Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 John 5:1-12

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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

The Spirit and the water and the blood - 1 John 5:6-8

the Spirit and the water and the blood. See WCF 2.3; WLC 6, 9; WSC 6; BC 9, 34. In both the OT and the NT, important matters were resolved only with the testimony of two or three witnesses (see notes on Deut. 17:6; 19:15; Matt. 18:6; Jn. 8:17; 2 Cor. 13:1; 1 Tim. 5:9; Heb. 10:28). The first and most important witness: the Holy Spirit has confirmed the message John's readers have heard from the beginning (see notes on 2:20-27; ). The second and third witnesses operate together in Christ: blood and water signify his human body and death, as well as, his bodily resurrection (see notes on Jn. 19:34; 20:20, 25-27). Water and the Spirit are also referenced by Jesus as he spoke to Nicodemus (see notes on Jn. 3:5-8). There John affirms the necessity of both physical and spiritual birth to enter the kingdom of God. Here, the three witnesses agree about the identity of Jesus the Messiah as the God-man, fully human and fully divine.

Water and blood - 1 John 5:6

water and blood. See BC 34. See note on 4:13. In Greek mythology, the gods of Olympus did not have blood, but ichor, a watery substance. It is likely that those who left John's congregation recognized Christ's deity, but not his humanity. This reference to water and blood shows Jesus Christ was both God and man. In his Gospel, John uses the words by water three times in reference to John the Baptist (see notes on Jn. 1:26, 31, 33). Therefore, it is possible John is referencing Jesus' baptism with water at the beginning of his ministry, and the end of his earthly ministry with blood that references his crucifixion

Testimony of God - 1 John 5:9

testimony of God. See WCF 1.4. Because of the Spirit's part in the three witnesses, John identifies the source of this testimony as God. John's argument is from the lesser to the greater. If we accept human testimony, how much more should we accept God's testimony.

1 John 5:10-12

See WCF 14.2; WLC 32; BC 21; HC 61

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