by Dr Gregory Magruder | November 25, 2018
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Gainesville, FL 11/25/18
1 John 5
INTRODUCTION: John says the mark of the Christian is love. God has given us the Holy Spirit to assure us and guide us into truth. The Spirit gives us assurance of our salvation and discernment of what is right and what is wrong. John concludes his letter with a discussion of eternal life. John writes, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). Believers can be certain that they have eternal life. Chapter 5 gives three reasons why every Christian can be confident that he or she has eternal life.
ETERNAL LIFE BEGINS WITH A NEW BIRTH (1-5).
*A person who has been spiritually born from above believes that Jesus is the Christ and loves other believers. Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him (1).
*Believers obey God and love one another. This proves they have been born again. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome (2-3).
*People who are born again believe Jesus is the Son of God and overcome the world by their faith. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (4-5).
“Belief, love, and obedience are marks of the new birth” (John Stott).
ETERNAL LIFE IS VERIFIED BY DIVINE TESTIMONY (6-12).
*How can we be certain that Jesus is the Christ? The Old Testament required the testimony of two or three witnesses to verify the truth of a matter (Deuteronomy 19:15). John says that there are three witnesses that testify to the truth that Jesus is the Messiah.
- The Father’s affirmation of Jesus at his baptism and the finished work of Jesus on the cross testify to Jesus as the Messiah. This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only
- The internal witness of the Spirit of Truth confirms that Jesus is the
the truth (6).
- The historical facts and the subjective Spirit provide three witnesses that Jesus is the Christ. God has given this testimony and it should be accepted as true. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son (7-9).
- The believer accepts the testimony of God. The unbeliever does not. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son (10).
- The believer receives eternal life through Jesus Christ. God gives us eternal life only through Jesus. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life (11-12).
ETERNAL LIFE BRINGS FIRM ASSURANCES (13-21).
*John writes the letter to assure believers that they have eternal life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life ((13).
*Believers also can be confident that God will answer their prayers of petition and intercession. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life…There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death (14-17).
*Believers can be certain of three things: victory over sin and the devil; assurance of salvation; and the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives. We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little
children, keep yourselves from idols (18-21).