1 John 5
John likes to break things down in very simplistic terms. Which may be one of the reasons I like him so well. I think sometimes we make this Christian life so hard because we try so hard to overthink all of it. I have told you before I am a very simple minded woman. Because of that, I truly need to break it down and not overthink it.
“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?” 1 John 5:1-5
John is telling us the basics of our christianity is this, first believe that Jesus is the Christ and then you can be God’s child. We already learned that God loved us first and therefore if we are God’s children we can naturally love Him back and this makes it easier to also love His children. When we feel love for God’s children this is how we will know, and when you love others through the love that God has for us, this will not be a burden. God’s children will just not be that hard to love when we are loving them through the love God has for us. And through all that love our faith will grow and we will become overcomers of this world because of our belief in Jesus.
“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.” 1 John 5:6
When I read commentary on this verse, it says there are two different thoughts on this passage about water. It states that John could be referring to Jesus being born of water as in born of a woman and there is water when He was born therefore, it is referring to his humanity. But it could also be referring to his baptismal. I must say that when I first read it, before I went to commentary, my first thought was baptismal. But what I can say is that John was saying these 3 things testify to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, and that could be said of his birth and his baptism. So whatever train of thought your mind takes you it is still true. Jesus was born of a woman, Jesus was baptized and those around heard God speak. Jesus did pour out His blood by dying for us on the cross and then there is the Spirit that lives in us because of what Jesus did for us. So whether the water refers to his birth or his baptism they agree with the other two, his blood and the Spirit, and they testify to us who Jesus is.
“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.” 1 John 5:7-9
Through this testimony of Jesus, the three that John mentions here, we can know that these are the ways that God testifies to us of the eternal life that we receive.
“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.” 1 John 5:11-12
John wrote all of these things to show us the testimony that we have in Jesus and to show us the simplicity of it all. If we believe in Jesus, then we have eternal life through Him and we can be assured of that.
Also because we know Jesus we have the ear of the Father when we pray.
“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 request that we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15
If we come to God with a request and it lines up with His promises in His word and His will, we can know that God will answer. But I also like that line that says “and if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask”. I am sure that there have been plenty of things that I have asked of God that were not necessarily a promise from His word. But the key here is to ask according to His will. I always ask if I am not sure what His will is on a matter that His will would override my request. When I am praying about a person or a situation or circumstance, sure many times I have an idea how I would like for something to work out. However, there is a prayer that will never fail. “Thy will be done!” So many times, I lay my requests down and I may be asking for something, but I always say to Him, “Lord, if this is not the way this thing should go, change my heart and thy will be done on this matter.” We can always know that He hears us. But we also know that His thoughts and His ways are not our own. I can also testify that the times that things didn’t work out the way I thought they should, when I lay my requests down to Him and ask for His will to override mine, that it usually will blow me away at the better of how it works out.
John also goes on in this passage to address some of the things he has been addressing throughout this book and that is that God’s children will not live in a lifestyle of sin. We are to correct our brothers in love. There is sin in the world, and all around us, but we can know that we are children on God, no matter what is going on in the world.
“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.” 1 John 5:20
Jesus came to give us an understanding of who God is, and through Jesus we know God and we know eternal life.
John leaves us with a simple statement.
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21
Idols can come in many shapes form or fashions. Some are objects and some are careers or other people or sometimes even ourselves. John is telling us in a very simple statement keep your mind focused on God and on His Son and the Spirit who lives inside of you.