1 John 5:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 John 5:17, NIV: "All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death."

1 John 5:17, ESV: "All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death."

1 John 5:17, KJV: "All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death."

1 John 5:17, NASB: "All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death."

1 John 5:17, NLT: "All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death."

1 John 5:17, CSB: "All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin that doesn't lead to death."

What does 1 John 5:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In his final comments on sin leading to death, John clarifies that all disobedience is sin. Though sin is the ultimate cause of all death (Romans 5:12), not every act of disobedience results in immediate demise. Then again, some sins a person commits with their body or spirit can be fatal: a "sin that leads to death." However, John is also clear that all sin is wrong. His intent here is to make a distinction regarding how a believer should pray for other people, not about whether something is considered sinful or not.

Though a difficult topic to interpret, the concept of "sin leading to death" is an important one. There is a relationship between our sinful actions and physical consequences, even for believers. Eternal life comes to those who believe in Jesus Christ, and no sin can take that salvation away. However, God has designed a world of cause and effect, and our choices still impact our lives. A believer can pray, ask forgiveness, and receive restored fellowship with God, but this does not necessarily remove the consequences of sinful actions.