I JOHN

The following comments are from Navigator's and Quiet Time Diary journals. One verse will be entered, then the comment, then the date.

1:1    What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life —

    In this verse "Word of Life" is a title given to Jesus. The writer is describing some of what he saw and felt. He had been in the presence of God incarnate. It's exciting to know that someday I will also experience meeting Jesus. (DRM 6/25/06)

1:2    . . . and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us —

    This is the middle section of a three verse sentence, which really seems to tell me that John is telling the truth and that he and the other disciples really saw Jesus and that He was/is real.
    It builds confidence in me that my faith is in Someone who really came to earth and now is with the Father - God. (DRM 12/21/08)

1:3    what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 

    This seems like an "uncommentable" statement, but the key word to me is proclaim. If they didn't proclaim what they knew to be true, we wouldn't have ever known. Thank you Lord, for those who spoke. (DRM 3/26/2000)

    In these verses [1-4], John tells us that he was an eyewitness and knew Jesus personally - he was there! The words he was writing are true and not second-hand. So long as we believe these words, we will also have fellowship with Jesus and God. (DRM 3/2/03)

    This is the end of a very long sentence, on the same theme.
    John was excited when he wrote the beginning of this letter. He wanted us to know that he really knew Jesus - he heard Him talk (v. 1) and was telling us from personal experience.
    People who have put their trust in Jesus have fellowship with other like minded people. It's like a second family - but also with the Father and the Son. When we hear His direction, we WANT to do His will. It's nothing like what the world has to offer. (DRM 7/31/17)

1:4    These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

    This is a summary verse that I hadn't commented on before.
    John, the writer, had been with Jesus. He wanted to emphasize that everything that he wrote was from first hand experience, not what he had heard from others. (v. 1-2)
    By believing the truth that John writes here, we are trusting the Father and His provision of the Son; which is fellowship with the Father, Son and other believers. (v. 3) (DRM 11/24/11)

1:5    And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 

    God's light is pure. He wants us to be as much like Him as possible, but we have "dark spots" that need correction. Lord, open my eyes to my dark spots before they grow. (DRM 3/27/2000)

    God is our spiritual light - He shows us the way He wants us to live our lives. Those who are in darkness have not seen or acted on the Light when it was shown to them, thus are not following His will for their lives.
    After becoming Christians, we also acquire some of the light so we can show others God=Jesus by how He works in our lives.
    We are to be the light of the world (Matt. 5:14) and as we grow spiritually we should be more like Him. (DRM 9/25/16)

1:6    If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;

    Am I deceiving myself? Am I walking in darkness? Praise God for assurance of salvation. With the help of study aids like this one, I try to stay on track - and in the Light. Yes, I would always like a closer relationship with Him. (DRM 3/3/03)

1:7    . . . but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

    This is the second part of a two verse sentence. As Christians, and having the same belief and trust in the Lord Jesus as our Deliverer, then we SHOULD agree with and have fellowship with other Christian believers. In today's world it seems that too many people highlight their differences instead of sharing our common union/dependence on Jesus Christ for our salvation - eternal destiny. (DRM 12/22/08)

1:8    If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 

    Only Jesus was sinless. As I pray for the Holy Spirit to convict me of my previously unknown sins, it seems that I am reminded every day how much of a sinner that I am. (DRM 3/4/03)

    For a while, I couldn't think of any sins that I committed during a day. It wasn't that I didn't commit any, but that I wasn't convicted. As time has progressed, the Holy Spirit has let me know more things that should have been done better. I know that I'm a sinner and ask for forgiveness; and keep trying to improve. (DRM 6/26/06)

1:9    If we confess our sins; He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    To me, this is one of the most important verses in the Bible. The most important word to me is the first word . . . IF. My "goal" is to keep up and constantly ask forgiveness as I sin. I'd rather not sin at all. (DRM 3/28/2000)

    First we have to admit we sin. Maybe we/I have an excuse for doing or saying that, but that isn't what God wanted us/me to do in that instance. I did wrong against the Lord - and need His forgiveness.
    I need to confess my sin to Him and ask for forgiveness. The Holy Spirit convicted me and I need to start afresh.
    This verse is a promise from the Lord - if we ask for forgiveness, He will forgive us.
    Sin is inevitable. Jesus knows we are human. Still, the goal is to be as much like Jesus as possible - confess sins and He WILL forgive, then try again without repeating the sin. It's a challenge that He understands. Thank Him for His patience. (DRM 2/11/17)

    Our sins do not keep us from God—because when we acknowledge (confess) them, we are forgiven for them (v. 9). (from Our Daily Bread INSIGHT 2/9/17)

1:10    If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

    This is similar to verse eight. Elsewhere in the Bible (I don't have the verse), we are told that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We were born sinners, it's how we were created. Even the first few days of life we cried and wanted attention from our parents.
    God says we were born sinners. The Bible - through the Holy Spirit - convicts us of our individual sins as we read through its pages, and Jesus is willing to forgive us of our sins if we only repent and try not to repeat them.
    It's human nature to sin . . . but I (we) can always try to be as sinless as possible. (DRM 8/5/12)

2:1    My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;

    Some things are easier written than done. "That you may not sin," is one of those statements. I can try not to sin, but I fail. Thank God the second part of this verse knows about that, too! (DRM 3/29/2000)

2:2    and He [Jesus] Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

    Propitiation has been a challenging word for me. Once I had a MBI definition of the word and lost it. I use the word "substitution" as my definition and think that is close. Jesus died for my sins as well as all others who will believe in Him. (DRM 3/5/03)

2:3, 4    By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;

    Here is a great association between the Ten Commandments and the New Testament - it proves that the Bible (OT & NT) must be studied as a whole. A true believer wants to keep the Commandments, and not being able to shows conviction of sin. No one is perfect, which is why we need Jesus as our Savior. (DRM 12/23/08)

2:5    but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:

    Jesus gave His disciples - then us through the Bible, certain "rules" or commandments to follow. Our (my) job is to try to follow them. If I don't succeed, I am sinning and will need to ask for forgiveness. Sanctification is the long process of trying to follow and be more like Jesus every day. (DRM 6/27/06)

2:6    the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. 

