndt 630); of the undoubting confidence of Christians relative to their fellowship with God (Thayer 491).
[ 70 ] HEEN ECHOMEN PROS AUTON, which we have toward him (Marshall 946); ECHOMEN is first person plural, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 432).
[ 71 ] HOTI EAN TI AITOOMETHA, that if anything we ask (Marshall 946); AITOOMETHA is first person plural, present middle subjunctive of AITEOO (Han 432); with a possible reference in the middle voice to asking for ourselves (Vincent 2.369); ask [distinguished from EROTAOO to ask on an equal footing], more frequently suggests the attitude of a suppliant, the petition of one who is lesser in position than he to whom the petition is made . . . 1 John 3:22; 5:14, 15 [twice], 16 (Vine 71); ask for one's self, request for one's self (Thayer 17); ask, ask for, demand (without any real distinction between active and middle. The distinction between active ["ask" outright] and middle ["ask" as a loan] found by ancient grammarians has only very limited validity for our literature . . . request something from someone (Arndt 25, 26).
[ 72 ] KATA TO THELEEMA AUTOU, according to the will of him (Marshall 946); subjectively, the will being spoken of as the emotion of being desirous, rather than as the thing willed; of the will of God (Vine 1229).
[ 73 ] AKOUEI HEEMOON, he hears us (Marshall 946); hear is used in this sense by John only (Vincent 2.369); gives ear to one, listens, hearkens (Thayer 23).
[ 74 ] KAI EAN OIDAMEN HOTI AKOUEI HEEMOON, and if we know that he hears us (Marshall 946); OIDAMEN is first person plural, perfect active indicative of OIDA (Han 432).
[ 75 ] HO EAN AITOOMETHA, whatever we ask (Marshall 946); the whole phrase is governed by the verb hear. If we know that He heareth our every petition (Vincent 2.370).
[ 76 ] OIDAMEN HOTI ECHOMEN TA AITEEMATA, we know that we have the requests (Marshall 946); [from AITEOO to ask, suggests the attitude of a suppliant, the petition of one who is lesser in position than he to whom the petition is made], petitions, that which has been asked for (Vine 71, 72, 852); [AITEEMATA, from AITEOO to ask]; middle, ask for one's self, request for one's self (Thayer 17).
[ 77 ] The verb used when Jesus made requests of the Father is EROTAOO (see note on verse 16).
[ 78 ] HA EETEEKAMEN AP' AUTOU, which we have asked from him (Marshall 946); EETEEKAMEN is the first person plural, perfect active indicative of AITEOO (Han 432).
[ 79 ] EAN TIS IDEE, if anyone sees (Marshall 946); IDEE is third person singular, second aorist active subjunctive of HORAOO (Han 432); a supposed case (Vincent 2.370).
[ 80 ] TON ADELPHON AUTOU, the brother of him (Marshall 946); Christian brother (Vincent 2.370).
[ 81 ] The word "sisters" is used of believers only in 1 Timothy 5:2 (Vine 147).
[ 82 ] HAMARTANONTA HAMARTIAN MEE PROS THANATON, sinning a sin not unto death (Marshall 946); HAMARTANONTA is present active participle, accusative singular masculine of HAMARTANOO (Han 432); literally, sinning a sin. There is no exact parallel to the phrase in the NT. Compare the promise which He promised; describing the nature of the sin. The preposition unto, signifies tendency toward, not necessarily involving death (Vincent 2.370); some particular evil deed (Thayer 31); committing a sin (Williams).
[ 83 ] AITEESEI, he shall ask (Marshall 946); third person singular, future active indicative of AITEOO (Han 432); in prayer. The future tense expresses not merely permission [it shall be permitted him to ask], but the certainty that, as a Christian brother, he will ask. An injunction to that effect is implied (Vincent 2.370); ask [distinguished from EROTAOO to ask on an equal footing], more frequently suggests the attitude of a suppliant, the petition of one who is lesser in position than he to whom the petition is made . . . 1 John 3:22; 5:14, 15 [twice], 16 (Vine 71).
