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If you believe that Jesus is the Christ—that he is God’s Son and your Savior—then you are a child of God. And all who love the Father love his children too. So you can find out how much you love God’s children—your brothers and sisters in the Lord—by how much you love and obey God. Loving God means doing what he tells us to do, and really, that isn’t hard at all; for every child of God can obey him, defeating sin and evil pleasure by trusting Christ to help him.

But who could possibly fight and win this battle except by believing that Jesus is truly the Son of God? 6-8 And we know he is, because God said so with a voice from heaven when Jesus was baptized, and again as he was facing death[a]—yes, not only at his baptism but also as he faced death.* And the Holy Spirit, forever truthful, says it too. So we have these three witnesses: the voice of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, the voice from heaven at Christ’s baptism, and the voice before he died.* And they all say the same thing: that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.* We believe men who witness in our courts, and so surely we can believe whatever God declares. And God declares that Jesus is his Son. 10 All who believe this know in their hearts that it is true. If anyone doesn’t believe this, he is actually calling God a liar because he doesn’t believe what God has said about his Son.

11 And what is it that God has said? That he has given us eternal life and that this life is in his Son. 12 So whoever has God’s Son has life; whoever does not have his Son, does not have life.

13 I have written this to you who believe in the Son of God so that you may know you have eternal life. 14 And we are sure of this, that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. 15 And if we really know he is listening when we talk to him and make our requests, then we can be sure that he will answer us.

16 If you see a Christian sinning in a way that does not end in death, you should ask God to forgive him, and God will give him life unless he has sinned that one fatal sin. But there is that one sin which ends in death, and if he has done that, there is no use praying for him. 17 Every wrong is a sin, of course. I’m not talking about these ordinary sins; I am speaking of that one that ends in death.[b]

18 No one who has become part of God’s family makes a practice of sinning, for Christ, God’s Son, holds him securely, and the devil cannot get his hands on him. 19 We know that we are children of God and that all the rest of the world around us is under Satan’s power and control. 20 And we know that Christ, God’s Son, has come to help us understand and find the true God. And now we are in God because we are in Jesus Christ his Son, who is the only true God; and he is eternal Life.

21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts. Amen.

Sincerely, John


  1. 1 John 5:6 as he was facing death, literally, “This is he who came by water and blood,” see Matthew 3:16-17; Luke 9:3135; John 12:27-28, 32-33. Other interpretations of this verse are equally possible. as he faced death, literally, “not by water only, but by water and blood.” and the voice before he died, literally, “the Spirit, and the water, and the blood.” that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, implied.
  2. 1 John 5:17 that one that ends in death. Commentators differ widely in their thoughts about what sin this is and whether it causes physical death or spiritual death. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit results in spiritual death (Mark 3:29), but can a Christian ever sin in such a way? Impenitence at the Communion Table sometimes ends in physical death (1 Corinthians 11:30). And Hebrews 6:4-8 speaks of the terrible end of those who fall away.

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