Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 John 4:17-5:12

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Confidence on the day of judgment - 1 John 4:17-18

made perfect… day of judgment. See BC 37. In this verse and the next, John makes his third and fourth references to perfection or mature love for God. The first was in 2:5, where obedience made this love perfect, complete or mature. The second was in 4:12, where God's love matures as believers practice their love for one another. This leads to the final perfection of God's love—Christians can face God's final judgment without fear. In his Gospel, John describes Jesus as God's final agent of judgment (see notes on Jn. 5:22, 27, 30; 8:16; 12:31-33). Those who live or abide in him need not fear punishment from him.

First loved us - 1 John 4:19

first loved us. In the OT, God's people learned to show mercy to others from the mercy God demonstrated towards them (see notes on Exod. 13:8; 22:21; Lev. 19:34; Deut. 10:19). As John summarized in 3:16 and again in 4:10, the supreme example and standard of God's love is Jesus' incarnation and atoning death

Liars - 1 John 4:20

liars… seen. Arguing from the lesser or lighter matter to the greater or heavier matter, John points out that any claim of love for the invisible God is inadmissible if the claimant shows no evidence of love for those he sees every day in his community. John states the matter as forcefully as possible: this claimant a liar

Love for one another - 1 John 4:21

commandment. This is a major theme of Jesus' upper room discourse in John's Gospel (see notes on Jn. 13:34-35; 14:15; 15:12-14, 17), and an identifying mark of true disciples. Because of their love for one another, John's readers can be assured of their shared experience of God's love

Believe, Love and Obey Christ - 1 John 5:1-5

God's Children Believe, Love and Obey Christ. In this section, all three marks of Christian identity are pulled tightly together. Faith in Jesus the Messiah appears not only in a true confession, but in love for God and obedience to his commands

The Christ - 1 John 5:1

the Christ. In his gospel, John narrated the signs and sayings of Jesus to show that he was the Messiah (see notes on Jn. 20:31). In this letter, John affirmed this mark of divine kinship, his readers' true confession, that Jesus was the Son of God, who came in the flesh and died for the sins of the whole world (see notes on 2:2; 4:2-3, 15; 5:1, 6-8)

Loving God's Children - 1 John 5:2-3

By obeying God's commands, a person shows that they love God and love his children. This command to love God and one another is not as burdensome as a life of hate. Those who are born of God share his likeness, and find ultimate delight in doing his will, despite the sacrifices that love may require.

Overcoming the evil one - 1 John 5:4-5

See WCF 13.3; 14.3; BC 10. See notes on 2:12-14; 4:15. overcome. Overcoming the evil one is an important Johannine theme in this letter (see notes on 2:13-14; 4:4) and in the messages to the seven churches in the Revelation (see notes on Rev. 2:11, 26; 3:5, 12, 21); 12:11; 15:2; 21:7). The word, nike, has to do with victory. Jesus leads the victory procession as the one who has overcome the world (see notes on Jn. 16:33 and Rev. 5:5; 17:14)

Three Witnesses - 1 John 5:6-12

Three Witnesses to Christ: the Spirit, Water and Blood. John identifies three witnesses that support what he has written in his letter. The OT and later Jewish courts always required at least two dependable witnesses to decide a case (see notes on Deut. 17:6; 19:15). John lists the Holy Spirit, water and blood in support of his assurances to his readers

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