Oak Grove Baptist Church

Striving to become the church of choice for this generation.

Philippians 1:1-11

Partnership in the Gospel

Scripture Outline

  1. Participants in the Gospel (Php_1:1-11)
  2. Proclaimers of the Gospel (Php_1:12-18)
  3. The Gospel Through the Person (Php_1:19-30)


Every time Paul thinks of his friends in Philippi, he is filled with joy. The entire letter throbs with personal intensity. Most of Paul's letters include in the greeting a prayer of thanksgiving, but none of these prayers compares in depth of feeling with this one. Affliction, gratitude, confidence, and joy fill the mind of Paul, even though he is in prison, as he thinks of the one church which never caused him trouble or anxiety.


While a number of themes are woven into the first chapter, they may all fall under the theme partnership in the gospel.


Participants in the Gospel

Paul begins his epistle with a customary greeting, which includes a prayer. This greeting, with characteristic intensity, reveals the commanding passion of Paul's life—his devotion to Christ. This has added meaning because of the relationship of Paul to the Christians at Philippi. They are his friends, so the tone of the letter is set in the fact that this is a letter from a friend to his friends.

Three times in the first two verses he speaks the name of his Lord. These references to Christ are the cord binding Paul, and Timothy, Epaphroditus and other companions in the Roman prison with the band of faithful and joyful Christians at Philippi. They are all participants in the gospel. Though we may never grasp the full meaning of this, three words begin to plumb the depths of what it means to be participants in the gospel.


Privilege

The privilege that is ours is spelled out in the first two verses and the three pivotal references to Christ. We are in Christ; this is the state of our being: "saints in Christ Jesus." We are in a relation to Christ. That relationship is one of servants: "servants of Jesus Christ." Blessings from Christ and God our Father are ours to receive: "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."


The New English Bible expands a phrase in verse Php_1:1 to give even greater meaning to the thrilling designation of who we are: "to all those of God's people, incorporate in Christ Jesus." Isn't that exciting? We have not simply taken on a new religion with a new belief system, we have a new status in relation to God, have been given a new life, and are now a part of a new community.


Get that firmly in mind and rejoice in the sublime privilege that is ours: a new status in relation to God—forgiven and accepted, a new life, and a new community. The gospel is universal, the gift of God of Himself in Jesus Christ is offered to all. Yet, the privilege is an exclusive one, belonging to those who by faith belong to Jesus Christ.


In a similar greeting to the Ephesians (Eph_1:3-6), Paul spells this out completely. It is absolutely breathtaking. God chose us in Christ to be holy, adopted us as sons and daughters through Christ, freely bestowed His grace upon us in the Beloved, and in Him has given us redemption and the forgiveness of our sins.


Promise

We may have passed too quickly over three aspects of the privilege that is ours as participants in the gospel:

(1) a new status in relation to God,

(2) a new life, and

(3) a new community.


The promise that Paul sounds in verse Php_1:6 stops us and calls us to look again, especially at the second aspect: a new life in Christ Jesus—"being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it" (Php_1:6).


The new status that is ours is that of being justified or accepted by God. Do not miss this: it is in Christ that we are justified (Gal_2:17), and in Christ that we are new people, living a new life. We are always in need of keeping together the new status and the new life God gives us.


This illustration is a simple one, but it will make the point. A down-and-outer—some would call him a bum—comes to you in dire need. His dirty ragged dress is only the outer sign of his destitution and need. He is hungry and sick. You give him a bath and a change of clothing, but that is not enough. He is undernourished and sick, needing food and a doctor. Perhaps more, he needs love and friendship, healing of hurts, restoration of dignity, new purpose and meaning. So we come to Jesus, not in dirty rags but clothed in the garments of sin, spiritually starving and sick unto death. We are welcomed by Christ, accepted—bathed in His love and forgiveness. We are clothed in his grace, received as children—as though we were sinless. God sees us as righteous in Christ; this is our new status.


But that isn't enough, nor is it all. Christ, the Physician, knows we are sick, so He gives us His Spirit to reside within us, to heal and strengthen, to provide direction and give new life.


There are two snares into which we often fall as Christians. One is the snare of thinking that receiving a new status before God, being justified, is everything needful. The second snare is despondency into which we sink when the tide of our Christian experience ebbs low. We become life-less. No fruit of the Spirit seems to be growing in us. We are battered by one failure after another and feel forsaken by God. Temptation is especially appealing and we feel the joy of our salvation will never return. Remember: God did not start His work within us to abandon it. He does not do things half-measure. We have the promise: He will complete what He started. Let us claim that promise and come to Him again in faith, in the same yieldedness as when we first gave our life to Him.

There is something else to be said here. The Christian life is not an achiever's game. The Christian has no right to expect to fare any better in his own self-efforts than the non-Christian. What the Christian can count on is a God who keeps faith. The truth of Php_1:6 runs throughout Paul's theological stance. He persistently insists, "God is faithful" (1Co_1:9; 1Co_10:30; 2Co_1:18; 1Th_5:24). Because God is faithful and is going to complete what He started within us, we can appropriate the cross-resurrection way of life. We can "go on to perfection" because God has already invested his total self in us. We can face the coming judgment without fear for our relationship with God has been made right through Christ; we can expect the Christian mission to be vindicated and finally accomplished.


Partakers

"You all are partakers with me of grace," Paul says in verse Php_1:7. He celebrated his fellowship with the Philippians "in the gospel from the first day until now" (Php_1:5).


