Greek - Tauta egrapha (AAI) humin hina eidete (2PRAS) hoti zoen echete (2PPAI) aionion tois pisteuousin (PAP) eis to onoma tou huiou tou theou:
ESV I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
Wuest - These things I write to you in order that you may know with an absolute knowledge that life you are having, eternal (life), to you who believe on the name of the Son of God. (Note that Wuest follows the original Greek text closer than the NAS or ESV).
- have I: 1Jn 1:4 2:1,13,14,21,26 Joh 20:31 21:24 1Pe 5:12
- believe: 1Jn 3:23 Joh 1:12 2:23 3:18 Ac 3:16 4:12 1Ti 1:15,16
- may know: 1Jn 5:10 1:1,2 Ro 8:15-17 2Co 5:1 Ga 4:6 2Pe 1:10,11
- 1 John 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
FOR HIS LETTER
These things - What things? This is not an easy answer as you can discern from Vincent and Robertson's differing interpretations.
Steven Cole feels - “These things” refer to the entire letter John has written this letter so that his little children will not be unsettled by the false teachers. (1 John 5:5-13 Is Christianity Merely Psychological?)
NET Note on to what these things refers - Theoretically the pronoun (tauta = "these things") could refer (1) to what precedes or (2) to what follows. Since it is followed by (hina) clause which gives the purpose for the writing, and a new subject is introduced in 1Jn 5:14 (confidence), it seems almost certain that the (these things) in 1Jn 5:13 refers to preceding material. Even at this, some would limit the referent of tauta (these things) (1) only to 1Jn 5:1–12 [As does A T Robertson] or even 1Jn 5:12, but more likely tauta (these things) in 1Jn 5:13 refers (2) to the entirety of the letter, for two reasons: (a) based on the structural analogy with the Gospel of John, where the conclusion refers to all that has preceded (Ed: Presumably they refer to Jn 20:31), it is probable that the conclusion to 1 John refers likewise to all that has preceded; and (b) the statement These things I have written to you in 1Jn 5:13 forms an inclusion with the statement these things we write (kai tauta graphomen hēmeis) at the end of the prologue (1Jn 1:4) and encompasses the entire body of the letter. (NET Note)
MacArthur favors these things as encompassing the entire letter noting that "there is a strong parallel between 1Jn 5:13 and John 20:31 (“these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His Name”). Since that verse unquestionably refers back to the entire Gospel of John, the parallel expression in 1Jn 5:13 most likely refers back to the entire epistle. John wrote his Gospel so that people might believe and be saved; he wrote his first epistle so that those who believe would know they are saved. (1-3 John- MacArthur New Testament Commentary)
Marvin Vincent on I have written - John speaks as looking back over his Epistle and recalling the aim with which he wrote.
A T Robertson explains that have written is "Not epistolary aorist, but refers to verses 1 to 12 (1Jn 5:1-12) of this Epistle as in 1Jn 2:26 to the preceding verses."
Wuest disagrees with Robertson writing that "I have written” is an epistolary aorist, a courtesy extended the reader by the writer of a letter in which the latter puts himself at the viewpoint of the reader when he receives the letter, looking at the letter which he is writing as a past event, although it is a present one with him. John refers here, therefore, not to a previous letter, but to the one he is writing." (Word Studies from the Greek New Testament)
David Smith - the purpose of the Epistle is not merely that we may have Eternal Life by believing but that we may know that we have it. The Gospel exhibits the Son of God, the Epistle commends Him. It is a supplement to the Gospel, a personal application and appeal. (Expositor's Greek)
I have written (1125)(grapho from root graph- = primarily means to scratch on or engrave as on an ornament, reports, letters, etc; English = graph, graphic, etc) means to engrave or inscribe with a pen or stylus characters or letters on a surface which can be wood, wax, metal, leather, stone, parchment, dirt (John ), paper, etc.
