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Liberty University

An Exegetical Paper on I John 5:13-21

A paper submitted to Dr. Percer

In partial fulfillment of the Requirements for

the course NBST 655

Liberty Theological seminary

By

Christopher W. Myers

                                                                                  

Lynchburg, Virginia

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Table of Contents

Outline of I John 5:13-21- 3

Introduction- 4

Historical-Cultural Context- 5

Literary Context- 7

Exegesis of 1 John 5:13-21- 8

Application- 21

Conclusion- 23

Appendix A-- 25

Appendix B- 34

Bibliography- 36

Outline of I John 5:13-21

       In the passage I John 5:13-21, John is concluding his epistle by summarizing his overall purpose for writing and then covering again his most important points: of obedience and the confidence and love that result especially in prayer, of the security of the believer as a child of God and therefore the lack of sin that results in his life, and the reality of the person of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the true God, and that He is eternal life itself, and then, John's last words are a warning against idolatry in light of the deity of Christ.

   

CONCLUDING THE EPISTLE (5:13-21)

I. Everything written before here is purposed so that you will know that you have eternal life. See parallels to the purpose of John's gospel.

EPILOGUE (5:14-21)

II. We have a confidence (see confidence in 2:28, 3:21) in approaching God, (connecting back to thoughts in 3:21-24) (5:14-17)

A.  If we ask anything according to his will (see 2:17), then he hears us (5:14)

B. If he hears us, then we know he will grant whatever we ask (as long as it is according to his will among other conditions, see 3:22) (5:15)

C.  We should pray for our brothers sins (that do not lead to death), so that God will give them life at our request (5:16a) (connects back to 3:11-20)

                                    1. There is sin that does not lead to death (5:16b)

                                    2. There is sin that does lead to death (5:16b)

                                    3.  John is not saying that we should pray for sins leading to death (5:16b)

                                    4. All unrighteousness is sin, YET (5:17)

                                    5. There is sin that does not lead to death (5:17)

            III. Those fathered by God do not sin, the one who is fathered by God, God protects him from the evil one so that the evil one cannot touch him (connecting back to discussion in 2:28-3:10) (5:18-21)

A. We know that we are children of God and that the world is under control of the evil one. (5:19)

B. We know that the Son of God has come and given us understanding to know him that is true. (5:20a)

                        C. We are in him who is true, which is Jesus Christ. (5:20b)

                       

                                    1. He is the true God and he is eternal life (5:20b)

2. So Keep away from idols (5:21)

Introduction

       A quick read through the epistle of I John reveals that John does not write in the same linear logical way as Paul does.  Rather John writes in a more homily fashion, where he will repeat himself quite often and come back to issues covered before and develop them in a different direction or with a different nuance to reinforce what was said before.  John in no means is illogical in his writing.  His Greek is quite elementary, but some of his constructions tend to be obscure because of his heavy use of personal pronouns.  1 John is described as being structured like concentric circles that overlap one another; this can cause the reader who is use to Pauline writing to be quite distraught.  This also makes the scholars lament that 1 John is near impossible to outline,[1] but yet they outline the book and make themselves clear that any outline is severely disadvantaged by John's structure of the epistle.  Dr. Wallace opines that John's structure for his first epistle would be best described by a geometric design![2]  Nevertheless, I quickly noticed that I John 5:13-21 was intimately connected to themes developed earlier in the epistle and much of the exegesis will need to take these earlier developments into consideration because John is merely rehashing some of his main points of the entire epistle.  You will find my attempt to outline the epistle under the unity of intention that John reveals in 1 John 5:13 in Appendix A.  Only by struggling through this endeavor can good exegesis be attempted on 1 John 5:13-21.  A second 'must' for exegesis is reading through John's gospel; the similarities in grammar, word usage, and theme usage to the first epistle is spectacular and will be needed in evaluating 1 John 5:13-21 in key areas.  Thirdly, Appendix B is my literal translation of the pericope from the Greek text in order that I could discover any emphases or intents of the author only to be found in the original languages or to uncover any inherent difficulties in the text critical apparatus or the translation process.

       This exegetical paper will set out to define clearly the message of 1 John 5:13-21 as it would be understood by its original hearers.  This paper will seek to show that 1 John 5:13 does encompass the main intention to the entire epistle and strikes one clearly to see the similarity and dissimilarity to John's gospel intention.  The intimate connections that 1 John 5:14-21 has with earlier material in the epistle will be shown to be a summarization of the main points already covered by John.  I John 5:21 will be shown by this paper to be a necessary and appropriate ending to the epistle given the near context connect and its antichrists connect made throughout the larger context of the epistle.

Historical-Cultural Context

        John does not address any specific group of people, but it is clear that John had a specific group of people in mind because he addresses them very personally as "my little children."[3]  This is probably explained by the fact that this letter is similar to Revelation where the letter is purposed for a certain amount of congregations within the ministry of the author.  Early church tradition places John in Ephesus at the time of the writing of this epistle, so it is most likely that 1 John is written to congregations within Asia Minor, perhaps even the ones addressed in the Apocalypse, some even are certain that Colossae must be one of the destinations, since the problems within the church as reported by Paul are so similar to the problems that are addressed in 1 John.[4]  The problem is antichrists, the false teachers who have left the church[5] and were harassing the church through their false doctrines from outside the church.[6]  It is clear that the doctrine at stake was the apostolic teaching of Christ's person; Christology is the main issue.  We know this because of 1 John's prologue where right away John's apostolic authority is established and John makes it clear that he saw, heard, and also touched "that which was from the beginning" with the Father.[7]  The prologue of the epistle puts heavy emphasis on the fact of the Incarnation and the necessity of the fellowship needed with the Son.  It seems that the false teachers openly rejected the Incarnation[8] and that Jesus was the Son of God and that he was the Messiah.[9]  From this data it has been opined what specific false teachings John was battling against.  The proposals have been three-fold: first, Gnosticism anchored in neo-platonic thought and dualism, secondly, Doceticism, which is a specific branch of Gnosticism that believed all matter was evil and therefore rejected the Incarnation, and lastly, the heresy of Cerinthus, which Polycarp makes clear was a heretic who directly interacted with the apostle John.  Irenaeus documents Cerinthus' heresy.  Cerinthus taught that Jesus humanity was separate from his divine nature.  He taught that the Spirit came upon Christ at his baptism and left him alone to suffer upon the cross.[10]  The explanatory power of these proposals are very much equal.  It seems that although Gnosticism was not fully developed in John's day; it is obvious that the seeds of neo-platonian philosophy and Docetic embryonic mythologies were planted and growing and causing dissension among the Gentiles who were battling worldviews of the Evil One.  Cerinthus' teaching exist even this day by those who are anti-trinitarian and call themselves "Oneness Pentecostals" or "Oneness Baptist."[11]  So it is clear that the most likely explanation for the false teachers is not just one specific force, but rather a conglomeration of lies formed from the Enemy to combat the flourishing gospel implanted by the Holy Spirit among the gentiles through mostly Paul and some of the other apostles.  John was called to defend the Gentile Christians against the lies put forward by the worldviews of the wicked Gentile world and those who first moved into the Kingdom community and then distorted its teachings and left the Kingdom community to show that they were never a part of it in the first place, but merely agents of the Evil One.