The "first day," not to be confined to twenty-four hours, was packed with tender memories as Paul remembered going to Philippi the first time. Finding no synagogue to which he could go on the Sabbath and speak with the Jews, he went down to the river where a group of women were said to meet on the Sabbath. After he told them the story of Jesus, one of the women, Lydia, opened her heart to the Lord. On "the first day" he cast an evil spirit out of a slave girl, and her owners were incensed to the point of having Paul flogged and imprisoned. But on "the first day" God worked miraculously again and the jailer was converted, then his family, and the Christian community grew in Philippi.


This was a big idea for Paul because it was a big experience. One of his most graphic ways of saying it was, "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive" (1Co_15:22). Two communities are designated: the fallen community which with Adam we all have shared, by birth and by choice; the redeemed community which in Christ we share by new birth and choice. Once united to Christ by faith we are members of a new community which God is creating. In this new community "there is neither Jew nor Greek, … neither slave nor free, … neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal_3:28). In this new community we are all servants of Jesus Christ (see commentary on Php_2:5-11) and we share a common life in Christ (see commentary on Php_2:1-4).


Prayer for Participants in the Gospel

In verses Php_1:3 and Php_1:4 Paul expressed how he thanked God "upon every remembrance of you," and how in joy he prays for the Philippians. In verse Php_1:8, the depth of his longing and yearning for his friends is expressed—"with the affection of Jesus Christ." He even calls God as witness to the depth of his feeling before sharing his prayer in verses Php_1:9-11.


1.It is prayer for love. "That your love may abound still more" (Php_1:9). It is on target that this would be Paul's great intercession for those who are participants in the gospel, because love is the core word of the gospel. In English, "love" is an appallingly overworked word, diminished in power. The Greek words for immoral passion, sexual feeling, fraternal and family affection are all translated "love." A fourth Greek word for "love," agapē was lifted out of obscurity into immortality by the New Testament. Writers like John and Paul selected that word for the love expressed in what God chose to do in Jesus Christ "for us men and our salvation." The spontaneous, unmerited love and favor God has shown us rebellious and pride-filled creatures is agapē:"The Son of God loved me, and gave himself for me."


In the gallery of word pictures signifying love, none come close to "the width, and length, and depth, and height" of agapē the love of Christ which passes knowledge (cf. Eph_3:16-19). In language we are poverty-stricken to convey the richness of the meaning of agapē, and so pictures are necessary: a father welcoming home a wayward son, a forgiven woman pouring precious perfume on Jesus, a shepherd risking the wilds to find one lost sheep. Dare we hang the portrait par excellence in the same gallery?—the Son of God hanging on a cross, spilling every ounce of blood in love for us sinners, acting out everything He said: "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (Joh_15:13).


Paul felt poverty-stricken in language, too, so he pictured


agapē in Jesus, urging us to read into the meaning of the word the mighty acts of God, culminating in God's choosing to do in Christ something never done before and never to be done again: to be born, to live, to teach, to suffer, to die, to rise again—all "for us men and for our salvation." And the way that agapē looks in our lives is etched immortally in Paul's hymn of love: "Love is patient and kind, not jealous or boastful or arrogant or rude, does not insist on its own way, is not irritable or resentful, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Cor. 13)—and all for the sake of others. That we who are participants in the gospel may abound more and more in that kind of agapÄ-love is the prayer of Paul.

2. It is prayer for light. "That your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment" (Php_1:9).

Who coined the phrase "love is blind!" That is 180 degrees off course. In this verse we separate light from love only for the sake of clear reflection. Paul's prayer shows us that we can hardly pray for growing love apart from a greatening light. Both the Phillips rendering and the NEB make this sublimely clear. "My prayer for you is that you may have still more love—a love that is full of knowledge and every wise insight" (Phillips). "And this is my prayer, that your love may grow ever richer and richer in knowledge and insight of every kind" (NEB).


Love calls for and seeks after knowledge. It is not blind. It does not overlook faults and weaknesses in others, but sees them clearly, looking beyond them to "the heart of things" and continuing to love. Love does not downplay truth, or speak in circles or opaquely to avoid confrontation, but speaks the truth that change and healing may be possible.


The light for which Paul prays is seen in its connectedness and in its connectedness but with a difference from love in Bishop Moule's paraphrase of this verse: "that your love may abound yet more and more in the attendant and protective blessing of spiritual knowledge and all needed discernment." Spiritual knowledge and discernment are gifts of the Spirit (1Co_12:4-11) and are desperately needed, especially in our time of moral and spiritual confusion. Interestingly, the Greek word aisthēsis, translated "discernment," is used only in this one verse in the New Testament. Cognates of it are used in Luk_9:45 and Heb_5:14.


The Luke verse follows the story of the disciples' inability to cast an evil spirit out of a young boy and Jesus performing that miracle. They were mystified by the wonder this evoked and Jesus' challenge to the people to let His words sink into their minds and be stored up there. "They did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them, so that they did not perceive it." (Luk_9:45).

The Hebrews verse that uses a cognate of aisthēsis ("discernment") has to do with Paul's referring to teaching God's Word with the metaphors of milk and solid food. "But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their faculties trained by practice to distinguish (diakrisis) good from evil" (Heb_5:14, RSV).

These two passages give meaning and power to Paul's petition that we may grow in the gift of discernment and spiritual knowledge. At least two dimensions must be noted. One is a quality of judgment, a sharpness of perception, very much like that of the art critic, enabling us to distinguish between the real and the phony, the authentic and the superficial. A second dimension of spiritual knowledge and discernment is a kind of "sixth sense," a penetrating intuition that has been practiced, cultivated, and disciplined. Both these dimensions are at the same time gift and growth. They are gifts of the Spirit, but they grow and mature in effectiveness as we intentionally and consistently wait on the Lord, open to Him in prayer, and as we immerse ourselves in His Word through which His revelation comes. Let us remember, too, the exercising of the gifts is essential for their effectiveness. We must wrestle with hard issues in the light of the teaching of Jesus and the living Christ within. The result of that wrestling and the discernment that comes must be applied to the practical issues of daily life. Only then are we living in the light.


