Introduction: Recap last week - the testimony is this that God has given us eternal life. John presents 3 witnesses the water, the blood, the Holy Spirit. They agree with each other.
These things written to you - to know Eternal Life!!
13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. 16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death. 18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 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. This is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.
Trans Sentence: Everything the apostle John said in this letter points to one thing Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life.
But as a man Jesus has become the Mediator between God and man. A mediator is: a person who attempts to make people involved in a conflict come to an agreement; a go-between:
5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
Expand: Explain the conflict and how Jesus helps...
Because we have this mediator we can have confidence that if we ask for something we will get it - at least if it is according to His will. But what is this confidence? Its the same confidence we have that John talked about back in chapter 2 verse 28:
28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.
This verse speaks of shrinking away when He comes. Shrinking away in fear and shame. If we would shrink away in fear and shame then we probably won’t be able to stand boldly before Him and request anything even though He isn’t standing right in front of us.
The great thing is that we can have confidence in knowing that He hears us. According to verse 15 we can be assured that He hears the request and we will have it. This takes faith. If we don’t have faith, believing that we will get what we ask for we will never see what He has for us.
13 “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Does this verse mean that Jesus will do anything or give us anything we want? In other words can we Name it and Claim it? For those of you who don’t know what Name it and claim it is I got this from the gotquestions.org website:
The roots of the Word of Faith movement and the name it and claim it message have more in common with new age metaphysics than with biblical Christianity. However, instead of us creating our reality with our thoughts, as new age proponents advise, name it and claim it teachers tell us that we can use the “power of faith” to create our own reality or get what we want. In essence, faith is redefined from “a trust in a holy and sovereign God despite our circumstances” to “a way of controlling God to give us what we want.” Faith becomes a force whereby we can get what we want rather than an abiding trust in God even during times of trials and suffering.
So, just what is it that we should be doing when we ask for something? Well, we need to ask according to His will. John told us back in chapter three verse 22 :
22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
The keeping of His commandments is a big part of doing God’s will. If we aren’t keeping His commandments we won’t be walking in His will. We are to love God and love others. If we are praying for stuff for ourselves to just gratify our greed we will simply be trying to use Jesus to get what we want. However, if we are acting according to God’s will we will pray for others and their needs more than for ourselves.
And verse 16 tells us about seeing our brother committing sin we should pray for him. The sin which he is talking about is called a sin not leading to death or a sin leading to death. The point that John is trying to make is that sometimes when we sin it might bring immediate punishment. In other words the sinner will die immediately. Think of the story of Ananias and Sapphira in the book of Acts (Acts 5:1–11). They lied to the Holy Spirit and immediately dropped dead.
Now don’t take this wrong - all sin leads to death. All sin that is not forgiven by Jesus through the power of His blood brings punishment. We will be judged for what we do, however, a sin not leading to death is one that immediate punishment is not enacted by God. It may be something we do over and over or maybe just once. But immediate punishment does not follow and we have the opportunity to seek forgiveness.
On the other hand there is a sin leading to death. This sin brings immediate punishment by God resulting in death. One possibility of this would be someone responsible for a mass shooting. (Mall cop analogy) The person is killed by the police ending the conflict. This sin lead to death. The shooter never had an opportunity to seek forgiveness for the sin or accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Punishment - swift and sudden - just like Ananias and Sapphira.
Now the point that ties together the idea of Jesus hearing our prayers and a sin not leading to death is for us to realize the good we can do through intercessory prayer. In other words, if we follow 1 John 5:16:
16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.
Explain using the mall cop analogy.
then we will intercede for our brother that he might be forgiven of the sin not leading to death. When we do this we know that God will hear us and we can be confident that the sin will be forgiven and we can help our brother come back into a right relationship with God before death takes him.
On the other hand John isn’t saying that we should pray for sins which lead to death. If the death is immediate it would be to late anyway. This is a great way for us to watch over our brothers and sisters in Christ, through intercessory prayer. This is also where James 5:15 comes into play:
15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.