       The last historical-cultural discussion that is pertinent to the understanding of our passage is the imminent eschatology[12] that is apparent in this epistle, but obscure in the gospel of John.  Daniel Wallace harmonizes this difference with a valid theory.  He opines that the epistle was written during the Jewish war in the 68-69 AD timeframe.  This heightened John's senses to the imminence of Christ's second coming.[13]

Literary Context

       Amidst the complexity of the literary structure of John's first epistle, it cannot be denied that John was writing for multiple purposes, but there was one purpose that trumped all of them, namely, that John wants his readers to be assured of their eternal life through Jesus Christ.  By assuring them of eternal life he must, among other things, review the doctrine of Christology to prevent them from falling away by the deceptive lies of the antichrists.  His main themes of obedience and commandments, and confidence, and love, and faith are repeated more than once throughout the epistle as a means of emphasis and as a means to developing different sub-topics within each theme.  Therefore, we have John discussing the love of God in us[14] and the evidence of our love for God being shown by our obedience to his commandments and then also the exhortations never to place our love in the worldly things that merely pass away.[15]  And yet he further develops this theme to show us that since God is love, we have the very ability to love him only because he first loved us.[16]  This is why our pericope of verses are so important because after the most ultimate purpose for the epistle is revealed then John rehashes the main points of his endeavors[17] and ends on a high Christological note that exalts the Son of God to his rightful place as God and dispenser of the graces of eternal life.  Our human responsibility is to work out our salvation, so to say, that we never place any type of idol before what God has revealed himself to be, the Savior of the World, the Son of God, triune and majestic. 

Exegesis of 1 John 5:13-21

13 This I have written to you in order that all of you may know that you have eternal life, to all of you who believe on the name of the Son of God.      

       The similarity between verse 13 and the purpose statement in John 20:31 is striking.  John 20:21 adds weight to the evidence that indeed the ταυτα refers to the entirety of the epistle before verse 13.  A second clue to this being the overall purpose statement for the entire epistle is the similarity that verse 13 has with the prologue.  The Greek structure and the content of the prologue is added weight to the argument.  The prologue states, "we proclaim to you the eternal life" (1:2), and the verses following 1:2 embrace a high Christology just as the verses following 5:13.  Furthermore the Greek ταυτα εγραψα υμιν in 5:13 forms an inclusion with the Greek of 1 John 1:4 which says και ταυτα γραφομεν ημεις.  The Greek inclusion of 5:13 to 1:4 would show completeness and indeed points to 5:13 as explaining the overall and most ultimate purpose for the whole epistle.[18]  Many will attempt to constrain verse 13 to only the preceding verses 5:6-12.  And indeed verse 13 is the conclusion to this homily of high Christology, however, when one sees the connect of 5:6-13 with the rest of the epistle and especially the historical-cultural motivation against the antichrists, then the evidence most assuredly falls down on the side of the whole epistle in scope.[19]  Further evidence is also seen with the motif of eternal life.   

       The content of the epistle as having an overall purpose for assurance of eternal life works as Appendix A attempts to show.  Eternal life is a major theme in the epistle and appears in almost every chapter.[20]  In 1 John 'Eternal Life' occurs second in number of occurrences only to John's gospel.  This shows the significance of it to John and our need to evaluate some of the data available here.  In 1 John 1:2, 5:20 John directly equates 'eternal life' with 'the Son' which is Jesus Christ.  John makes this clear in his gospel also by recording the words of Jesus in 17:3, "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."  So it follows that the reason Jesus is eternal life is because only by knowing him do you know the Father and become one with him through the Messiah and therefore just as Jesus is the Son of God so shall we become the sons of God through Christ.  This truth can fill volumes of paper, for the issue is complex and has many different caveats.  But the important thing for us to see is that the reason John emphases the connection between eternal life and the Son is because these antichrists were denying Jesus altogether (2:22).  John in essence was writing to assure his children that the True One is true and he is Jesus Christ and you can only have eternal life through him because he is in essence eternal life.  The purpose for the whole epistle is the declaration of Truth, an assurance of True Christology, and therefore an open refutation of the antichrists of John's day.  By refuting their claims, he openly assures them of who Jesus is and what he is for them, namely, eternal life.  And it even stands true for today, for those who deny that Jesus is the Messiah.    

14. And this is the confidence in prayer that we have with Him that whatever we should ask according to His will, He hears us.

15. And whatever we may have asked, if we know that He hears us then we know that we may have the requests, which we have asked from Him.

 

       Verse fourteen begins John's summary of his main points that he has covered in the epistle.  The word 'confidence' is παρρησια in the Greek and it occurs four times in 1 John in almost every chapter.[21]  In 1 John 2:28, we are exhorted to continue (contra the antichrists) in the triune God[22] so that we may have confidence and be unashamed at Jesus' second coming.  In I John 4:17 John uses this Greek word also in a eschatological context, where we are assured that God is love and that loving is living in God and therefore, the Love of God is made complete in his people by making them like Christ, so that they may have confidence at the judgment day.  Now our present text (5:14) and 1 John 3:21 use confidence in a non-eschatological context.  Both texts are talking about our present conditional standing before God.[23] 

       This paper concludes then that 5:14-15 is a restating of the truths found in 3:21-24 in order to develop a different aspect of the truth.  This different development is what John explains in 5:16-17.  Therefore, 3:21-24 needs to be brought into our discussion of 5:14-15, namely, because 3:21-24 clarifies what John means by the "according to his will" in 5:14.      

       The structure of 5:14 parallels that in 3:22, in that 3:22 says, "we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask because we obey his commands and do what pleases him."[24]  While 5:14 says we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask "according to His will."  This parallel shows that John is saying that God's will is that we obey his commands and do what pleases God.  And it is clear from John's gospel that this is exactly what Jesus did.  Jesus said, "I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me"[25] and "By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me."[26]  Therefore, it follows that the more we are like Christ[27], the more we are obedient to the revealed will of God and pleasing him and this is how God has designed for prayers to be answered.  This conclusion is seen to be absolutely necessary when one notices that this is explicitly what John has concluded in 4:17 where John announces "we will have confidence on the day of judgment because in this world we are like him."[28]  The 'like him' in this context is referring to living like God and since God is love we are called to be living in love.  But let us not forget that Jesus is God and therefore, Jesus is love.[29]  Therefore, it is clear that the 'like him' in 1 John 4:17 is best understood to be saying that we will have our confidence on judgment day because in this world we were like Jesus always doing the will of the Father and seeking to please him.  Indeed, 1 John 5:3 makes it clear that doing the will of the Father and seeking to please him is love for God; it is living in love and therefore, it is living in God.[30]

16.[31] If someone should see his brother sinning a sin not to death, he will ask and He will give him life, to those who are sinning not to death.  There is a sin to death; I am NOT saying that he should ask[32] concerning this.[33]                                                                                                      17. All unrighteousness is sin, and yet there is a sin not to death.