3. It is a prayer for life. Everything that Christ does in us must reflect itself through us. So the prayer is for life, life lived in a special way because the love of Christ is abounding within us, spiritual knowledge is increasing, and the capacity of discernment is being sharpened. How does this life express itself practically? What does it look like?


"That you may approve the things that are excellent" (Php_1:10). Is the word discriminating? To be able to differentiate not only between good and evil, but between good and better, between better and the best. Excellence is the quality we must seek.


The categories of experience within which our choices are to be made are multiple and seem to be growing in geometric proportion each decade. Categories of good and evil, decent and indecent are too broad. The opportunity of the Christian to impact with transforming power the environment in which he lives comes at this very point—being confronted with a choice between the decent and the excellent, the good and the best. What we read, the entertainment we seek, how we relate the content of our conversation, the degree to which we discipline ourselves, how we respond to and participate in our "sensate culture"—this tells the tale of our lives, how discriminating we are.


Our culture is so far gone down the path of sexual promiscuity, selfish indulgence, moral indifference, flabby thinking that only those who consistently choose the superlatively good can make a difference. Tennyson put the words that describe how discriminating we must be on the lips of Queen Guinevere.


It was my duty to have loved the highest;
It surely was my profit had I known;
It would have been my pleasure had I seen.
We needs must love the highest when we see it.


"That you may be sincere and without offense." Weymouth renders this "that ye may be men of transparent character." Moffatt also uses the word "transparent" for what the NKJV translates "sincere" and the RSV translates "pure."


As an adjective, the Greek word is eilikrinēs and appears in the New Testament only in this verse and in 2Pe_3:1. The noun form, eilikrineia, occurs in 1Co_5:8; 2Co_1:12 and 2Co_2:17. Neither the noun nor the adjective form is common in classical Greek, and the derivation of the words is not clear. One suggestion of etymology has a challenging meaning when applied to our lives: The word may come from a combination of two Greek words—heilÄ which means "the sunlight," and krinein which means "to judge." The word would thus literally mean "sun-tested" and "sun-judged."


Two ancient practices provide insight for relating the meaning to our lives. One came about because there were slipshod sculptors who would produce statues from blemished, defective stones, filling the cracks with wax and painting over the blemishes. In time the sun would melt the wax, peel the paint, and reveal the glaring imperfections. Thus "sun-tested"—to be free from pretense and sham.


If you have been in the shops of the old city of Jerusalem, you know the necessity of a second ancient practice that gives meaning to this word. The bazaars and shops are small and dark. In that setting you cannot properly judge an article of pottery, glassware, or cloth. You have to move out of the shadowed recesses of the shop to the nearest available sunlight to appraise the value, to detect whatever faults or flaws may be in the article.


"Sun-judged"—to be able to stand in the clear sun of God's judgment and the judgment of our sisters and brothers, with no need to hide, or to conceal our thoughts and desires. "Live like men who are at home in daylight," Paul urged the Ephesians (Eph_5:8, NEB). That is what it means to be transparent, sincere and without blame.


A second suggestion of the derivation of the word has equally challenging meaning. Eilikrinēs (sincere or transparent) may have been derived from eilein, a Greek word which means "to shake to and fro in a sieve" until all foreign matter is extracted and the remaining substance is absolutely pure. Isn't that a marvelous picture of a character cleansed and purified by the grace of God because of willingness to be completely exposed and receptive to that grace.


Eilein also means to test "by rolling and rocking." That has the nuance of suffering, of conflict, of temptation, of challenge. We are purified, made whole by such testing. Viktor Frankl told how in the Nazi concentration camp everything was reduced to the basic, the elemental, the human reason for being. Those who survived somehow discovered the essence of existence, their reason for being—meaning through loving, acting, and suffering.


"Being filled with the fruits of righteousness." This is a beautiful expression for our life as participants in the gospel: fruitfulness. We would expect Paul to pray in this fashion. He knew the work of the Spirit in his own life—the Spirit producing the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, which were now being tested in prison as he faced his own execution. "Being filled with" puts us in mind of trees whose every branch produces in this earthly life "the fruit" Paul described in Gal_5:22-23.


1 John 5:13-21

Keep Away from Idols

John Teaches The Young Church To Pray.

  1. Prayer Is The Natural Breath Of A Genuine Relationship With God. John Does Not Make Use Of The Word "Pray."
  1. However, he uses a verb that we find in Jesus' teaching about prayer (Mat_7:7-12) "ask."
  2. John invites his readers to "ask anything according to his will …"
  3. John has advocated throughout this book an open style of life.
  4. We are to continue that openness before the Lord as we bring before the Lord the concerns that well up in our lives.
  1. Within the context of this teaching on prayer John has written some counsel which has been baffling to interpreters through the centuries:
  • "If anyone sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask …"
  1. The word translated by the English "MORTAL" is the Greek THANATOS and simply means "DEATH";
  2. thus the meaning of the word in this text would be "A Deadly Sin."

3. But what does John mean by this distinction between deadly sin and sin that is not deadly?

a. F. F. Bruce has suggested that the text quite possibly is best interpreted in its most literal sense:

  • "I suggest that it is, quite literally, a sin which has death as its consequence… . What John is doing, in that case, is to make it plain that he does not advocate praying for the dead."
  1. John's teaching makes one point very clear to us, and that is that we cannot take too much responsibility upon ourselves and upon our prayer mandate.
  2. There are tragic possibilities that are beyond our responsibility.
  3. This does not mean that these situations are beyond God's responsibility, but John wants to set certain limits for the Christians to whom he writes.
  1. The problem for the interpreter still remains, however, in attempting to understand the original distinction that John has portrayed between deadly and nondeadly sin.
  1. J. R. W. Stott suggests that John's readers may have been familiar with the expression, which explains why John does not offer more about the concept.
  2. But that still does not solve our interpretive problem.
  1. I believe that the most basic rule for biblical interpretation is the rule
  • "Lean is better than luxurious."
  1. In a teaching such as we have here in I John 5, that rule requires that we as interpreters stand back from the passage with respectful caution and restraint.
  2. What is made clear in the teaching is that
  • our prayers have efficacy,
  • but that there are boundaries beyond which we cannot intrude.
  1. God's authority and saving power have not been diminished by this limitation, But Our Authority Is under a greater authority than our own.
  1. We are not the Savior, and this text certainly makes that fact evident.
  1. But the text is still good news.
  2. Though it sobers us with the seriousness of life and life choices, yet the Lord is Lord and it is He whom we must trust even with this apparent riddle.
  1. We do not need to fear the evil one,
  1. because God keeps us and the evil one cannot "touch" us.
  1. The strong word haptetai is used in this instance.
  1. That same word is used in Joh_20:17 in the resurrection narrative; "Jesus said to her, 'Do not hold me.'"
  2. The word means to lay hold of or hold on to.
  3. The evil one cannot cling to us.
  4. He has no hold on us.
  1. The world is contested territory, and John does not make light of the power that the evil one exercises over the world.
  1. But the interpreter of this passage must not misunderstand John's statement.
  2. This one sentence does not cancel out the even stronger statement of Jesus Christ in John's Gospel.
  • "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (Joh_16:33).
  1. John's statement in 1 John 5 is a description of
  1. The tribulation
  2. And of the serious extent of the contest,
  3. But there is no question that the world is god's beloved domain (joh_3:16)
  4. And that the devil's power does not rival the authority of christ for us in the world.
  • "For He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1Jn_4:4).
  1. We must also remember that
  1. John has been making use of the word kosmon in a special way,
  2. as we observed in 1Jn_2:15-17.
  1. In that text, the word "world" is used in the sense of worldly values.
  1. The fact is clear, however, that there is a battle underway.
  2. The battle is wholesale and critical, but there is no sense of panic in John;
  • indeed, he has powerfully taught us that God's love drives out fear.
  1. John is not so alarmed by the contest or by the antagonist that he turns toward some form of escapism or survivalism.
  1. The final affirmation in John's first letter points us
  1. toward Jesus Christ as the one who is the truth
  2. and who has already come in the flesh to this world.
  3. He is the one who grants to us the understanding of His victory and the gift of eternal life.

"Little Children, Keep Yourself From Idols"

(1Jn_5:21).

  1. The Greek word for "IDOL," EIDŌLON, in classical Greek has
  1. the meaning of "SHADOW" or "PHANTOM."
  2. John now hurls at his readers one final challenge.

Do not set your affection upon shadows and phantoms.

  1. At the very core of gnosticism there is an affection for the pure spirit and the reality of the spirit.
  2. This yearning runs from top to bottom in gnosticism, and John now dares to describe its fundamental error.
  3. The gnostics have chosen shadowy idols in place of the true and living God.
  • They have gone against the command of God (Deu_5:8-10);
  • They have exchanged The Reality Of Jesus Christ with A PHANTOM CHRIST
  • Who Has Been Fashioned according to the desires and requirements of their highly spiritualized preferences.

But the result is nothing less than idolatry.

  1. The challenge is like a last shout to a youngster as he or she leaves home on a trip,
  • "Watch out for idols!"
  1. Idols are the more serious threat because they look so much like the real thing.
  2. In that fact is their special kind of deadly peril.

This last challenge is one more Johannine freedom sentence.

  1. It calls upon the readers to be resourceful
  2. and clear-headed, to think things through and test the options with which they are confronted.

The Christian life is not a sheltered existence in which there are no temptations or perils,

  1. because Jesus Christ does not take away the freedom of the believer.

Discipleship is a thoughtful, freedom journey;

  1. it is not the experience of being overwhelmed in which the human senses are put into the frenzy of spiritual ecstasy.

This desire for overwhelming experience is

  1. the yearning in GREEK MYTHOLOGY and in much of GNOSTICISM,
  2. but not in the New Testament.

    • (Note Paul's warning in 1Co_12:1-2.)

The New Testament world of thought is more basic and wholistic.

  1. The human personality is understood in total terms of body, spirit, and soul, inseparably united.

The biblical hope is not the immortality of the soul but the resurrection of the body;

  1. it is the whole of me that is beloved by Jesus Christ.
  2. This respect for wholeness runs throughout Christian faith and is why John insists upon the real Jesus Christ who became flesh.
  3. This is also why John insists upon real love:
  • "for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen" (1Jn_4:20).

The Christian fellowship is real too;

  1. it is, as Barth says,
  • not the "CIVITAS PLATONICA or some sort of cloud-cuckooland in which the Christians are united inwardly and invisibly; while the visible church is devalued… .

The first congregation was a visible group,

  1. which caused a visible public uproar."

