Translations: Chinese GB Big5

1John 4:13-5:5 (LIT)

The Witness of the Spirit to God's Love

Assurance from God's Love

vs 13  By this we know that we characteristically dwell in Him, and He in us,
because He has given us of His Spirit.
vs 14  And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

vs 15  Whoever confesses at some point in time that Jesus is the Son of God,
God characteristically dwells in him, and he in God.
vs 16  And we have known and have believed the love that God characteristically has for us.
God is love, Indeed he who dwells in love characteristically dwells in God, and God in him.

The Evidence of the Acceptance of God's Love

Confidence

vs 17  Love has been perfected among us in this:
that we may characteristically have boldness in the day of judgment;
because as He is, so are we in this world.

vs 18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love characteristically casts out fear,
because fear characteristically involves torment.
But he who characteristically fears for himself has not been made perfect in love.

Loving Others

vs 19  We characteristically love Him because He first loved us at a point in time.
vs 20  If someone says at some point in time, "I characteristically love God,"
and characteristically hates his "brother", he characteristically is a liar; f
or he who does not characteristically love his "brother" whom he has seen,
how can he characteristically love God whom he has not seen?
vs 21  And this commandment we have from Him:
that he who characteristically loves God must characteristically love his "brother" also.

5:1  Whoever characteristically believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who characteristically loves Him who begot also characteristically loves him who has been begotten of Him.

Obedience

vs 2  By this we generally know that we characteristically love the children of God,
when we characteristically love God and characteristically keep His commandments.
vs 3  For this is the love of God, that we characteristically keep His commandments.

Overcoming

And His commandments are not generally burdensome.
vs 4  For whatever has been born of God characteristically overcomes the world.
And this is the victory that overcame the world at a point in time——our faith.
vs 5 
Who is he who characteristically overcomes the world,
but he who characteristically believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Discussion Questions

vs 13 For those who are Christians, in what way has the Holy Spirit convinced you that you are among the saved?
vs 14 What most convinces you that Jesus is the Savior of the world?
vs 15 What does it really mean to "acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God"?
vs 16 What does it mean to dwell in love?
vs 17 Under what conditions should we not fear the judgment day?
How is the phrase "in this world we are like him"(NIV) related to this?
vs 18 Are all Christians "perfected" in God's love?
Should real Christians fear going to hell?
vs 19 "He loved us" is in the aorist (point in time) What point in time is he referring to?
vs 5:1 What requirements of salvation are indicated here?
What does it mean to believe that Jesus is the Christ?
vs 2 From this verse, what state of mind would characterize a believer?
vs 3 Why are God's commands not burdensome to the christian?
vs 5 From vs 3-5, what would qualify as evidence that a person is or is not a real believer?


Commentary

A Reiteration of Evidences

1John 4:13-16  We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

Here again he's reiterating some of his previous points whereby we know whether we have been born of God, namely:

1. By the internal witness of the Spirit (1John 3:24)

2. By our outward profession of Jesus (1John 2:23)

And in particular here our acknowledgement of him as the Son of God and Savior of the world.
3. By our love for one another, being a reflection of God's love (1John 3:14; 4:12)



Love and Fear

1John 4:17-18  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

What he's referring to here is that when we come to realize God's love for us and apply that love to our own lives, it frees us from fears of condemnation concerning the day of judgment. Consider Jesus. During his time on earth did he fear condemnation? No, not for himself. So also those who walk as Jesus did need not fear the coming judgment, having had our sins atoned for on the cross of which we have accepted as the demonstration of God's love for us. For in his world we are like him.

Those born of God are generally not afraid of the judgment. In fact quite the contrary. However there is the legitimate concern advocated in the Bible as to whether one is genuinely in the faith (i.e. 2Cor 13:5; Heb 10:25,27 etc.) And so one should not be too presumptuous of one's salvation status if in fact one's behavior does not correlate with one's faith - which is the main point of 1John. And furthermore while there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1), there is yet a judgement for rewards (1Cor 3:11-15) And since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 1Peter 1:17

However a lack of fear of judgement is not of itself indicative that one has been born of God. For example it says, "concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes." Ps 36:1 And furthermore, as an example of the misconceptions inherent in many other religions, there's Fundamentalist Islam which guarantees eternal life if you commit a murder/suicide in the name of their god "Allah". So there are many people in the world who are confident about their salvation status who shouldn't be. But if you're walking as Jesus did, you can be confident on the judgement day. To reiterate 1John 2:28  "And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming."



"I Love God"

1John 4:19-21  We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.  And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Again John reiterates these points concerning love. The reason why we love is because God loved. (1John 4:11) There are those who only give lip service saying that they "love God" but demonstrate hatred towards fellow Christians. When it comes to love, don't go simply by what people say. (And just as an aside, this is one reason why husbands are often reluctant to say "I love you", because it is such a vain and shallow way of expressing love.)  But concerning the love of the brethren, once again I point out what Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."John 13:34,35



Every Believer a Child of God

1John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.

This is another way of stating 1John 4:13 "If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God."  When a person puts his faith in Christ he receives the right to be born of God. "To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12 Having believed, the process of being born of God is purely passive, requiring no effort on the part of the believer. "children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God." John 1:13 Therefore if a person professes faith in Christ it should be assume that person is born of God unless there is evidence to the contrary.

Once again John reiterates the point that one evidence that one has been born of God is by their love for fellow Christians. In this case he points out the motivation that family members have an inherent love for one another. Christians are in a common family and share a common destiny. "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God." Eph 2:19 Therefore Paul writes, "as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Gal 6:10



Love and Obedience

1John 5:2  This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.

Jesus said, "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me." John 14:21a Christian love for God is applied through submission to God and obedience to his commands. And what is his primary command but to love one another. Loving the brethren and loving God go hand in hand.



Overcoming

1John 5:3-5 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Mt 11:29,30 It's easy for those born of God to obey his commands because it comes natural to them. Both submission to God itself is part of the regenerate nature, and the very commands we are given are all in line with the Spirit which lives in us.

This is the sense in which those born of God overcome the world. It is not simply a positional fact, rather to "overcome" is referring to the natural behavior of those born of God. The book of Revelation associates "overcoming" with one's speech and actions. (Rev 2-3;12:11;21:7) It is not that salvation is contingent upon one overcoming, but rather overcoming is a natural indicator that one has been born of God, and thus saved.


Literalized Translation

1John 4:

vs 13  By this we know that we characteristically dwell in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
vs 14  And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.
vs 15  Whoever confesses at some point in time that Jesus is the Son of God, God characteristically dwells in him, and he in God.
vs 16  And we have known and have believed the love that God characteristically has for us. God is love, Indeed he who dwells in love characteristically dwells in God, and God in him.
vs 17  Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may characteristically have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
vs 18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love characteristically casts out fear, because fear characteristically involves torment. But he who characteristically fears for himself has not been made perfect in love.
vs 19  We characteristically love Him because He first loved us at a point in time.
vs 20  If someone says at some point in time, "I characteristically love God," and characteristically hates his brother, he characteristically is a liar; for he who does not characteristically love his brother whom he has seen, how can he characteristically love God whom he has not seen?
vs 21  And this commandment we have from Him: that he who characteristically loves God must characteristically love his brother also.

1John 5:

vs 1  Whoever characteristically believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who characteristically loves Him who begot also characteristically loves him who has been begotten of Him.
vs 2  By this we generally know that we characteristically love the children of God, when we characteristically love God and characteristically keep His commandments.
vs 3  For this is the love of God, that we characteristically keep His commandments. And His commandments are not generally burdensome.
vs 4  For whatever has been born of God characteristically overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcame the world at a point in time——our faith.
vs 5 
Who is he who characteristically overcomes the world, but he who characteristically believes that Jesus is the Son of God?


Rap

4:12 No one has even seen God, if we love God lives in us
God reveals through us, his love made complete, having also made us righteous.
13 We know that we live in him, and in us he also lives
Cause he's given us of his Spirit, and all of our sins he forgives.
14 We have seen and do testify, the Father has sent a Savior
Into the world, the Son of his love, which also affects our behavior.
15 If anyone does acknowledge, Christ Jesus the Son of God.
God lives in him, and he in God, and this you should not find odd.
16 And so we know and rely, on the love that God has shown
God is love, and those who live, in love are truly God's own
17 Thus love is made complete among us, so we will not fear
The judgment of God, cause in this world, we like Christ appear.
18 There is no fear in love, God's love for us drives it away
The one who has fear, is not perfect in love, and may not be prepared for that day
19 We love cause he first loved us, we were not the ones to start
Our love for other Christians, is because we took God's love to heart.
20 If anyone says, "I love God", but hates his brother has lied
For his brother he sees, and God he cannot, so by his works what he says is denied.
21 And this is the command he gives us, that whoever does say he loves God
Must also love his brother, and this I don't think is too hard.
5:1 Everyone who believes, Jesus is Christ, has been born from above
All all who love their father, his child they also love.
2 We know we love God's children, and this is how we know
We know by loving God, as keeping his commands do show.
3 For this is love for God, to obey his commands
And his commands are not a burden, for he who truly understands
4 For all who've been born of God, overcome this world of sin
by this faith, we have this victory, and it is Christ our faith is in.
5 And let met ask this one more time, who is it that has overcome?
But he who believes in the Son of God, yes through Jesus he has won.


The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources


Jul 29,2015