 

       Verses 16 and 17 are a direct application of the truths established in verses 14-15.  Furthermore, verses 16 and 17 are a rehash of the same brotherly love principle that John has drawn throughout the rest of the epistle and therefore can be seen more generally as a summary of that material pertaining to Christians loving Christians for the glory of God                                   

       If 1 John 5:14-15 connects to 1 John 3:21-24, then 1 John 5:16-17 connects to 1 John 3:11-20.[34]  This is most plainly seen by the repetition of the word brother (αδελφος) in context with love.[35]  This is not the only place, however, where John uses brotherly love as proof of eternal life.  He does this in 1 John 2:9-11 to show that only those who love their brothers[36] are in the light.  In 1 John 4:20-21, John shows that you cannot love God if you cannot love your own brother.  John reasons, how can one love God who he has not seen when he cannot even love his brother that he has seen?[37]   However, John's most extensive development of this motif is in 3:11-20 and so this will have to be discussed in order to make the necessary connections that this motif in 1 John 5:16-17 has with the rest of the epistle.

       The significant purpose of the brotherly love motif in the epistle of 1 John is found to be eternal life just as John says,

"We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.  Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."[38]

 And then John reaffirms this in 5:13 as this paper has already shown, however, the necessary connection we must see is that John connects brotherly love to the person of Jesus Christ.  In the 1 John 3:11-20 passage this is seen in verse 16:  "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers."[39]  It follows then that 1 John 5:16 also requires a connection to the person of Christ.  Although John does not clearly state it, it is a simple deduction to see that John is telling us that praying for our sinning brothers is an act of love.  Praying for our brothers is mediator-work.  Therefore, meditating is an act of love.  Who is the greatest mediator except Jesus?[40]  Therefore, we should show our love to our sinning brothers by being like Jesus and mediating for them and praying for their souls and their restoration.  This is an act of love and God has designed creation in such a way that prayer is the vehicle he uses for working in his people; it is vehicle for his transcendence.  Therefore, prayer is commanded and gloriously demonstrated by Jesus[41] and we are to be 'like him.'

       The next thing that must be explored is the questions: what is a 'sin to death' and a 'sin not to death'?  There are three possibilities to answer this question.[42]  First, John could be referring to physical death as the consequence of sin; this is occasionally found in the Old Testament.[43]  Secondly, John could be making the same distinction within the definition of sin that is found in Judaism[44], namely, there is deliberate sin that requires death for the sinner as a penalty and there is non-deliberate sin that does not require the death of a sinner, but only an offering.  Thirdly, the death that John is talking about here is most likely spiritual death, therefore, the sin that leads to spiritual death is the sin of turning away from the faith, from the one true God and His Son Jesus i.e., apostatizing.  Apostasy is to not walk in the light, but in darkness.  It results in not loving God or the brotherhood or His Son or the truth and therefore it is the sin that is to death.  This option connects best with the last word of the whole epistle in 5:21 and the whole concept of the epistle as a whole.

       It must be made clear, that John's side-note in 5:16 "There is a sin that leads to death.  I am not saying that he should pray about that"[45] does not mean that John is commanding his recipients not to pray for those who have fallen into the sin that leads to death.  Rather, he is simply saying that he does not command these prayers.  Although, it is clear that he does command intercessory prayer for fellow Christians that have not sinned the sin to death.[46]

       Verse 17 demands that the question be answered: Why does John have to affirm that all unrighteousness is sin?  John has just spent some time making a distinction between "sin to death" and "sin not to death," so John did not want to leave an impression on his recipients that sin not leading to death was insignificant in their lives.  In a sense John is echoing Paul, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"[47]         

18. We know that all who have been fathered[48] by God do not sin, but He who has been fathered by God He protects him and the Evil One does not touch him.

19. We know that we are from God and the whole world resides[49] in the Evil One.[50]

 

       The key word in verse 18 is the Greek work γεγεννημενος[51] from γεννάω meaning to beget or to birth or to become the parent of[52].  To no surprise this word occurs more times in 1 John[53] than any other New Testament book except the gospel of John.[54]  John uses the word in almost every chapter of his epistle with exception to the first.  In chapter two in verse 29, it reveals that everyone fathered by God does what is right; they are righteous like their father.  In chapter three in verse 9, it reveals that everyone fathered by God does not sin because God's 'seed' remains in them.  Someone fathered by God is a child of God and a child of God does what is right and loves his brother (vs. 3:10).  In chapter four in verse 7, it is reaffirmed that everyone fathered by God loves others because love comes from God.  In chapter five in verses 1 and 4, John starts to put all of this together and reveals that everyone who is fathered by God believes that Jesus is the Messiah and loves the Father.  And if those fathered by God love the Father, then they must also love God's child the Christ and those fathered by God must therefore also love God's children, their fellow Christians.  Verse 2-3 directly defines what it is to love both the children of God and God himself.  One knows that he loves his brother, and is therefore fathered by God, if this one loves God and keeps his commands.  One knows that he loves God, and is therefore fathered by God, if this one keeps the commands of God and they are not a burden to him.  This chain is completed in verse 4-5 where John reveals that one knows that God fathers him if he overcomes the world by faith.  Therefore, John has made a complete circle; he started with "everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God"[55] and ends in verse five by answering the question, "who is it that overcomes the world?  Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God."[56] 

       Now it is clearly seen that I John 5:18-19 is a rehash of this concept of being fathered by God seen throughout the epistle, but most specifically John is rehashing the information in 1 John 3:7-10.  The concepts that he feels most pertinent to cover again is the fact that firstly, those fathered by God do not sin, and secondly, Jesus protects those who are his children from the Evil One.  These two concepts we will briefly exegete.

       The NIV translation softens the literalness of the Greek "all who have been fathered by God do not sin" to "anyone born of God does not continue to sin."  A survey of translations shows that this is not a rendering that is agreed upon because it gives an unprecedented emphasis on the continuous aspect of the verb.  Marshall contends that John's outlook is an "eschatological reality, which should characterize the life of the child of God "[57] And this may be so and could be established from John's eschatological outlook at the beginning of chapter three of the epistle.  But this is not enough, only after observing Smalley's treatment of the topic in his commentary on 3:6, 9 where he surveys the grammatical, theological, and situational methods of interpreting this saying does it really become apparent that the right answer is a combination of these observations.[58]  Grammatically it is wise to take into consideration the immediate context of the saying in both 3:6,9 and 5:18 and notice that John says these things in context to the polarization of those "of God" and those "of the devil."[59] And John says this in context with the realization of the appearing of Christ and his sacrifice that took away our sins because in Jesus there is no sin.[60]  And this leads him to the conclusion: "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him."[61]  This context of 'abiding' or 'remaining' connects back to John's gospel and Jesus' words in John 15.  This realization leads us to the theological conclusion that there is an intended tension here that John intends to make.  Just as there is a tension between the 'now' and 'not yet' of the kingdom of God,[62] so there is a tension between the 'now' and 'not yet' of the kingdom people.  Just as God's people are justified in this life, however, they are not yet glorified.  Though the promise is certain that they will be glorified when there salvation is complete.[63]  So here we can see the situational aspect of this saying, that there are antichrists that are molesting the truth and leading astray and it is impossible for a child of God to sin in this aspect and so this absolute statement, "all who have been fathered by God do not sin" is equally understood in the sense of an open imperative against the false teachings of the antichrist, as Jesus said, " Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect"[64] and yet as a warning to not let anyone be "deceived."[65]  This absolute statement affirms that there is and should be a polarization between God's people and the people of the devil.  This absolute statement need not be softened because it is a call to radical living and any 'holiness' interpretation of the verse is thoroughly repudiated by the relative theology in 1 John that affirms the sinning of believers and the interceding that is necessary for it.[66]

