1 John 5:1-5 – Faith that Conquers the World


1 John 5:1-5


Believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, produces love for God’s children and overcomes the world.


In saying that “everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God” (5:1), the author implicitly rebukes those who deny that the earthly Jesus is the Christ. Likewise, in affirming that “everyone who loves the parent loves the child,” the author implicitly criticizes those who do not show love toward God’s children. Loving God, obeying his commandments, and loving God’s children are all of one piece. We cannot do one without doing the others (5:2-3).“And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith” (5:4). This verse echoes the words of Jesus in John 16:33: “But take courage; I have conquered the world!” As Jesus has conquered the world, those who believe in him share in his victory. Once again, the “world” (kosmos) is used in the sense of the realm of unbelief, most particularly, the unbelief represented by the dissidents who have left the community. This is the only place in 1 John where the noun “faith” (pistis) is used; otherwise, as in the Gospel of John, believing is always a verb. The substance of faith is once again defined as believing that Jesus – the historical human being – is the Son of God (5:5).