1 Samuel
2 Samuel
1 Kings
2 Kings
1 Chronicles
2 Chronicles

Song of Songs



1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy

1 Peter
2 Peter
1 John
2 John
3 John

Revelation 1-11
Revelation 12-22

Notes on First John

From the Original 1599 Geneva Bible Notes

1Jo 1:1

1:1 That {1} which was from the beginning, which we have {a} heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the {b} Word of life;

      (1) He begins with the description of the person of Christ who he makes one and not two: and him both God from everlasting
      (for he was with the Father from the beginning, and is that eternal life) and also made true man, whom John himself and his companions both heard, beheld, and handled.
      (a) I heard him speak, I saw him myself with my eyes, I handled with my hands him that is true God, being made true man, and not I alone, but others also that were with me.
      (b) That same everlasting Word by whom all things are made, and in whom only is there life.

1Jo 1:2

1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and bear witness, and {c} shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

      (c) Being sent by him: and that doctrine is correctly said to be shown, for no man could so much as have thought of it, if it had not been thus shown.

1Jo 1:3

1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, {2} that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

      (2) The use of this doctrine is this, that all of us being coupled and joined together with Christ by faith, might become the sons of God: in which only consists all true happiness.

1Jo 1:5

1:5 {3} This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

      (3) Now he enters into a question, by which we may understand that we are joined together with Christ, that is, if we are governed with his light, which is perceived by the ordering of our life. And thus he reasons, God is in himself most pure light, therefore he agrees well with them who are of the light, but with them that are of the darkness he has no fellowship.

1Jo 1:7

1:7 But if we walk in the {d} light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, {4} and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

      (d) God is said to be light by his own nature, and to be in light, that is to say, in that everlasting infinite blessedness: and we are said to walk in light in that the beams of that light shine to us in the Word.
      (4) A digression the matter at hand, to the remission of sins: for this our sanctification who walk in the light, is a testimony of our joining and knitting together with Christ: but because this our light is very dark, we must obtain another benefit in Christ, that is, that our sins may be forgiven us being sprinkled with his blood: and this in conclusion is the support and anchor of our salvation.

1Jo 1:8

1:8 {5} If we say that we have no sin, we {e} deceive ourselves, and the {f} truth is not in us.

      (5) There is none but need this benefit, because there is none that is not a sinner.
      (e) This fully refutes that perfectness of works of supererogation (doing more than duty requires, the idea that excess good works can form a reserve fund of merit that can be drawn on in favour of sinners) which the papists dream of.
      (f) So then, John speaks not thus for modesty's sake, as some say but because it is so indeed.

1Jo 1:9

1:9 {6} If we confess our sins, he is {g} faithful and just to {h} forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

      (6) Therefore the beginning of salvation is to acknowledge our wickedness and to require pardon from him, who freely forgives all sins, because he has promised to do so and he is faithful and just.
      (g) So then our salvation depends on the free promise of God, who because he is faithful and just, will perform that which he hath promised.
      (h) Where then are our merits? for this is our true happiness.

1Jo 1:10

1:10 {7} If we say that we have not sinned, we make him {i} a liar, and his {k} word is not in us.

      (7) A repeat of the former verse, in which he condemned all of sin without exception: so much so that if any man persuade himself otherwise, he does as much as in him lies, make the word of God himself useless and to no effect, yes, he makes God a liar: for to why in times past did we need sacrifices, or now Christ and the gospel, if we are not sinners?
      (i) They do not only deceive themselves but are blasphemous against God.
      (k) His doctrine shall have no place in us; that is, in our hearts.

1Jo 2:1

2:1 My {1} little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an {a} advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

      (1) It does not follow that we must give our wicked nature free rein, or sin much more freely, because our sins are cleansed by the blood of Christ, but we must rather much more diligently resist sin, and yet we must not despair because of our weakness, for we have an advocate and a purger, Christ Jesus the Just, and therefore acceptable to his Father.
      (a) In that be names Christ, he eliminates all others.

1Jo 2:2

2:2 And he is the {b} propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the {c} whole world.

      (b) Reconciliation and intercession go together, to give us to understand that he is both advocate and high priest.
      (c) For men of all sorts, of all ages, and all places, so that this benefit being not to the Jews only, of whom he speaks as appears in 1Jo 2:7 but also to other nations.