       The second concept is that Jesus protects those who are fathered by God from the devil.[67]  This agrees with the prayer of Jesus in John 17:12.  This theme is connected to such things earlier in the epistle such as Christ living in he who obeys his commands through the Holy Spirit[68] and the 'seed' or nature of God inherent in those who are fathered by God.  It is as if John is saying, "Remember that your glorification is not complete so strive for it by becoming more and more like Christ by obeying the commands of the Father; purify yourself by having this hope within you that if you are God's child, then God will protect you from the wiles of the devil."

       The polarization represented in verse 19 is a reminder back to 3:7-8 and this truth is further strengthened if we remember the words of Jesus in John 8:44,

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.[69] 

Verse 19 is integral to verse 18 because it sums up the polarity between those who are fathered by God and those who are not, basically God protects his own from the devil, while the devil controls his own.  The irony is further seen by John's use of the Greek κειται for those who "reside or recline or lie"[70] in the Evil One.  It is to say that it is as if they are comfortable in their own destruction.     

20. But we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding in order that we may know the True[71], and we are in the True, in His Son Jesus Christ.  This One is the True God and eternal life.

 

       The Greek word διανοιαν "understanding" is not used elsewhere in any Johannine writing.[72]  But context is clear that the understanding is the revelation of the Truth, of the Father.  And if the Father is revealed through the Son, then so the Father reveals the Son.[73]  And so this rehash of key points in the epistle ends on this high Christological note:  Christ is the true God and eternal life.[74] It ends on this high Christological note in the same way that the main body of the epistle ends in this way, 5:6-12.  It ends on a high Christological note in the same way that it began in the prologue, 1:1-4.  And so verse 20 is significant because it affirms the absolute Christ-centeredness of the whole epistle from beginning to end and affirmed throughout the epistle.  The epistle was written so that Christians would be assured of eternal life (5:13)--that is Jesus Christ.

21. Children, Guard[75] yourselves from idols.        

       The very last words of the epistle are extremely important and a good summary of one of John's main concerns.  This last verse should not be seen as a completely new idea, but connected to the rest of the epistle.[76]  The OT is clear that idols were one of the main causes for the apostasy of many in ancient Israel.  And the prohibition against idol worship stood among the first of the commandments.  John understands that his beloved children in Christ are in danger of apostasy by believing in the lies of the antichrists instead of the truth that is in Christ.  And so they are instructed to guard themselves against these idols of lies before them.  This is significant especially when it is realized that this is intimately connected to the high Christology of verse 20.  Christ as the true God and eternal life demands worship as the Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.  Any lies that say otherwise are an idol that must be at all costs abandoned and guarded against.  

Application

       Since the passage at hand connects back so intricately with the rest of the epistle, multiple applications can be made with these connections in mind, but for the purposes of this paper only the most direct applications will be surveyed.  The direct applications that can be gleaned from this involve prayer, the assurance of eternal life, the assurance of Christ's person, and the need for the guarding of the heart.

       First, 5:13 gives us an open application to use the epistle of 1 John to assure believers of the truth of eternal life.  Just as the gospel of John is often the first book suggested to non-Christians to explore the truth of eternal life, so should 1 John be the first book suggested to new Christians that need assurance of their eternal life.

      Second, 5:14-15 assures us of the confidence that we must have in approaching God.  Truly many of the Puritan divines have mined this truth to describe the power through prayer.[77]  This application of the confidence that we must have in prayer is summed up by the words of Jesus,

Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

But not only are we to have confidence, but also we are to ask according to God's will.  Therefore, Andrew Murray could say that it is of vast importance that Christians realize that they must 'find out' if what they are going to pray is of His will.[78]  What better way to find out what God's will is, except from His revealed will in His Word?  This is the way to have complete confidence in prayer.

       Thirdly, 5:16-17 commands the absolute necessity of intercessory prayer for our fellow Christians.  Christians must recognize that God uses His people to keep His sheep within the fold of His hand.  Another reason for intercessory prayer is that it is walking in the footsteps of Christ who is an intercessor for all of His elect.  Christians must strive to become more and more like Christ and they need to start in their prayer closet.

       Fourthly, 5:18-19 assures us of our eternal life by proclaiming that our lives will reflect the protection of God from all sin.  This does not mean that Christians are perfect in this life.  But it does ultimately point to the fact that Christians will be perfect in Christ at the consummation of their salvation, at their glorification in Christ.

        Fifth, 5:20 assures us of our knowledge in the person of Christ.  The person of Jesus Christ is the Son of God that came from the Father to reveal the Father to us, so that the Father can reveal the Son and by that we know that Christ is both God and our eternal life because we are placed in Christ by faith.

      Lastly, 5:21 is pertinent to today.  If idols today are anything that is put in the place or valued higher than the true God, then we are a people most guilty.  And we need to repent and guard ourselves from setting up idols in our lives because the setting up of idols is the beginning to apostasy and apostasy leads to the sin to death--an open rejection of the person of Christ and His majesty.

Conclusion

              This paper has shown that John dealt with the most troubling situation in his day.  Professing Christians becoming victim to the false teaching of antichrists and falling away and proving that they were never a part of the true Church.  These antichrists directly were hostile to the orthodox biblical view of Christ and therefore the epistle displays a high and majestic Christology as an open refutation of the antichrists.  The section of the epistle 5:13-21 is concluding remarks of the apostle that begins with an open reference to the purpose of the whole epistle (paralleling John 20:31) in addition to a basic rehash of the most important elements within the epistle already covered that John felt needed homiletic review with slightly different nuances emphasized.  The epistle is highly Christ-centered and this is revealed through the structure and content of the epistle.  John chose confidence in prayer, intercessory prayer, characteristics of a child of God, and a high Christology conclusion with a last warning to shun antichrist idolatry because all of this content is part of the main points in the epistle and his the most important information pertinent to the purpose of the epistle as a whole: to promote an assurance of eternal life--eternal life that is only in Christ.  This is confirmed by the multiple connections this paper has drawn between John's gospel and his epistle.  Jesus proclaimed by example the necessity for confidence in prayer according to the will of His father and the need for intercessory prayer for our brothers (John 17, 1 John 5:14-17).  Jesus made it clear that eternal life in Him is assured based on whom your father is (John 8, 1 John 5:18-19) and it is further made clear that you can only be a child of the one true Father if you have the Son (John 14, 1 John 5:20).  Anything that does not conform to the absolute Christ-centeredness described in the epistle (foremost in John's thinking would be the teachings of the antichrists) is outright idolatry; John's last words are a warning to not go astray (John 16:1, 1 John 5:21).  Amen.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix A

