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The Nature and Knowledge of Faith

A sermon on 1 John 5:1-12 preached at Christ the King Church on 6/11/06

Prayer:  Father, bless the reading and preaching of your Word.  And assist us now by your Spirit to see Jesus and to acknowledge Him as both Lord and Christ, and to live lives worthy of that name.  We pray this in His name. 

 

Introduction:  “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”  I added that verse to the Scripture reading this morning because it is both the perfect summary of the purpose of this whole Epistle, and also because it is the perfect summary of the points addressed in 5:1-12, our text for today.  What I mean is this.  The first part of v.13 (“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God…”) with its talk of faith and with its emphasis on the object of faith, namely Jesus, reflects well the themes of vv.1-5.  And the second part of v.13 (“that you may know that you have eternal life”) encompasses the two themes of vv.6-12--assurance and life. 

So while I offer you no intriguing or entertaining introduction this morning, I do offer you, nevertheless, an adventure to come.  With v.13 as our compass we will guide our way through vv.1-12, exploring first at the nature of faith (in vv.1-5) and then the knowledge of faith (in vv.6-12).  The nature of faith and the knowledge of faith:  Those are the two topics we will adventure after today.

The Nature of Faith

 

So first, what is the nature of true Christian faith?  Well, let’s see with the Word of God has to say.  Open your Bibles again to 1 John 5, and read along with me, starting in v.1.  “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?” 

The nature of faith, according to these verses, involves three things.  John likes the word, ‘things,’ so I’ll stick with it.  What are the three ‘things’ of faith?  Well, first we have the object of faith, then the author of faith, and finally the effects of faith—(object/author/effects). 

On Monday I visited Jon Dennis, who is renowned for being both Geoff’s brother and a pastor at Holy Trinity Church, our sister church in Chicago.  Jon took me across the street from his office to the cafeteria of the University of Chicago Business School. 

Inside this sleek silver edifice of higher education, as we were waiting to buy some coffee, Jon (surely with a wink in his eye) asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up.  I responded with a wink of my own, saying, “When I grow up, I want to graduate from the University of Chicago Business School and then make lots of money.”  Now, the cafeteria cashier, overhearing this remark, gave a shy but sure smile.  That same smile surfaced again as Jon paid for our drinks with his church credit card, and as she thus discovered we were pastors, not aspiring businessmen.

This woman’s name was Porsche.  She spelled it, so her nametag displayed, with an “A” at the end, rather than with the “E” of the luxury sports car.  “Porsche, do you go to church?”  Jon asked, making the most of the opportunity.  “No,” she said, “But I am a believer, and [pointing to her heart, with depth of sincerity] what I believe is in here.” 

Now, Porsche’s name may be novel, but sadly her perspective on faith is not.  Most people have ‘faith.’  Some might say, “I have a strong faith,” and go on to describe their spirituality.  Others might say, “I have faith, but not as much as I would like.”  You see, to most souls in our society ‘faith’ is an abstract idea, usually based on some kind of religious experience that provided for an individual some meaning or authenticity to life.[1]

But, I want you to know this morning that this is not how the Bible talks about ‘faith.’  No, the apostle John’s definition is so different.  Look at the first part of v.1.  And notice that it does not read, “Everyone who believes [in whatever or whoever] has been born of God,” rather it reads, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.”  Then look at v.5.  There we read, “Who is it that overcomes the world except [or only] the one who believes [believes what?  Believes] that Jesus is the Son of God?”

You see, to John, as it is to all the Bible writers, faith is not some abstract and internal idea (purely internal idea).  No.  To him, it is “not the subjective experience of believing” that matters most in the matters of faith, rather it is the object, the object of our faith.[2] 

“What is the object of your faith?”  That’s the question raised here.  Is Jesus and Jesus alone the object of your faith?  Do you believe that He is the Christ (the promised Messiah)?  And do you believe He is the Son of God?

For you see, if your faith does not have an object and if that object (that entity, or in this case, that person) is not Jesus, as He is identified in Scripture, then whatever you may call yourself, you ought not to take upon the name ‘Christian,’ for a Christian, first and foremost, has faith in Christ, he or she believes that Jesus is “God’s one and only Son and that He was anointed by God’s Spirit to preach the gospel, heal the sick, raise the dead, die on the cross for sin, and rise from the dead to become the Savior”[3]- the Savior of all who trust in Him.

