1 John Chapter Five

Faith Is The Victory

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In our study of 1 John chapter five, we look at the basis for our faith in Jesus Christ and how that faith allows us to overcome this world. There are many "faiths" today as it seems that everyone believes in something but we will see how it is only by faith in Jesus as the Son of God that we have the victory.

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1 John 5:1

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.

John begins by showing us that our faith is an exclusive faith in that it all comes down to Jesus being the Son of God and Savior of the world. Although this is not popular today, there is only one faith that accomplishes anything and that is Jesus. There are many that say they love God but reject His Son (Jesus) but, as we see here, that is not possible.

1 John 5:2

This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.

We show our love to God by obeying Him and He has called us to love others. Therefore, we demonstrate our love for Him by loving those people that are around us. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus answered that it was to love God and love your neighbor. That is what John is stating here as well.

1 John 5:3 & 4

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

If we love God, we will not want to disappoint Him with our words and actions. That is why we obey His commands and they are "not burdensome". God is right in everything that He says and does and so His commands are the right things to do as well. Overcoming the world speaks to the fact that we are no longer defeated and controlled by our enemy which is threefold: the world, the flesh, and the devil. This is the only time that the word "victory" occurs in the New Testament and we are told that it only comes through our faith in Jesus.

1 John 5:5

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

John repeats that it is not only believing that Jesus was a man or a prophet but believing that He is and was the Son of God. Many people believe that Jesus existed and was a good man or a prophet but that is not a saving faith. For example, Islam teaches that Jesus was a prophet but strongly denies Him as the Son of God and so Muslims (followers of Islam) have not overcome the world. In fact, as we saw in chapter four, they are controlled by the spirit of the antichrist.

1 John 5:6-8

This is the one who came by water and blood - Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

Throughout the Bible, water is a symbol of the Word of God. This passage shows us the relationship between the word, the Spirit, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Living Word (Jesus Christ) came and paid for our sins with His blood allowing us a right relationship with God. His word is applied to our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. The number three is associated with the earthly display of God's will and we see through this passage that God's will is for us to accept the sacrifice of His Son and to walk in His word through the power of the Spirit.

1 John 5:9 & 10

We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

We believe many things that people tell us today without even thinking about it. At the same time, many reject the words of God concerning His Son. God's testimony about Jesus was not with words only but with action demonstrated by His resurrection. Anyone who does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, attempts to call God a liar even as evidence was presented by that resurrection.

1 John 5:11 & 12

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

We have eternal life with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. If you want to overcome the world and live forever with God, it really is that simple. Although it is not popular and you may even be persecuted for saying so, there is no other way except through the Son of God.

1 John 5:13

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

God does not want us wondering whether we are saved and will spend eternity with Him. We can know for sure because of our faith in Jesus Christ whom God raised from the dead. There are many uncertain things in the world today but, by faith, we can be sure that we will live forever with God. Jesus won the victory over sin and death and we can claim that victory through Him.

1 John 5:14

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

The victory that we have is not just eternal life (even though that would be big enough) but it is also a victory for today. That same faith in God and His nature gives us confidence in talking with Him (prayer). We understand that God has the power and desire to take care of us as a good father takes care of his child. Therefore, we can ask for anything that is in His plan (will) for our lives and he listens. The hard part is in knowing what that will is but He has given us His Word and His Spirit to help us to see. Many Christians do not ask God for the things that He has planned for them and so they do not receive. This failure to ask is not because of a lack of faith in God but it is because of a lack of understanding of His will for them. There are others that ask for everything that their minds can dream up but they do not receive many of those things because God knows that they are not the best for them. Because those things are not what is best for that person, they are not a part of God's plan (will) for their lives.

1 John 5:15

And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him.

If we are God's children (adopted through the blood of Jesus Christ), then we know that God listens to us. He not only listens but He also answers and we know that we have what we asked because He is able and willing to give to His children.

1 John 5:16 & 17

If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

What is the sin that leads to death? We find the answer in Jesus' words: "But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin." This is the only sin that the Lord says cannot be forgiven. The reason is fairly simple, in that, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is denying its existence and power. In 1 Peter, we learned that it is the Spirit that calls and sanctifies us. Therefore, if the existence of the Spirit is not accepted, it is impossible for the sinner to come to repentance and forgiveness. Without repentance and forgiveness, there is death.

1 John 5:18 & 19

We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

God forgives our sins and if we are truly His children we are not controlled by the sinful nature. Jesus is the one who protects us and keeps us for eternity. We are His children and not children of the world which is controlled by Satan.

1 John 5:20 & 21

We know also 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 - even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

Jesus came and gave us wisdom and a counselor (the Holy Spirit) so that we may understand the things of God. This understanding of the nature of God compels us to stay away from false gods and idolatry.