*This Is Written That You May Know*
13These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
14This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
15And if we know that He hears us /in/ whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
*16If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not /leading/ to death, he shall ask and /God/ will for him give life to those who commit sin not /leading/ to death.
There is a sin /leading/ to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.
17All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not /leading/ to death.*
18We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.
19We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in /the power of/ the evil one.
20And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may 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.
21Little children, guard yourselves from idols.
(1 Jn. 5:13-21)
30‘But the person who does /anything/ defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people.
31‘Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt /will be/ on him.’”
25“If one man sins against another, God will mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?”
But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for the LORD desired to put them to death.
31“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
32“Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the /age/ to come.
4For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6and /then/ have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.
26For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
28Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on /the testimony of/ two or three witnesses.
29How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
30For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.”
And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”
31It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
20For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
21For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.
22It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, /returns/ to wallowing in the mire.”
16“As for you, do not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you.
17“Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
18“The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and /they/ pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to spite Me. 19“Do they spite Me?” declares the LORD.
“Is it not themselves /they spite,/ to their own shame?”
20Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and on beast and on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched.”
13“For your gods are as many as your cities, O Judah; and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to the shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal.
14“Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not listen when they call to Me because of their disaster.
10Thus says the LORD to this people, “Even so they have loved to wander; they have not kept their feet in check.
Therefore the LORD does not accept them; now He will remember their iniquity and call their sins to account.”
11So the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for the welfare of this people.
12“When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them.
Rather I am going to make an end of them by the sword, famine and pestilence.”
Direction in prayer in reference to the sins of others: /If any man see his brother \\ sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for those \\ that sin not unto death.
There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray \\ for it,/ v. 16.
Here we may observe, 1.
We ought to pray for others as well as for \\ ourselves; for our brethren of mankind, that they may be enlightened, converted, \\ and saved; for our brethren in the Christian profession, that they may be sincere, \\ that their sins may be pardoned, and that they may be delivered from evils and \\ the chastisements of God, and preserved in Christ Jesus.
2. There is a great \\ distinction in the heinousness and guilt of sin: /There is a sin unto death/ (v.
16), \\ /and there is a sin not unto death,/ v. 17. (1.) /There is a sin unto death./
All sin, as \\ to the merit and legal sentence of it, is unto death.
/The wages of sin is death;/ and \\ /cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book \\ of the law, to do them,/ Gal.
But there is a sin unto death in opposition to \\ such sin as is here said /not to be unto death./
There is therefore, (2.) /A sin not unto \\ death./
This surely must include all such sin as by divine or human constitution \\ may consist with life; in the human constitution with temporal or corporal life, in \\ the divine constitution with corporal or with spiritual evangelical life.
There \\ are sins which, by human righteous constitution, are not unto death; as divers \\ pieces of injustice, which may be compensated without the death of the \\ delinquent.
In opposition to this there are sins which, by righteous constitution, \\ are to death, or to a legal forfeiture of life; such as we call /capital crimes./
[2.] \\ Then there are sins which, by divine constitution, are unto death; and that either \\ death corporal or spiritual and evangelical.
/First,/ Such as are, or may be, to death \\ corporal.
Such may the sins be either of gross hypocrites, as Ananias and \\ Sapphira, or, for aught we know, of sincere Christian brethren, as when the \\ apostle says of the offending members of the church of Corinth, /For this cause \\ many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep,/ 1 Cor.
There may \\ be sin unto corporal death among those who may not be condemned with the \\ world.
Such sin, I said, is, or may be, to corporal death.
The divine penal \\ constitution in the gospel does not positively and peremptorily threaten death to \\ the more visible sins of the members of Christ, but only some gospel- \\ chastisement; /for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son \\ whom he receiveth,/ Heb.
There is room left for divine wisdom or goodness, \\ or even gospel severity, to determine how far the chastisement or the scourge \\ shall proceed.
And we cannot say but that sometimes it may (/in terrorem—for \\ warning to others/) proceed even to death.
Then, /Secondly,/ There are sins which, \\ by divine constitution, are unto death spiritual and evangelical, that is, are \\ inconsistent with spiritual and evangelical life, with spiritual life in the soul and \\ with an evangelical right to life above.
Such are total impenitence and unbelief \\ for the present.
Final impenitence and unbelief are infallibly to death eternal, as \\ also a blaspheming of the Spirit of God in the testimony that he has given to \\ Christ and his gospel, and a total apostasy from the light and convictive evidence \\ of the truth of the Christian religion.
These are sins involving the guilt of \\ everlasting death.
(Matthew Henry Commentary – 1 Jn.
Verses 16, 17 “illustrate the kind of petition we can be sure God will answer” (/NIVSB/).
*that sin not unto death . . .
a sin unto death*—What is the difference between the sin unto death and the sin not unto death?
“The distinction is one which John’s readers were expected to recognize.
But it is difficult to see how they could recognize the distinction except by the result.
Elsewhere in the NT instances occur of sins which caused the death of the persons committing them, when these persons were church members” (Bruce)—see Acts 5:1-11; 1 Cor.
But John may not have been thinking of physical death as much as sin that leads to spiritual death.
The /NIVSB/ says this:
In the context of this letter directed against Gnostic teaching, which denied the incarnation and threw off all moral restraints, it is probable that the “sin that leads to death” refers to the Gnostics’ adamant and persistent denial of the truth and to their shameless immorality.
This kind of unrepentant sin leads to spiritual death.
(New Commentary – 1 Jn.
Verses 16-17 have been much discussed.
But they should not have \\ occasioned as much difficulty as they have.
Sometimes a Christian may sin so \\ seriously that God judges that sin with swift physical death: “a sin that leads to \\ death.”
Ananias and Sapphira are cases in point (Acts 5:1-11).
But most of the \\ sins which one *sees* a Christian *brother commit* are not of such a nature, as their \\ common occurrence shows.
For these, a believer ought to *pray,* knowing that \\ any sin—if continued in long enough—is a threat to a fellow Christian’s life (cf.
\\ James 5:19-20; also cf.
10:27; 11:19; 13:14; 19:16).
Thus the restoration of \\ a brother may secure a prolonging of his physical life.
The words, *a sin that does not lead to death,* can be easily misunderstood.
\\ All sin ultimately leads to death, but the expression “that does not lead to death” \\ (/meô// pros thanaton/) should be understood in the sense, “not punished by death.”
\\ The distinction is between sins for which death is a rapid consequence and sins \\ for which it is not.
When a Christian sees another Christian sin in a way that is not fatal, *he* is \\ instructed to pray for him *and God will give him life.*