    What did Christ do? WWJD (What would Jesus do)? 
    When I come up with a problem I should pray to do as He would do. Quite often I do things hastily and regret it immediately. Lord, may I be like You. (DRM 3/30/2000)

    This is a convicting verse. Do I act the way Jesus acted? Do I have compassion for the poor and widows? Do I proclaim verbally to people their need to be saved? I could go on and on . . . Lord, make me more like You. (DRM 3/6/03)

2:7    Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.

    This seems to be an introduction to verses 9-11; which refers to loving our "brother." In the Ten Commandments (#8, 9, 10) we are encouraged to love our neighbor as ourselves. This section mostly re-states what was already stated in the commandments, but using different language.
    It's good to be reminded, and better to implement this if you have had problems with other Christians, like I have. (DRM 3/27/12)

2:8    On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.

    As I read this verse I wondered what the "new commandment" was that John was writing about here. Fortunately the cross reference takes us to John 13:34 which says the new commandment is to love one another. This theme (love) is stated in the next three verses (v. 9-11).
    God is love. If we want to be more like the Lord, we will love others as we love Him. I think He wants us to love all people, not just other believers, as loving non-believers will help bring them to also love the Savior=Jesus. (DRM 1/11/13)

2:9    The one who says he is in the light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.

    I know several people who say they are Christians, but also will criticize other Christians and walk in other paths Monday through Saturday. We are to love our Christian family every day, and not become a cause for division in a church or community. Love one another. (DRM 6/28/06)

2:10    The one who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 

    "The Light" has many meanings to me. First, the Light is Christ, the direction for my life. Second, the Christian life, which seems to be related to in this verse. Third, a direction to travel, like the lighthouse. There must be more. . . (DRM 3/31/2000)

    Verse 11 refers to those in darkness, but I prefer to be optimistic. Knowing Jesus is in my heart, is like having a light abide in me. I deeply want to share my faith with others, but they seem uninterested - or in darkness. Lord, light my path. . . (DRM 3/7/03)

2:11    But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

    God is love. After we (I) became a part of His family, I should have also acquired His love for all others - believers and unbelievers. All other believers are considered brothers and sisters in the Lord - thus we should love them - and everyone else - period.
    If we don't love others, then we are not believers - we are still in (unbelieving) darkness. (DRM 12/24/08)

[Re: 2:10, 11]    The "brother" referred to here refers to other people who say they are Christians - in the family of faith.
    As Christians, we should love other Christians, as the Light (Jesus=Holy Spirit) has opened our eyes to trust completely in Him, and both of us agree on that point.
    When we hate other Christians, according to this verse, we are walking in darkness.
    While we have differences on minor things with other Christians, we are to still love each other as family. Jesus will clarify the minor stuff later. (DRM 12/16/16)

    When we choose love instead of hate, we are showing our relationship with Him and reflecting His radiance to the world around us. (from Our Daily Bread 12/14/16)

2:12    I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake.

    When we first come to Christ, it must be as a child, so I can associate here. We all must have a beginning and we are given that assurance in this verse. Thank you Lord Jesus! (DRM 4/1/2000)

2:13    I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father.

    A person who knows "Him who has been from the beginning," and "know(s) the Father," is a person who trusts in God=Jesus. I add Jesus because He overcame the evil one to set us free.
    No matter who we are, male or female, young or old, trusting and knowing the Lord Jesus is the most important thing that will occur while on earth. It's great to be a part of His family - and it will last forever. (DRM 12/13/12)

    In today's reading, we see the aging apostle John addressing children, fathers, and young men. John's age and gender designations are not meant to be restrictive - the categories refer to varied levels of maturity. The children category refers to those believers who are new converts. New life has been poured into their hearts and forgiveness of sin has relieved their troubled consciences. The father designation refers to those who have known Christ for a significant period of time and have been obedient. Finally, John speaks to young men who, becoming familiar with the temptations of the devil, have learned to draw upon the power of God to resist him. (INSIGHT, Our Daily Bread, 12/13/2012)

2:14    I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 

    All three of these verses [12-14] relate to various people who are now believers. I think the Bible is directed to two types of people: non-believers and believers. After accepting the gift of Jesus Christ, we need encouragement and conviction of our sins - which the Bible provides. (DRM 3/8/03)

2:15    Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 

    I like the beautiful things that I see in this world - and quickly think of nature - but this verse clearly states that I should love the Father more than this. My time should be spent on Him and not earth. (DRM 4/2/2000)

    This is one of my temptations. At times in my life, I have tried to accumulate material things of this world (stamps, etc.) for investment and enjoyment and it took ALL of my time away from the LORD. This is still a problem. I need balance. (DRM 3/9/03)

    This is more challenging to me. My priority is to love Jesus and to serve Him however He leads me. I also have earthly desires that I would like to do before the end of my life - and hope that is not "loving the world." (DRM 6/29/06)

2:16    For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

    A lot of people today have a challenge with lust for the opposite sex. On the one hand, we want to keep strong and healthy bodies, but on the other hand the attractiveness can lead others to sinful desires. These desires are not from God, but from the world. Our eyes and mind should be on serving Jesus=God, and to try to please Him at all times. (DRM 12/25/08)

2:17    The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

    What hope! As time goes by and I become more knowledgeable in God's word, the influences of this world will become easier to deflect and I will be able to be in God's will more and more of the time. And it will last forever. (DRM 2/11/87)

2:18    Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour.