Who believe (4100)(pisteuo) means to entrust oneself to an entity (in this case Jesus) in complete confidence. To believe in with the implication of total commitment to the one who is trusted (Jesus). This is not just intellectual assent, but a that is not associated in a change in one's heart and thus in one's behavior or actions. Belief in the New Testament sense that effects the new birth denotes more than a "demonic" like, intellectual assent to a set of facts or truths. The demons believe but they are clearly not saved. Genuine belief does involve an intellectual assent and consent of one's mind, but also includes an act of one's heart and will. Biblical saving faith is not passive assent but an active staking of one's life on the claims of God. The respected Greek lexicon author W E Vine defines belief as consisting of (1) a firm conviction which produces full acknowledgment of God's revelation of Truth - (2Th 2:11 -"in order that they all may be judged who did not believe [pisteuo] the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness."); (2) a personal surrender to the Truth (Jn 1:12 "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe [pisteuo] in His name") and (3) a conduct inspired by and consistent with that surrender.
Pisteuo is in the present tense which speaks of continual belief. While our faith may fluctuate like the stock market (I hope not!), it does not drop to zero (although there are times when it feels that way). God has given us His sure word that our faith might be firmly grounded on Biblical truth. As Paul writes in Romans " faith [comes] from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Ro 10:17-note).
David Smith - The purpose for which St. John wrote his Gospel was that we might believe in the Incarnation, and so have Eternal Life (Jn 20:31); the purpose of the Epistle is not merely that we may have Eternal Life by believing but that we may know that we have it. The Gospel exhibits the Son of God, the Epistle commends Him. It is a supplement to the Gospel, a personal application and appeal. (Expositor's Greek Testament)
W A Criswell - The author begins this final section by restating his purpose for writing. While John's Gospel is primarily evangelistic and especially directed to unbelievers (John 20:31), 1 John is written to Christians. Since the author's readers are being harassed by false teaching, he wants them to recognize that they possess eternal life. Two words for "know" (oida, ginosko) occur a total of seven times in this passage. In light of their spiritual status, these believers ought to have confidence in their relationship with God. 1Jn 5:14-17 relate this confidence to prayer; 1Jn 5:18-20 recount several important spiritual truths.
So that (hina) is a term of purpose which should always cause us to pause and ponder What is the purpose?
NET Note - This hina (so that) introduces a clause giving the author’s purpose for writing “these things” (tauta), which refers to the entirety of the preceding material (Ed: See discussion above on these things). The two other Johannine statements about writing, 1John 1:4 and John 20:31, are both followed by purpose clauses introduced by hina as here. (NET Note)
Steven Cole - “If they believe in the Name (= person) of the Son of God, then they may know that they have eternal life. John doesn’t want us to hope so, but to know so. You can know because God’s testimony about His Son is trustworthy. Your faith must rest in Jesus Christ alone, not in anything or anyone else. If your faith is in Christ, then you have the inner witness of His Spirit, that you are a child of God (cp 1Jn 4:13-note, Ro 8:14-16-note). You have the evidence in your life that He has changed your heart. You now believe the truth about Jesus. You obey God’s commandments (). You love God and others (1Jn 5:2-note). John’s Gospel (John 20:31) was “written so that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” His first epistle was written so that you who already believe in the name of the Son of God would not be shaken by false teaching, but rather, “so that you may know that you have eternal life.” If you don’t know whether or not you have eternal life, nothing is more important than to make sure. Go back and read again God’s testimony to His Son in the Gospels. See the witness of the Spirit throughout the life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. God’s testimony to Jesus is the foundation of our faith. Christianity is not just a psychological experience. It rests on this solid witness. But, then, you must believe God’s testimony about His Son. If you’re neutral or ambivalent about it, you are not believing it. Worse, you’re calling God a liar. John Stott writes (p. 182), “Unbelief is not a misfortune to be pitied; it is a sin to be deplored. Its sinfulness lies in the fact that it contradicts the word of the one true God and thus attributes falsehood to Him.” Repent of your unbelief, of the audacity of calling the God of truth a liar. Accept His testimony to His Son and receive as a gift the eternal life that only the living God can impart. (1 John 5:5-13 Is Christianity Merely Psychological?)