1Jo 2:3

2:3 {2} And hereby we do know that we {e} know him, {e} if we keep his commandments.

      (2) He returns to the testimony of our union with God, that is, to sanctification, declaring what it is to walk in the light, that is, to keep God's commandments. By this it follows that holiness does not consist in those things which men have devised, neither in a vain profession of the gospel.
      (d) This must be understood of such a knowledge as has faith with it, and not of a common knowledge.
      (e) For the tree is known by the fruit.

1Jo 2:4

2:4 {3} He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

      (3) Holiness, that is, a life ordered according to the prescript of God's commandments, however weak we are, is of necessity joined with faith, that is, with the true knowledge of the Father in the Son.

1Jo 2:5

2:5 {4} But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the {f} love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in {g} him.

      (4) He that keeps God's commandments loves God indeed: He that loves God, is in God, or is joined together with God. Therefore he that keeps his commandments is in him.
      (f) Wherewith we love God.
      (g) He means our union with Christ.

1Jo 2:6

2:6 {5} He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

      (5) He that is one with Christ, must live his life, that is, must walk in his steps.

1Jo 2:7

2:7 {6} Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

      (6) The apostle expounding the commandment of charity towards one another, tells first that when he urges holiness, he brings no new idea of life (as they use to do who devise traditions one after another) but reminds them of that same law which God gave in the beginning, that is, by Moses, at the time that God began to make laws for his people.

1Jo 2:8

2:8 {7} Again, a new commandment I write unto you, {h} which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.

      (7) He adds that the doctrine indeed is old, but it is in a way new, both in respect to Christ, and also to us: in whom he through the gospel, engraves his law effectually, not in tables of stone, but in our minds. {h} Which thing (that is, that the doctrine is new which I write to you) is true in him, and in you.

1Jo 2:9

2:9 {8} He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

      (8) Now he comes to the second table, that is, to charity towards one another, and denies that a man has true light in him, or is indeed regenerate and the son of God, who hates his brother: and such a one wanders miserably in darkness, may he never brag of great knowledge of God for he knowingly and willingly casts himself headlong into hell.

1Jo 2:12

2:12 {i} I write unto you, {9} little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his {k} name's sake.

      (i) Therefore I write to you, because you are of their number whom God has reconciled to himself.
      (9) He returns again from the sanctification to remission of sins, because that free reconciliation in Christ is the ground of our salvation upon which afterwards sanctification must be built as upon a foundation.
      (k) For his own sake: in that he names Christ he eliminates all others, whether they are in heaven or on earth.

1Jo 2:13

2:13 {10} I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him [that is] from the beginning. {11} I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. {12} I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

      (10) He shows that this doctrine agrees to all ages, and first of all speaking to old men, he shows that Christ and his doctrine are ancient, and therefore if they enjoy with old things, nothing ought to be more acceptable to them.
      (11) He advertises to young men, if they desire to show their strength, that they have a most glorious combat set here before them, that is, Satan the worst enemy, who must be overcome: willing them to be as sure of the victory, as if they had already gotten it.
      (12) Finally, he shows to children, that the true Father from whom they have to look for all good things, is set before them in the gospel.

1Jo 2:14

2:14 {13} I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him [that is] from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

      (13) He adds afterward in like order, as many exhortations: as if he should say, Remember, you Fathers, as I wrote even now, that the everlasting Son of God is revealed to us. Remember you young men, that that strength by which I said that you put Satan to flight, is given to you by the word of God which dwells in you.

1Jo 2:15

2:15 {14} Love not the {l} world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the {m} love of the Father is not in him.

      (14) The world which is full of wicked desires, lusts or pleasures, and pride, is utterly hated by our heavenly Father. Therefore the Father and the world cannot be loved together: and this admonition is very necessary for young and growing youth.
      (l) He speaks of the world, as it agrees not with the will of God, for otherwise God is said to love the world with an infinite love, Joh 3:16 that is to say, those whom he chose out of the world.
      (m) Wherewith the Father is loved.

1Jo 2:17

2:17 {15} And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

      (15) He shows how much better it is to obey the Father's will, than the lusts of the world, by both their natures and unlike event.

