Anchor Community Church
1 John 5:13-21: Assurance, Prayer and the Will of God
In this final section of 1 John, we come to John's central point: know that you have eternal life. It is not presumptuous or boastful to have assurance of your salvation, if you really have trusted in Jesus. It is rather a biblical mandate! This final section keeps coming back to this subject (note how many times the word "know" appears here).
John provides a crucial link in the Bible's chain of teachings on prayer in this section also: if we pray according to God's will, we have the things we ask for (vv. 14-15. John then exhorts believers to pray for their erring brothers and sisters when they see them caught up in a sin. Then, in one of the most mysterious verses in the Bible, he tells how there is a sin that leads to death. What does it mean? What sin is that??
While nobody is really sure what the sin that leads to death is, it's important to keep the context of the whole letter in mind. John is writing because false teachers ("antichrists" in 2:18) have upset the church. Those who have so thoroughly rejected Christ that they can be called antichrists may be in danger of this sin.
For John, there are two kinds of people in this world: those who belong to Christ and those who belong to Satan. All who do not follow Christ are under the power of the Devil, whether they recognize it or not. There are ultimately only two camps: God's and the Devil's. This echoes Jesus' teaching in Luke 11:23 that whoever is not for him is against him.
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