What is the nature of true Christian faith?  True Christian faith has Christ as the object of faith.  That’s the first ‘thing.’  The second ‘thing’ involves the author of our faith, who, according to our text, is God.  If you sense a theme that we are not the center of attention this morning, your sense is right.  Look again at v.1.  “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.” 

Now from this verse the question naturally arises:  What comes first:  the act of believing or the event of being born of God?  Well to me, the answer is as simple as asking, “What comes first, the birth of a baby or a baby’s first word?”  Birth comes before belief! 

Now, tell me, preacher, how is this so?  Well, it is subtle but sure here in our text.  The New Testament was originally written in Greek.  And so, in the Greek the word “believes” or more literally “the one believing” is in the present tense, which indicates a present, continuing activity.  The word “born” or as our English translation does a nice job with “has been born” is in what is called the perfect tense. 

The perfect tense indicates a past event with continuing consequences.  So, what does this little lesson in Greek grammar mean?  It means this:  Our present, continued belief is a result of a past event, our rebirth, our being born of God.”  Think of it this way:  “It is God who takes the initiative in the new birth, or the work of salvation, faith being both its gift and the first active sign of the new life.”[4] 

When my sister was in college, she invited me (at that time a recent convert to Christianity) to visit her, telling me her roommate had some questions about the Christian faith.  When I arrived, I basically gave a little sermon on the third chapter of John’s Gospel, which contains that discussion between Jesus and Nicodemus, where Jesus instructed this old, knowledgeable, religious leader that no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born again or born from above (or as our passage puts it, “born of God”). 

Now what happened was quite unexpected, at least to me.  This humble homily I gave was directed directly at Anne, my sister’s roommate.  To be honest (as older brothers often do), I barely acknowledged my sister’s presence.  Yet, what happened?  Well, it was God’s good pleasure to use my talk to Anne to bred life into my sister.  For you see in time it was Julie (the same Julie here today) who responded in faith to God’s work within. 

Now that illustration is not an anomaly.  It wasn’t a glitch in grace.  No, at a basic level, the way she came to Christ is the way everyone comes to Christ.  The scenario is this:  Someone shares the gospel, and God (if He so chooses) opens the heart to believe.

Do you recall what Paul wrote in the second chapter of Ephesians?  Didn’t he teach that everyone, all human beings, are “dead in [our] trespasses and sins” (2:1) and thus “by nature children of wrath” (2:3)?  But, didn’t he also teach in vv.4-8 (speaking of Christians), “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ….  8 For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God….” God is the gift giver!  God is the author of our faith!  He births in us belief, and thus to Him be all the glory!

The nature of authentic faith is threefold.  We have looked at the object of faith and the author of faith-- Jesus being the object, God (God the Father) being the author.  We come now to that final aspect, the effects-the special effects of faith. 

I think we could make a lot of self-professed Christians happy (happy, in a superficial sense) if we affirmed only the first part of v.1, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.”  If we simply stopped there, I think nearly every churchgoer would smile, smile with confidence of conscience, for a faith in Jesus (no strings attached) sounds nice.  It sounds nice and easy.  Ask me just one question:  Do you believe in Jesus?  “Sure, I do.”  But stop there.  No further questions, please.  Don’t ask me about my life, about the way I live.  Don’t ask me “Are you loving both God and neighbor?”  And please, whatever you do, please don’t ask me about obedience.  Don’t you dare raise that question, “Are you keeping the commandments of God?”    

American Christianity is a thousand miles wide and an inch deep because such questions are left unasked (and thus unanswered).  Well, thankfully, the apostle John’s message is more than a one-moment confession of faith without a moment-by-moment, daily attestation of love and obedience.  I think if he was around today he may not have the biggest church in town, but he would have the best.  Look at what he says in v.2!  Here’s a decent summary of all that is stuffed between the first part of v.1 and the last part of v.5.  He fills in this frame of faith with love and obedience.[5]   “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.”       

You see love and obedience are not optional extras.  They are not the deluxe addition of faith.  No, they are the necessary effects of faith.  Earlier (in 4:10-11) the point was made that one cannot say, “I love God” and yet hate his brother. 

Here the point follows that same logic.  One cannot say, “I love God,” yet break God’s rules.[6]  “Love divorced from obedience to the commands of God is not love.”[7]

Tina Turner once sang (these poetically profound words), “What’s love got to do with it, got to do with it, what’s love but a second hand emotion.”  Well, in the Bible love is certainly not a second-hand emotion, but neither is it (as we are so often used to today) a mushy, sentimental emotional experience, a feeling that is empty of moral content.[8]  No, in Scripture love is always defined with its activity, especially the activity of obedience, obedience to what God has revealed.      

So let me make this plain as possible (and likely as offensive as is necessary).  If you say you love God, but you never lift a finger to help others, especially those in need within the church, you are a liar, and your faith is a farce.  If you say you love God but your sexual ethics are no different than the world, you are a liar, and your faith is a farce.  If you say you love God, but you care more about money or possessions or status, you are a liar, and your faith is a farce.  I can go on, but I think you get the point.  In James 2:18, James says, “Show me your faith”- show me your faith through good works.  Here in 1 John 5, John likewise says, “Show me your faith”- show it through love and obedience.

Now, I think we can agree that that is what is taught here.  But isn’t such a life of love and obedience impossible?  Well, look at v.3.  “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.  And his commandments are not burdensome.” 

Objection!  They sure are burdensome!  Experience has taught me that keeping all the commandments always is too heavy a load for me to bear!  Objection sustained.  Yes, there is a sense in which the commands of God are too weighty for our weak souls, and that is in the sense of keeping them perfectly and keeping them for the purpose of earning salvation. 

The eighty-second question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism has this in mind.  Question:  Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?  Answer:  No mere man since the fall is able in this life perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed.  And that’s right.  Scripture teaches that we cannot perfectly keep them, and thus we cannot use our obedience as the means of obtaining right standing before God.

But that aspect of the commandments is not what John is addressing.  The idea here is not that Christians keep the commands perfectly, but rather characteristically.[9]  We keep the commands not perfectly, but characteristically. 

This is the glory of living under the New Covenant!  If God has birthed you, you should and will have a love for God, a love that is as natural and as sincere as that which an infant has for his mother.  And such an inner love prompts a desire for obedience.  Here’s how James Boice talks about it.  “The life of God within makes obedience to the commands possible, and the love the Christian has for God and for other Christians makes this obedience desirable.”[10] 

So, to the true believer, God’s commandments are not burdensome!  And why are they not burdensome?  Well, John gives the reason (plain and simple) in vv.4-5.  They are not burdensome “for [or because] 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?”  So, why are they not burdensome, too heavy for us to carry?  Well, because through faith we aren’t carrying them alone!

Do you know what the Greek word for “victory” is?  I think you’ll get a kick out of this.  It is the word, ni,kh (knee/kay, poorly pronounced Nike- yes, as in the shoe company).  And perhaps it would do us some good to run out today and buy a pair of these shoes to remind us that we can do it, not just do it (as if it is in our own power to walk as we should), but do it through God’s past victory (Christ crucified) and His present power (Christ within us). 

Paul, as usual, sums up this concept perfectly, and I’ll end this section with his words.  In Philippians 4:13, he writes, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”  “I can do everything [I can love and I can obey] through Him [and only through Him] who gives me strength.”                  

 

 

The Knowledge of Faith

So, that’s the nature of faith.  True faith has Christ as its object, God as its author, and Spirit-empowered love and obedience as its effects.  Clear enough?  That’s what we find taught in vv.1-5.  So, what do we find in vv.6-12?  We find what I have deemed, “the knowledge of faith.”

“Are you saved?”  That’s a question that is often thrown around today, both inside and outside of the church.  And if the answer to this said question is, “I’m not sure,” then typically the evangelist will go on to say, “Well, today is your lucky day, for you can be sure.  You can know right now that you are right with God, that you are indeed saved!”

I don’t want to be overly harsh, but there’s something slightly repulsive about this technique.  But to be fair I think it is the technique more than the question itself. 

I think the technique strikes me as being too canned, for when one speaks of the gospel (and of salvation and damnation), one ought never resemble a door-to-door salesman.  But my idiosyncrasies aside … that very question (“Are you saved?”) is, in fact, quite close to the question raised here.    