John MacArthur - In 1654 the Puritan Thomas Brooks wrote, "Assurance is the believer's ark where he sits, Noah-like, quiet and still in the midst of all distractions and destructions, commotions and confusions… [However] most Christians live between fears and hopes, and hang, as it were, between heaven and hell. Sometimes they hope that their state is good, at other times they fear that their state is bad: now they hope that all is well, and that it shall go well with them for ever; [then] they fear that they shall perish by the hand of such a corruption, or by the prevalency of such or such a temptation … They are like a ship in a storm, tossed here and there" (HEAVEN ON EARTH). (A Believer's Assurance- A Practical Guide to Victory over Doubt)
MacArthur adds "Assurance is an inextricable part of saving faith. The apostle John said, "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" (1John 5:13, emphasis added). The Christian faith is a secure faith. As one hymn triumphantly declares, "How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word." (Ibid)
Herbert Lockyer - The assurance of salvation is plainly written over the pages of the New Testament. Christ and His apostles lived in the air of certainty… The epistles glow with the truth that we may know we possess salvation.
May know (1492)(eido/oida) means speaks not of experiential knowledge, but of absolute, beyond a shadow of a doubt knowledge. The perfect tense speaks of a permanent knowledge. "To know with settled intuitive knowledge." (A T Robertson)
Vincent on may know - Not perceive (ginosko), but know with settled and absolute knowledge.
Henry Morris - The most definitive basis for our assurance of salvation is true faith in "the name of the Son of God," with whatever that entails. John has also given a number of tests for knowing that our faith in Him is true faith, not just mental assent to a tenet of faith. Such tests are noted in 1 John 2:3; 2:5; 2:6; 2:29; 1Jn 3:2,3; 3:14; 3:18,19; 3:24; 1Jn 4:13; 1Jn 5:2 (compare John 20:31).
A T Robertson on that you may know - He wishes them to have eternal life in Christ (John 20:31) and to know that they have it, but not with flippant superficiality (1Jn 2:3-6-note).
When Sir James Simpson, the discoverer of chloroform, was on his deathbed, a friend asked him, “Sir, what are your speculations?” Simpson replied: “Speculations! I have no speculations! ‘For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2Ti 1:12-note)
Earlier John had described how his readers could be confident that they were genuine believers - "We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure (peitho - be persuaded or confident in) our heart before Him." (1Jn 3:19-note)
See Related Resources on Assurance of Salvation:
You have (2192)(echo) basically means to have or to possess eternal life. Echo is in the present tense which signifies this is not a transient, on and off possession but a continual possession. The Spirit inspired John to write an epistle that would give us assurance that eternal life is our present, permanent possession!
Vincent comments on the unusual Greek sentence - The Greek order is peculiar, “ye may know that life ye have eternal.” The adjective eternal is added as an after-thought. So Westcott: “that ye have life—yes, eternal life.”
Eternal life - To know that your spirit is born again and you will live forever with God in heaven. Eternal life is "a person's new and redeemed existence in Jesus Christ that is granted by God as a gift to all believers. Eternal life refers to the quality or character of our new existence in Christ as well as the unending character of that life."
Robert W. Yarbrough on eternal life - The divinely bestowed gift of blessedness in God's presence that endures without end. This relates especially to the quality of life in this age, and to both the quality and duration of life in the age to come. (See lengthy article on Eternal Life - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)
As alluded to above while eternal life "does not refer primarily to duration of life, but to quality of life. Eternal life is to know Jesus Christ (Jn 17:3), Who Himself is eternal life (1Jn 5:20), and to share in His life. It is a present possession, not merely a future hope (Jn 3:36; 5:24; 6:47, 54; 10:28; 1Jn 3:15), though it is not fully manifested in this life."
Eternal life - used 41x in 41v with over 50% of uses by John - Matt 19:16, 29; 25:46; Mark 10:17, 30; Luke 10:25; 18:18, 30; John 3:15-16, 36; 4:14; 5:24, 39; 6:27, 40, 47, 54, 68; 10:28; 12:50; 17:2-3; Acts 13:46, 48; Rom 2:7; 5:21; 6:22f; Gal 6:8; 1 Tim 1:16; 6:12; Titus 1:2; 3:7; 1John 1:2; 2:25; 3:15; 5:11, 13, 20; Jude 1:21
Resources on Eternal Life
John Piper on HELPING PEOPLE HAVE THE ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
* FULL ASSURANCE IS GOD'S WILL FOR US.
"And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end." Heb6:11
* ASSURANCE IS PARTIALLY SUSTAINED BY OBJECTIVE EVIDENCES FOR CHRISTIAN TRUTH.
