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1 John chapter 5

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What does 1 John chapter 5 mean?

Chapter 5 emphasizes the believer's ability to "overcome" the world (1 John 5:1–5) through the power of Christ. John gives testimony regarding Jesus as the Son of God (1 John 5:6–12). This passage also reassures believers, telling them they can know they have eternal life (1 John 5:13–21).

First John chapter 5 begins with an important idea. Everyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ is "born of God." Those who truly love God also love their spiritual brothers and sisters. We show this love for others through obeying God's commands (1 John 5:2). Verse 4 adds that those born of God are "overcomers." John highlights the power of believers to conquer the sins and temptations of this world, through a relationship with God.

The second section, in verses 6 through 12, focuses on Jesus as God's Son. He came by water and blood, likely a reference to His baptism and crucifixion (1 John 5:6). The Spirit also agrees with the testimony of Jesus as God's Son (1 John 5:7–8). Whoever believes has this testimony within them (1 John 5:10). This witness proves that, through Christ, we have everlasting life. Even as early as John wrote this letter, Christians were facing discouragement from false teachers over their salvation.

The third section, in verses 13 through 21, focuses on the teaching that believers can have assurance of their salvation. First John 5:13 clearly states that John's purpose for this letter is "that you may know that you have eternal life." Five additional teachings are then given, followed by a brief command to stay away from idols. First, John speaks of confidence in prayer (1 John 5:14–15). Second, John emphasizes helping those struggling with sin (1 John 5:16–17). Third, John teaches those who know God are protected from the evil one (1 John 5:18). Fourth, John notes that those who don't belong to God are under this world's power (1 John 5:19). Fifth, John notes that Jesus came so we can have eternal life (1 John 5:20). As a result, we are to stay away from idols and worship only the true God, Jesus Christ (1 John 5:21).
What is the Gospel?
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