1 John 5:1-14
1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
1 John 5
Intro: We left off at the end of chapter four where John hammers us on the need to be loving, in fact he goes so far as to call us liars if we say we love God and yet hate someone, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (4:20). The tendency is to try to justify our bad behavior toward some while embracing others. The fact is we generally choose who we will love and who we will refuse to love. This goes to the heart of the problem and John understands human nature and that is the reason he has spent so much time on this subject. He knows that what God is commanding flies in the face of what we naturally will do. Remember we are not talking about a mushy, heart pounding attraction to someone; we are dealing with service, how we treat others. The best example of this is given to us by Jesus.
Jesus showed in his story of the good Samaritan that we are to show the love of God to everyone we meet. Each man is made in God’s image and is to be the proper subject of our response (love). True, Christians often fail to love (serve) those who are in the world and so fail to win them to Christ. But it is also sadly true that Christians often fail to love Christians. We tend to restrict our love to our particular company of believers. Sometimes this is a social division, as when Christians associate with and love only those in the upper-middle class or, by contrast, only those within a lower level of society. At other times the division is by denomination, so that if they are Baptists, their brothers and sisters are Baptists; if they are Presbyterians, their brothers and sisters are Presbyterians; if they are Independents, their brothers and sisters are all Independents. At still other times, Christians will hold closely only to those within some rigid theological persuasion. Is this right? Can Christian brotherhood and the love that goes with it be so restricted? John gives the answer to these questions in the opening verses of chapter 5, when he says clearly, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.” In other words, membership in the family of God is not limited by anything other than confession of Jesus as the Christ. Consequently, the love of Christians for their brothers and sisters should extend to all who give evidence of being God’s true children.
It is not only a love-unity between all born again believers that John has in mind in these verses. We have a responsibility to treat all with the same love that God has shown to us. What is easy to miss at this point is the order of concern that John sharing. We tend to look at the last requirement while ignoring what precedes it. Before any of us can actually love others as John is discussing, we need to first Love God. The order of response is simple; our first command is to love God will all our heart, mind and soul. If an only if this is true we will have a desire to obey His commands. With a heart for God and a desire to keep His commands the result will be a commitment to love others; because and only because God commanded it. People are not lovable in and of themselves, we need a strong motivation to respond the way God commands us and that is a desire to obey God whom we love. It is the love of God to us that moves us to love those who are not lovable.
So now John brings it all together as he concludes this letter. In this combination and in these verses John summarizes the pattern and the resulting love that should follow.
T.S. The end result of love for our follow man must begin with our love for God. If we love God we will want to keep His commandments, if we are keeping His commandments love will be end result.
The Question: What do I believe about Jesus?
1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.
1. Here we are taken back to the starting point for everything John has said.
2. The love issue is mute if in fact we are not a child of God. It is impossible to show the kind of love John is talking about without help.
3. The only way to God the Father is through Jesus the Son; belief in and reception of Jesus as the Messiah is the only way to be accepted by the Father.
4. This is the key to everything else, if we are in the family of God by faith in Jesus than certain things are in play. We have the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us, we have the commands from God to guide us resulting in the love of God being shown through us.
5. I find it interesting to see how many people have a fear of God rather than a love of God. This is a challenge for all of us to draw near to God because we know how sinful we really are and how holy God is.
6. While we are commanded to love the Lord with all of heart, mind and soul; this is problematic for many people.
7. However; love for God is the key to obedience to God. When we love someone we want to please them, it is no different with God. The challenge is to get to the point where we actually see God as loving us and wanting to bless us.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1. How do we overcome the world? Simply by being obedient to God and not giving into the pressure from the world to be disobedient.
2. Our faith in God and the Word of God guides and directs our lives because we believe that Jesus is in fact God in the flesh.
The Evidence From God
6 This is He who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.
1. The evidence by water; the baptism of Jesus.
2. The evidence by blood; the crucifixion of Jesus.
3. The Spirit gave witness at both events showing who Jesus is.
9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
1. The witness in himself is the work of the Holy Spirit whereby we know that we are the children of God.
2. To reject the witness of Jesus in every aspect of His ministry is to call God a liar.
3. The witness is clear and overwhelming.
13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
The Resulting Confidence and Compassion
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.
The Knowledge of Truth — Rejecting the False
18 We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.
19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
Conclusion: As we wrap up first John we need to focus on key points. John makes it clear that everything begins with our relationship to God; which can only be correct when we acknowledge and accept Jesus as our savior. The next step is to have a relationship with the Father that is loving. When we see the Father as loving us and desiring good for us we then want to please Him. It is the love for God that produces a heart of obedience to God’s commands. It is this love for God that moves us to be what God wants us to be and do what God wants us to do. My obedience or disobedience is an indicator of my love or lack of love for God. I cannot love others as God desires if I do not first Love God.