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the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
1 John 5

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 1

Believeth that Jesus is the Christ ; heartily, so as to trust in him for salvation.

Him that begat-him that is begotten ; the spiritual child bears the image of God his Father. Hence the love of the Father implies the love of all his children.

Verse 2

By this we know ; obedience is the test of love towards God; and the love of God includes in itself the love of the brethren, chap 1 John 3:17 ; 1 John 4:20-21 .

Verse 3

Not grievous ; not burdensome and oppressive. Compare Matthew 11:30 .

Verse 4

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world ; a proof of the assertion just made, that God’s commands are not grievous. Nothing is opposed to the fulfilment of them but the love of the world; and this is overcome by all who are born of God.

This is the victory-our faith ; for through faith we see Jesus the Son of God as our Saviour, and with him the unseen and eternal realities of heaven, 2 Corinthians 4:18 ; 1 Peter 1:8 ; and thus we overcome the fear of man and the love of things seen and temporal.

Verse 6

By water ; in his baptism, when he was by the testimony of the Father solemnly proclaimed as the Messiah.

And blood ; in his bloody death on the cross, when he made expiation for the sins of the world, which was the great work of his earthly mission.

Not by water only , but by water and blood ; thus testifying that his work of redemption includes atonement for sin as well as spiritual cleansing-that without the shedding of his blood there could be no remission of sins, any more than there could be communion with God and the enjoyment of his love without the inward sanctification of the Holy Ghost.

That beareth witness ; not only to the Messiahship of Jesus, but also to the nature of his work as the Messiah. The apostle has in view the testimony of the Holy Ghost not only in his miraculous gifts, but also, and especially, in his inward witness in the hearts of believers. Compare verse 1 John 5:10 ; John 16:14 .

Verse 8

Agree in one ; they unite in one and the same testimony concerning the character and office of Jesus as the Messiah. The necessity and efficacy of the atonement of Christ, of faith in him, and of the purifying influences of the Holy Spirit, in order to salvation, are taught by the word, the Spirit, the ordinances, and the works of God; and without believing them, we shall never gain the victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil, or come off conquerors through him that loved us and gave himself for us.

Verse 9

Greater ; more certainly true and worthy of belief.

This ; the testimony above referred to.

Verse 10

Hath the witness in himself ; evidence of the truth of God’s testimony by the effects which the Holy Ghost produces on him in his believing it.

Made him a liar ; acts towards him as if he were one.

The record that God gave ; in the ways above mentioned. Disbelief of the testimony of God is a great and aggravated crime.

Verse 11

Given to us eternal life ; made known to us the way of life, and given it to all who take that way.

This life is in his Son ; he is the author of it, and it is obtained by faith in him.

Verse 12

That hath the Son ; as his Saviour, by believing on him.

Verse 13

And that ye may believe ; believe with more steadfastness.

Verse 15

We have the petitions ; our prayers are accepted, and will be answered in that way and time which will be for the glory of God and our own highest good. See note to chap 1 John 3:22 . Prayers offered according to the will of God are always accepted of him; and in the bestowment of those blessings which are most for his glory, for the good of the offerer and of the universe, they are in the highest and best sense answered.

Verse 16

Give him life ; by leading him to repent of his sins and believe in Christ.

A sin unto death ; one which will not be repented of nor forgiven. Matthew 12:31-32 .

Verse 17

A sin not unto death ; one that may be repented of and forgiven.

Verse 18

Sinneth not ; willfully, deliberately, perseveringly; but if he sin, he repents, has an Advocate with the Father, and will be forgiven. See note to chap 1 John 3:6-10 .

That wicked one ; the devil.

Toucheth him not ; assails him not in such a way as to overcome and destroy him. Luke 22:31-32 .

Verse 19

Lieth in wickedness ; under the influences of the wicked one.

Verse 20

May know him that is true ; the Father whom the Son has revealed to us.

And we are in him-Jesus Christ ; the literal rendering of these words is, And we are in him that is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. The meaning seems to be, that we are in the true God by being in his Son Jesus Christ; or, which comes to the same thing, that being in the Son is being in the Father. Compare John 17:21 , "that they may be one in us." As Jesus Christ is the true God, the author of eternal life, and has promised to give it to all who believe on him, all have the best reasons and strongest motives to trust in him, and to continue steadfast in their adherence to truth and duty, till faith shall be swallowed up in vision and hope in endless joy.

Verse 21

From idols ; from idolatry literal and spiritual; from worshipping or regarding supremely any created thing.

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 John 5". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/1-john-5.html. American Tract Society. 1851.
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