But the incipient GNOSTICISM of which John is so deeply concerned wants

  1. nothing of the concrete reality of Christian faith,
  2. and instead it has fallen in love with shadows and phantoms.

John will express this shadowy nature of idols

  1. in his Book of Revelation with the following description;
  • "… idols of gold or silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot either see or hear or walk" (Rev_9:20).

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

  1. Who has spoken for Himself in Jesus Christ can see and hear and walk,
  2. Therefore little children, keep yourselves from idols!

1Jn 5:7 

For there are Three That Bear Record In Heaven,

the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these

three are one.

Mat 3:16  And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw The Spirit Of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: Mat 3:17  And Lo A Voice From Heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 

Mat 17:5  While he yet spake, behold, A Bright Cloud Overshadowed Them: and Behold A Voice Out Of The Cloud, which said, This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them In The Name Of The Father, And Of The Son, And Of The Holy Ghost: Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 

1Jn 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.

Joh 3:5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born OF WATER and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 

Mat 3:11  I indeed BAPTIZE you with WATER unto repentance: but HE THAT COMETH after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall Baptize You With The Holy Ghost, and with fire: 

1Pe 3:21  The like figure whereunto even BAPTISM doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 

Heb 9:14  How much more shall The Blood Of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, Purge Your Conscience From Dead Works to serve the living God? 

1Jn 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and The Blood Of Jesus Christ his Son Cleanseth Us From All Sin

Deu_17:6  At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

Deu_19:15  One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

2Co_13:1  This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

(Offenses) Mat_18:16  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

2Co_13:1  This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

(Accusations) Mat_26:60  But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,

1Ti_5:19  Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

Joh 8:4  They say unto him, Master, This Woman Was Taken In Adultery, in the very act. Joh 8:5  Now Moses in The Law Commanded Us, That Such Should Be Stoned: but what sayest thou? Joh 8:6  This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus Stooped Down, And With His Finger Wrote On The Ground, as though he heard them not. Joh 8:7  So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He That Is Without Sin Among You, Let Him First Cast A Stone At Her. Joh 8:8  And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.  Joh 8:9  And they which heard it, Being Convicted By Their Own Conscience, Went Out One By One, Beginning At The Eldest, Even Unto The Last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 

Rev_11:3  And I will give power unto My Two Witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

1Jn 5:16 

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.

Exo 32:10  Now therefore Let Me Alone, that My Wrath May Wax Hot against them, and That I May Consume Them: and I will make of thee a great nation. 

Exo 32:11  And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 

1Jn 5:18 

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not;

but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself,

and that wicked one toucheth him not.

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

(1Jn 5:5 KJV)  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

1Pe 1:23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 

(1Jn 1:7 KJV)  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

(1Jn 1:8 KJV)  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

(1Jn 1:9 KJV)  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

(1Jn 1:10 KJV)  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.


Click here to edit text

1 John 5:1-12

Discipleship

Scripture Outline

  1. Not Burdensome (1Jn_5:1-12)
  2. Keep Away from Idols (1Jn_5:13-21)

NOT BURDENSOME

"Everyone who BELIEVES."

Our faith in the character of God is the doorway that opens up our lives toward God.

The result of faith is our relationship with God as His children. John teaches that this relationship is really a fourfold relationship.

It might be described by the following model:

  • There is an upward vertical relationship toward God AS OUR LORD.
  • There is the inner self-understanding that the believer has toward HIMSELF OR HERSELF, the knowledge that he or she is a child of God.
  • There is the love that the believer has toward THE PERSONS AROUND his or her life.

The persons closest to us are those who share our relationship with God, and the love flows beyond that inner circle of the koinonia toward the world around the fellowship.

  • There is, finally, the relationship of our life to the whole CREATED ORDER AROUND US.

John then repeats a mandate which by now has become a recurrent theme in 1 John, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments."

The Greek word translated by "keep" is a word that carries the idea of "guard," "keep watch over."

We are to be careful to carry out God's commands because so much is at stake.

God's very love is involved in His commandments.

God's commandments have been made clear by John; they are deeply related to the fourfold relationship:

  • a true understanding of who God is and that He has spoken in His Son Jesus Christ.

God's commandments have to do with Our Inner Self And Walk.

  • We are meant to walk in the light and to be assured of our forgiveness in Jesus Christ.

The third relationship of our lives according to John's anthropology has to do with Our Relationship Toward The Neighbor Closest And Farthest.

  • We are to live out God's love toward our brother and sister in Christ and also the neighbor.

(4) There is still a fourth relationship, and that is the relationship of The Person To Heaven And Earth that surround our existence.

  • We are to Obey God's Commandments in this relationship too.
  • We are to gain the meaning of our life from God's decision and not from the created order of heaven or earth.
  • We are to worship God alone. The created order does better when it is not worshiped.

Verse 1Jn_5:4 :

"And his commandments are not burdensome" ("grievous").

The word baros means literally "weight," "burden."

It is this word that Paul uses in 2Co_1:8 when he writes, "… for we were so utterly unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself."

The sense of the word is crushing, fierce weight.

In one use of the word, in fact, the word is translated by the RSV translators with the word "fierce" (Act_20:29).

The will of God for our lives is not a crushing weight.

God does not build His greatness upon our smallness;

  • He is in no sense threatened by our joys and our fulfillment.

God's will is challenging because it goes CROSSGRAIN to the expectations of our age and generation.

But God's will is not burdensome, because our lives

thrive in the way of His Righteousness, Whereas They Are STUNTED AND CONFUSED In The Way Of Unrighteousness.