    As time goes on, more and more people want to deceive the people of God in some way. All of the deceivers are antichrists, but eventually there will be THE Antichrist. Lord, may I do Your will until THE DAY. (DRM 4/3/2000)

    Nearly 2,000 years ago, John wrote that it is "the last hour." God-Jesus wanted it that way. He wants us to always be prepared and ready to meet Him. Lord, make me ready to be with You today - and forgive my sins from the past. (DRM 3/10/03)

    John truly felt Jesus was coming back soon. He never would have thought people would be still waiting over 1,900 years later! He felt Jesus would return immediately - like I do. No one knows the day or the hour — only the Father. We (I) should always be prepared for a quick departure. (DRM 6/30/06)

2:19    They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.

    Without the previous verse (v. 18), this verse makes no sense.
    We are in the last days and the Antichrist will rule for seven years after the Rapture. The antichrists that are referred to in v. 18 are other people that act like the Antichrist, but are not the final one.
    The antichrists were on the scene when John wrote this. Apparently they had claimed to be Christians, but were not really committed to Christ. This verse tells us that the people who were antichrists may have claimed to be Christian, but never were. (DRM 6/10/13)

2:20    But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.

    The Holy One, God, has given us the Holy Spirit for various reasons. One would be discernment between who are members of the family of God and who aren't.
    The anointing was given to us as new Christians when we first trusted in Jesus as Lord and Savior - it is the same as receiving the Holy Spirit (v. 27). (DRM 1/24/13)

2:21    I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.

    While John was not writing to a specific church, he was writing to Christians in general. According to this verse, he was not writing to non-Christians, but most people who read or are familiar with parts of the Bible before conversion.
    Perhaps this verse emphasizes that the Bible is the true word of God and no lies are contained in it. (DRM 11/16/11)

2:22    Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.

    This seems to give a different perspective on the antichrist. I believe that the Antichrist will be a single person that will lead the world in the future. In this verse the antichrist could describe a lot of unbelievers, like today's Atheists - who don't believe in God. THE Antichrist ruler will come from one of these groups - who deny Jesus is the Lord. (DRM 12/26/08)

2:23    Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 

    This seems to indicate that Jesus and God are closer than "father and son." If you confess One, you confess both. They must be the same. 
    Thank you Jesus God for opening my eyes! (DRM 4/4/2000)

    Jesus is God. New believers must understand this and believe it. The verse does NOT say to trust only in God, but that we must trust in the Son [Jesus] who is God. Most of the world does not understand this. (DRM 3/11/03)

2:24    As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

    Here John is referring to previous teaching that was given to the believers that he was writing to. No one but God knows our heart - and what we believe, but here John was emphasizing to continue to listen and implement the good teaching that has been taught already. (DRM 7/1/06)

2:25    This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.

    This could be the most important promise Jesus could have made to each of us.
    Imagine a life without the hope of a future after death. At the end of life on earth there would be nothing. No wonder people are trying to extend their lives while here - as they have no hope for any future. It's depressing.
    Jesus' promise keeps me going. I look forward to being with Him and serving Him however He desires. I look forward to my new body and home. All people can feel this way if they only give their souls to Jesus. (DRM 11/17/13)

2:26    These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you.

    John wrote this letter to believers. Since they already had trusted in Jesus as Messiah, they, and we, need assurance that we will be with Jesus when this life is over (v. 24).
    Others - false teachers - will try to deceive us into following their way instead of Jesus' way/teachings. We have to be alert, as they are sly in their practices.
    The Holy Spirit (His anointing, v. 27) indwells believers and He (Holy Spirit) tells us what is right vs. wrong. We are to listen to the Holy Spirit and not false teachers. (DRM 12/3/13)

2:27    As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

    While not stated as such, I think that this refers to the indwelling Holy Spirit. After conversion, we (I) receive the Holy Spirit which is LIKE the conscience and directs how we (I) should live. So long as it's truly the Holy Spirit, it will direct us to do God-pleasing things. Our Teacher in this respect is the Holy Spirit - but I think we also need human pastor-teachers to clarify the meaning of some aspects of the Bible. (DRM 12/27/08)

2:28    And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.

    I usually like to be compared to a child, it's a time of great learning. Lord, let me continue to learn more about You, and never be ashamed of You or Your return. (DRM 4/5/2000)

    How will I feel when Christ returns? Many people will be ashamed for their unconfessed sins, but those who know Him and confess all their known sins to Him will love Him and welcome His return. I am trying to be in the later half. (DRM 3/12/03)

2:29    If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.