1Jo 2:18

2:18 {16} {n} Little children, {17} it is the last time: {18} and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

      (16) Now, he turns himself to little children, which nonetheless are well instructed in the sum of religion, and wills them by various reasons to shake off laziness, which is too familiar with that age.
      (n) He uses this word "Little" not because he speaks to children, but to allure them the more by using such sweet words.
      (17) First, because the last time is at hand, so that the matter suffers no delay.
      (18) Secondly, because antichrists, that is, such as fall from God, are already come, even as they heard that they would come. And it was necessary to warn that careless and fearless age of the danger.

1Jo 2:19

2:19 {19} They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, {o} they would [no doubt] have continued with us: {20} but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

      (19) A digression against certain offences and stumbling blocks at which that young age especially might stumble and be shaken, Therefore that they should not be terrified with the falling back of certain, first he makes plain to men that although those who fall from God and his religion had a place in the Church, yet they were never of the Church: because the Church is the company of the elect, who cannot perish, and therefore cannot fall from Christ.
      (o) So then the elect can never fall from grace.
      (20) Secondly, he shows that these things happen to the benefit of the Church, that hypocrites may be plainly known.

1Jo 2:20

2:20 {21} But ye have an {p} unction from the {q} Holy One, and ye know all things.

      (21) Thirdly, he comforts them, to make them stand fast, as they are anointed by the Holy Spirit with the true knowledge of salvation.
      (p) The grace of the Holy Spirit, and this is a borrowed type of speech taken from the anointings used in the law.
      (q) From Christ who is peculiarly called Holy.

1Jo 2:21

2:21 {22} I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

      (22) The taking away of an objection, He did not write these things to men who are ignorant of religion, but rather to those who know the truth well, yes so far that they are able to discern truth from falsehood.

1Jo 2:22

2:22 {23} Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the {r} Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

      (23) He shows now plainly the false doctrine of the antichrist's, that is, that either they fight against the person of Christ, or his office, or both together and at once. They who do so, boast and brag of God in vain, for in denying the Son, the Father also is denied.
      (r) Is the true Messiah.

1Jo 2:23

2:23 {s} Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also].

      (s) They deceive themselves, and also deceive others, who say that the Moslems and other infidels worship the same God that we do.

1Jo 2:24

2:24 {24} Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

      (24) The whole preaching of the prophets and apostles is contrary to that doctrine, therefore it is utterly to be cast away, and this wholly to be held and kept, which leads us to seek eternal life in the free promise, that is to say, in Christ alone, who is given to us by the Father.

1Jo 2:26

2:26 {25} These [things] have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

      (25) The same Spirit who endues the elect with the knowledge of the truth and sanctifies them, gives them the gift of perseverance, to continue to the end.

1Jo 2:27

2:27 But the {t} anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye {u} need not that any man teach you: but as the same {x} anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

      (t) The Spirit who you have received from Christ, and who has led you into all truth.
      (u) You are not ignorant of those things, and therefore I teach them not as things that were never heard of, but call them to your mind as things which you do know.
      (x) He commends both the doctrine which they had embraced, and also highly praises their faith, and the diligence of those who taught them, yet so, that he takes nothing from the honour due to the Holy Spirit.

1Jo 2:28

2:28 {26} And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

      (26) The conclusion both of the whole exhortation, and also of the former treatise.

1Jo 2:29

2:29 {27} If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

      (27) A passing over to the treatise following, which tends to the same purpose, but yet is more ample, and handles the same matter in another way, for before he taught us to go from the effects to the cause, and in this that follows, he goes from the causes to the effects. This is the sum of the argument, God is the fountain of all righteousness, and therefore they that give themselves to righteousness, are known to be born of him, because they resemble God the Father.

1Jo 3:1

3:1 Behold, {1} {a} what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be {b} called the sons of God: {2} therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

      (1) He begins to declare this agreement of the Father and the Son, at the highest cause, that is, at that free love of God towards us, with which he so loves us, that also he adopts us to be his children.
      (a) What a gift of how great love.
      (b) That we should be the sons of God, and so, that all the world may see that we are so.
      (2) Before he declares this adoption, he says two things: the one, that this so great a dignity, is not to be esteemed according to the judgment of the flesh, because it is unknown to the world, for the world knows not God the Father himself.

1Jo 3:2

3:2 {3} Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be {c} like him; for we shall see him {d} as he is.

