Verse 1 – Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.
Verse 2 – By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.
Verse 3 – For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments! And His commandments are not burdensome.
Meaning: God’s laws are not unreasonable; what He requires of us is not beyond our ability. It’s actually quit easy to obey God when our hearts are right.
Verse 4 – For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.
Verse 5 – Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believers that Jesus is the Son of God?
Everyone that is a true Christian gains victory over the world. Christ overcame the darkness in the world, so now as believers in Christ, our faith in Him makes us victorious also. “As He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17.
Verse 6 – This is He who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.
If this verse is understood to be “water baptism,” there is no natural connection between water and the “blood.”
There remains one interpretation – “water and blood” which flowed from the side of the Savior when He was pierced by the spear of the Roman soldier. John had himself laid great stress on this occurrence, and on the fact that he himself had witnessed it. Together, they bore witness to the one fact that He actually died. There are three that bear witness; the Spirit, the water and the blood, and these three agree in one. John makes it clear in this verse it was not by water only, but water and blood.
Verse 7 – For there are three who bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
Verse 8 – And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.
The Spirit of God has thus always borne witness to the fact that Jesus is the Christ, and He will continue to do it to the end of time, convincing countless millions that He was sent from God to redeem and save lost people.
Verse 9 – If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.
Verse 10 – He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.
Verse 11 – And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
Plain and simple: You cannot have eternal life without Jesus Christ. There is only one way and that way is Jesus!!
Verse 12 – He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
This verse says “has” as in possessing. This is not talking about just believing “in” Jesus in our minds. Do we have Him living in our lives? You’ll know them by their fruit.
Verse 13 – These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
Eternal life is not based on “feelings.” We know for sure based on God’s promise and God’s truth. Ask yourself this: Have you committed your life to the Son of God? If so, you know by faith that you have eternal life!
Verse 14 – Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
Verse 15 – And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
The sense is, that one of the effects of believing on the Lord Jesus is, having the assurance that our prayers will be answered – confidence.
It’s easy to know His will if we are listening to what the Spirit says and reading His word. For instance: forgiveness of sin; the sanctification of the soul; comfort in trials; supply of our needs; grace to do His good works; wisdom to direct and guide us; deliverance from evil; a broader influence of His Spirit; our salvation. There are many petitions we place before the Lord, but with confidence we know He hears us and answers.
Verse 16 – If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that.
Verse 17 – All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.
It is not easy to define the unpardonable sin, even though we know it is against the Holy Spirit and it is impossible for us to determine, with absolute certainty that a person has committed it. But the one sin I know for sure that will have no forgiveness after death, is the rejection of Jesus Christ.
Verse 18 – We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.
Though a person may fall into sin, and grieve their fellow Christians, we are not to cease to pray for them. This “not sinning,” is not done in our own strength, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, divine assistance, we are able to not sin. We are to draw near to God, He draws near to us, and the evil one flees.
Verse 19 – We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
We are either with God or under the control and influence of Satan. There is no middle ground!
Verse 20 – And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
Verse 21 – Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
John presents a clear picture of Christ. What we think about Jesus is central to our teaching, preaching, and living a holy life. Jesus is fully God and fully man and came to earth to die for our sins. Through faith in Him, we are given eternal life and the power to do His will. Choose life!!