Home » Advanced Search » 1 John 5:1

1 John 5:1

1 John 5:1
View Download and Print Options


1 John 5:1: “Everyone believing that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God…”

Here John says that everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. Notice that verse 4 of this chapter explains that everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. Therefore, we can also say that everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ overcomes the world. The one who believes that Jesus is the Christ overcomes the world (b/c they have been born of God). Verse 5 then tells us that those who have been born of God overcome the world because they believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Thus, when we link up verses 1, 4, and 5, We see that belief in Jesus as Christ (i.e., the fulfillment of God’s redemptive revelation) and belief that He is the Son of God (i.e., the one sent from God who reveals God) are—if not synonymous—at least inseparable. Notice also how this echoes the purpose statement in John’s Gospel in 20:31.

So, we might align the causal chain in this way: One is born of God > This being born of God is necessarily and immediately manifest in the belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God > This faith is the victory over the world.

How is faith in Jesus as the Christ / Son of God the victory that overcomes the world? Well,  overcoming the world seems to mean not being ensnared to live as the world lives and so not sharing in the fate of the world (2:15-17). This “how the world lives” is most essentially the self-protection of hatred as opposed to the self-giving of love (3:13-15). Thus, overcoming the world happens as we pass out of the death of self-preservation and into the life of Christ-imaging self-giving (3:14).

How does belief in Jesus as Christ / Son of God bring this about? Because, if we confess Jesus—who is, in John’s mind always the crucified Jesus who is risen—if we confess Jesus as Christ and Son of God, then we are confessing Him to be the Revealer of God. And if the Jesus we confess as God made manifest is the one crucified in self-giving love to His Father and His Bride, then this confession cannot but—by the Spirit—lead to the formation of such love in us—which is the overcoming of the world.