      (3) The other: This dignity is not fully revealed to us ourselves, much less to strangers, but we are sure of the accomplishment of it, in as much as we shall be like the Son of God himself and shall enjoy his sight indeed, such as he is now, but yet this is deferred until his next coming.
      (c) Like, but not equal.
      (d) For now we see as in a glass 1Co 13:12

1Jo 3:3

3:3 {4} And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even {e} as he is pure.

      (4) Now he describes this adoption (the glory which as yet consists in hope) by the effect that is, because whoever is made the Son of God, endeavours to resemble the Father in purity.
      (e) This word signifies a likeness, but not an equality.

1Jo 3:4

3:4 {5} Whosoever {f} committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for {g} sin is the transgression of the law.

      (5) The rule of this purity can from no where else be taken but from the law of God, the transgression of which is called sin.
      (f) Does not give himself to pureness.
      (g) A short definition of sin.

1Jo 3:5

3:5 {6} And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

      (6) An argument taken from the material cause of our salvation: Christ in himself is most pure, and he came to take away our sins, by sanctifying us with the Holy Spirit, therefore whoever is truly a partaker of Christ, does not give himself to sin, and on the contrary, he that gives himself to sin does not know Christ.

1Jo 3:6

3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever {h} sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

      (h) He is said to sin, that does not give himself to purity, and in him sin reigns: but sin is said to dwell in the faithful, and not to reign in them.

1Jo 3:7

3:7 {7} Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

      (7) Another argument of things joined together: He that lives justly, is just, and resembles Christ that is just, and by that is known to be the Son of God.

1Jo 3:8

3:8 {8} He that committeth sin is of the {i} devil; for the devil {k} sinneth from the {l} beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

      (8) An argument taken by contrast: the devil is the author of sin, and therefore he is that serves sin is of the devil, or is ruled by the inspiration of the devil: and if he is the devil's son, then is he not God's son: for the devil and God are so contrary to one another that the Son of God was sent to destroy the works of the devil. Therefore on the other side, whoever resists sin, is the son of God, being born again of his Spirit as of new seed, in so much, that by necessity he is now delivered from the slavery of sin.
      (i) Resembles the devil, as the child does the father, and is governed by his Spirit.
      (k) He says not "sinned" but "sins" for he does nothing else but sin.
      (l) From the very beginning of the world.

1Jo 3:9

3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his {m} seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

      (m) The Holy Spirit is so called by the effect he works, because by his power and mighty working, as it were by seed, we are made new men.

1Jo 3:10

3:10 {9} In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, {10} neither he that loveth not his brother.

      (9) The conclusion: by a wicked life they are known who are governed by the Sprit of the devil: and by a pure life who are God's children.
      (10) He begins to commend charity towards the brethren as another mark of the sons of God.

1Jo 3:11

3:11 {11} For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

      (11) The first reason taken from the authority of God who gives the commandment.

1Jo 3:12

3:12 {12} Not as Cain, [who] was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. {13} And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

      (12) An amplification taken from the contrary example of Cain who slew his brother.
      (13) A short digression: Let us not marvel that we are hated by the world for doing our duty, for such was the condition of Abel who was a just person: and who would not rather be like him than Cain?

1Jo 3:14

3:14 {14} We {o} know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death.

      (14) The second reason: Because charity is a testimony that we are translated from death to life: and therefore hatred towards the brethren is a testimony of death, and whoever nourishes it fosters death in his bosom.
      (o) Love is a token that we are translated from death to life, for by the effects the cause is known.

1Jo 3:15

3:15 {15} Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

      (15) A confirmation: Whoever is a murderer, is in eternal death: he who hates his brother is a murderer, therefore he is in death. Thereupon follows the other side: He that loves his brother has passed to life, for indeed we are born dead.

1Jo 3:16

3:16 {16} Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.

      (16) Now he shows how far Christian charity extends, even so far, that according to the example of Christ every man forgets himself, to provide for and help his brethren.

1Jo 3:17

3:17 {17} But whoso hath this {p} world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and {q} shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

      (17) He reasons by comparisons: for if we are bound even to give our life for our neighbours, how much more are we bound to help our brothers' needs with our goods and substance?
      (p) Wherewith this life is sustained.
      (q) Opens not his heart to him, nor helps him willingly and cheerfully.

1Jo 3:18

3:18 {18} My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

      (18) Christian charity stands not in word but in deed, and proceeds from a sincere affection.

1Jo 3:19

3:19 {19} And hereby we know that we are of the truth, {20} and shall assure our hearts before him.

      (19) He commends charity, by three effects: for first of all, by it we know that we are indeed the sons of God, as he showed before.
      (20) Therefore it comes that we have a quiet conscience, as on the opposite side he that thinks that he has God for a judge, because he is guilty to himself either he is never or else very rarely quiet, for God has a far sharper sight then we, and judges more severely.

1Jo 3:20

3:20 For {4} if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

      (r) If an evil conscience convicts us, much more ought the judgment of God condemn us, who knows our hearts better than we ourselves do.

1Jo 3:21

3:21 {21} Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, [then] have we confidence toward God.

      (21) A third effect also rises from the former, that in these miseries we are sure to be heard, because we are the sons of God: as we understand by the grace of sanctification which is only for the elect.

1Jo 3:22

3:22 {22} And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

      (22) The conclusion, that faith in Christ and love one towards another are things joined together, and therefore the outward testimonies of sanctification must and do answer that inward testimony of the Spirit given to us.

1Jo 3:24

3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the {f} Spirit which he hath given us.

      (f) He means the Spirit of sanctification, whereby we are born again and live to God.

1Jo 4:1

4:1 {1} Beloved, believe not every {a} spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

      (1) Taking occasion by the name of the Spirit, lest love and charity should be separated from the worship of God, which chiefly depends on his true knowledge, he returns to that which he spoke of in the second chapter concerning the taking heed of antichrists: He will have us here take heed of two things, the one is, that seeing there are many false prophets, we should not trust every man: the other is, that because many men teach false things, we should not therefore believe any. We must then observe, that we may be able to discern the spirits of God which are to be followed, from impure spirits which are to be avoided.
      (a) This is spoken by metonymy and it is as if he had said, Believe not every one who says that he has a gift of the Holy Spirit to do the office of a prophet.

1Jo 4:2

4:2 {2} Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: {b} Every spirit that confesseth that {c} Jesus Christ is come in the {d} flesh is of God:

      (2) He gives a certain and perpetual rule to know the doctrine of antichrist, that is, if either the divine or human nature of Christ, or the true uniting of them together is denied: or if the least jot that may be, be detracted from his office who is our only king, prophet and everlasting high priest.
      (b) He speaks simply of the doctrine, and not of the person.
      (c) The true Messiah.
      (d) Is true man.

1Jo 4:4

4:4 {3} Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

      (3) He comforts the elect with a most sure hope of victory: but yet so, that he teaches them that they fight not with their own power, but with the virtue and power of God.

1Jo 4:5

4:5 {4} They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

      (4) He brings a reason why the world receives these teachers more willingly than the true: that is, because they speak nothing but that which is worldly: which is another note also to know the doctrine of antichrist by.

1Jo 4:6

4:6 {5} We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the {e} spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

      (5) He testifies to them that his doctrine and the doctrine of his companions, is the assured word of God which of necessity we have boldly to set against all the mouths of the whole world, and thereby discern the truth from falsehood.
      (e) True prophets, against whom are false prophets, that is, those who err and lead others into error.

1Jo 4:7

4:7 {6} Beloved, let us love one another: {7} for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

      (6) He returns to the commending of brotherly love and charity.
      (7) The first reason: because it is a very divine thing, and therefore very fitting for the sons of God: so that whoever is missing it cannot be said to know God correctly.

1Jo 4:8

4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; {8} for God is love.

      (8) A confirmation: for it is the nature of God to love men, of which we have a most manifest proof above all other, in that of his only free and infinite good will towards us his enemies, he delivered to death, not a common man, but his own Son, indeed his only begotten Son, to the end that we being reconciled through his blood might be partakers in his everlasting glory.

1Jo 4:11

4:11 {9} Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

      (9) An other reason by comparison: if God so loved us, shall not we his children love one another?

1Jo 4:12

4:12 {10} No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is {g} perfected in us.

      (10) A third reason: Because God is invisible, therefore by this effect of his Spirit, that is, by charity, he is understood to be not out of us, but united with us and in us, in whom he is so effectually working.
      (g) Is surely in us indeed, and in truth.

1Jo 4:14

4:14 {11} And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour of the world.

      (11) He underlays this charity with another foundation, that is, faith in Jesus, which joins us indeed with him, even as charity witnesses that we are joined with him. Furthermore he testifies of Christ, as who had seen him with his eyes.

1Jo 4:15

4:15 Whosoever shall {h} confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

      (h) With such a confession as comes from true faith, and is accompanied with love, so that there is an agreement of all things.

1Jo 4:16

4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. {12} God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

      (12) A fourth reason: God is the fountain and wellspring of charity indeed charity itself: therefore whoever abides in it, has God with him.

1Jo 4:17

4:17 {13} Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because {i} as he is, so are we in this world.

      (13) Again (as before) he commends love, seeing that by our agreement with God in this thing, we have a sure testimony of our adoption, it comes to pass by this that without fear we look for that latter day of judgment, so that trembling and torment of conscience is cast out by this love.
      (i) This signifies a likeness, not an equality.

1Jo 4:18

4:18 There is no {k} fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

      (k) If we understand by love, that we are in God, and God in us, that we are sons, and that we know God, and that everlasting life is in us: he concludes correctly, that we may well gather peace and quietness by this.

1Jo 4:19

4:19 {14} We love him, because he first loved us.

      (14) Lest any man should think that that peace of conscience proceeds from our love as the cause, he goes back to the fountain, that is, to the free love with which God loves us although we deserved and do deserve his wrath. From this springs another double charity, which both are tokens and witnesses of that first, that is, that we love God who loved us first, and then for his sake our neighbours also.

1Jo 4:20

4:20 {15} If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: {16} for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

      (15) As he showed that the love of our neighbour cannot be separate from the love with which God loves us because this last gives rise to the other: so he denies that the other kind of love with which we love God, can be separate from the love of our neighbour: of which it follows, that they who say they worship God, and yet do not regard their neighbours lie shamelessly.
      (16) The first reason taken from comparison: why we cannot hate our neighbour and love God, that is, because he that cannot love his brother whom he sees, how can he love God whom he cannot see?

1Jo 4:21

4:21 {17} And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

      (17) A second reason, why God cannot be hated and our neighbour loved, because this same lawmaker commanded us both to love him and our neighbour.

1Jo 5:1

5:1 Whosoever {1} believeth that Jesus is the {a} Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth {b} him also that is begotten of him.

      (1) He advances in the same argument, showing how both those loves come to us, from that love with which God loves us, that is, by Jesus our mediator laid hold on by faith, in whom we are made the children of God, and do love the Father from whom we are begotten, and also our brothers who are begotten with us.
      (a) Is the true Messiah.
      (b) By one, he means all the faithful.

1Jo 5:2

5:2 {2} By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his {c} commandments.

      (2) The love of our neighbour depends on the love with which we love God, that this last must go before the first: of which it follows, that that is not to be called love, when men agree together to do evil, neither that, when as in loving our neighbours, we do not respect God's commandments.
      (c) There is no love where there is no true doctrine.

1Jo 5:3

5:3 {3} For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: {4} and his commandments are not {d} grievous.

      (3) The reason: to love God, is to keep his commandments, which being so, and seeing that both the loves are commanded by the same lawmaker, (as he taught before) it follows also, that we do not love our neighbours, when we break God's commandments.
      (4) Because experience teaches us that there is no ability in our flesh, neither will to perform God's commandments, therefore lest the apostle should seem, by so often putting them in mind of the keeping of the commandments of God, to require things that are impossible, he pronounces that the commandments of God are not in any way grievous or burdensome, that we can be oppressed with the burden of them.
      (d) To those who are regenerate, that is to say, born again, who are led by the Spirit of God, and are through grace delivered from the curse of the law.

1Jo 5:4

5:4 {5} For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: {6} and this is the victory that {e} overcometh the world, [even] our {f} faith.

      (5) A reason: Because by regeneration we have received strength to overcome the world, that is to say, whatever strives against the commandments of God.
      (6) He declares what that strength is, that is, faith.
      (e) He uses the time that is past, to give us to understand, that although we are in the battle, yet undoubtedly we shall be conquerors, and are most certain of the victory.
      (f) Which is the instrumental cause, and as a means and hand by which we lay hold on him, who indeed performs this, that is, has and does overcome the world, even Christ Jesus.

1Jo 5:5

5:5 {7} Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

      (7) Moreover he declares two things, the one, what true faith is, that is, that which rests on Jesus Christ the Son of God alone: on which follows the other, that is, that this strength is not proper to faith, but by faith as an instrument is drawn from Jesus Christ the Son of God.