How do we know if we have eternal life?  I’ll phrase it this way.  Can you know if you have eternal life?  Well, yes you can!  We can know for sure that we have eternal life if we have accepted through faith (the kind of faith we just talked about) the testimony of God concerning Jesus.  Testimony is the key word here.  It is repeat eight times and all but one in reference to God.    

In general, we recognize the testimony of other human beings to be reliable.  This is not only true in a court of law, but also in many other ways--signing a contract, writing a check, paying a bill, buying a plane ticket.[11]  So, look at what v.9 says.  “If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater….” The point is this:  If we believe human testimony, how much more should we trust divine testimony. 

Which is what?  Well, look at vv.6-8.  Here’s God’s witness to His Son:  “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. 

For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.”  Alright!  What does all that mean, especially what does “the water and the blood” signify? 

Well, to this perplexity, I will give you six proposals, one of which is sure to be right.  The first view I came about is that the water and blood signifies Scripture.  I find this perspective so unlikely I will say nothing about it, either for it or against it, other than saying, “It is wrong, trust me.”  The second view is that the water and blood foreshadows the two great sacraments of the church, the water of baptism and the blood (or wine) of the Eucharist.  This was the view of the great Martin Luther.  But it too is wrong.  It is wrong or unlikely true (that’s a nicer way of putting it) because there is no other sacramental theology in this Epistle, that is, John doesn’t talk at all about the sacraments.  So, such a reading doesn’t best fit the context. 

The other great Reformer, John Calvin, gives a third proposal.  Calvin sees the water and blood to symbolize the ancient rites of the law, the water representing ritual cleansing and the blood, animal sacrifices.  This is a very interesting interpretation, and I wouldn’t mind exploring a bit more.  For now, I think it is wrong because the motif of promise/fulfillment (which Calvin is suggesting) is also not a theme in this Epistle. 

A fourth view says the water and blood have to do with Jesus’ birth, saying in essence that Jesus was truly born in the flesh.  Children and squeamish adults close your ears.  And so like any birth, present flowing from his mother, was real water and real blood.  This view certainly fits with John’s emphasis on the incarnation, but it doesn’t make sense of the emphasis John lays on the blood, which I will get to in just a minute.  You see how he says, “not by the water only but by the water and the blood.”  A fifth view comes notably from Augustine; and it is that the blood and water speak of the blood and water that came from Jesus’ side at His death when He was pierced.  Now, with that opinion I think we are getting closer to the truth.

The sixth view, and this is the majority opinion and my opinion, is that the blood and water symbolize two events in Jesus incarnational ministry that summarize the whole of His ministry.  The water is representative of His baptism in the Jordan, where the Spirit descended upon Him as a dove, and the Father testified, “This is my beloved Son” (1:34).  The blood represents the crucifixion, where according to John’s Gospel Jesus obtained all power and authority through His glorification at Golgotha.[12]  So, the baptism (the water) and the cross (the blood) embody the person and work of Jesus.

 

Now, this is important because I think what is happening here is that John is intentionally attacking heresy.  You see, there was a heresy in the early church that taught that Jesus became the divine Son of God at His baptism, and not before.  And then, just before He died, that divine Son left the body of the one who died.  So, here, by stressing that it was the same divine Jesus who was baptized in the flesh and died in the flesh (both the water and the blood), John is likely combating this heresy or something similar.  Jesus was fully and thoroughly the eternal Son of God at His baptism, and He was fully and thoroughly the eternal Son of God at His death!

Now, to place an emphatic explanation point on this, John next calls to the witness stand the Holy Spirit!  He places, we might say, God in the dock.  Look at the middle of v.6:  “And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.  For there are three that testify:  the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.”  John was an eyewitness possibly to Jesus’ baptism and certainly to His death, and yet he calls upon the Spirit to take the stand, which is a safe move, since the Holy Spirit is God and as Hebrews 6:18 says, “It is impossible for God to lie.” 