  • Adultery, fraud, selfishness, murder, gossip, fear—these are not the attributes that build up a human personality and encourage human relationships or social justice.

The way of righteousness that John has sketched in for his readers is plainly a better way.

IT IS Honest, Vulnerable, Open, Alive from the center, and it has the living daily experience of God's love at its core.

Because there is the admission of sin, the ulcer-producing games that people play are not needed here.

This way of righteousness is a roadway that has the Savior-Lord Jesus Christ as the companion, and this makes all the difference.

We are yoked with Christ; therefore the burden is easy.

John Once Again Makes Use Of the powerful word "OVERCOME" (nikaō),

  • and again he affirms the fact that because of Our Faith in Jesus Christ We Have Won The Victory Over The World.

The power that the Christian has Over The World is not a power or force that we control.

It is Our Confidence that Jesus Christ has the authority.

  • His boundary is greater than either the terrors or the temptations of the world.
  • This boundary theology will become the central theme in John's final great work, the Book of Revelation.

1 John 5:1-12

Discipleship

Scripture Outline

  1. Not Burdensome (1Jn_5:1-12)
  2. Keep Away from Idols (1Jn_5:13-21)

NOT BURDENSOME

"Everyone who believes."

Our faith in the character of God is the doorway that opens up our lives toward God.

The result of faith is our relationship with God as His children. John teaches that this relationship is really a fourfold relationship.

It might be described by the following model:

  • There is an upward vertical relationship toward God AS OUR LORD.
  • There is the inner self-understanding that the believer has toward HIMSELF OR HERSELF, the knowledge that he or she is a child of God.
  • There is the love that the believer has toward THE PERSONS AROUND his or her life.

The persons closest to us are those who share our relationship with God, and the love flows beyond that inner circle of the koinonia toward the world around the fellowship.

  • There is, finally, the relationship of our life to the whole CREATED ORDER AROUND US.

John then repeats a mandate which by now has become a recurrent theme in 1 John, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments."

The Greek word translated by "keep" is a word that carries the idea of "guard," "keep watch over."

We are to be careful to carry out God's commands because so much is at stake.

God's very love is involved in His commandments.

God's commandments have been made clear by John; they are deeply related to the fourfold relationship:

  • a true understanding of who God is and that He has spoken in His Son Jesus Christ.

God's commandments have to do with Our Inner Self And Walk.

  • We are meant to walk in the light and to be assured of our forgiveness in Jesus Christ.

The third relationship of our lives according to John's anthropology has to do with Our Relationship Toward The Neighbor Closest And Farthest.

  • We are to live out God's love toward our brother and sister in Christ and also the neighbor.

(4) There is still a fourth relationship, and that is the relationship of The Person To Heaven And Earth that surround our existence.

  • We are to Obey God's Commandments in this relationship too.
  • We are to gain the meaning of our life from God's decision and not from the created order of heaven or earth.
  • We are to worship God alone. The created order does better when it is not worshiped.

Verse 1Jn_5:4 :

"And his commandments are not burdensome" ("grievous").

The word baros means literally "weight," "burden."

It is this word that Paul uses in 2Co_1:8 when he writes, "… for we were so utterly unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself."

The sense of the word is crushing, fierce weight.

In one use of the word, in fact, the word is translated by the RSV translators with the word "fierce" (Act_20:29).

The will of God for our lives is not a crushing weight.

God does not build His greatness upon our smallness;

  • He is in no sense threatened by our joys and our fulfillment.

God's will is challenging because it goes CROSSGRAIN to the expectations of our age and generation.

But God's will is not burdensome, because our lives

thrive in the way of His Righteousness, Whereas They Are STUNTED AND CONFUSED In The Way Of Unrighteousness.

  • Adultery, fraud, selfishness, murder, gossip, fear—these are not the attributes that build up a human personality and encourage human relationships or social justice.

The way of righteousness that John has sketched in for his readers is plainly a better way.

IT IS Honest, Vulnerable, Open, Alive from the center, and it has the living daily experience of God's love at its core.

Because there is the admission of sin, the ulcer-producing games that people play are not needed here.

This way of righteousness is a roadway that has the Savior-Lord Jesus Christ as the companion, and this makes all the difference.

We are yoked with Christ; therefore the burden is easy.

John Once Again Makes Use Of the powerful word "overcome" (nikaō),

  • and again he affirms the fact that because of our faith in Jesus Christ we have won the victory over the world.

The power that the Christian has over the world is not a power or force that we control. It is our confidence that Jesus Christ has the authority.

His boundary is greater than either the terrors or the temptations of the world.

This boundary theology will become the central theme in John's final great work, the Book of Revelation.

(1Jn 5:4 KJV)  For whatsoever is born of God Overcometh The World: and this is the victory that Overcometh The World, even our faith.

(1Jn 5:5 KJV)  Who is he that Overcometh The World, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

"This is he who came by water and blood."

John has previously explained his use of the word "blood."

The term refers to the death of Jesus Christ in our behalf.

What does John mean by the term "water"?

  • The water may be a reference to the baptism of Jesus Christ by which our Lord
  • Made Clear His Identification With Humanity.

In Jesus' dialogue with Nicodemus (Joh_3:1-21), our Lord tells Nicodemus,

  • "Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (Joh_3:5).

"This is he who came by water and blood."

John has previously explained his use of the word "blood."

The term refers to the death of Jesus Christ in our behalf.

What does John mean by the term "water"?

The water may be a reference to the baptism of Jesus Christ by which our Lord
Made Clear His Identification With Humanity.

    In Jesus' dialogue with Nicodemus (Joh_3:1-21), our Lord tells Nicodemus,

    • "Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (Joh_3:5).

