How do we know we love God? How do we know we love God’s children? How do we conquer evils of the world? Let's learn what it means to live an overcoming life. Let's look at 1 John 5:1-6.
1 John 5:1 Loving God’s Children
1 John 5:1 says, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.” Do we love a God who hates us? No, we believe that He loves us. So, faith and love go hand-in-hand. If we love the Father we also love the children of God, the people of the church. This is no longer speaking of the only or uniquely begotten Son, Jesus, but of all begotten children of God. A test of our love for God is whether we love His people in the church, our brethren, because He sure does.
1 John 5:2 Evidence of Love
1 John 5:2 says, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.” Jesus gave us two Great Commandments, love for God and neighbor. John here shows the proof that we love God is in our love for neighbor, especially the neighbor that is a Christian brother or sister. The New Testament summarizes all of God’s commandments by the word love, and the spirit, not the letter of the law. The letter can hide an unloving heart. The spirit of the law uses God’s commandments only in love. If we love God, we will have God’s love for his children.
1 John 5:3 Love is Obedience
1 John 5:3 says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” Some Christians want to love God but not obey Him. Here John explains that we cannot say we love and disobey. Obedience is the evidence of our love. In the New Testament, Christians do not keep God’s commandments in the letter but the spirit. We keep them by faith, not out of obligation, but out of love for God. It is far more burdensome to work seven days than six, dishonor parents, to kill than save life, to steal than live honestly, to lie than tell the truth.
1 John 5:4 Power to Conquer
1 John 5:4 says, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” Imperfect people have overcome the world by faith. For the Christian, conquering the world is not about physical revolution or combat, but a spiritual battle for the heart. A Christian is no longer deluded by the half-truths of society’s lies, the world wooing us into forgetting all about God, but has faith in the Source of undiluted truth. The world puts distractions in front of our eyes, every kind of temptation so we will neglect God. The overcomer walks away and puts God first every day.
1 John 5:5 To Overcome Believe in Jesus
1 John 5:5 says, “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16). Even demons said, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!” (Luke 4:41) “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31) The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” (John 10:33)
1 John 5:6 Water and Blood
1 John 5:6 says, “This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.” Does John mean the water of baptism and the blood of the cross, or the water and blood which came out at His crucifixion? Perhaps both. Perhaps also the water of footwashing, the night before His crucifixion, and the blood of circumcision on the day He was dedicated. Perhaps most deeply, all ceremonies of water and blood in the old and new covenants. The Holy Spirit bears witness to these things within our hearts.
(UMH 361 Rock of Ages)
We know we love God if we love His children. We know we love God’s children if we keep God’s commandments regarding them. We conquer a world that hates God’s children through faith in the Son of God.
1 John 5:1-6; Matthew 16:16; Luke 4:41; John 20:31; John 10:33
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.