We Americans, to some extent, intrinsically mistrust all witnesses.  That is why we have witnesses take an oath.  “Do you swear to tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”  Well, there is no need for God the Spirit to swear by Himself.  We should know and trust that He will tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 

The Choices and the Consequences

Now, it is because God Himself has taken the stand, has been the ultimate witness to Jesus, that the sakes are so high!  That’s why the choice between belief and denial has such dramatically different consequences.  Look at vv.10-12.  “Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself.”  There is an internal testimony that coincides with this external testimony.  “Whoever does not believe God [dismisses His testimony] has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.  And this is the testimony: that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”  Let me put it as plain as possible (v.12), “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

 

What’s at stake here?  Is all this fuss about Jesus really necessary?  Can’t I just have my personal Jesus and you have your personal Jesus?  Well, God’s Word states quite emphatically that if you don’t accept God’s testimony about Jesus (His testimony, not the one you made up in your head) then you not only make Him out to be “a liar,” but you also (as v.12 says) do “not have life.”  You do not have life—both now and forevermore.  My friends, right thinking about Jesus, right belief is a matter of life and death.

How do we know if we are of the faith, if we are truly Christians?  We know we are saved (saved from our sin and saved from the wrath to come) if our faith acknowledges and accepts the testimony of God through the Spirit concerning Jesus. 

Conclusion:  The nature of faith and the knowledge of faith.  Those are the two topics we have explored today.  Next week (and do come back), we will continue and conclude our exploration of First John, as we adventure into the topics of prayer, protection, and power.  Let’s us pray. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer:  Lord, we thank you this day for the richness of your Word and we thank you for both the inward and outward testimony of the Holy Spirit, a testimony that gives us confidence to cry out to you, “Abba Father.”  Father, do remind us to live out the faith, to love others, and to love you through obedience to your commandments.  We ask this in Jesus’ name.

 

Benediction:  Jesus said, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:40).  May the Lord help us to look with faith upon the Son, to accept His testimony and the gift of eternal life.  Amen.

At the end of 1994, the World Council of Churches held a highly controversial conference.  It called for a “Second Reformation,” a reformation that would not only give the church a much need facelift, but also radically remove what were once deemed vital organs.  Its purpose was to re-image God.  God’s testimony through the Spirit about Jesus was removed, and replaced by the goddess Sophia, the female psyche that takes “a historic, particularistic form, but appears in many ways and in many spiritual traditions.”[13]

So bold were these re-imagers of God that they not only neglected Jesus and the blood (the cross), but instead they attacked it.  Delores Williams, one of the speakers, said this, “I don’t think we need a theory of atonement at all.  I don’t think we need folks handing on crosses and blood dripping and weird stuff….  We just need to listen to the god within.” 

Now, while this should strike you as deeply heretical, it should also strike you as highly ironic.  This group wanted nothing to do with that bloody Jesus, that man who hung upon a cross.  No, they claimed to worship the goddess within, to worship Sophia, which the Greek word for wisdom.  What is ironic is this.  What did Paul have to say about wisdom?  Did he write in the first chapter of 1 Corinthians, “We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Greeks, but to those who are being called … Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God?” (1:23-24).  The cross is foolish to unbelievers, but to believers, to those who have the marks of authentic faith, the cross is the very wisdom of God on display, the very show of Sophia

 

Now, at first this all seem so eccentric and so far removed, until one realized that this very event was attended by over 2,000 people, and that it was underwritten by five Protestant ‘evangelical’ (or once evangelical) denominations.[14]   

   

As one writer attests, “The barbarians are not simply at the gate; they have entered the church narthex.”[15]  “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.”  We must take those words to heart. 

 

What is the true church?  What are the marks of a true church?  True faith! 

    

   

 

·       Believe and receive eternal life

o   Jesus gives eternal life (see Jackman, 154-155)

o   “But what is at stake here?  Is it merely orthodox belief in Jesus? ….  The testimony of the Father has to do with life, eternal life.  Since life comes to us through the death of the Son, to deny “the blood,” to deny an incarnation that embraces the cross, to deny the salvific, substitutionary work of Jesus on Calvary, puts our own salvation in jeopardy” (Burge, 205)

§   Creeds and Counsels (Burge, 209)

·       Disbelieve and receive no life

o   If you don’t receive or accept the outward testimony you make God “a liar” (v.10b)

o   If you don’t receive or accept the testimony you don’t have “life” (v.12)- get a life!

o   Eternal life only in Christ? (see Barton, 114 and chart on 113)

o   “Though people may in other parts of their lives be like angels, their sanctity is diabolical as long as they reject Christ” (Calvin, 96)

o   “Human righteousness does not produce the remission of sins.  It is Christ alone who reconciles the Father to us, as he has once for all pacified God by the sacrifices of the cross” (Calvin, 97)