"To [his apostles] He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days." Ac1:3
* ASSURANCE CANNOT NEGLECT THE PAINFUL WORK OF SELF-EXAMINATION.
"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you - unless indeed you fail the test?" 2Co13:5
* ASSURANCE WILL DIMINISH IN THE PRESENCE OF CONCEALED SIN.
"When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long." Ps32:3
* ASSURANCE COMES FROM HEARING THE WORD OF CHRIST.
"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." Ro10:17
"These have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ,the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name." Jn20:31
* REPEATED FOCUSING ON THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST IS CRUCIAL FOR ASSURANCE.
"Since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith." Heb10:21-22
* WE MUST PRAY FOR EYES TO SEE THE TRUTHS THAT SUSTAIN ASSURANCE.
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe." Ep1:18-19
* ASSURANCE IS NOT EASILY MAINTAINED IN PERSONAL ISOLATION.
"And the eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you.'" 1Co12:21
* ASSURANCE IS NOT DESTROYED BY GOD'S DISPLEASURE AND DISCIPLINE.
"Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me. I will bear the indignation of the LORD because I have sinned against Him, until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light, and I will see His righteousness." Mic7:8,v9
* WE MUST OFTEN WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE RETURN OF ASSURANCE.
"I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD." Ps40:1-3
* ASSURANCE IS A FIGHT TO THE DAY WE DIE.
"Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life." 1Ti6:12
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith." 2Ti4:7
* FINALLY ASSURANCE IS A GIFT OF THE SPIRIT.
"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God." Ro8:16
"The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself… And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son." 1Jn 5:10,11
Taking God At His Word - Our Daily Bread - Many true believers in Christ are plagued with doubt about their salvation. Even though they have come in repentance and faith to Jesus as their Savior, they still wonder, “Will I really go to heaven?”
My late husband Bill often told about something that happened to him when he was 2 years old. One day he disobediently wandered from home and got lost. When his parents realized that he was missing, they went out searching for him. Finally, to everyone’s immense relief, they spotted their tearful boy and carried him safely home.
Days later, Billy overheard his mother relate this incident to a visitor. When she reached the part where they went out searching for him, Billy began to relive the story. “Mommy, Mommy!” he sobbed. “Did you ever find me?” Surprised and deeply touched by his doubt, she embraced him and said, “Of course, my child! Don’t you remember that happy moment? See, you’re with us now, and we’ll make sure that you always are.” That comforted Billy, because he took her at her word.
The New Testament letter of 1 John was written to give believers the assurance of salvation. That assurance can be yours as you take God at His word.
For Further Study
Is it possible to be sure your sins are forgiven?
Read The Assurance Of Salvation
Christ’s work makes us safe; God’s Word makes us sure.
One day, while Wim was in the marketplace in the Netherlands, he struck up a conversation with a woman who remarked that you can get to heaven by doing good works.
His attempt to explain that it is by God’s grace that we are “saved through faith” (Eph. 2:8) brought a smile as the woman repeated confidently: “and … by doing good works.” Then another woman volunteered, “You can hope you’ll go to heaven, but you can’t be sure.” Wim’s assertion that he did know for sure was met with a muttered, “Nobody knows for sure.”
Wim then showed the woman what 1 John 5:11-13 says. He explained: “See, it doesn’t say hope there, it says know.” Unconvinced, she said, “Like you, my pastor says that we have to have faith, but you really never know whether you’ve been good enough. You may think you have, but who can be sure?”
To some, Wim’s confidence may seem incredible. But he based his words on this statement: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works” (Eph. 2:8-9).
It’s true. We can’t be good enough. We can never do enough good things. But we can be sure of heaven if we simply believe on the Lord (Acts 16:31).
We cannot earn our way to heaven
By word or work or worth;
But if we trust in Christ to save us,
Then we’ll enjoy new birth. —Branon
We are saved by God’s mercy, not by our merit—by Christ’s dying, not by our doing.
These things I have written to you who believe … , that you may know that you have eternal life. —1 John 5:13
Sadly, many true Christians are plagued with doubt about their salvation. Even though they have come in repentance and faith to Jesus as their Savior, they still wonder, “Am I really saved?”