In other words illness is often associated to sin. A sin not leading to death. The illness is considered discipline from the Lord. So when we offer a prayer in faith the illness is removed, and the sins are forgiven.
The crazy thing about all of this is that No one born of God sins. This refers back to chapter 3 verse 9:
9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
It’s not that we can’t sin but that we don’t practice sin. We shouldn't be committing the same sin over and over. The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us should break the power of sin in our lives. The breaking of the power of sin in us allows us to live for God through the power of the Holy Spirit instead of walking in the ways of the evil one.
In fact verse 18 says: 1 Jn 5:18
18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.
We are the ones born of God. Because we are born of God we aren’t supposed to practice sin; and Jesus in the one born of God who keeps us. In other words Jesus keeps the us, the children of God, and the evil one does not touch us. We are no longer slaves to the evil one or to sin and death. Jesus has us in the palm of His hand, John 17:12 says:
12 “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
He guarded them and not one perished except the son of Perdition - Judas Iscariot. He guards us now just as He did those who were with Him.
All of this points to the fact that we are of God. We are His children and are not of this world but of the kingdom of God. But, we still have to live in this world which is still being held captive by the evil one. But take heart He has overcome the world and we have the victory through Christ Jesus.
And then we come to the point of the whole letter.
20 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. This is the true God and eternal life.
John has shown that Jesus is the Son of God, He came to dwell among us and to show us the Father. He has given us understanding by giving us the Holy Spirit so that we may know Him who is true. The idea of Him being true stands against all of the other gods that mankind has created. All of the idols that are available to worship and all of the demons who serve the evil one in this world. But the Holy Spirit testifies that Him who is true is Christ Jesus.
The greatest thing of all is that we are in Him who is true. We are in Christ Jesus if we believe in Him and keep His commandments. So, abide in Him who is true.
This is Christ Jesus. This is eternal life. This is the True God.
Exit: This brings us to the end of John’s first epistle to the churches. He begins by telling us of Jesus who is the incarnate Word of God and how He was manifested, or made known to the world - especially all those who believe. He then tells us that God is Light. Since He is light then we too are light if we abide in Him. He also says that He will forgive us of our sins when we sin and ask Him for forgiveness. Then John reminds us the Christ is our Advocate, He will stand with us at the judgment and pronounce us righteous in Him.
And then John reminds us that the world is the home of the evil one and we are not to love the world or anything in it. We are to love Him and Him alone. Then we receive the promise of eternal life. He also reminds us that if we practice righteousness then we are born of Him. Then we come to chapter 3 where John reminds us that the Children of God love one another; but he also tells us how to differentiate the Children of God from the Children of the evil one. John also tells us how to love one another - love one another with words and actions not just words.
With chapter 4 comes the directive to test the spirits, make sure you know from whom the information you receive is from a child of God and not from an anti-christ. The best verse in this chapter tells us that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. This can provide faith, courage and strength when you are running low on these things. And then God is Love. John tells us all about how we can know the one True God and ensure that we are walking with Him and abiding in Him.
And then chapter 5 tells us how to overcome the world. Not that we overcome the world but that He the One True God has overcome the world. He tells us how to know that we too overcome the world in Him by keeping His commandments and believing in Him through faith. He also tells us how the testimony of God testifies that we have eternal life in Him. John wraps up the letter with instructions on prayer to intercede for our brothers when we see one of them sin. Sins that don’t lead to death and sins that do lead to death.
Best of all He reminds us that Jesus Christ is the one true God and that those who believe are in Him and have eternal life.
21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.
Abide in the Lord Jesus Christ, Love the Lord God and love others.
A Psalm of David. 1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? 2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. 3 Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident. 4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple. 5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. 6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. 7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me. 8 When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.” 9 Do not hide Your face from me, Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation! 10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, But the Lord will take me up. 11 Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a level path Because of my foes. 12 Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries, For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. 13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.