Outline of 1 John

I. PROLOGUE (1:1-4)

Purpose 1:  Writing to make your joy complete (1:4)

THE MESSAGE (1:5-2:2) of ETERNAL LIFE

WHO GOD IS (LIGHT) AND WHAT THAT MEANS FOR US

A. God is Light, there is no darkness whatsoever in him (1:5)

B. Claiming to walk in the light, but not, then deceiving ourselves of the truth  (1:6)

C. If we walk with God, then we have fellowship with him and Jesus' blood cleans us from all our sin. (1:7)

D. Claiming to have no sin is deceiving ourselves of the truth (1:8)

E. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleans us from all unrighteousness. (1:9)

F. Claiming to have no sin is calling God a liar, and his truth is not in us (1:10)

G. Purpose 2: Children: Writing these things so you will not sin (2:1)

H. But if you do sin, we have our mediator and propitiator (2:1-2)

WE KNOW WE KNOW HIM (HAVE ETRNAL LIFE) BY THE EVIDENCE of OBEDIENCE

(2:3-6)

A.  We know Christ if we keep his commandments (2:3)

B. Claiming to keep his commands, but not, is being a liar and void of the truth. (2:4)

C. He who keeps Jesus' commands, in that person is the LOVE of God complete. (2:5, this is the verse where the connection is made between keeping the commandments and LOVE!)

D. Test of Righteousness (by obedience): Walking as Jesus did.  If you are obeying his commands, then you have come to know him. (2:6)

WE KNOW WE KNOW HIM (HAVE ETERNAL LIFE) BY LOVE (2:7-17)

A. Friends: The Old command is the message you have heard; (the gospel and its connection to love, see 2 John 1:5; see I John 3:11) the new command is Love also (2:7-8) See Jesus' saying that parallel

            B.  Being in the light or the darkness. You cannot Love when hating (2:9-11)

Poetic exursus:  I am writing to you (2:12-14) Purposes?

C. Test of Love in the negative: If anyone loves the world, then the love of the Father is not in him. (2:15-17)

                        1. Everything evil in the world is not from God (2:16)

2.  The world passes away, but the man who does the will of the Father lasts forever (2:17).

ANTICHRISTS: YOU KNOW YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE BY WHAT YOU BELIEVE (2:18-29) KEY vs. 25

Antichrists and those who have fallen away (see Matthew 7:21-23), (2:18-19)

A. Contrasted: You know the truth because you have an anointing from the Holy One (2:20)

B. I write because you know the truth; no lie comes from the truth (from the anointing of the Holy One, John is showing that the cause of them knowing the truth is the Holy One (2:21)

            C. Who is a liar? The antichrists: those who deny that Jesus is the Messiah (2:21)

D. Result: If you deny that Jesus is the Messiah, then you deny the Son and the Father (this is a proof text for Christian exclusivist (2:22-23)

WE KNOW WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE WHEN WE REMAIN IN THE FATHER AND SON, (IN SCRIPTURE TRUTH)

E. What you have heard from the beginning (probably the gospel message, alluding to 2:7, also see vs. 3:11, but in light of vs. 26-27 this must be much broader than Love; it is ALL of the message that has been handed down about Jesus and who he is and what he has done; the heart of the message is found in 3:11, namely, Love), let the complete gospel remain in you.  Another Test.  If the gospel remains in you, then you remain in the Son and Father and you will be given eternal life.  (2:24-25)

            F. The Promise he has promised us (those who abide in God) is eternal life (2:25)

EXPLANATION FOR WRITING ABOUT THE ANTICHRISTS

            G. Purpose 3: I am writing about those who are trying to lead you astray (2:26)

H. (John returns in thought to vs. 20) The anointing of the Holy One remains in you, so remain in his teaching that he gave you in the beginning (2:27)

TRANSITION: At His coming, He is righteous, born of Him (2:28-29)

WE KNOW WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE IF WE ARE THE CHILD OF GOD (3:1-10)

            A. We are Children of God, the world does not know us (3:1)

B. We are the Children of God, the resurrection is God's promise of hope to purify us (3:2-3)

YOU KNOW YOU ARE THE CHILD OF GOD IF YOU HAVE NOT SIN

back to sin (remember Purpose 2)

            C. Sin defined (3:4)

           

D. Reason 1 for Jesus first advent: Jesus came to take our sins away, he was sinless (think imputation) (3:5)

E.  Difficult verse: Basically, a Righteousness Test: If you live in Christ, then you do not sin. (maybe continue in sin. (3:6)

F. DO NOT BE LEAD ASTRAY (John has antichrists lies in mind here, see connection at 2:26) (3:7)

YOU KNOW YOU ARE THE CHILD OF GOD BY WHO YOUR FATHER IS

ONLY TWO FATHERS, (FATHERED BY GOD= Born of God)

WHO CHRIST IS, WHO THE DEVIL IS

G.  Righteousness is of Christ, Sin is of the devil. (3:8)

H. Reason 2 for Jesus first advent: Jesus came to destroy the devil's work. (3:8)

            I. Test: Difficult verse, parallels 3:6, If you are born of God, then you will not sin (3:9)

            J.  The reason the Test works, because God seed remains in whom he has fathered. (3:9)

THIS SUMMARIZES WHAT HAS BEEN COVERED SO FAR IN THE EPISTLE

K. Conclusio: Test restated as how you know who are the Children of God and the Children of the Devil (3:10).  If you do not do right (obey, confess) and if you do not love your brother, then you are not a child of God.

WE KNOW WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE BY LOVE (How does this differ from 2:7-17?)

(3:11-24)

(John returns to his thoughts in 2:7-17)

            A. The message from the beginning defined: Love (3:11)

B. Do Not Be Like Cain who murdered because his brother's actions was righteous and his own was evil, Cain was of the evil one (3:12)

C. So do not be surprised if this world who is of the evil one, hates you (like Cain did Abel) (3:13)

D. The Love Test in the positive (vs. 14) and negative (vs. 15): We Love our brothers, therefore we have life (John going back thoughts in 2:7-11) (3:14-15)

            E.  What Love is: Love is sacrifice like Christ's sacrifice for us (3:16)

           

            F. Love is charity (3:17)

            G: Love is with action and in truth (3:18)

H. The Love test again stated: If we have Love this is how we know we belong to truth (3:19)

           

SMALL end of paragraph TRANSITION in 3:19-20

           

I.  Love is how we be at peace in God's presence even though our heart condemns us (guilt of sin) (3:19-20)

            J.  God is greater than our hearts; he is omniscient (3:20)

    

CONDEMNATION OF THE HEART (guilt) AND GOD'S COMMAND

AGAIN COVERED, WE KNOW WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE BY OBEYING, CONFESSING, LOVING.