    When you meet a new person, how can you tell if they are a Christian or not? I believe that a lot of that determination comes from what they say — An example is if they swear a lot, then it's unlikely they are Christians, as Christians should try to emulate Jesus - and say things that would please Him, as He is righteous/holy. (DRM 12/28/08)

3:1    See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

    As a father loves his children, God loves His children — He created each one of us and only wants the best for each of us. When we decide to honor and follow His commands, rather than our own (as the world does), then we become a true part of His family.
    The people in the world have not heard His call to follow, and thus have totally different opinions and direction than we do. That's why we don't agree - but it's our job to show them the Truth, the Lord God, and hope they will change direction before it's too late. (DRM 1/1/12)

3:2    Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. 

    The heavenly mystery continues. What does Jesus look like? If we knew that, then we would know more of what we would look like when we are with Him. 
    I feel that it will be similar to now, but FAR better! (DRM 4/6/2000)

    After being born-again, I became a child of God, which I shall be while on earth. I don't know what I will become as an adult in heaven, but know that I will be like Jesus - in my composition; but I also will be recognizable to friends and family. Praise the Lord! (DRM 3/13/03)

    When we have completed our task on earth, it isn't over. Our future place in Heaven is unknown to us. While we will be recognized, we will also be like Jesus and be able to see Him, our Leader for eternity. What a great future! (DRM 7/2/06)

3:3    And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

    This continues the thought in verse two above. We will have new bodies in Heaven. Our spirit will continue from the body we had on earth. Since we will be like Him, we will also have spiritual bodies like His - probably 33 years old.
    With this hope, we want to serve Him in this life. We want to be as pure and sinless as possible to be like He was while on earth. . . .this is a whole life process - growing spiritually more and more like Jesus. (DRM 6/30/14)

3:4    Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.

    Everyone is a born sinner. We naturally desire to break God's laws; thus we are lawless people.
    Those who do not trust in Jesus' sacrifice for our sins are still in the lawlessness they were born into.
    While we can still sin after trusting in Jesus, the Holy Spirit that comes to live in us convicts us of the committed sin, and we are to ask for forgiveness, thus staying sinless as much as possible while living on earth and trying to serve the Savior.
    With all the sins that we can commit (listed in the Bible), it's difficult to be sinless. That's why we need the Holy Spirit's indwelling us. (DRM 8/31/14)

3:5    You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.

    This section of 1 John seems to be a clear review of Jesus' love for us and what He has done for us as members of His family.
    In this paragraph we are reminded not to sin - as that would indicate we were not true believers. Since Jesus came to take away our sins (before the Father), we are to try not to sin. Jesus had no sin, so He is our advocate between our sin and the Father's holiness. We have no hope for eternal life in Heaven without Jesus to cover for all our earthly sins.
    Try to keep our sins list as short as possible. (DRM 9/3/15)

    Although in our standing with God we are eternally forgiven through Christ's sacrifice, we will miss out on fellowship with God when we neglect confession of sin. (from Our Daily Bread, INSIGHT, 9/3/15)

3:6    No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. 

    I am a sinner, saved by grace. While I have to change the wording here, I believe the intent is that we try not to sin and that Jesus forgives our sins if we ask Him to. I try not to sin, but fail. (DRM 4/7/2000)

    Only One person was sinless - Jesus. How can we know Him since we are sinners? There is a way - confession of our sins. Since He doesn't remember confessed sins - we are sinless after confession - I must confess all known sins immediately! (DRM 3/14/03)

3:7    Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;

    The children in this verse refers to all readers of this letter of John.
    When we trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes into us and we become righteous. We can still sin, but the Holy Spirit will convict us of the sin so we can repent and turn from it.
    To unbelievers, our new actions are considered righteousness - as they are an evidence of His working in our lives. To some this is repulsive, but to others it causes them to want to investigate and eventually follow Jesus also.
    We (I) study the Bible to be able to answer questions when others ask about our faith - righteousness. (DRM 12/25/13)

3:8    . . . the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose to destroy the works of the devil.

    This is like yesterday's comment. How people react, how people speak and what people do is based on what is in their heart. If you hear or see evil, vulgar things come out of people, then they must likely aren't Christians. What is in a person's spiritual heart shows in what they literally say and do. (DRM 12/29/08)

3:9    No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 

    This is very similar to yesterday's verse. We don't intentionally sin. The Holy Spirit within us convicts us of our obvious sins and we must confess them to Jesus, who is our Intercessor. Only with His [Holy Spirit] help, can I walk sinless before God. (DRM 3/15/03)

3:10    By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

    This is similar to yesterday. I know that the Holy Spirit is in me because of my love for others. They may not know it, but how I would like to talk to them! Lord, let me also show your righteousness in my love toward others. (DRM 4/8/2000)

    You can't be half Christian. You have to commit to one side or the other - no fence sitting (Rev. 3:16)! While only God knows our heart, there is evidence of where we stand in the battle by the words we speak and the actions = love that we have for others - both Christians and non-Christians. (DRM 7/3/06)

3:11    For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;

    It's easy to love someone who also loves you. The hard part is to love our enemies - people who hate us. In today's world, it's easy to find people who hate or disagree with us for our views - especially on the exclusivity of trusting in Jesus as the ONLY way to heaven. Still we must talk to and be able to explain our position. (DRM 12/30/08)

3:12    . . . not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous.

    I always have a challenge with the story of Cain and Abel (Gen. 4:3-4).
    Cain brought the Lord God a gift from the fruit of the land and Abel brought an animal from the flock. God preferred the animal over the fruit, which caused Cain to be angry that his offering wasn't good enough.
    Cain clearly was wrong for killing Abel, but did he know in advance what the Lord desired? The Bible doesn't say.
    In this verse . . ."Cain, who was of the evil one. . . " and "his deeds were evil," should refer to his murder of Abel, not his gift of fruit to the Lord God. (DRM 2/5/14)

3:13    Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.