1Jo 5:6

5:6 {8} This is he that came by water and blood, [even] Jesus Christ; {9} not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the {g} Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

(8) He proves the excellency of Christ, in whom only all things are given us by six witnesses, three heavenly, and three earthly, who wholly and completely agree together. The heavenly witnesses are, the Father who sent the Son, the Word itself, which became flesh, and the Holy Spirit. The earthly witnesses are water, (that is our sanctification) blood, (that is, our justification) the Spirit, (that is, acknowledging of God the Father in Christ by faith) through the testimony of the Holy Spirit.
(9) He warns us not to separate water from blood (that is sanctification from justification, or righteousness, begun from righteousness imputed) for we do not stand on sanctification, but so far as it is a witness of Christ's righteousness imputed to us: and although this imputation of Christ's righteousness is never separated from sanctification, yet it is the only matter of our salvation.

      (g) Our spirit which is the third witness, testifies that the holy Sprit is truth, that is to say, that that is true which he tells us, that is, that we are the sons of God.

1Jo 5:7

5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the {h} Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are {i} one.

      (h) See Joh 8:13,14
      (i) Agree in one.

1Jo 5:9

5:9 {10} If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for {k} this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

      (10) He shows by an argument of comparison, of what great weight the heavenly testimony is, that the Father has given of the Son, to whom agrees both the Son himself and the Holy Spirit.
      (k) I conclude correctly: for the testimony which I said is given in heaven, comes from God, who sets forth his Son.

1Jo 5:10

5:10 {11} He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

      (11) He proves the sureness of the earthly witness by every man's conscience having that testimony in itself, whose conscience he says cannot be deceived because it agrees with the heavenly testimony which the Father gives of the Son: for otherwise the Father must be a liar, if the conscience which agrees and assents to the Father, should lie.

1Jo 5:11

5:11 {12} And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

      (12) Now at length he shows what this testimony is that is confirmed with so many witnesses: that is, that life or everlasting happiness is the gift of God, which is the Son, and proceeds from him to us, who by faith are joined with him, so that without him, life is nowhere to be found.

1Jo 5:13

5:13 {13} These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

      (13) The conclusion of the epistle, in which he shows first of all, that even they who already believe, need this doctrine, that they may grow more and more in faith: that is to say, that they may be daily more and more certain of their salvation in Christ, through faith.

1Jo 5:14

5:14 {14} And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

      (14) Because we do not yet in effect obtain that which we hope for, the apostle combines invocation or prayer with faith, which he will have proceed from faith, and moreover to be conceived in such a way, that nothing is asked but that which is agreeable to the will of God: and such prayers cannot be useless.

1Jo 5:16

5:16 {15} If any man see his brother sin a sin [which is] not unto death, {l} he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

      (15) We have to make prayers not only for ourselves, but also for our brothers who sin, that their sins be not to death: and yet he excepts that sin which is never forgiven, or the sin against the Holy Spirit, that is to say, a universal and wilful falling away from the known truth of the gospel.
      (l) This is as if he said, let him ask the Lord to forgive him, and he will forgive him being so asked.

1Jo 5:17

5:17 {16} All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

      (16) The taking away of an objection: indeed all iniquity is comprehended under the name of sin: but yet we must not despair therefore, because every sin is not deadly, and without hope of remedy.

1Jo 5:18

5:18 {17} We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

      (17) A reason why not all, or rather why no sin is mortal to some: that is, because they are born of God, that is to say, made the sons of God in Christ, and being ended with his Spirit, they do not serve sin, nor are they mortally wounded by Satan.

1Jo 5:19

5:19 {18} [And] we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

      (18) Every man must particularly apply to himself the general promises, that we may certainly persuade ourselves, that whereas all the world is by nature lost, we are freely made the sons of God, by the sending of Jesus Christ his son to us, of whom we are enlightened with the knowledge of the true God and everlasting life.

1Jo 5:20

5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [even] in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true {m} God, and eternal life.

      (m) The divinity of Christ is most clearly proved by this passage.

1Jo 5:21

5:21 {19} Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

      (19) He expresses a plain precept of taking heed of idols: which he contrasts with the only true God, that with this seal he might seal up all the former doctrine.

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