What does 1 John 5:1 mean?
ESV: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.
NIV: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.
NASB: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves the child born of Him.
CSB: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of him.
NLT: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too.
KJV: Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
Verse Commentary:
Chapter 5 emphasizes the believer's ability to "overcome" the world through the power of Christ. This opening verse notes that being "born of God" is the result of faith in Christ. In John's gospel, he speaks of being "born of God" (John 1:13). John chapter 3 offers the Bible's most detailed account of this idea. There, Nicodemus is told a person must be born again to enter the kingdom of God. The one and only way to be born again is to believe Jesus is the Messiah (John 14:6).

The second part of this verse again reminds readers that love for God is inseparable from love for other people. True believers must also love other believers. In contrast with false teachers, who may exhibit hate or rejection of other believers, true Christians are to view other believers as brothers and sisters—fellow members of the family of God. Those who claim to love God, but exhibit hate, were labelled as liars earlier in this letter (1 John 4:20).
Verse Context:
First John 5:1–5 develops two major ideas. Initially, John repeats the idea that love, as a commandment from God, is a necessary action by believers. Showing love to others is how we demonstrate that we are ''born of God.'' Second, John explains that those who have faith in Christ can overcome worldly sins and temptations. Victory, for the Christian, is through faith in Christ, who has already defeated these powers of darkness.
Chapter Summary:
Chapter 5 concludes the book of 1 John, once again emphasizing the supremacy of love in the Christian experience. Those who put their faith in Christ can know, for sure, that they have eternal life. This assurance comes by trusting what we know of the life of Jesus Christ, as well as the evidence of the Holy Spirit within us. Following God's commands, particularly love, results in confidence of our salvation, as well as strength against the temptations of the world.
Chapter Context:
First John 5 completes the letter by summarizing how Christians can know that they have eternal life. Prior chapters have explained the various signs of ''abiding'' with God, but the key measurement is love. In this final passage, love is once again used as the supreme measurement. In light of the rest of the letter, love for God and love for others is shown to be both a source of confidence and a sign of faith.
Book Summary:
First John seems to assume that the reader is familiar with the gospel. Rather than re-state these facts, John is concerned with building confidence in Christian believers. At the same time, his words encourage believers to examine their own lives for signs of their relationship with Christ. This letter also challenges false teachers and their incorrect claims about Jesus. Many themes are shared with the Gospel of John.
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