    Listen to the news. It's coming. More and more countries have places where they are killing all the Christians and burning their churches.
    Why does the world hate Christians? Generally this is driven by another religion that wants to take over the world by force. When a country is run by people with this attitude it doesn't take long before the Christians are outlawed.
    All these things are prophesized in the Bible - and are an indication that Jesus' return is soon. (DRM 9/24/13)

    Christians are hated (v. 13) because the world is at war against God (John 15:23-24; Rom. 5:10; 8:7). Jesus explained that this is so because the world hated Him first and because Christians are not of this world (John 15:18-19; 17:14). This is consistent with similar warnings He gave to His disciples (Matt. 10:22; 24:9). Those who live godly and holy lives will suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:12). But we can take comfort in Jesus' promise of victory (John 16:33) and in the knowledge that those who are mistreated because of Him will be blessed (Matt. 5:11-12). (from Our Daily Bread, INSIGHT, 9/24/13)

3:14    We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.

    How often I get upset with people who "bother" me or cause me to be uncomfortable by their words or actions.
    While I generally think I love everyone and don't hate people who disagree with me, I still have an inner disagreement with the people who cause my mental distress.
    Lord, I need help to forgive and be more like Jesus every single day! (DRM 6/14/87)

    Again, love is the topic. For most of my life I've felt "unloved." But recently God has shown me how much He loves me by allowing me to have a close friend. This is an example of His love. (DRM 4/9/2000)

    While physical love has alluded me all of my life, I can truly feel the spiritual love referred to here. I have a love for other Christians and "want" to correct some of them if they are going down the wrong paths - even if they can't "hear" by some of my actions. (DRM 3/16/03)

3:15    Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

    When I read the Ten Commandments, I think I haven't murdered or killed anyone, but here is the definition of murder. Have I ever hated someone for what they have done to me? Have I forgiven them since? Thank God that He forgives our sins if we ask Him to! (DRM 7/4/06)

3:16    We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 

    This doesn't sound like a spiritual application, but rather a physical one. Jesus literally, physically died for my sins. If another believer needs me to die for him to live, then I should consider this verse. It would be very difficult to decide! (DRM 3/17/03)

3:17    But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

    This seems to be written for the "rich," but I'm not so sure. Compared to the rest of the world, the USA is the land of plenty. I don't always feel that I am giving enough of what I have to others. (DRM 4/10/2000)

3:18    Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

    We are all little children compared to our Leader, Jesus. I think this verse refers to all believers and that our actions speak louder than whatever we say. Do we (I) really "walk the walk?" Even after 20 years, I have few people to ask or compare myself to - for progress reports. (DRM 7/5/06)

    [re: 3:18, 19]    As Christians, we have two families. The first family is the literal family we were born into. The second family is the family we joined when we were born-again.
    Our Christian family is spread all over the world. We have a mutual love of Jesus and have the desire to help and encourage others in the faith.
    As John states here, we are not to just say we love others, then walk away, but to do things to help others with their needs. This can be either physical (e.g. food) or spiritual (e.g. instruction and encouragement from God's Word). I/we need to SHOW our love to both our families. (DRM 8/5/17)

3:19, 20    We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him, 20in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.

    "By this" refers to the previous verse, which reminds us that what we do or say must come from the heart - not an outward gesture.
    By showing our love to others, we are showing His love through us. (transparency)
    God will see our love for others and know if it is from the heart or the head. (DRM 5/8/12)

3:21, 22    Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

    This seems like some of the answer to "What is the will of God for my life?" If we (I) keep God's commandments and do things that would please Him, and the Holy Spirit ("our heart") does not condemn us, then we (I) can go forward believing that I am doing God's will. (DRM 12/31/08)

3:23    And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 

    First, we must believe (not just know) in Jesus Christ, then we must love other Christians in our new family. If we can't agree as family members on earth, how will we do in Heaven? Jesus didn't cause the division of the church - Satan did. (DRM 3/18/03)

    When I see the word commandment, I usually think of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament. This is a New Testament commandment.
    When we become Christians, we put all our trust in the Lord Jesus. We believe in the name Jesus - which is like no other name. After that commitment, we are to love other Christians, as we all are part of a new family - the family of God. It doesn't matter where we live, as someday in the future we will all be together, at least for the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Rev. 19:7-9). (DRM 10/14/16)

3:24    And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. 

    I try to keep all the commandments, but know that I am a sinner saved by grace. My assurance is only through the convicting of (by) the Holy Spirit. Thank you Lord for the convictions - in that way I know You are still with me. (DRM 4/11/2000)

4:1    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the Spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    While this is explained well in verses 2 and 3, the point is that we (I) can think I'm hearing a directive from the Holy Spirit, but it could be a demon that is telling me what to do. The Holy Spirit would want me to proclaim Jesus to the world in ANY way, whereas a demon wouldn't want that. Who am I (we) listening to? (DRM 1/1/09)

4:2    By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;

    Sometimes when I feel "sure" that the Holy Spirit is telling me something to do, I assume that the word is from God. As time progresses, and I don't get the expected results, I realize that I could have been deceived. I must be sure FIRST. (DRM 3/19/03)

    Did God really tell me to do THAT? The answer comes from the context, does it really honor Him? Does it bring more people to Christ? As I make major decisions, I really wonder about these things and really want to honor Christ with the rest of my life. (DRM 7/6/06)

4:3    . . . and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 

    More often lately, I've felt that the Holy Spirit has been telling me what to do. So far, I've never doubted who was talking to me. From this verse apparently I should question the speaker. (DRM 4/12/2000)

4:4    You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 

    Again today, this reminds me that I am a "child" of God and have a lot more learning to do. Praise God that His Holy Spirit is in me and not the demons and Satan of this world. (DRM 3/20/03)

4:5    They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.

    This section of chapter four refers to testing the spirit that is directing your thoughts. The Holy Spirit tells us things that will bring honor to Jesus (v. 2). The spirit of the world does not do this (v. 3).
    This verse refers to the worldly spirit. A worldly spirit would say it's OK to disobey what God directs in the Bible (e.g. hate other people, murder them) and some people do these things.
    This makes me think of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) and following that direction. Listen only to God=Jesus' spirit, not those of the world. (DRM 8/6/13)

4:6    We are from God: he who knows God listens to us; and he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 

    Generally, I've noticed that "believers" understand what I'm saying when I speak of Biblical things and unbelievers don't. As it says here, a way to 'test' someone's belief is to see their reaction and agreement with Biblical thoughts. [I should memorize more of them!] (DRM 4/13/2000)

4:7    Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

    Love has various meanings in our language. In this case I think it refers to affection for other people, caring for them and desiring for them to come to or grow in faith in the Lord Jesus. "God is Love" because He does all of these things for each of us. People who don't know God won't do all of these things, even though they may "love" other people. (DRM 9/11/13)

4:8    The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

    I seem to vaguely remember love when mother was alive and some of that love was "transferred" to my aunt [my mother's twin sister]. But after Alice left [died], I was "loveless." Now God seems to be showing me His love through a new friend. It's great to have this friend — but I also long for a wife. (DRM 4/14/2000)

4:9    By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 

    How do we see God's love to us? Through the love of other believers. While I have seen little of this evidence in NYS, I know it exists elsewhere. The best thing to do is to begin at home - Lord, may Your love be evident in me. (DRM 3/21/03)

    God loves us so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. To "live through Him" I think refers to how He died for our behalf to cover our sins (propitiation v.10). I still have to confess my sins, but have confidence that both God and Jesus want to love and forgive me. (DRM 7/7/06)

    This verse seems similar to the well-known John 3:16.
    God's love was shown to us in the form of Jesus while He was on earth. When we became Christians, we also received God's love in a more personal way than we had before.
    With this love of God within us, we should also love others - not only other believers, but all the world - just like Jesus=God does.
    It may be difficult at times to do this for others who disagree with us, but we are to show His light and do as Jesus, our example, did. (DRM 7/9/17)

4:10    In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

    God loves us. Unbelievers can't feel or know this love, but believers can see and feel His love. Have you ever had a pet - e.g. cat or dog - and seen what love these animals can exhibit to people over time? This is an example of how God created us to have and share love. God's love is far greater and is shown in His healing and protecting us - even if we are unaware of it at the time.
    God so loved the world that He gave His Son, Jesus, to be the propitiation/substitution/penalty/atoning sacrifice for our sins.
    God wants our love for what He has already done for us - and assured us of eternal life. (DRM 11/9/12)

4:11    Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

    God showed His love for us in sending Jesus to die for our sins. He wants us to live with Him in the future. Since He loved us so much, we should also love others in the same way - not wanting them to go to Hell, but in trying to show them the narrow path to Heaven. (DRM 1/2/09)

    . . . Just as God demonstrated His love toward us through Christ's incarnation and work on the cross, so should His children demonstrate love toward the rest of the family. (Word of Life diary comment 1/2/09)

4:12    No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

    How do we know what God looks like? Jesus said, if we have seen Him, we have seen the Father, so I would expect God to look like a human being.
    God loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins. In a similar way He wants us to love each other. The way (evidence) that a person is a Christian is the way they (we) love others.
    We are to show others love - and this love is a reflection of the love that's in us - given to us by the Father. (DRM 12/5/11)

4:13, 14    By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

    A regular question that I hear from others and think sometimes is, "Am I really a Christian?" These two verses and v. 15 make it clear that the evidence of our salvation is our desire to tell other people about Jesus. We will also love others in our spiritual family (v. 11) and other people, so they will see His love in us.
    Do people know you love Jesus? Do you act differently from what you were like before you put your trust in Jesus? If so, then you can say with confidence, "I really am a Christian." (DRM 9/9/16)

[Re: 4:13]    My assurance of salvation is that I know the Holy Spirit is within me. He convicts me when I do wrong and also tells me what to do that's right. My problem (sin) is being able to do all the rights. (DRM 4/15/2000)

[Re: 4:14]    This appears to be connected to v. 13 above. The Holy Spirit is given to believers at the point that they trust in the Lord Jesus for remission of sins committed and turn from their ways to trust only in Him.
    John was one of the 12 disciples - thus referred to seeing Jesus literally, but we can also see Jesus=God by the works that He does in and around our lives.
    To testify is to share this knowledge with others all the amazing things that the Lord has done in our life. (DRM 4/3/13)

4:15    Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God.

