“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” 1 John 5.1-5
Love God. Love his commands. How do we know we are children of God? We do these two things!
John is in his final chapter of this letter to these early churches. Scripture is foundational to our thoughts, feelings and beliefs about faith. To believe that Jesus is “born of God,” that he is fully human and fully divine is crucial. And if you love God, the father, you will love Jesus and others.
How do we show our love for God? We do what he says. How do we know what he says? We believe the Bible that God used humans to craft together by his Holy Spirit. It’s not just some book put together by happenstance— it is the living, breathing Word of God. Those who believe this experience it’s power — those who disregard it, as some ancient literature with flaws and errors, miss the power of God’s word.
But doing God’s commands, which we find in Scripture is not burdensome. There is victory in obeying God. We can become overcomers in this world. However, as John writes, “only the one who believe that Jesus is the Son of God,” is an overcomer.
Twice in this passage, at the beginning and the end, we see the need to believe in Jesus’ divinit’s. I’ve known those who’ve questioned this truth and the Gospel is powerless to reach them. They don’t experience the living Christ. But for those who believe that Jesus is God, everything changes. We are transformed as we trust in him and become like him in word and in deed.
Are you living with the reality that Jesus is God? That God raised him from the dead and that he is alive today both in Scripture and by the Spirit? Turn in God. Give him control of your life. Allow Jesus to do a work in you. For he is willing and able.
“O Lord God, thank you for deeply theological and foundational passages like this in 1 John 5. Thank you for your word which is eternal. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. Help me know the grace of your message and the power in your Word. I am but a sinner, saved by grace. A human who has encountered a redeeming God. Help me communicate your message of truth to the world. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen