Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 John 5:10-21

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A liar - 1 John 5:10

in himself… a liar. John provides yet another group of three witnesses: the Father, the Spirit and the believer. At the baptism of Jesus, the Spirit's descent on Jesus and the Father's voice both show that Jesus is the Son of God. The two testimonies always work together (see notes on Mk. 1:1; 15:39; Jn. 20:31). When a person believes that Jesus is the Messiah, they not only receive this message, they also receive the anointing of the Spirit (see notes on 1 Jn 2:20-27). To refuse these two sets of three witnesses, who attest that Jesus is the Messiah is to call God a liar (see note on 1:10)

Eternal life in his Son - 1 John 5:11

eternal life… in his Son. God's testimony about Jesus includes the benefits of his reign as Messiah to his people, namely eternal life. Risen from among the dead, Jesus is both alive and the life-giver (see note on Gal. 2:20). Eternal life is not the mere extension of this life, rather, it is life as the Messiah secures, cultivates and shares it

Does not have the Son - 1 John 5:12

does not have the Son. See WCF 10.3. Based on John's Gospel, to have the Son means to abide or remain in Christ (see notes on Jn. 6:56; 14:23; 15:4-7). The Father has eternal life in himself, and he gives it to those who believe in Jesus. God's Son, gives God's Spirit to those who believe God's testimony about the Son. Those who have the Son know the Father and the Spirit, but those who do not have the Son do not know God.

Assurances of Eternal Life - 1 John 5:13-21

The Witness' Concluding Assurances of Eternal Life. John summarizes the argument of his sermonic letter, giving some final assurances and instruction. First, vv. 13-15 articulate John's overall purpose for writing. Second, vv. 16-17 give instructions about how to pray for those around them, whose sins do not lead to death. Third, vv. 18-20 reassure John's readers that they are under the authority of Jesus, not the power of the evil one. Verse 21 is a final word, a strong exhortation against idolatry, a sin that leads to death.

1 John 5:13-15

See WCF 21.3-4; WLC 180, 184, 186; WSC 98-99; BC 12; HC 117.

So that you will know - 1 John 5:13

so that you will know. See WCF 18.1, 3; WLC 80; 172; WSC 36. Repeatedly, John has referenced this purpose for writing—to assure his readers that they know God. Often, he employs verbs for knowing in this short letter: oida (2:11, 20-21, 29; 3:2, 5, 14-15; 5:13, 15, 18-20) and ginōskō (2:3-5, 13-14, 18, 29; 3:1, 6, 16, 19-21, 24; 4:2, 6-8, 13, 16: 5:2, 20). Uniquely among the evangelists, John says Christ's followers will not only possess eternal life in the future, they also experience it now, because they already enjoy fellowship with God (see notes on 1:3-4; Jn. 17:3). This assurance of true knowledge arises from a true confession of Jesus as the Messiah, obeying him and loving your brothers and sisters in your words and deeds.

Whatever we ask - 1 John 5:14-15

ask anything… whatever we ask. See notes on Jn 14:12-14. Prayer is central activity of fellowship with God, as exemplified in the life of Jesus. As he demonstrated, most poignantly in the Garden of Gethsemane (see notes on Lk 22:40-44), prayer is an act of honest communication with God that expresses our desires and submits them to God's will.

1 John 5:16-18

See CD 5.IV

Sin that does not result in death - 1 John 5:16-17

sin that does not result in death. See WCF 21.4; WLC 150, 183; WSC 83. John moves from his general statements on prayer (vv. 14-15) to how his readers should pray for a brother or sister who is involved in sinful practices. Sin that does not result in death refers to sins that are forgiven because of Jesus'sacrifice (see notes on 1:9; 2:1-2). Sins that lead away from eternal life to spiritual death include the sins of those who left the community, because they denied Jesus' incarnation and atoning death. These sins may also include the absence of the other marks of Christian identity, obedience to Christ's commands, especially the command to love one another in word and deed. Those who left John's congregation placed themselves outside of the realm of forgiveness, because they denied the gospel. John reassures his readers that if they confess their sins to Christ, they will be forgiven (see note on 1:9).

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