Overcoming the World
5 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. 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. 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?
Testimony Concerning the Son of God
This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 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. 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. 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.
That You May Know
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. 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—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. 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.
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.
1 John 5 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“You guys teach too much on obedience.” The words hung in the air. “It’s all I hear week after week.”
Stunned, initially, I had no idea of where to go from these statements.
People love to hear about the love of Jesus. They enjoy considering His dying in our place so we could have a relationship with God and Him. Oh, the love of Jesus is rich and endless, no doubt. But where things get sticky often for many is when it comes to obedience and our following through with our actions.
As John closes out this first book he writes,
“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.”1 John 5:1-2
Obedience is part of the package of being a Believer. Obedience shows where our commitment truly is. Our love for God and His Son shows itself not only in our love for others, as John writes, but also in our commitment to obedience in what He asks. It is a demonstrative, tangible aspect of our walking with Him.
The sad reality is when we who have called ourselves Believers fail to love God or be obedient to the things of which He asks, we fail somewhere else. We fail within the Body of Christ of which we’re part of and have little to no effective use within. Although we may be involved in certain aspects of the church, even running a ministry, failure to be obedient in our love to Jesus and with our actions cripples our ability to be effective in our witness and ministry. The fruit of our lives will be marked with little to show.
However, something else takes place when our obedience is lacking. The more we say no to whatever it is God is asking of us; the more we neglect being obedient in stepping up to the plate on some sense, or laying down our rights in another — we are harming other Believers. As our hearts grow cold, so does our love. And because of this, we drag others down without shining forth what it looks like to be obedient. Besides, maybe wherever God is calling us to be obedient is affecting those who God has lined up to bring across our path through that obedience.
Our lack of obedience affects many lives; some of whom we have yet to meet.
When we consciously choose to live in disobedience we may say we walk in fellowship with the Father but truly we walk in darkness.
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”1 John 1:6
Quite simply, our love for God is demonstrated in our obedience to Him.
Where are you wrestling with surrender to His will today? Are you struggling with some form of obedience at the moment? It is a continual wrestling match for all of us. Sometimes it’s even a moment by moment struggle. However, there are people on the other side of our obedience waiting for us. And by our obeying whatever God is asking we are demonstrating our love not only for Him but for those currently in our life and those waiting in the wings.
1 John 5 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
At the time of this writing, John was battling the incredible deception that had come against the church. There were false teachers parading around true believers and teaching that when Jesus died, He was simply human and not divine.
We saw the same theme yesterday when John warns us to test the spirits. John was the right person to address it. If you remember, this was a topic near to his heart, as even his Gospel writings share this theme. He starts out John 1 with the most beautiful and powerful statements about how Jesus was indeed God in the flesh.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.John 1:1-2 NASB
Like many Biblical themes of today, people of John’s time were trying to use logical reasoning as a means to verify truth instead of faith. They thought they were wise to try and explain something “new” that hadn’t been considered before. Don’t get me wrong, the Bible is incredibly practical. It is backed with loads of historical and factual information. It’s breathtaking to consider how these books come together with such perfect harmony through the sweep of Scripture.
But the Bible’s truth doesn’t hang on strictly “factual” information because it’s based on spiritual realities. These spiritual principles are so far above our knowledge, there is no way we can figure everything out with logic and facts. I am very skeptical of someone who believes only because of the evidence.
How do they explain Jonah and the whale?… or Peter walking on water? Where’s the evidence for that? How do you logically understand the Transfiguration of Christ on the mountaintop with Elijah and Moses hanging out up there with Him? I could go on and on. These are faith issues. By faith, we believe these things happened even though we can’t truly grasp every specific detail.
John was passionate about believers understanding the truth by faith.
We believe human testimony; but God’s testimony is much stronger, and he has given this testimony about his Son. 10 So those who believe in the Son of God have this testimony in their own heart; but those who do not believe God, have made a liar of him, because they have not believed what God has said about his Son. 11 The testimony is this: God has given us eternal life, and this life has its source in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has this life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.1 John 5:9-12 GNB
John is calling us to put our trust in God. It’s a call to faith. Though man’s testimony can have flaws, God’s is perfect. And that testimony is this – His Son, Jesus, came as fully man and fully God to be a sacrifice for sin.
John is contrasting those who accept and those who reject what God says. A person who trusts in Jesus possesses the witness, namely, the truth of God (v. 1Jn 5:9). The one who rejects God’s testimony is claiming that God is a liar.Nelson’s New Illustrated Commentary