5 1Every person who believes that Jesus is, in fact, the Messiah, is God–begotten. If we love the One who conceives the child, we’ll surely love the child who was conceived. 2The reality test on whether or not we love God’s children is this: Do we love God? Do we keep his commands? 3The proof that we love God comes when we keep his commandments and they are not at all troublesome. The Power That Brings the World to Its Knees 4Every God–begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith. 5The person who wins out over the world’s ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God. 6Jesus—the Divine Christ! He experienced a life–giving birth and a death–killing death. Not only birth from the womb, but baptismal birth of his ministry and sacrificial death. 7And all the while the Spirit is confirming the truth, the reality of God’s presence at Jesus’ baptism and crucifixion, bringing those occasions alive for us. A triple testimony: 8the Spirit, the Baptism, the Crucifixion. And the three in perfect agreement. 9If we take human testimony at face value, how much more should we be reassured when God gives testimony as he does here, testifying concerning his Son. 10Whoever believes in the Son of God inwardly confirms God’s testimony. Whoever refuses to believe in effect calls God a liar, refusing to believe God’s own testimony regarding his Son. 11This is the testimony in essence: God gave us eternal life; the life is in his Son. 12So, whoever has the Son, has life; whoever rejects the Son, rejects life. The Reality, Not the Illusion 13My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. 14And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening. 15And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours. 16For instance, if we see a Christian believer sinning (clearly I’m not talking about those who make a practice of sin in a way that is “fatal,” leading to eternal death), we ask for God’s help and he gladly gives it, gives life to the sinner whose sin is not fatal. There is such a thing as a fatal sin, and I’m not urging you to pray about that. 17Everything we do wrong is sin, but not all sin is fatal. 18We know that none of the God–begotten makes a practice of sin—fatal sin. The God–begotten are also the God–protected. The Evil One can’t lay a hand on them. 19We know that we are held firm by God; it’s only the people of the world who continue in the grip of the Evil One. 20And we know that the Son of God came so we could recognize and understand the truth of God—what a gift!—and we are living in the Truth itself, in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. This Jesus is both True God and Real Life. 21Dear children, be on guard against all clever facsimiles.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About