    Salvation seems so simple. This verse is even more direct than John 3:16. Why don't people see this? How can they learn unless someone is sent to tell them . . . who . . . me? (DRM 4/16/2000)

    This verse is an encouragement to me. Quite often I feel so inadequate and disappointed in myself that I haven't done enough for the Lord. This verse reminds me that I belong to Jesus and He loves me - even when I think I am failing. (DRM 3/22/03)

    Sometimes I am asked by others, "Am I a Christian?" This verse shows a way to tell. It's our assurance of salvation.
    Have you ever told someone else that you've put your faith in Jesus? You wouldn't do that if it wasn't in your heart. A non-Christian wouldn't say that.
    Jesus loves us. He loves everyone and wants each of us to also love Him. When we tell others, we are showing them both our love for them and His love for them.
    God=Jesus abides in each of us who also love Him. (DRM 2/16/17)

4:16    We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

    The love that John is referring to here is the love between God and His children - the ones who believe in Him.
    A person who loves another person and neither have believed in Jesus=God is not what John is referring to. God loves those who also love Him. The second sentence of this verse is dependent on the first sentence.
    As I think about this verse, God loves all people, but all people will not go to Heaven. We have to love God with all our hearts before we will be admitted into Heaven. (DRM 2/26/14)

4:17    By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

    This is another verse that has to be read in context - at least back to verse 15.
    God loves us. So long as we also love God=Jesus, the Holy Spirit will live in us. The indwelling Holy Spirit will give us the confidence we will need when we encounter non-Christians and their judgment of our actions. (I don't think this refers to Judgment Day.)
    We are to share Jesus'=God's love with unbelievers and not worry about what they think - so long as we are presenting the truth from the Bible. (DRM 7/11/14)

4:18    There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

    I don't fear my friends, I love them. At the beginning I held back some information, but as time progressed, trust increased. I no longer had to fear the punishment of a broken relationship. As love develops, fear recedes. (DRM 7/8/06)

4:19    We love because He first loved us.

    This is a short, direct, and clear verse. Jesus=God loved us from the beginning of the world. He knew how He would create us, when He would create us and what we would do for Him while on earth.
    As Christians, we know His love by the things He does in our lives (e. g. Who we would meet, what experiences we would have), and that He sent Jesus to die for our sins.
    Since we know His love and have experienced His love, we are to share His love with others who we meet while on earth. (DRM 7/30/14)

4:20    If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar', for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

    This is the same general idea as what I wrote yesterday. The "brother" here could be either a Christian or non-Christian, a family relative or a spiritual relative or neighbor. We are to love all people, no matter who they are or what they believe. . .  and "brothers" include sisters in the same way. (DRM 1/3/09)

4:21    And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

    Being mean and not caring or loving people is easy. The hard part comes when someone is being mean to you and not getting angry at them!
    We must continue to remember to "love one another" no matter what they say or do to you! (DRM 6/23/87)

    I can only think of the variety of people who sit on the bus every day. I don't know their backgrounds but still "love" them as they haven't hurt me. Thank God He shows His love through other people. (DRM 4/17/2000)

    How can I love God and NOT love His created beings and things [nature]? While I have had disagreements on others' presentations of God, I still love the people - because they were all created by the Lord. (DRM 3/23/03)

5:1    Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. 

    This is similar to John 4:15 above. Certainly I believe this verse to be true and it is another assurance of salvation to me. (DRM 4/18/2000)

    What is "the Christ"? I think it is like "the Savior," the Person who died for my personal sins. Without commitment we get nowhere. After being born-again [of God] it should be natural to love others in the family - no matter how they worship. (DRM 3/24/03)

    This is nearly the same message as John 3:16. To become a born-again Christian we have to BELIEVE in our heart that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah; God's Son sent to earth. We need to accept His rule over our lives, and then we will look forward to His coming to rule the earth in the future.
    Faith in Him is the requirement, all the other things people may say is required (e.g. baptism) will come as a result of the first step - faith.
    If you haven't made the first step, do it now. We don't know when Jesus will return. (DRM 1/6/17)

5:2    By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.

    As Christians, we love God=Jesus as that is a part of our new nature the day that we trusted in Him for our eternal destiny.
    In this verse and the previous verse, we are told that because we love the Father, we will also love His children - other believers' like ourselves.
    In our love of God, we will also desire to live by His commandments. All three aspects should go together. Love of God, love of commandments and love of other children of God. (DRM 1/13/13)

5:3    For this is the love of God, that we keep His Commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

    This continues the love theme from the past few days. God gave us the commandments as a guideline to follow - the purpose was to show that we are all sinners and can't do this perfectly. We have to admit our sin (repent) and keep trying to follow His commands - which truly shows that we love Him and want to please Him. (DRM 1/4/09)

5:4    For whatever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. 