K.  If we have no guilt, we have confidence before God (in prayer) and receive from him anything we ask IF we obey his commands and do what pleases God (which essentially would be the pleasure of his will). (3:21-22)

            L. The command of God defined: (3:23)

1.  To believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ (this means we must be a Christian).

2.  To love one another as Jesus commanded (see his saying in John's gospel)

           

M. The Test of Obedience again stated (John again returning to his thoughts in 2:3-6) (3:24)

            N. We know he lives in us by the Holy Spirit he gave us. (transition) (3:24)

WE KNOW WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE BY THE CONFESSION OF THE SPIRIT (4:1-6)

Test the spirits (John again is returning in thought to the antichrists issue (see 2:18-29)

            A.  Test the spirits because there are many false prophets (4:1)

TEST 1 for the spirits   

B. This is how you recognize the Holy Spirit: He will declare that Jesus is the Messiah and has come in the flesh and he is from God. (4:2)

           

            C. Any spirit that does not acknowledge this is the spirit of the antichrist (4:3)

            TEST 2 for the spirits

Premise D. God is greater than Satan, since God has overcome Satan, then we have overcome the antichrists (4:4)

            Premise E. The world listens to those of the world (4:5)

            Conclusion F. Those of God will listen to us, those not of God will reject us (4:6)

G. Summary: The above (vs. 4-6) is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood (4:6)

WE KNOW WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE BY THE EVIDENCE OF LOVE (Discussion on Love continued- connecting fathered by God and love) (4:7-21)

God's Love and Our Love: The Love Test (John again going back to his thought in 3:11-18 and 2:15-17)

            A. Love one another because love comes from God (4:7)

B. Test of Love (positive): If you love (like God), then you are fathered by God and know him (4:7)

C. Test of Love (negative): If you do not love (like God), then you do not know God because God is Love (4:8)

            D. God's Love shown by the sending of his Son that we may live through his Son. (4:9)

            E. Love defined: not our love, but his love, that Jesus was a propitiation for us. (4:10)

F. Since God loved us, we should love one another (in the same way, i.e. sacrificial) (4:11)

G. God's Love is made complete through us when we love one another (in other words, God's love is fully manifested by affecting lives in such a way that God's original work of love bears fruit by producing love between all humanity one to another; it is all a work of God) (4:12)

WE KNOW WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE BY THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST WHO IS LOVE

H. We know he lives in us by the Holy Spirit he gave us. (John says same exact thing in 3:24) (4:13)

I. Eyewitnesses and testifiers of the Son, the savior of the world (4:14)

WE KNOW WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE BY WHAT WE CONFESS OF GOD AND WHO HE IS AS LOVE

J. Anyone declaring that Jesus is the Son of God, God is in that person and that person is in God (through Christ) (see parallel in 4:2) (4:15)

K. Premise:  We know and believe on the love God has for us

Premise: and since God is love, (connecting back to 4:8)

Conclusion: Living in Love is living in God, and God lives in him that loves (4:16).

WE KNOW WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE BY GOD'S LOVE MAKING OUR LOVE COMPLETE AND SO WE DO NOT FEAR JUDGMENT

L. In this way (looking back a few verses to the argument thus laid out), (our Love from God) is made complete among us. (Connecting back to 4:12, verse 12 God's love complete, verse 17 our love complete) (4:17)

M.  Our love is complete (By God being in us) so that we will be confident on the day of judgment; because in this world we were like him (had him in us) (4:17)

N. Perfect (complete) Love (God's love) drives away fear (fear=judgment). (4:18)

O. Test: He who fears judgment has not been made complete in Love (God). (4:18)

WE KNOW WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE BECAUSE GOD'S LOVE MAKES US LOVE ONE ANOTHER

P. Why do we love?  Because God first loved us (connects back to 4:10) (4:19)

Q. Test of Love (negative): If you say you love God and hate brother, then you are a liar. (connects back to what John said in precisely 2:9-11 and 3:11-20). (4:20)

R. Explanation: How can you love your God who you have not seen and hate your brother who you have seen! (this "seen" motif connects back to 4:12, 14 earlier in this love pericope) (4:20)

S. The command again stated: Whoever loves God must loves his brother (this command motif connects back to 2:7-8 and 3:11, 21-24 and it started the thoughts of this love pericope in 4:7) (4:21)

WHY WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER-WE ARE FATHERED BY GOD

            T. Premise: God fathers everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah

                 Premise: He who loves the Father also will love those children that he fathers

                 Conclusion: Therefore, we love the children of God when we love God and keep his         

                 commandments.  (5:1-2)

            U. Loving God is obeying his commands (5:3)

HIS COMMANDS ARE NOT BURDENSOME (5:3b as connection phrase) BECAUSE WE HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD (BY FAITH) IN CHRIST. Therefore,

WE KNOW WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE BY OUR FAITH. (5:4-5)

1. He who is fathered by God overcomes the world by his faith (the gift from God) (5:4)

2. The only person that overcomes the world is he who has faith that Jesus is the Son of God (5:5)

WE KNOW WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE BECAUSE THE SPIRIT TESTIFIES

3. Jesus came by water and blood (5:6a)

4. The Spirit testifies and He is truth  (5:6b)

5. There is three that testify and they all agree (water, blood, spirit); (John is appealing this way because of his socio-political time when at least two witnesses must be given in court for testimony; if their were three witnesses that all agreed, it would be a quick case!) We accept man's testimony; we should also accept God's testimony about his Son because his testimony is greater than man's. (5:8-9)

6. Believers have the testimony of God in his heart (look back at vs. 6b; it is the Spirit!)  

(5:10)

7. Non-believers call God a liar by not believing his testimony about his Son (5:10)

8. Testimony Defined: God has given us eternal life and it is only in His Son (5:11)

9. Conclusion: He who has the Son has life, and he who has not the Son of God does not have life.

CONCLUDING THE EPISTLE (5:13-21)

10.  Everything written before here is purposed so that you will know that you have eternal life and if you do not believe, so that you will believe on the name of the Son of God (5:13) See parallels to the purpose of John's gospel.

EPILOGUE

            I. We have a confidence (see confidence in 2:28, 3:21) in approaching God, (connecting back to thoughts in 3:21-24)

A.  If we ask anything according to his will (see 2:17), then he hears us (5:14)

B. If he hears us, then we know he will grant whatever we ask (as long as it is according to his will among other conditions, see 3:22) (5:15)

C.  We should pray for our brothers sins (that do not lead to death), so that God will give them life at our request (5:16a) (connects back to 3:11-20)

                                    1. There is sin that does not lead to death (5:16b)

                                    2. There is sin that does lead to death (5:16b)

                                    3.  John is not saying that we should pray for sins leading to death (5:16b)

                                    4. All unrighteousness is sin, YET (5:17)

                                    5. There is sin that does not lead to death (5:17)

II. Those fathered by God does not sin, the one who is fathered by God, God protects him from the evil one so that the evil one cannot touch him (5:18) (connecting back to discussion in 2:28-3:10)

A. We know that we are children of God and that the world is under control of the evil one. (5:19)

B. We know that the Son of God has come and given us understanding to know him that is true. (5:20a)

                        C. We are in him who is true, which is Jesus Christ. (5:20b)

                       

