1 John 5

1 John 5

John begins this chapter by giving a description of “who” believers are.

Believers in Jesus Christ are born of God, love the children of God, love the Father and keep His commandments, overcome the world by faith, believe that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God.

Then John goes on to describe the One who overcame the world, Jesus. The one who came by water and by blood (see commentaries below). I’m not going to research John’s meaning of “came by water and blood” any further because out of 4 commentaries I looked up, all four either said different but similar things. John’s meaning here is clearly in debate and will be forever as John is no longer here to settle the matter.

verse 4

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world -our faith


The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon http://www.biblestudytools.com

 Strong’s Number:   3528
Original Word Word Origin
nikao from (3529)
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Nikao 4:942,634
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
nik-ah’-o Verb
  1. to conquer
    1. to carry off the victory, come off victorious
      1. of Christ, victorious over all His foes
      2. of Christians, that hold fast their faith even unto death against the power of their foes, and temptations and persecutions
      3. when one is arraigned or goes to law, to win the case, maintain one’s cause

Resources » Reformation Study Bible » 1 John » 1 John 5:6

1 John 5:6

5:6 by water and blood. Some suggest that the water refers to the baptism of Jesus and the blood to the Crucifixion. This is unlikely, since John in his Gospel does not directly recount the baptism of Jesus. Others suggest that “water and blood” refers to the two sacraments, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. This is also unlikely, since John does not recount the institution of the sacraments in his Gospel. The difficult saying of this verse probably reflects John 19:34. In John’s Gospel, the testimony God bears to Jesus His Son is a key theme. The blood and water that flowed from Jesus after His death attested to the reality of His death; the wound in Jesus’ side later confirmed the reality of His bodily resurrection (John 20:20, 25–27). Both the death and the resurrection were denied by the docetists, who denied the humanity of Christ (4:2).

Resources » The IVP New Testament Commentary Series » 1 John » Walking in the Light: Belief and Love (4:1—5:12) » Testimony to the Son (5:6-12)

Testimony to the Son (5:6-12)

  • The Spirit’s Witness to the Son (5:6-9)
  • The “Blood and Water” Witness to Jesus Christ (5:6)
  • God’s Witness to the Son (5:10-12)

To what source of authority ought today’s Christians turn in trying to settle disputed matters of the faith? To the guidance of the Holy Spirit? The confessions of the church? Events of history? The personal testimony of believers? The Scriptures? Some Christians would be tempted, perhaps, to say immediately “to Scripture”—and only to Scripture. Others would choose another of the options above, or perhaps some combination of them, always granting Scripture pride of place. In this regard 1 John is especially instructive, for in settling the christological debate in its community it never appeals to the Old Testament, and it cannot appeal to the New Testament, which did not yet exist as a collection of documents. But the present passage, in trying to underscore the importance of confession of Jesus, does appeal to the guidance of the Spirit, to a christological formula preserved by the community, to the word of reliable individuals and to the events of history. Here, then, we learn how the author sees a historical event, the inspiration of the Spirit and the teaching of the church all joining together in bearing a common witness to the truth.

The topic of discussion in 5:6-12 is appropriate confession about Jesus (compare 4:2). Here the desired confession is that Jesus Christ is the one who came by water and blood. But exactly what it means to say that Jesus came by water and blood remains as much a matter of debate today as it probably was in John’s own time!

IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press. Ivpress.com

So when John says .. came by water and blood… many opinions surface as to what people believe he meant. And the sad fact is…no one alive today knows exactly what John meant when he wrote that verse.

7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son. 10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. 11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life

3 who testify – the Spirit (Holy Spirit), the water and the blood

I’m going to go out on a limb and say John is speaking of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit here.

Here John makes sure to relate that God’s testimony of His Son is greater than man’s. And he goes on to relate that believers have this truth inside them (indwelling of the Holy Spirit = Truth).

Those that don’t believe God’s testimony are basically calling God a liar.

I don’t know about you guys…but I’m not about to call God a liar ever again. (Which is what I did for most of my life.)

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.

Before I look up any commentaries on this, my thoughts are this. We all sin. Everyday we sin and yet the sins we commit don’t separate us from God. We are still forgiven, still covered by the blood of Christ. The little sins we commit as believers who are growing and trying to do better in Christ, don’t even register on God’s Richter scale.

There is only 1 sin I can think of that would lead to “death” and that would be if we exercised our free will and choose to someday NOT believe in Jesus the Christ, our Savior and God’s Son, and never turned back to God before we died. That would be a sin that would lead to death. I can’t imagine consciously choosing to deny God after knowing Him but that is the only thing I can think of that would lead to death.

I denied Jesus for many years but I never truly knew Him either. There was a time I thought I did, but obviously I didn’t because I never “felt” Him. My head knew of Him but my heart was not open to Him.

So I think that is what John is referring to here.


“Every unrighteousness (even that of believers, compare 1 John 1:9 , 3:4 . Every coming short of right) is sin”; (but) not every sin is the sin unto death.
and there is a sin not unto death–in the case of which, therefore, believers may intercede. Death and life stand in correlative opposition ( 1 John 5:11-13 ). The sin unto death must be one tending “towards” (so the Greek), and so resulting in, death. ALFORD makes it to be an appreciable ACT of sin, namely, the denying Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of God (in contrast to confess this truth, 1 John 5:1 1 John 5:5 ), 1 John 2:19 1 John 2:22 , 1 John 4:2 1 John 4:3 , 5:10 . Such willful deniers of Christ are not to be received into one’s house, or wished “God speed.” Still, I think with BENGEL, not merely the act, but also the state of apostasy accompanying the act, is included–a “state of soul in which faith, love, and hope, in short, the new life, is extinguished. The chief commandment is faith and love. Therefore, the chief sin is that by which faith and love are destroyed. In the former case is life; in the latter, death. As long as it is not evident is a sin unto death, it is lawful to pray. But when it is deliberate rejection of grace, and the man puts from him life thereby, how can others procure for him life?” Contrast James 5:14-18 . Compare Matthew 12:31 Matthew 12:32 as to the willful rejection of Christ, and resistance to the Holy Ghost’s plain testimony to Him as the divine Messiah. Jesus, on the cross, pleaded only for those who KNEW NOT what they were doing in crucifying Him, not for those willfully resisting grace and knowledge. If we pray for the impenitent, it must be with humble reference of the matter to God’s will, not with the intercessory request which we should offer for a brother when erring

So this commentary is similar to what I said.. the denying of Jesus to be the Christ.

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