    It appears from the context of Joh_3:1-21 that Jesus means

    • by "water" the faith of Nicodemus and
    • by "Spirit" the mighty act of God in Nicodemus's behalf.

    Now we are told by John of three witnesses that agree in reference to Jesus Christ: the water, the blood, and the Spirit.

    From the context of this book and the New Testament, we conclude that John means first the water of baptism, therefore faith; the blood refers to the Cross; the Spirit refers to God's own validation of His Son, and His assurance in our lives of Jesus Christ. The KJV includes a quite different reading for 1Jn_5:7 : "For there are three that bear record in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one."

    This sentence does not belong in the text since it is not found in any Greek manuscript earlier than the 15th century nor in Jerome's Latin text.

    John concludes this section with the strong claim for the centrality of Jesus Christ for the life of the Christian. The eternal life we have from God comes through our faith in His Son. This positive affirmation is followed in the tradition of Old Testament parallelism with the statement stated negatively. There is no eternal life apart from the Son of God. Jesus Christ is not one of several possible saviors, or a shepherd among the shepherds; Jesus Christ is the Savior, the true shepherd. God has spoken in His Son, and we must listen to that speech. Karl Barth says:

    When we pronounce the name of Jesus Christ, we are not speaking of an idea. The name Jesus Christ is not the transparent shell, through which we glimpse something higher—no room for platonism here! What is involved is this actual name and this title; this person is involved … so we confront God. God really encompasses us in Jesus Christ "on every side." Here there is no escape. But there is also no drop into nothingness. In pronouncing the name of Jesus Christ we are on the way. "I am the way, the truth, and the life." That is the way through time, the center of which He is … .

    John does not make the Christian church the center nor is the life a reward for the mastery of secrets.

    Eternal life is in Jesus Christ.

    That is the Good News—not a burden but an adventure.

    I have been a Christian long enough that I have seen proven to me the daily truthfulness of these unforgettable sentences of John. Our lives work better when we live from the true center, Jesus Christ. It is also true that the more we grow in loving people around us, the more love we experience. Love is so durable and powerful that its resources or resourcefulness never wear out. I have also discovered that the more I grow as a Christian the better I feel about myself. I don't mean in the sense of hollow pride but in the substantial sense of knowing and watching the daily verification of God's grace at work in my own life day-by-day. It is true that His love is better each morning. "We grow old but our Father is younger than we are" (G. K. Chesterton).

    Screwtape was right when he wrote to Wormwood this warning about our God: "When he talks of their losing their selves, he only means abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever" (Letter 13).


    1 John 5:13-21

    Keep Away from Idols

    John teaches the young church to pray. Prayer is the natural breath of a genuine relationship with God. John does not make use of the word "pray." However, he uses a verb that we find in Jesus' teaching about prayer (Mat_7:7-12) "ask." John invites his readers to "ask anything according to his will …" John has advocated throughout this book an open style of life. We are to continue that openness before the Lord as we bring before the Lord the concerns that well up in our lives.

    Within the context of this teaching on prayer John has written some counsel which has been baffling to interpreters through the centuries: "If anyone sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask …" The word translated by the English "mortal" is the Greek thanatos and simply means "death"; thus the meaning of the word in this text would be "a deadly sin." But what does John mean by this distinction between deadly sin and sin that is not deadly? F. F. Bruce has suggested that the text quite possibly is best interpreted in its most literal sense: "I suggest that it is, quite literally, a sin which has death as its consequence… . What John is doing, in that case, is to make it plain that he does not advocate praying for the dead."

    John's teaching makes one point very clear to us, and that is that we cannot take too much responsibility upon ourselves and upon our prayer mandate. There are tragic possibilities that are beyond our responsibility. This does not mean that these situations are beyond God's responsibility, but John wants to set certain limits for the Christians to whom he writes.

    The problem for the interpreter still remains, however, in attempting to understand the original distinction that John has portrayed between deadly and nondeadly sin. J. R. W. Stott suggests that John's readers may have been familiar with the expression, which explains why John does not offer more about the concept. But that still does not solve our interpretive problem.

    I believe that the most basic rule for biblical interpretation is the rule "Lean is better than luxurious." In a teaching such as we have here in I John 5, that rule requires that we as interpreters stand back from the passage with respectful caution and restraint. What is made clear in the teaching is that our prayers have efficacy, but that there are boundaries beyond which we cannot intrude. God's authority and saving power have not been diminished by this limitation, but our authority is under a greater authority than our own. We are not the Savior, and this text certainly makes that fact evident. But the text is still good news. Though it sobers us with the seriousness of life and life choices, yet the Lord is Lord and it is He whom we must trust even with this apparent riddle.

    We do not need to fear the evil one, because God keeps us and the evil one cannot "touch" us. The strong word haptetai is used in this instance. That same word is used in Joh_20:17 in the resurrection narrative; "Jesus said to her, 'Do not hold me.'" The word means to lay hold of or hold on to. The evil one cannot cling to us. He has no hold on us. The world is contested territory, and John does not make light of the power that the evil one exercises over the world. But the interpreter of this passage must not misunderstand John's statement. This one sentence does not cancel out the even stronger statement of Jesus Christ in John's Gospel. "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (Joh_16:33). John's statement in 1 John 5 is a description of the tribulation and of the serious extent of the contest, but there is no question that the world is God's beloved domain (Joh_3:16) and that the devil's power does not rival the authority of Christ for us in the world. "For He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1Jn_4:4).

