Overcoming the World
1Everyone who believes [with a deep, abiding trust in the fact] that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) is born of God [that is, reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose], and everyone who loves the Father also loves [a]the child born of Him. 2 By this we know [without any doubt] that we love the children of God: [expressing that love] when we love God and obey His commandments. 3 For the [true] love of God is this: that we habitually keep His commandments and remain focused on His precepts. And His commandments and His precepts are not difficult [to obey]. 4 For [b]everyone born of God is victorious and overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has conquered and overcome the world—our [continuing, persistent] faith [in Jesus the Son of God].
5 Who is the one who is victorious and overcomes the world? It is the one who believes and recognizes the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. 6 This is He who came through water and blood [His baptism and death], Jesus Christ—not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. It is the [Holy] Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. [He is the essence and origin of truth itself.] 7 For there are three witnesses: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three are in agreement [their testimony is perfectly consistent]. 9 If we accept [as we do] the testimony of men [that is, if we are willing to take the sworn statements of fallible humans as evidence], the testimony of God is greater [far more authoritative]; for this is the testimony of God, that He has testified regarding His Son. 10 The one who believes in the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies confidently on Him as Savior] has the testimony within himself [because he can speak authoritatively about Christ from his own personal experience]. The one who does not believe God [in this way] has made Him [out to be] a liar, because he has not believed in the evidence that God has given regarding His Son. 11 And the testimony is this: God has given us eternal life [we already possess it], and this life is in His Son [resulting in our spiritual completeness, and eternal companionship with Him]. 12 He who has the Son [by accepting Him as Lord and Savior] has the life [that is eternal]; he who does not have the Son of God [by personal faith] does not have the life.
This Is Written That You May Know
13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God [which represents all that Jesus Christ is and does], so that you will know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that you [already] have eternal life. 14 This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that [c]if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us. 15 And if we know [for a fact, as indeed we do] that He hears and listens to us in whatever we ask, we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him.
16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not lead to death, he will pray and ask [on the believer’s behalf] and God will for him give life to those whose sin is not leading to death. There is a sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for this [kind of sin]. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death [one can repent of it and be forgiven].
18 We know [with confidence] that anyone born of God does not habitually sin; but He (Jesus) who was born of God [carefully] keeps and protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know [for a fact] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] lies in the power of the evil one [opposing God and His precepts]. 20 And we [have seen and] know [by personal experience] that the Son of God has [actually] come [to this world], and has given us understanding and insight so that we may [progressively and personally] 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.
21 Little children (believers, dear ones), guard yourselves from idols—[false teachings, moral compromises, and anything that would take God’s place in your heart].