                                    1. He is the true God and he is eternal life (5:20b)

                                    2. So Keep away from idols (5:21)

             

                       

           

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix B

       I also found it helpful to literally translate my passage from the Greek, so that I could see the various Greek emphases and nuances in the original language.   Here is the Greek Text I used:

ΙΩΑΝΝΟΥ Α 5:13-21 (1881 Westcott-Hort New Testament)[79]

13ταυτα εγραψα υμιν ινα ειδητε οτι ζωην εχετε αιωνιον τοις πιστευουσιν εις το ονομα του υιου του θεου

 14και αυτη εστιν η παρρησια ην εχομεν προς αυτον οτι εαν τι αιτωμεθα κατα το θελημα αυτου ακουει ημων

15και εαν οιδαμεν οτι ακουει ημων ο εαν αιτωμεθα οιδαμεν οτι εχομεν τα αιτηματα α ητηκαμεν απ αυτου

16εαν τις ιδη τον αδελφον αυτου αμαρτανοντα αμαρτιαν μη προς θανατον αιτησει και δωσει αυτω ζωην τοις αμαρτανουσιν μη προς θανατον εστιν αμαρτια προς θανατον ου περι εκεινης λεγω ινα ερωτηση

17πασα αδικια αμαρτια εστιν και εστιν αμαρτια ου προς θανατον

18οιδαμεν οτι πας ο γεγεννημενος εκ του θεου ουχ αμαρτανει αλλ ο γεννηθεις εκ του θεου τηρει αυτον και ο πονηρος ουχ απτεται αυτου

19οιδαμεν οτι εκ του θεου εσμεν και ο κοσμος ολος εν τω πονηρω κειται

20οιδαμεν δε οτι ο υιος του θεου ηκει και δεδωκεν ημιν διανοιαν ινα γινωσκομεν τον αληθινον και εσμεν εν τω αληθινω εν τω υιω αυτου ιησου χριστω ουτος εστιν ο αληθινος θεος και ζωη αιωνιος

21τεκνια φυλαξατε εαυτα απο των ειδωλων

My literal Translation:

13 This I have written to you in order that all of you may know that you have eternal life, to all of you who believe on the name of the Son of God.

14. And this is the confidence in prayer that we have with Him that whatever we should ask according to His will, He hears us.

15. And whatever we may have asked, if we know that He hears us, then we know that we may have the requests, which we have asked from Him.

16. If someone should see his brother sinning a sin not to death, he will ask and He will give him life, to those who are sinning not to death.  There is a sin to death; I am NOT saying that he should ask[80] concerning this.[81]

17. All unrighteousness is sin, and yet there is a sin not to death.

18. We know that all who have been fathered[82] by God do not sin, but He who has been fathered by God He protects him and the Evil One does not touch him.

19. We know that we are from God and the whole world resides[83] in the Evil One.[84]

20. But we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding in order that we may know the True[85], and we are in the True, in His Son Jesus Christ.  This One is the True God and eternal life.

21. Children, Guard[86] yourselves from idols.        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Bauer, Walter and Danker, Frederick William.  A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament   

       and Other Early Christian Literature.  3rd Edition.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press,   

       2001.

Boyd, Gregory.  Oneness Pentecostals & The Trinity.  Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992.

Carson, D.A. and Moo, Douglas J.  An Introduction to the New Testament.  Grand Rapids:

       Zondervan, 2005.

Goodrich, Richard J. and Likaszewski, Albert L.  A Reader's Greek New Testament.  Grand

       Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Harris III, W. Hall.  Exegetical Commentary on I John 5:13-21

       www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=2070 Biblical Studies Press L.L.C., 2007.

     

       [Last accessed 06-08-2008].

Hunter, W. Bingham.  The God Who Hears.  Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1986.

Kruse, Colin G.  The Letters of John.  The Pillar New Testament Commentary.  Grand Rapids:

       Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000.

Ladd, George Eldon.  The Presence of the Future.  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974.

Marshall, I. Howard.  The Epistles of John.    The New International Commentary on the New

       Testament.  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1978. 

Murray, Andrew.  Andrew Murray on Prayer.  New Kensington: Whitaker House, 1998.

NET Bible. 1st ed.  A New Approach to Translation, Thoroughly Documented with

 60,932 Notes By The Translators and Editors.  Biblical Studies Press,

       www.bible.org, 2007.

Smalley, Stephen S.  1,2,3 John.  Word Biblical CommentaryWaco: Word Books, 1984.

Vangemeren, Willem A.  New International Dictionary of Old Testement Theology & Exegesis. 

 

       Volume 3.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.

Wallace, Daniel B.  I John: Introduction, Argument, and Outline.  The Net Bible Companion  

       CD. 1st ed.  Biblical Studies Press L.L.C., 2005. 

Wallace, Daniel B.  Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New

       Testament.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.

Wigram, George V.  The Englishman's Greek Concordance of the New Testament. 

       Peabody:  Hendrickson's Publishers, 2006.

 


----

        [1] Carson, D.A. and Moo, Douglas J.  An Introduction to the New Testament.  (Grand Rapids:

Zondervan, 2005).

       [2] Wallace, Daniel B.  I John: Introduction, Argument, and Outline.  The Net Bible Companion CD. 1st ed.  (Biblical Studies Press L.L.C., 2005).  Pg. 10

       [3]See vs. 1 John 2:1

       [4] Carson, Introduction, see provenance and destination pp.675-677

       [5] 1 John 2:19

      [6] 1 John 2:26

     

      [7] 1 John 1:1

      [8] See especially the prologue with 4:2-3

      [9] 1 John 2:22-23

     [10] Carson, Introduction, pp 678-680

       [11] See Gregory Boyd's rebuttal of the Oneness movement in his Oneness Pentecostals & The Trinity.  (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992).

      

       [12] This is the "last hour" 1 John 2:18 and the use of the word "antichrists" rather than false teachers.  Also notice, "when he appears" "at his coming" in 1 John 2:28 and 3:2-3.

       [13] Wallace, I John: Introduction, Argument, and Outline, pg. 5

      [14] I John 4:7

      [15] I John 2:3, 15 and 5:3   

      [16] I John 4:16-19

      [17] I John 5:14-15 rehashes 2:28, 3:21-24, 4:17, while I John 5:16-17 rehashes 3:4, and 3:11-20, while I John 5:18-19 rehashes 2:28-3:10, while I John 5:20 rehashes 5:11-13 and the prologue and finally I John 5:21 is a necessary imperative in view of the high Christology of 5:20 and the epistle in general as well as the consideration of the grave deceptions of the antichrists that are bombarding the people.  

        [18]  I am indebted to the translation note in the NET Bible for this observation of my second argument

        [19] This does not deny that John had multiple intentions for writing as any writer would (see 1:4, 2:1, 7-8 12-14, 2:26), but it is clear that the purpose above all purposes is eternal life-the Son for this epistle.

