We feel enormously uncomfortable distinguishing between those who are Christian and those who are not within the church. John doesn’t. In fact, he has left the church tests by which to identify genunie Christianity from false. The reason this matters is that Christ came to enable his followers to overcome things that most people don’t think are important namely; ‘the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life…’ (1 John 2.15-17). Christ did not come to leave us unchanged but to cause a quiet revolution by renovating our mind, souls, heart and strength in his service. John is very keen to let those who have the marks of genuinue Christianity know that they are born of God and that birth will carry them into eternity with him. [Audio | Notes]
1 John 5:1-12 | Truth, love & obedience – overcome
Truth, love and obedience (1-5)
Water, Blood and Spirit (6-9)
God gave us life and life is in the Son (10-12)
For further thought
Q: The evidence of true Christian commitment are truth, love and obedience (1,2). How do they work together in verses 1-5?
Q: It will help you to re-read 2.15-17 to remind you of what John means by the world. What does it mean for us to overcome the world? Where do you need to overcome the world in your own life? How does John say we can do this?
Q: Verse 5 helps explain verse 6. The place where Jesus is declared to be the Son of God is at his baptism (the water). The place where Jesus is associated with blood is, of course, the cross. How does the water explain the significance of the blood as a witness to what God has done for us in Jesus?
Q: What are the signs in 1 John of the Christian experience of the Holy Spirit of God?