    We must also remember that John has been making use of the word kosmon in a special way, as we observed in 1Jn_2:15-17. In that text, the word "world" is used in the sense of worldly values. The fact is clear, however, that there is a battle underway. The battle is wholesale and critical, but there is no sense of panic in John; indeed, he has powerfully taught us that God's love drives out fear. John is not so alarmed by the contest or by the antagonist that he turns toward some form of escapism or survivalism.

    The final affirmation in John's first letter points us toward Jesus Christ as the one who is the truth and who has already come in the flesh to this world. He is the one who grants to us the understanding of His victory and the gift of eternal life.

    "Little children, keep yourself from idols" (1Jn_5:21). The Greek word for "idol," eidōlon, in classical Greek has the meaning of "shadow" or "phantom." John now hurls at his readers one final challenge. Do not set your affection upon shadows and phantoms. At the very core of gnosticism there is an affection for the pure spirit and the reality of the spirit. This yearning runs from top to bottom in gnosticism, and John now dares to describe its fundamental error. The gnostics have chosen shadowy idols in place of the true and living God. They have gone against the command of God (Deu_5:8-10); they have exchanged the reality of Jesus Christ with a phantom Christ who has been fashioned according to the desires and requirements of their highly spiritualized preferences. But the result is nothing less than idolatry. The challenge is like a last shout to a youngster as he or she leaves home on a trip, "Watch out for idols!" Idols are the more serious threat because they look so much like the real thing. In that fact is their special kind of deadly peril.

    This last challenge is one more Johannine freedom sentence. It calls upon the readers to be resourceful and clear-headed, to think things through and test the options with which they are confronted. The Christian life is not a sheltered existence in which there are no temptations or perils, because Jesus Christ does not take away the freedom of the believer. Discipleship is a thoughtful, freedom journey; it is not the experience of being overwhelmed in which the human senses are put into the frenzy of spiritual ecstasy.

    This desire for overwhelming experience is the yearning in Greek mythology and in much of gnosticism, but not in the New Testament. (Note Paul's warning in 1Co_12:1-2.) The New Testament world of thought is more basic and wholistic. The human personality is understood in total terms of body, spirit, and soul, inseparably united. The biblical hope is not the immortality of the soul but the resurrection of the body; it is the whole of me that is beloved by Jesus Christ. This respect for wholeness runs throughout Christian faith and is why John insists upon the real Jesus Christ who became flesh. This is also why John insists upon real love: "for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen" (1Jn_4:20).

    The Christian fellowship is real too; it is, as Barth says, not the "civitas platonica or some sort of cloud-cuckooland in which the Christians are united inwardly and invisibly; while the visible church is devalued… . The first congregation was a visible group, which caused a visible public uproar."

    But the incipient gnosticism of which John is so deeply concerned wants nothing of the concrete reality of Christian faith, and instead it has fallen in love with shadows and phantoms. John will express this shadowy nature of idols in his Book of Revelation with the following description; "… idols of gold or silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot either see or hear or walk" (Rev_9:20).

    The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who has spoken for Himself in Jesus Christ can see and hear and walk, therefore little children, keep yourselves from idols!


    1Jn 5:7 

    For there are Three That Bear Record In Heaven,

    the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these

    three are one.

    • Mat 3:16  And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw The Spirit Of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: Mat 3:17  And Lo A Voice From Heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 
    • Mat 17:5  While he yet spake, behold, A Bright Cloud Overshadowed Them: and Behold A Voice Out Of The Cloud, which said, This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 
    • Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them In The Name Of The Father, And Of The Son, And Of The Holy Ghost: Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
    • 1Jn 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.
    • Joh 3:5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born OF WATER and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 
    • Mat 3:11  I indeed BAPTIZE you with WATER unto repentance: but HE THAT COMETH after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall Baptize You With The Holy Ghost, and with fire: 
    • 1Pe 3:21  The like figure whereunto even BAPTISM doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 
    • Heb 9:14  How much more shall The Blood Of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, Purge Your Conscience From Dead Works to serve the living God? 
    • 1Jn 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and The Blood Of Jesus Christ his Son Cleanseth Us From All Sin
    • Deu_17:6  At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
    • Deu_19:15  One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
    • 2Co_13:1  This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
    • (Offenses) Mat_18:16  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
    • 2Co_13:1  This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
    • (Accusations) Mat_26:60  But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,
    • 1Ti_5:19  Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
    • Joh 8:4  They say unto him, Master, This Woman Was Taken In Adultery, in the very act. Joh 8:5  Now Moses in The Law Commanded Us, That Such Should Be Stoned: but what sayest thou? Joh 8:6  This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus Stooped Down, And With His Finger Wrote On The Ground, as though he heard them not. Joh 8:7  So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He That Is Without Sin Among You, Let Him First Cast A Stone At Her. Joh 8:8  And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.  Joh 8:9  And they which heard it, Being Convicted By Their Own Conscience, Went Out One By One, Beginning At The Eldest, Even Unto The Last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 
    • Rev_11:3  And I will give power unto My Two Witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

    1Jn 5:16 

    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.

    Exo 32:10  Now therefore Let Me Alone, that My Wrath May Wax Hot against them, and That I May Consume Them: and I will make of thee a great nation. 

    Exo 32:11  And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 

    1Jn 5:18 

    We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not;

    but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself,

    and that wicked one toucheth him not.

    • (1Jn 5:4 KJV)  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
    • (1Jn 5:5 KJV)  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
    • 1Pe 1:23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 
    • (1Jn 1:7 KJV)  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
    • (1Jn 1:8 KJV)  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
    • (1Jn 1:9 KJV)  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    • (1Jn 1:10 KJV)  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.