Paul, and apostle of Jesus Christ through God’s will. To the saints: the residents in Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul uses three terms to denote the recipants of his letter: saints, residents, and faithful. I found it very difficult to determine the exact relationship between these three denotations, and I found that most translations simply skipped the second (residents). But I feel that this misses the relationship between being ‘in Ephesus’ and ‘in Christ Jesus’ which is a bit more obvious in the Greek, and I wanted to tease this out.
Little children, guard yourselves from idols. -NAS
I have always thought that this sentence felt out of place in the letter. I mean, Jonah ends on a more satisfying note. It’s seems like the last thing John does is introduce a new topic, and then stop before he develops it at all. It most certainly doesn’t seem like an ending to a letter.
But it is not nearly as out of place as it may seem. I John overall is about Christian living, especially on what marks one as Christian as opposed to one of the world. This final instruction can be seen in that light: obstain from the gods of the world.
It is also important to follow the thoughts starting in verse 18. As a quick review, here again is the flow of John’s final argument:
But we also know that the Son of God is now here and has given us acuity so that we learn the truth and so that we are in the truth; in His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. -MGV
The beginning of the verse differs from verses 18 and 19 with the addition of the conjunction ‘de’. ‘de’ is most often translated ‘but’, and here I translate it as ‘but also’ to link it to the two proceeding verses. This indicates that this is the principle point that John has been building up to through 18 and 19. Using ‘but’ instead of ‘therefore’ shows that this thought doesn’t flow out of the proceeding thoughts, but takes the context of the proceeding thoughts and goes far beyond it to something greater.
I John 5:19: We fully know that we are from God and that the world is laid out along the ground by evil. -MGV
Starting in the same way as verse 18, verse 19 speaks of something that we fully and completely know, being in the perfect tense. This verse is also carrying the same though as verse 18, for when is says “from God” or more literally “out of God”, it is referring to us being born of God, the quality that verse 18 is talking about. However, while that verse is talking about how we are protected by God, here it is talking about how the rest of the world is not.
We’ve come to the conclusion of the letter. John doesn’t end with an exhorting paragraph, or a final doctrinal conclusion. Instead, he concludes with a list of loosely connected aphorisms, and by pointing to the…
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life–to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death. -ESV
I like the ESV translation of this a lot. The big thing is in the beginning of verse 16, with ask and give, it keeps it in the future tense, and, most importantly, keeps the word ask instead of changing it to pray. The verb there is aiteo which is the same verb that has been used in the previous verses promising that we will be given anything which we ask of God. This is clearly intended to be an example of this promise.
Many believe that there are only two tellings of the Christmas story in Scripture: Luke 3, and Matthew 1-2. But there is a third telling: John chapter one.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him as life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
If we accept human testimony, then God’s testimony should be greater, since God’s testimony is what testifies to His Son. Those believing in the Son of God have this testimony through Him, but those who…
I’m sorry that I am late this week. I’m afraid that I had some computer issues.
1 John 4:19; We love, because He first loved us.
This is an important relational aspect between us and the Father. Love does not find its origin in our souls, but in the Divine Being. He is love, and He is the subject and the object of it. I shapes it; designs it; defines it. There is no love without Him.