Overcoming the World
5 Everyone who believes [with a deep, abiding trust in the fact] that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) is born of God [that is, reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose], and everyone who loves the Father also loves [a]the child born of Him. 2 By this we know [without any doubt] that we love the children of God: [expressing that love] when we love God and obey His commandments. 3 For the [true] love of God is this: that we habitually keep His commandments and remain focused on His precepts. And His commandments and His precepts are not difficult [to obey]. 4 For [b]everyone born of God is victorious and overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has conquered and overcome the world—our [continuing, persistent] faith [in Jesus the Son of God].
5 Who is the one who is victorious and overcomes the world? It is the one who believes and recognizes the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. 6 This is He who came through water and blood [His baptism and death], Jesus Christ—not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. It is the [Holy] Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. [He is the essence and origin of truth itself.] 7 For there are three witnesses: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three are in agreement [their testimony is perfectly consistent]. 9 If we accept [as we do] the testimony of men [that is, if we are willing to take the sworn statements of fallible humans as evidence], the testimony of God is greater [far more authoritative]; for this is the testimony of God, that He has testified regarding His Son. 10 The one who believes in the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies confidently on Him as Savior] has the testimony within himself [because he can speak authoritatively about Christ from his own personal experience]. The one who does not believe God [in this way] has made Him [out to be] a liar, because he has not believed in the evidence that God has given regarding His Son. 11 And the testimony is this: God has given us eternal life [we already possess it], and this life is in His Son [resulting in our spiritual completeness, and eternal companionship with Him]. 12 He who has the Son [by accepting Him as Lord and Savior] has the life [that is eternal]; he who does not have the Son of God [by personal faith] does not have the life.
This Is Written That You May Know
13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God [which represents all that Jesus Christ is and does], so that you will know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that you [already] have eternal life. 14 This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that [c]if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us. 15 And if we know [for a fact, as indeed we do] that He hears and listens to us in whatever we ask, we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him.
16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not lead to death, he will pray and ask [on the believer’s behalf] and God will for him give life to those whose sin is not leading to death. There is a sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for this [kind of sin]. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death [one can repent of it and be forgiven].
18 We know [with confidence] that anyone born of God does not habitually sin; but He (Jesus) who was born of God [carefully] keeps and protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know [for a fact] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] lies in the power of the evil one [opposing God and His precepts]. 20 And we [have seen and] know [by personal experience] that the Son of God has [actually] come [to this world], and has given us understanding and insight so that we may [progressively and personally] know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true—in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
21 Little children (believers, dear ones), guard yourselves from idols—[false teachings, moral compromises, and anything that would take God’s place in your heart].
- 1 John 5:1 This could refer either to other born-again believers or to Jesus.
- 1 John 5:4 Lit everything that is. John uses the Greek neuter to underscore the fact that everyone who has been born again, regardless of gender or age, is victorious over the world.
- 1 John 5:14 Confident, abiding faith combined with God’s power can produce amazing results, if the request is in harmony with God’s will. God is fully capable of doing that which man regards as impossible (Mark 14:36; James 4:3).