1 John 5J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
Only real faith in Christ as God’s son can make a man confident, obedient and loving
5 Everyone who really believes that Jesus is the Christ proves himself one of God’s family. The man who loves the Father cannot help loving the Father’s own Son.
2-5 The test of the genuineness of our love for God’s family lies in this question—do we love God himself and do we obey his commands? For loving God means obeying his commands, and these commands of his are not burdensome, for God’s “heredity” within us will always conquer the world outside us. In fact, this faith of ours is the only way in which the world has been conquered. For who could ever be said to conquer the world, in the true sense, except the man who really believes that Jesus is God’s Son?
6-12 Jesus Christ himself is the one who came by water and by blood—not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. The Spirit bears witness to this, for the Spirit is the truth. The witness therefore is a triple one—the Spirit in our own hearts, the signs of the water of baptism and the blood of atonement—and they all say the same thing. If we are prepared to accept human testimony, God’s own testimony concerning his own Son is surely infinitely more valuable. The man who really believes in the Son of God will find God’s testimony in his own heart. The man who will not believe God is making him out to be a liar, because he is deliberately refusing to accept the testimony that God has given concerning his own Son. This is, that God has given men eternal life and this real life is to be found only in his Son. It follows naturally that any man who has genuine contact with Christ has this life; and if he has not, then he does not possess this life at all.
13 I have written like this to you who already believe in the name of God’s Son so that you may be quite sure that, here and now, you possess eternal life.
14-15 We have such confidence in him that we are certain that he hears every request that is made in accord with his own plan. And since we know that he invariably gives his attention to our prayers, whatever they are about, we can be quite sure that our prayers will be answered.
Help each other to live without sin
16-17 If any of you should see his brother committing a sin (I don’t mean deliberately turning his back on God and embracing evil), he should pray to God for him and secure fresh life for the sinner. It is possible to commit sin that is a deliberate embracing of evil and that leads to spiritual death—that is not the sort of sin I have in mind when I recommend prayer for the sinner. Every failure to obey God’s laws is sin, of course, but there is sin that does not preclude repentance and forgiveness.
Our certain knowledge
18 We know that the true child of God does not sin, he is in the charge of God’s own Son and the evil one must keep his distance.
19-20 We know that we ourselves are children of God, and we also know that the world around us is under the power of the evil one. We know too that the Son of God has actually come to this world, and has shown us the way to know the one who is true. We know that our real life is in the true one, and in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the real God and this is real, eternal life.
21 But be on your guard, my dear children, against every false god!