Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO 1 JOHN 5\\

In this chapter the apostle treats of the nature of faith and love;
of Christ the object of both, and of the witness that is bore to
him; of the necessity of believing the testimony concerning him; of
the confidence of prayer being heard, and concerning whom it should
be made; of the happiness of regenerate persons, and of their duty
to keep themselves from idols. Faith in Christ is the evidence of
regeneration, and where that is, there will be love to the author of
regeneration, and to them that are regenerated; and love to them is
known by love to God, and keeping his commandments; and keeping the
commandments of God, and which are not grievous, is a proof of love
to God, \\#1Jo 5:1-3\\; and whereas every regenerate man overcomes the
world, it is by his faith, the evidence of his regeneration, that
this victory is obtained; nor can any other man be pointed out that
overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of
God, \\#1Jo 5:4,5\\; and Christ, the Son of God, the object of this
victorious faith, is described by his coming by water and blood, of
which the spirit is witness, who is a true one; and six witnesses of
the truth of this and his divine sonship are produced, three in
heaven, the Father, Word, and Spirit, who are the one God, and three
on earth, the Spirit, water, and blood, who agree in their
testimony, \\#1Jo 5:6-8\\; wherefore this testimony concerning the Son
of God ought to be received, since it is the testimony of God, which
is greater than that of men; besides, he that believes in Christ has
a witness of this in himself, and honours God, whereas he that
believes not makes God a liar, not giving credit to his record
concerning his Son; the sum of which is, that God has made a grant
of eternal life to some persons, which is in his Son, which those
that believe in the Son of God have, but those that do not believe
in him have it not: all which show the necessity of receiving the
above testimony; and the ends proposed in writing these things were,
to believe in Christ, and that it might be known they had eternal
life in him, \\#1Jo 5:9-13\\, and from faith in Christ the apostle
passes to confidence in prayer, as a particular effect and fruit of
it: as, that whatever is asked according to the will of God is
heard; and that such who are satisfied of this, that they are heard,
may be assured that they have the petitions they desire to have,
\\#1Jo 5:14,15\\, and whereas it is one branch of prayer to pray for
others as well as for ourselves, the apostle directs who we should
pray for; for the brethren in general, and in particular for such
who have sinned, but not unto death, and life shall be given to
such: but as for those who have sinned unto death, he does not say
prayer should be made for them, for though all unrighteousness in
general is sin, yet there is a particular sin which is unto death,
and is not to be prayed for, \\#1Jo 5:16,17\\; but happy are those who
are born of God, for they do not sin this sin; and through the use
of the armour of God, and the power of divine grace, they keep
themselves from the evil one, and he cannot come at them, to draw
them into this sin; also they know that they are of God, and are
distinguished from the world, which lies in wickedness; yea, they
know that the Son of God is come in the flesh, and hath given them
an understanding of the true God, by which they know that they are
in him, and in his Son Jesus Christ, who is with him, and the divine
Spirit, the one true God, and the author and giver of eternal life,
\\#1Jo 5:18-20\\; and the chapter, and with it the epistle, is concluded
with an exhortation to these regenerate ones, as they had kept
themselves from Satan, that they would also keep themselves from
idols of all sorts, \\#1Jo 5:21\\.