Faith in the Son of God
5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2 We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. 3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
6 And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross—not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony. 7 So we have these three witnesses— 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree. 9 Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son. 10 All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about his Son.
11 And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.
13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.
16 If you see a fellow believer sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. 17 All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death.
18 We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. 19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God.[e] And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He 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.
Here is an intersting note to help clarify verse 7&8; a few very late manuscripts add in heaven—the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And we have three witnesses on earth.
Overcoming. John is really trying to emphasize to the church that we are able to overcome the evil and temptation of this world.
There are three specific things that the Christian has been instructed to overcome – the world, the flesh and the devil.. and in each case, we have been equipped with the tools to do just that.
Consider what is involved in this phrase “
the world”. Think of the moral pressures that we face in the world today, the outlook and standards of the godless society that is surrounding us, constantly intruding upon our consciousness with tremendous pressure to make us conform to these attitudes and standards of life. Think of the temptation to cheat and lie; to get ahead at all costs; to be dishonest, not only in filling out our income tax but in every aspect of business. Another common pressure that comes upon us from the world is to be sexually immoral, which is especially evident among the young and the unmarried. We are encouraged to feed the fire and satisfy the urge, though it may be wrong and deadly. The pressures around us are tremendous these days, seemingly overpowering at times. There is the pressure to harbor wrong ideas, to react against others the way the world reacts, to strike back and give as good as you get, to be resentful and jealous, to be ambitious and cruel. Don’t you feel all this? The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—all this is of the world.
But it is John who explains what it means to overcome the world. Whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world. It is our faith that overcomes the world. But faith must have an object.. and the object of our faith is Jesus Christ. It is our faith in the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus that gains victory over the world. It is trusting in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus our Saviour, for the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting, that overcomes the world.
I once heard of a captain of a ship who was describing what it was like to go through a storm. He described the ship in the midst of the waves mounting on every side, with the wind blowing hard and the pitiless rain coming down. The ship seemed a helpless victim of the storm, caught up in the power of these mighty elements that were raging on every side. Its doom seemed sure. But he said,
I stood there on the bridge of the ship and I grasped the railing. I felt the throbbing of the engines deep down inside the hull. The storm, the wind, and the waves seemed to be saying to the ship, ‘You cannot come, you cannot come.’ But I heard the answering throb of the engines saying, ‘Yes, we shall; yes, we shall; yes, we shall.’ And so we do. That is the way we overcome the world.
James informs us, that when we submit ourselves to God, and resist the devil – he will flee from us.. and Paul lists the weapons of spiritual warfare, which we will need to overcome this spiritual enemy, at the end of his letter to the Ephesians. We must be in the Word daily, we must be praying and asking God to refresh us each day. We must actively resist and avoid godless and worldly temptations; and by doing all this, focusing on Jesus and putting our faith in Him to help us maneuver through this life on earth. And God will give us the means and the strength to do so!
Lord may our eyes be fixed firmly on you today. Help me resist temptation and worldly desires. We thank you that through You, Jesus, we are overcomers! In Jesus name, amen.