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 how we know that we love the children of God:
by loving God and carrying out his commands.
In fact, this is love for God: to keep 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 the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
I John 5:1-5 (NIV)
This section of I John is tying up the loose ends of the book. As the final chapter, John is bringing the book to a close and reviewing his main points…in case we haven’t gotten them yet! Heaven help us if these three tests haven’t been clear. This is the third time he has gone over them!
But review is important for sure. We need it to solidify truth in our minds. I’m definitely not knocking it. I need it all the time. This review is here to help us see that the three tests are also a unit, an interlocking unit. They go together and can’t be separated.
So in order to review, we have the moral test of righteousness found in I John 2:3-6 and 3:4-10; the social test of love discussed in 2:7-11 and 3:11-18; and the doctrinal test of truth or the belief in Jesus as the Christ (GOD in flesh) found in 2:18-27 and 4:1-6.
Now, in 5:1-5, we see a final review of the three tests. But here they are much more of a unit that fits together. John is showing us that they aren’t three separate entities that we pick and choose from. They go together as a unit. As such, this test is an evidence of our faith, not something we must conjure up.
As he made clear in I John 1:8, we will never fulfill these tests perfectly, but they will be seen in our lives.
The whole idea that of the new birth…found in 5:1, 4 is a wonderful picture of GOD bringing life from death. In other places in Scripture, it talks about our being dead in sin naturally. Ephesians 2:1-2, Colossians 2:13-15. But here as well as in 2:28-3:3 it talks about what it looks like to be born of GOD as well as what the privileges are to be His child. The NIV uses the term lavish to describe the love the Father has for us!
We are born into the family of GOD and become alive to Christ. Before that, we didn’t have the ability to respond to Him. He chose us to be His children (before the world was even created!) cf. Ephesians 1:4-6. The Colossians passage says, even before we were cleaned up we were still dead in sin! We, like the prodigal son, were still eating with the pigs…maybe not literally, but definitely figuratively!
We were chasing after things that were not worth chasing after, entertaining things in our minds that were not Godly, desiring things that were against GOD’s law…and like Jonah, we were running in the opposite direction of GOD and where he wanted us to go!
Just like the normal 2 year old. They know you want them to come to you , so they run the opposite direction! That is us and GOD before we were part of His family.
Now that we are in the family, the evidence that we are part of the family is shown when we live righteously, when we love other members of the family, especially when it isn’t easy…and when we follow after truth, including the belief that Jesus was GOD in the flesh!
Does that make us exclusive in some of our beliefs? Yes. We don’t believe that all roads lead to GOD…because that’s what He said.
I could go on and into more detail…and the book does. But I think I’ll just stop here. Think on the truths of your salvation. Think again on the three tests of your salvation. They are a bit different than the mental tests we have of who around us is a Christian and who isn’t. Think on them. Reread the Bible passages again. Allow GOD to let the Word roll around in your heart and soul and marinate for awhile.
You may be surprised what comes from the marinade! Blessings.