     

Illustration:  “When a person asks, ‘Are you married?’ the answer may be ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ but can hardly be ‘I’m not sure’ (Jackman, 155)

 

“John is wrestling with a heresy that demoted the cross.  John insists that the testimony of the “water and the blood” upholds a full incarnation” (202)/Thus, John is saying that Spirit-inspired teaching will not dislodge the historic events of salvation witnessed at the cross” (Burge, 204)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two witnesses in Jewish law (Deut 17:6; 19:15); Here we have a triple testimony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 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.  7 For there are three that testify:  8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.  9 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.  10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.  11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 

6 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.  7 For there are three that testify:  8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.  9 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.  10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.  11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 

 

5:1 Pa/j o` pisteu,wn o[ti VIhsou/j evstin o` Cristo.j( evk tou/ qeou/ gege,nnhtai( kai. pa/j o` avgapw/n to.n gennh,santa avgapa/| Îkai.Ð to.n gegennhme,non evx auvtou/Å 2 evn tou,tw| ginw,skomen o[ti avgapw/men ta. te,kna tou/ qeou/( o[tan to.n qeo.n avgapw/men kai. ta.j evntola.j auvtou/ poiw/menÅ 3 au[th ga,r evstin h` avga,ph tou/ qeou/( i[na ta.j evntola.j auvtou/ thrw/men( kai. ai` evntolai. auvtou/ barei/ai ouvk eivsi,nÅ 4 o[ti pa/n to. gegennhme,non evk tou/ qeou/ nika/| to.n ko,smon\ kai. au[th evsti.n h` ni,kh h` nikh,sasa to.n ko,smon( h` pi,stij h`mw/nÅ 5 ti,j Îde,Ð evstin o` nikw/n to.n ko,smon eiv mh. o` pisteu,wn o[ti VIhsou/j evstin o` ui`o.j tou/ qeou/È 6 Ou-to,j evstin o` evlqw.n diV u[datoj kai. ai[matoj( VIhsou/j Cristo,j( ouvk evn tw/| u[dati mo,non avllV evn tw/| u[dati kai. evn tw/| ai[mati\ kai. to. pneu/ma, evstin to. marturou/n( o[ti to. pneu/ma, evstin h` avlh,qeiaÅ 7 o[ti trei/j eivsin oi` marturou/ntej(8 to. pneu/ma kai. to. u[dwr kai. to. ai-ma( kai. oi` trei/j eivj to. e[n eivsinÅ 9 eiv th.n marturi,an tw/n avnqrw,pwn lamba,nomen( h` marturi,a tou/ qeou/ mei,zwn evsti,n\ o[ti au[th evsti.n h` marturi,a tou/ qeou/ o[ti memartu,rhken peri. tou/ ui`ou/ auvtou/Å 10 o` pisteu,wn eivj to.n ui`o.n tou/ qeou/ e;cei th.n marturi,an evn e`autw/|( o` mh. pisteu,wn tw/| qew/| yeu,sthn pepoi,hken auvto,n( o[ti ouv pepi,steuken eivj th.n marturi,an h]n memartu,rhken o` qeo.j peri. tou/ ui`ou/ auvtou/Å 11 kai. au[th evsti.n h` marturi,a( o[ti zwh.n aivw,nion e;dwken h`mi/n o` qeo,j( kai. au[th h` zwh. evn tw/| ui`w/| auvtou/ evstinÅ 12 o` e;cwn to.n ui`o.n e;cei th.n zwh,n\ o` mh. e;cwn to.n ui`o.n tou/ qeou/ th.n zwh.n ouvk e;ceiÅ


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[1] Jackman, 135.

[2] Jackman, 135.

[3] Barton, 105.

[4] Jackman, 136.

[5] Faith in Christ (v.1)

     Love God and Obey His Commandments (vv.2-4)

   Faith in Christ (v.5)

[6] Cf. John 14:15,21,23,24,31; 15:10.

[7] Boice, 126.

[8] Jackman, 140.

[9] Jackman, 141.

[10] Boice, 127.

[11] See Boice, 135

[12] Burge, 202.

[13] Burge, 207.

[14] Amazingly the Presbyterian Church- USA, the American Baptist Church, the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and the United Methodist Church even underwrote this in large part.

[15] Burge, 208.

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