    What causes someone to accept the gift of Jesus and His salvation? Faith! I personally dwell on the faith that He will provide for all of my needs and pray that others will also receive this faith. (DRM 4/19/2000)

    When I am trusting in God to provide, I am no longer trusting in the world to provide. Admitting that our trust is only in Jesus - God is an act of faith and , at first, the point of our conversion. (DRM 3/25/03)

    I think one of the most important words in the Bible and my life - is faith. This is something like a definition of what faith requires. I have to input my faith/trust to become a Christian. I have to have faith in Jesus as my Savior to overcome the world and all that is spiritually thrown at me to hinder me. (DRM 7/9/06)

5:5    Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

    In the previous verse, we are told that we, as believers, overcome the world based on our faith, so there is no doubt that we are the ones that can overcome the world and its Satanic system.
  How can we do that on our own? We can't! Only with faith in the Lord Jesus during trials and temptations can we succeed.
    The world is an evil place, and getting worse every day. We/I have to keep our faith in Jesus, not backslide, and work to serve Him and His cause in any way He directs us. (DRM 12/5/14) 

5:6    This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

    I understand that when all people are born they come from a pocket of water from their mother's womb. Thus all people are born by water. The blood can represent Jesus' inherited blood from His Father, or could also represent the blood that He gave during His death for our sins. Either way, He was the only One that lived that had this aspect.
    The Holy Spirit tells Christian believers not only what to do, but also confirms the truth when we hear it. We can have assurance that whatever we read in the Bible and other material is true from the Holy Spirit living in us. (DRM 4/29/15)

5:7, 8    For there are three that testify: 8the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

    When Jesus was born, as we are, He came from His mother's womb of water - and He also had blood. These two liquids are in all humans.
    Jesus also had the Holy Spirit when He was born. That's something that other humans don't have until later. . . when they put their trust in Jesus to save them from their sins.
    These two verses confirm that Jesus truly came to earth and all that is written about Him is true. We know that because the Holy Spirit that lives in each of us (as believers) came from Him and confirms it in our heart. (DRM 10/1/15)

    Dear Lord, during my times of doubt help me remember the promise of Your Word. Since I have invited Jesus into my life and placed my faith in His payment for my sins, You have promised me eternal life with You. (from Our Daily Bread 10/1/15)

5:9    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.

    Since testimony is referred to four times in this verse, the point is to understand the term. I believe that testimony is a personal or written reflection on what actually happened in my experience (Testimony Newsletter). The newsletter is a compilation of testimonies by "men," but God's testimony about His Son is far better. When God speaks, everyone should listen. There is no higher Authority! (DRM 1/5/09)

5:10a,b    Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony. . .

    The personal acceptance of Jesus Christ is THE way to salvation. When you accept Jesus Christ as Lord it will be in your heart and should be shown by your outward actions. Those who don't believe God are in for torment.
    What can I do to help those people? (DRM 4/19/87)   

5:11,12    And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

    One of my old Navigators memory verses. It's another great summary verse of what the Lord has given me and anyone who wants to believe in Him.
    How much clearer can the Bible be than in verse 12? (DRM 4/20/2000)

    [re: 5:11]    Without the Son [Jesus] we can't have eternal life. There is NO OTHER WAY. Non-Christians don't agree with this statement. It's hard to convince them that Jesus is the ONLY way to Heaven. Hopefully He will use me. (DRM 3/26/03)

5:13    These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life. 

    This was written for believers, but if I were a curious unbeliever, I would think it would convict me to believe. This clearly states that you MUST believe [in your heart] in the Son of God [Jesus] for eternal life. What's more convincing? (DRM 3/27/03) 

5:14,15    And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

    What a confidence building verse(s)! If we ask for anything in the name of Jesus, He will give it to us. Sounds good, BUT, it must be according to His will, and some things that I want, He wants something else that will be better for me later. (DRM 4/21/2000)

    This refers to my current dilemma. I have asked for employment for over 14 months now and received no response. I wonder what God is waiting for. I know I need more patience - and also know He will provide in His timing. (DRM 7/10/06)

    [Re: 5:15]    The previous verse emphasizes that if we ask anything "according to His will." As the Holy Spirit enters my body, He directs my thoughts. Many times my thoughts will now be His thoughts also. With His {Holy Spirit's] help, He [Jesus] grants our requests. (DRM 3/28/03)

5:16, 17    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. 17All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.

    If we commit sin and confess our sin to Jesus=God, then He will forgive our sin. We are not to continuously commit the sin - but try to be more and more like Him - so our sins list would be short. Confess our sins to Jesus daily.
    What is the sin leading to death? Numbers 15:30 refers to people who defy God. They oppose Him and His will; they obviously were never true believers in Him or they wouldn't act this way.
    Trust in Him, follow Him, do things His way. Ask yourself, "What would Jesus do?" (DRM 6/18/16)

5:18    We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him and the evil one does not touch him. 

    This verse is clear - based on the capitalizations. We became born of God when we were "born-again." Jesus was truly born of God and will protect us from Satan, and forgive us of our sins. (DRM 3/29/03)

    Believers are born of God, and we (I) try not to sin. Jesus was literally born of God and has no sin. I must depend on Him to cover my sin and protect me from the evil one. (DRM 7/11/06)

5:19    We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

    Throughout the Bible we are told (and I believe) that the current world is run by the evil one; the devil. That's not hard to believe! After becoming Christians, we change sides and become God's children, and our (my) purpose in life is to share His good news with others, so they won't be entrapped by the evil one for eternity. (DRM 1/6/09)

5:20    And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

    This is another summary verse: Jesus Christ came and taught us about His Father and heaven. He asked us to become part of His spiritual body, so we could be with Him forever. (DRM 4/22/2000)

5:21    Little children, guard yourselves from idols.

    John was writing to new believers in Christ. At that time, everyone was a "new" believer. The term "children" could go along with a young person in the faith.
    Idols are not just statues. People can idolize a lot of things including money=wealth and other people=celebrities that SEEM to be of higher rank than "us."
    We are - or should be - constantly growing in faith - thus still children compared to Jesus; and need to remember that we are all equal in God's sight. He doesn't give out titles or fame, but loves us all equally. (DRM 10/10/15)