[ 84 ] KAI DOOSEI AUTOO ZOOEEN, and he will give to him life (Marshall 946); DOOSEI is third person singular, present active indicative of DIDOOMI (Han 432); he may refer either to God or to the petitioner, as being the means of bestowing life through his intercession, as in James 5:20. The former explanation is the more natural; him [AUTOO], the brother for whom intercession is made (Vincent 2.370).
[ 85 ] TOIS HAMARTANOUSIN MEE PROS THANATON, to the [ones] sinning not unto death (Marshall 946); HAMARTANOUSIN is the present active participle, accusative singular masculine of HAMARTANOO (Han 432); in apposition with AUTOO to him. God shall give life unto him [the erring brother], even unto them that sin. The plural generalizes the particular case described by HAMARTANONTA HAMARTIAN sinning a sin (Vincent 2.370); in 1 John 5:16 [2nd part] the ASV margin is probably to be preferred, "there is sin unto death," not a special act of sin, but the state or condition producing acts (Vine 1046).
[ 86 ] ESTIN HAMARTIA PROS THANATON, there is a sin unto death (Marshall 946); better, sin. A sin would express a specific act as such. Sin describes the character of a class of acts; whatever breaks the fellowship between the soul and Christ, and, by consequence, between the individual and the body of believers, is unto death, for there is no life apart from Christ. It is indeed true that this tendency inheres in all sin (Vincent 2.370, 371); there is sin unto death (Harrison 1477).
[ 87 ] I reject the old Catholic view that sin unto death is that which is punished by excommunication. I seriously doubt that envy, unbelief or a sin that brings physical death is under primary consideration. I also repudiate the Jewish idea that there were three cardinal sins: idolatry, unchastity and bloodshed. A fourth was added as an evil of exceptional gravity: slander. Cohen (page 97) wrote: "There are four offenses for the commission of which punishment is exacted in this world and the capital [of the sin] remains for the World to Come. They are: idolatry, unchastity, bloodshed, and slander."
[ 88 ] Woods 322.
[ 89 ] OU PERI EKEINEES LEGOO HINA EROOTEESEE, not concerning that do I say in order that he should inquire (Marshall 946); EROOTEESEE is third person singular, first aorist active subjunctive of EROTAOO (Han 432); literally, not concerning this do I say that he should make request [the request of an equal, or of one who asks on equal terms]; AITEOO to ask is used of the petition of an inferior, and is never used of Christ's own requests to God (Vincent 2.372); ask, request . . . concerning something (Arndt 312).
[ 90 ] PASA ADIKIA, all iniquity (Marshall 946); this is the character of every offence against that which is right. Every breach of duty is a manifestation of sin (Vincent 2.372); denotes unrighteousness, literally "unrightness" [A negative, DIKEE right], a condition of not being right, whether with God, according to the standard of His holiness and righteousness, or with man, according to the standard of what man knows to be right by his conscience (Vine 590).
[ 91 ] HAMARTIA ESTIN, sin is (Marshall 946); in verse 17, "all unrighteousness is sin" is not a definition of sin [as in 3:4], it gives a specification of the term in its generic sense (Vine 1046).
[ 92 ] KAI ESTIN HAMARTIA OU PROS THANATON, and there is a sin not unto death (Marshall 946); and there are sins that do not lead to death (Williams).
[ 93 ] OIDAMEN HOTI, we know that (Marshall 946); OIDAMEN is first person plural, perfect active indicative of OIDA (Han 432); with certain, positive knowledge (Harrison 1477); the formula OIDAMEN HOTI [we know that] is frequently used to introduce a well-known fact that is generally accepted (Arndt 556); OIDAMEN followed by HOTI is not infrequently, so far as the sense is concerned, equivalent to it is well known, acknowledged (Thayer 174).
[ 94 ] PAS, everyone (Marshall 946).
[ 95 ] HO GEGENNEEMENOS EK TOU THEOU, having been begotten of God (Marshall 946); GEGENNEEMENOS is the perfect passive participle, nominative singular masculine of GENNAOO (Han 432); 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); peculiarly, in the Gospel and 1 Epistle of John, of God conferring upon men the nature and disposition of his sons, imparting to them spiritual life, that is, by his own holy power prompting and persuading souls to put faith in Christ and live a new life consecrated to himself (Thayer 113).
[ 96 ] OUCH HAMARTANEI, sins not (Marshall 946); third person singular, present active indicative of HAMARTANOO (Han 432); present tense, habitual sinning (Harrison 1477); makes a practice of sinning (Williams).
[ 97 ] ALL' HO GENNEETHEIS EK TOU THEOU, but the [one] begotten of God (Marshall 946); GENNEETHEIS is the first aorist passive participle, nominative singular masculine of GENNAOO (Han 432); literally, was begotten. This exact phrase does not occur elsewhere (Vincent 2.372).
[ 98 ] The NKJV translates: "but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him." Because the pronoun following "keeps" is "him" ["himself" in other texts], the OPV understands "He that is begotten of God" to be referring to Christ. Charles B. Williams renders the phrase, "but the Son who was born of God continues to keep him."
[ 99 ] TEEREI AUTON, keeps him (Marshall 946); TEEREI is third person singular, present active indicative of TEEREOO (Han 432); watches over, preserves, keeps, watches (Vine 617); keeps, etc., unharmed or undisturbed (Arndt 814); metaphorically, keeps: TINA, one in that state in which he is . . . himself such as he is, that is begotten of God [but here Tischendorf's Greek text, Tregelles's Greek text and Westcott and Hort's Greek text have AUTON him] (Thayer 622). The UBS text also has AUTON.
[ 100 ] Asherim were wooden symbols of a female deity.
[ 101 ] KAI HO PONEEROS, and the evil one (Marshall 946); Satan is mentioned as "the [or that] evil one" (Vine 1226).
[ 102 ] OUCH HAPTETAI AUTOU, does not touch him (Marshall 946); HAPTETAI is third person singular, present passive indicative of HAPTOO (Han 432); both this verb and THINGANOO [Col 2:21; Heb 11:28; 12:20] express a touch which exerts a modifying influence upon the object, though THINGANOO indicates rather a superficial touch. . . . The idea here is layeth not hold of him (Vincent 2.373); assaults, in order to sever the vital union between Christ and the believer, said of the attack of the Evil One, 1 John 5:18 (Vine 1157); not a mere superficial touching but a grasping hold of (Harrison 1478); touch, that is, assail anyone (Thayer 70); the evil one cannot harm him [or cannot even touch him; compare 1 Esdras 4:28 (Arndt 103).
[ 103 ] OIDAMEN HOTI, we know (Marshall 946); first person plural, perfect active indicative of OIDA (Han 432); with certain, positive knowledge (Harrison 1477); the formula OIDAMEN HOTI [we know that] is frequently used to introduce a well-known fact that is generally accepted (Arndt 556); OIDAMEN followed by HOTI is not infrequently, so far as the sense is concerned, equivalent to it is well known, acknowledged (Thayer 174).with certain, positive knowledge (Harrison 1477).
[ 104 ] EK TOU THEOU ESMEN, that of God we are (Marshall 946, 947); ESMEN is first person plural, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 432).
[ 105 ] KAI HO KOSMOS HOLOS, and the world whole (Marshall 947); in the ethical sense, the sum-total of human life in the ordered world, considered apart from, alienated from, and hostile to God, and of the earthly things which seduce from God (Vincent 2.45); the present condition of human affairs, in alienation from and opposition to God (Vine 1245).
