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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible

1 John 5



Other Authors
Verses 1-21

1 John 5:1. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.

Take comfort, believer, from that declaration. You have accepted Jesus as the Christ the anointed of God, so the apostle affirms that you are “born of God.” It may be only lately that you have been born again, you may be only a babe in grace; but if you have a true faith in Christ as God’s anointed, you are “born of God.”

1 John 5:1. And every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

If you truly love God, you also love his well-beloved and only-begotten Son, and you also love all his children. There cannot be a true love to the Father and a hatred to his family, that is impossible. Judge therefore by this test whether you love God or not.

1 John 5:2-3. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments and his commandments are not grievous.

Love is a practical thing; love without obedience is a mere pretense. True love shows itself by seeking to please the one who is loved. May God the Holy Ghost work in us perfect obedience to the commands of God, that we may prove that we really do love him!

1 John 5:4. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

This is the conquering weapon; he who truly believes in Jesus cannot be overthrown by the combined forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Remember the lesson that Haman learned when he contended in vain against Mordecai because Mordecai was of the seed of the Jews, and learn that they who belong to Christ shall, like Christ be more than conquerors.

1 John 5:5. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus the Son of God?

Let that truth be firmly fixed in your mind, and nerve you in your conflict with the world. The old cry, Athanasius contra mundum, “Athanasius against the world,” may be uttered by every believer in Jesus into Christianus contra mundum.” Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

1 John 5:6-7. This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ, not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Thus all the Persons in the blessed Trinity confirm the faith of the Christian; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost bear united witness to the faith which God himself gives us.

1 John 5:8. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

Three candles in the room, but the light is one, three witnesses to our heart, but the witness is the same. If we have the witness of the Spirit, the water, and the blood, we know that we have received the truth.

1 John 5:9-10. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:

What better witness than this could he have?

1 John 5:10. Because he believeth not God hath made him a liar;”-

He need not actually say that God is a liar; the fact that he does no believe him has practically made out that God is a liar. How many of us are there to whom this passage applies?” He that believeth not God hath made him a liar;”-

1 John 5:10. Because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

Is this true concerning anyone here! If so, perhaps if you have not been aware of the extent of your guilt. You have remained unbelievers out of sheer carelessness, out of neglect of the Word. I pray you, rest not in such a state of mind and heart now that you are informed by the Spirit of God that, by your unbelief, you are making God a liar. Who would willfully commit that great sin? Let us shudder at the thought of the bare possibility of such guilt as this.

1 John 5:11. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

Our only hope lies in Christ; but there is life for Us in Christ and life eternal, if we do but believe in him.

1 John 5:12. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

You exist, and you always will exist, but true life is not yours if you have not Christ as your Saviour. Life is something infinitely superior to mere existence: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

1 John 5:13-15. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we knew that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

A very wonderful thing is prayer, yet it is not every man’s prayer that is heard, but he that hath the life of God within him shall have his petitions granted because the Holy Spirit will move him to ask in accordance with the will of God.

1 John 5:16-18. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. We know that whatsoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

He who has committed the sin which is unto death have no desire for forgiveness, he will never repent, he will never seek faith in Christ but he will continue hardened and unbelieving; he will henceforth never be the subject of holy influences, for he has crossed over into that dark region of despair where hope and mercy never come. Perhaps some of you think that you have committed that unpardonable sin, and are at this moment grieving over it. If so, it is clear that you cannot have committed that sin, or else you could not grieve over it. If you have any fear concerning it, you have not committed that sin which is unto death, for even fear is a sign of life. Whoever repents of sin and trusts in Jesus Christ is freely and fully forgiven, therefore it is clear that he has not committed a sin which will not be forgiven. There is much in this passage to make us prayerful and watchful, but there is nothing here to make a single troubled heart feel anything like despair. He that is born again, born from above, can never commit this unpardonable sin. He is kept from it; “that wicked one” cannot even touch him, for he is preserved by sovereign grace against this dreadful damage to his soul. You need not be curious to enquire what this unpardonable sin is. I will give you an old illustration of mine concerning it. You may sometimes have seen a notice put up on certain estates in the country, “Man-traps and spring guns set here,” but, if so, did you ever go round to the front door of the mansion, and say, “If you please will you tell me where the man-traps are, and whereabouts the spring guns are set?” If you had asked that question, the answer would have been, “It is the very purpose of this warning not to tell you where they are, for you have no business to trespass there at all.” So, “all unrighteousness is sin,” and you are warned to keep clear of it.” There is a sin unto death,” but you are not told what that sin is on purpose that you may, by the grace of God, keep clear of sin altogether.

1 John 5:19-21. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

After the Reformation in England, there was a certain part of the church, called the rood-loft, where the crucifix had to be, and it was ordered by the Reformers, when “the holy rood” was taken away, that these words should be printed in capital letters in its place,-“ LITTLE CHILDREN KEEP YOURSELVES FROM IDOLS.” This was an admirable arrangement, and this text might very profitably be put up in a good many Ritualistic churches now, instead of the Agnus Dei and the crucifix,-“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” Might we not also say to many a mother and many a father concerning their children, and to many a lover of money and hungerer after gold, “Keep yourselves from idols”? Idolatry will intrude itself in one form or another. Some idolize themselves; they look in the glass, and there see the face of their god. O beware of all idolatry!” Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” We may very well say “Amen” to that.


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on 1 John 5:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". 2011.

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