Monday 5th December 2022

1 JOHN 5

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (5:1).  Do you believe this or not?  It determines your eternal destiny!  This statement by John was also aimed at being a ‘slap in the face’ for the Gnostic heretics in their midst. 

“In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands” (v3).  We need to be careful not to revert to a good-works-based Christianity, but we do need to recognise that a so-called faith that lacks any kind of obedience or acknowledgement of the Lordship of Christ is not a saving faith at all.  (See Romans 10:9).

“There are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement” (vv7-8).  This is, again, a strike against the Gnostics who denied that the man Jesus was the Christ of God.  The water symbolises his baptism, the blood, his atoning death upon the cross, and the Spirit was present during and after that entire period.  Three independent witnesses that Jesus was truly human and truly God and acted totally under the Father’s authority.  By accepting his authority and believing in his Name, we can be sure that we do have eternal life.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we have asked of him” (5:14-15).  So to absolutely have your prayers answered: 1 – Find out what God’s will is on an issue;  2 – Pray his will back to him; and: 3 – Be patient and full of faith.

The “sin that leads to death” is probably the denial of Jesus as Messiah and Saviour – by people like the Gnostics.  Someone who stubbornly refuses to accept Christ has no further means of salvation – no way back!  Any other sin can be forgiven by our genuine relationship with Christ – but that one sin can have no saviour.  John re-states that “…the one born of God does not continue to sin” because “…the One born of God keeps him safe and the evil one cannot harm him” (v18).  No grey areas remain, therefore!

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