[ 106 ] KEITAI, lies (Marshall 947); third person singular, present middle indicative of KEIMAI (Han 432); the word is stronger than ESTI is, indicating the passive, unprogressive state in the sphere of Satan's influence (Vincent 2.373); metaphorically, of the world as lying in the evil one (Vine 665); find oneself, be, in a certain state or condition . . . the world lies in [the power of] the evil one (Arndt 427); lies in the power of the evil one, that is, is held in subjection by the devil (Thayer 343).
[ 107 ] EN TO PONEEROO, in the evil one (Marshall 947); in the evil one (Vincent 2.373); Satan is mentioned as "the [or that] evil one" (Vine 1226); of the devil, the evil one (Thayer 530); especially in Pauline or Johannine usage, to designate a close personal relation . . . in the power of the evil one (Arndt 258, 259).
[ 108 ] OIDAMEN DE, we know and (Marshall 947); first person plural, perfect active indicative (Han 432); take in knowledge, come to know, recognize, understand, or understand completely; in the NT, [another word for know] 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 10:14, 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).
[ 109 ] HOTI HO HUIOS TOU THEOU HEEKEI, that the Son of God is come (Marshall 947); HEEKEI is third person singular, present active indicative of HEEKOO (Han 432); is come, is present (Vine 196); ; has come, has arrived, is present (Thayer 276); has come, is present (Arndt 344); "is come" of the first clause is in the present tense, but it has the force of the perfect, has come, and such is its significance here (Woods 323).
[ 110 ] KAI DEDOOKEN HEEMIN DIANOIAN, and has given to us an understanding (Marshall 947); DEDOOKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of DIDOOMI (Han 432); the faculty of understanding (Vincent 2.374).
[ 111 ] See Machen 452.
[ 112 ] HINA GINOOSKOOMEN, in order that we might know (Marshall 947); GINOOSKOOMEN is first person plural, present active subjunctive of GINOOSKOO (Han 432); apprehend progressively (Vincent 2.374); 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 10:14, 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).
[ 113 ] TON ALEETHINON, the true [one] (Marshall 947); denotes true in the sense of real, ideal, genuine; it is used of Christ (Vine 1170); the True One (Williams); .
[ 114 ] KAI ESMEN EN TOO ALEETHINOO, and we are in the true [one] (Marshall 947); and we are in union with the True One (Williams).
[ 115 ] EN TOO HUIOO AUTOU 'IEESOU CHRISTOO, in the Son of him Jesus Christ (Marshall 947); through His Son, Jesus Christ (Williams).
[ 116 ] HOUTOS ESTIN HO ALEETHINOS THEOS, this is the true God (Marshall 947); God the Father; many, however, refer it to the Son (Vincent 2.374); of God in contrast to other gods, who are not real (Arndt 37); that which has not only the name and semblance, but the real nature corresponding to the name . . . in every respect corresponding to the idea signified by the name, real and true, genuine; opposed to what is fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated, pretended (Thayer 27).
[ 117 ] KAI ZOOEE AIOONIOS, and life eternal (Marshall 947).
[ 118 ] TEKNIA, little children (Marshall 947); 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); John uses the Greek word TEKNIA for little children. He often uses TEKNION little child. TEKNION little child is the diminutive of TEKNON child. TEKNIA little children is the diminutive of TEKNA children.
[ 119 ] PHULAXATE HEAUTA, guard yourselves (Marshall 947); PHULAXATE is second person plural, first aorist active imperative of PHULASSOO (Han 432); guard (Vincent 2.375); guard, watch, keep (Vine 513); guard, protect with accusative someone or something (Arndt 868); guard one's self from a thing (Thayer 660); guard as a garrison does (Harrison 1478); once for all put yourselves beyond the reach (Williams).
[ 120 ] APO TOON EIDOOLOON, from the idols (Marshall 947); strictly, images (Vincent 2.375); primarily a phantom or likeness [from EIDOS an appearance, literally, that which is seen], or an idea, fancy, denotes in the NT (a) an idol, an image to represent a false god. . . (b) the false god worshipped in an image (Vine 573).
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