        [20] 'Eternal Life' is found in 1:2, 2:25, 3:15, 5:11, 13, and 5:20

       [21] 1 John 2:28, 3:21, 4:17, and 5:14; See Wigram, George V.  The Englishman's Greek Concordance of the New Testament. (Peabody:  Hendrickson's Publishers, 2006).  Interestingly, the word occurs more times in John's gospel (9 times) than in any other book in the NT.

       [22] I say triune God because we are to remain in the Father and Son (2:24), but yet we are to remain in him that anoints us, the Holy Spirit (2:27); therefore the 'continue in him' in 2:28 encompasses all said before.  Yet the Son is plainly in view in this eschatological context.

       [23] This present and thus non-eschatological nuance is shown by the use of the present tense verb εχομεν in both verses. 

      

       [24] NIV

       [25] John 6:38 ESV, also see John 4:34, 7:18, and Matthew 26:39

       [26] John 5:30 ESV, also see John 5:21, 8:29

       [27] It needs to be stated that the only way to be 'like Christ' is to be 'in Him,' although I do not think that this needs to be expanded upon right now.  John has touched on this already in 2:27-28 and 5:16-17, but Paul better champions the whole topic of being 'in Christ' in his writings, especially in his epistle to the Romans.

       [28] 1John 4:17 NIV emphasis mine

      

       [29] John 14:23 is a striking example of how John's words in 1 John 4:16-17 is true of Jesus and hence the doctrine of the Trinity is affirmed.  The Trinitarian thought of Paul on this issue is that the love of God the Father was in the Son, Jesus the Messiah our God.  Jesus was as the Son the very embodiment of the Love of God. See Romans 8:39, 2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 Timothy 1:14, 2 Timothy 1:13

       [30] See I John 5:16-17 again in this light.

       [31] You may have noticed that I capitalized the personal pronouns that I understood to be referring to God.  This is necessary because of John's difficult constructions in Greek here and his obscure use of the personal pronouns.  Notice that I interpreted the third person subject of δωσει to be God who is the giver of life, this interpretation is less from the grammatical context than it is from the theological presupposition that this option fits best with Johannine theology displayed especially in the preceding context of 5:11 where God is the giver of eternal life.  However, I concede that this is awkward grammatically and John may indeed be saying that the mediator gives life; although we would have to understand him to mean that God chose to give life in response to the prayers of the righteous one mediating as a function of God's design upon prayer to be one of his vehicles to his transcendence in acting with his people.  And all of this is possible while sustaining his immutability, however, to explain this would be beyond this paper's scope. 

       [32] Different Greek word used here than before.

       [33] A sin to death.

       [34] Also the very end of 3:10 should be included here, "nor is anyone who does not love his brother" as a transition into our Christianly love section in 3:11-20.

       [35] See Wigram, The Englishman's Greek Concordance of the New Testament.  This occurs in addition to 5:16 at three places in 1 John 2:9-11, 3:10-17, 4:20-21.

       [36] Same as "fellow Christians" in the common idiom of today, see the New English Translation (NET).

       [37] 1 John 4:20b

       [38] 1 John 3:14-15 ESV

       [39] NIV

      [40] I Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 8:6, 9:15, 12:24

      

       [41] See especially Jesus' high priestly prayer in John 17, we will return to that later.

       [42] Each elaborated by Smalley, Stephen S.  1,2,3 John.  Word Biblical Commentary(Waco: Word Books, 1984) on pp. 297-299.

       [43] See Numbers 18:22, Deuteronomy 22:26, Isaiah 22:14.

       [44] For this distinction see Leviticus 4:2-27, 5:15-18, Numbers 15:27-31, Deuteronomy 17:12

       [45] NIV

       [46] Both Marshall, I. Howard.  The Epistles of John.    The New International Commentary on the New Testament.  (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1978)  and Smalley, 1,2,3 John agree with this by quoting Brooks.  Marshall does this in footnote 19 on pg. 246; Smalley quotes him in agreement on pg. 301.

       [47] Romans 6:1-2 KJV

       [48] Or begotten, the root is from the verb "to beget."  I am indebted to the NET Bible for pointing out that 'fathered' better shows the intended meaning.

       [49] Or reclines, lies, stands, am appointed, exist, see BDAG  

       [50] Or wickedness

       [51] "who has been born" but 'who have been fathered' fits the context better; especially when John is speaking of the σπερματος 'seed' within believers (1 John 3:9).

       [52] (BDAG) Bauer, Walter and Danker, Frederick William.  A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. (3rd Edition.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001).

       [53] See Wigram, The Englishman's Greek Concordance of the New Testament, 10 times in 1 John.

       [54] See Wigram, The Englishman's Greek Concordance of the New Testament, 18 times in the gospel of John.

       [55] NIV I John 5:1 emphasis mine

       [56] NIV I John 5:5 emphasis mine

      

       [57] Marshall, The Epistles of John, pg. 252

       [58] See Smalley, 1,2,3 John, pp.159-164

      [59] See 3:7-8

      [60] See vv. 3:4-5

      [61] 1 John 3:6 KJV

      [62] Ladd, George Eldon.  The Presence of the Future.  (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974).  This tension is even apparent in John's gospel.

       [63] I Cor. 13:10, II Cor. 7:1, 13:9, Phil. 3:12, Colossians 1:28, Hebrews 10:14, especially 1 Corinthians 1:18 and II Corinthians 2:15

       [64] Matthew 5:48

       [65] I John 3:7a

       [66] Especially 1 John 5:16-17

      

       [67] The Greek is a little obscure and different interpretations have been alleged, See Smalley, 1,2,3 John, pp. 303-304 and Marshall, The Epistles of John pp. 251-252 and Kruse, Colin G.  The Letters of John.  The Pillar New Testament Commentary.  (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000), pp. 195-196.

      [68] 3:24

      [69] ESV

       [70] See BDAG, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature.

       [71] Context tells us this is specifically the Father

      

       [72] See Wigram, The Englishman's Greek Concordance of the New Testament.

       [73] As is clear from Hebrews 1:2, and the declaration of the Father at the baptism of Jesus and on the Mt. of Transfiguration.

       [74] This is debated; the Greek could also be saying that the Father is the true God and eternal life.  But John has already made it clear that the Christ also was eternal life, so it is only a simple deduction for one to see John attesting to the deity of Christ, a theme that is heavily covered in the witness of his gospel.

       [75] Imperative mood

       [76] Smalley in 1,2,3 John surveys the different interpretations historically proposed on pp. 309-310

       [77] See especially Murray, Andrew.  Andrew Murray on Prayer.  (New Kensington: Whitaker House, 1998).

      

       [78] Ibid. Pg. 445.

       [79]  As it turns out Westcott and Hort's text have the same exact Greek text that underpins the NIV version and is the same Greek text I used to translate my version in Goodrich's and Lukaszewski's A Reader's Greek New Testament.

       [80] Different Greek word used here than before.  Need to research if this is significant.

       [81] A sin to death.

       [82] The root is from the verb "to beget"

       [83] or reclines, lies, stands, am appointed, exist  

       [84] Or wickedness

       [85] Context tells us this is specifically the Father

       [86] Imperative mood

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