Phrasing 1 John
1 John 5:13-21
A Christian can have confidence approaching God concerning his brother's sin.
Published December 17th, 2021
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CH 5:13-21
CH 5:13-21
1 John 5:13-21
I write these things
to you
who believe
in the name
of the Son
of God
that you may know
that you have eternal life.
And this is the confidence
that we have
toward him,
that ... he hears us.
if we ask anything
according to his will
if we know
that he hears us
in whatever we ask,
And ... we know
that we have the requests
that we have asked
of (from) him.
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin
not leading
to death,
he shall ask,
and God will give him life—
to those
who commit sins
that do not lead
to death.
Aside: Don't try to change the nature of sin
There is sin
that leads
to death;
I do not say
that one should pray
for that.
All wrongdoing is sin,
but there is sin
that does not lead
to death.
We know
everyone ... does not keep on sinning,
who has been born
of God
...he ... protects him,
who was born
of God
and the evil one does not touch him.
We know
that we are
from God,
and the whole world lies
in the power
of the evil one.
And we know
that the Son ... has come
Content #1
of God
and has given us understanding,
so that we may know him
who is true;
and we are
in him
who is true,
in his Son Jesus Christ.
He is the true God
and eternal life.
Little children, keep yourselves
from idols.
The point is that the sphere in which he hears our requests and answers them is both limited and unlimited. Both narrow and broad. V14 it is narrow (according to his will) but here it is broad (whatever we ask). Therefore I went with context because I wanted to indicate that, even though there is a standard (14f) that we need to align to, that the scope, or context in which he hears us is still broad and includes whatever we might need or want. His will is not a narrow will. The context, or sphere, in which it is true that he hears us is not narrow. He is liberal to hear a plethora of prayers.
It is clarifying the anchor phrase by distinguishing what kind of sin it is from a different kind of sin (even though that other sin doesn't show up until the next verse.
If I take this to mean "don't pray for the purpose of sin not to lead to death, but rather pray for the person in a sin that doesn't lead to death." The prayer we should pray is for a person in a certain kind of sin. The prayer we shouldn't pray is that sin might not lead to death, if indeed it is un-repented for and un-repentable.
Wait so, I can believe in the name of the Son of God, and not perceive that I have eternal life? Wouldn't belief in the name of the Son of God cause me to know already, so that he wouldn't even need to write these things? This is the real question, why does the disconnect between belief and perceiving what we have there? And what "things" written here are the magic tool for bringing together what I believe and therefore what I should know but don't. It's seems odd that we don't know, but when I reflect upon it, that disconnect is the basic state of every Christian upon conversion. Imagine all that happened to me upon belief, I HAVE eternal life, and yet I didn't know it! I knew something changed, something true had worked in me. I was told to just believe it. Just believe that you have it. That's not it. "These things" are the means for the believer "to know." What things? Passing the test.
To know - οἴδαμεν... Idols - εἰδώλων Related words
I think this refers to Jesus, because it is coordinate with "eternal life" obviously referring to the same antecedent then as "the true God is." And so 1) Jesus is the most recently mentioned antecedent. And 2) in verse 11, the testimony of the Father concerning his son is that eternal life is in him. Indeed one of the central points of the whole book, starting from v2 is that the Word of Life was made manifest which was with the Father . So throughout the book there is continuity that Jesus is the life, the word of life, and that life is found in Him. Nothing is said of the Father in this way in 1 John. And so if "eternal life" is referring to Jesus, which makes the most sense with the flow of the book, then I think it makes sense that "He is the true God" must refer to the same thing, since they are coordinate statements (This one "He" is both things).
Usually in john, when a person is both subject and object of this verb, then God is the subject, and the Christian/disciple is the object. Specifically john 17:11-15, and more. specifically 17:15 because it makes explicit reference to the evil one. keeps himself does make more logical sense though, to me at least, than NET lets.
in approaching him.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.