My late husband Bill often told about something that happened to him when he was 2 years old. One day he disobediently strayed from home and got lost. When his parents realized that he was missing, they went out searching for him. Finally, to everyone’s immense relief, they spotted their tearful boy and carried him safely home.
Days later, Billy overheard his mother relate this incident to a visitor. When she reached the part where they went out searching for him, Billy began to relive the story. “Mommy, Mommy!” he sobbed. “Did you ever find me?” Surprised and deeply touched by his doubt, she embraced him and said, “Of course, my child! Don’t you remember that happy moment? See, you’re with us now, and we’ll make sure that you always are.” That settled it for Billy. He simply believed her word.
The New Testament letter of 1 John was written to give believers the assurance of salvation. That assurance can be yours as you take God at His word.
He who gave Himself to save me,
Now will keep me to the end;
In His care securely resting,
On His promise I depend. —HGB
Christ’s work makes us safe; God’s Word makes us sure.
I have written to you who believe in … the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. —1 John 5:13
Many Christians lack the joy and assurance of their salvation because they will not take God at His word. They do not accept at face value what He says, but rely on their personal feelings instead of on the Scriptures.
Bible teacher H. A. Ironside related a personal experience that helps us understand the importance of believing the Word of God. After he had read to a woman some passages about trusting Christ, she said, “Well, I am trying to believe.”
“Trying to believe whom?” asked Ironside. “It is God who has spoken in His Word. Are you saying you’re trying to believe Him?”
Immediately she saw the light and exclaimed, “Oh, I didn’t realize what I was saying. Yes, I do believe what God has declared.” At last her heart found rest.
If you have placed your trust in the Lord Jesus, stop worrying about your salvation. God has done His part. Believe what the Bible says, and claim as your very own the new life that has been given you through faith in Christ. John 1:12 promises, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” Take God at His word. Then you too will have a know-so salvation.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. —Crosby
The blood of Christ makes us safe; the Word of God makes us sure.
I love watching soccer, and I am a fan of the Liverpool Football Club in England’s Premier League. When the Reds are playing, it is an anxiety-filled experience for me. Because one goal or one misplay can change the game’s outcome, I feel a constant tension as I watch. That is part of what makes the games enjoyable. Recently, though, I saw a tape-delayed replay of one of Liverpool’s games. I was surprised how much calmer I felt seeing the replay. Why? Because I already knew the outcome, and as a result I was able to relax and enjoy the action.
Life is often like observing live sporting events. There are shocks and surprises, frustrations and fears, because we are unsure of the outcome. Followers of Christ can draw comfort, however, from the fact that though many of life’s situations are uncertain, our eternal outcome is settled by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
The apostle John wrote, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). Life may present us with surprises along the way, but because of Christ’s work we can have peace. He has already settled our eternal outcome.
Faith looks beyond this transient life
With hope for all eternity—
Not with some vague and wistful hope,
But with firm trust and certainty. —D. DeHaan
Peace rules the day when Christ rules the heart.
ASSURANCE OF SALVATION - After John Wesley had been preaching for some time, some one said to him, "Are you sure, Mr. Wesley, of your salvation?" "Well," he answered, "Jesus Christ died for the whole world." "Yes, we all believe that; but are you sure that you are saved?" Wesley replied that he was sure that provision had been made for his salvation.
"But are you sure, Wesley, that you are saved?" It went like an arrow to his heart, and he had no rest or power until that question was settled. Many men and many women go on month after month, and year after year, without power, because they do not know their standing in Christ; they are not sure of their own footing for eternity. Latimer wrote Ridley once that when he was settled and steadfast about his own salvation he was as bold as a lion, but if that hope became eclipsed he was fearful and afraid and was disqualified for service. Many are disqualified for service because they are continually doubting their own salvation. - Moody's Anecdotes, pp. 101-102.
There are four basic categories:
1) Those who think they are saved, but aren't. Mt 7:21-3
2) Those we think are saved, but aren't. 1Jn 2:18-19
3) Those who are saved, but don't act like it: Corinthians.
4) Those who are saved, and they act like it.
Bill Hybels - Sometime when you're in an airport, observe the difference between passengers who hold confirmed tickets and those who are on standby. The ones with confirmed tickets read newspapers, chat with their friends or sleep. The ones on standby hang around the ticket counter, pace and smoke, smoke and pace. The difference is caused by the confidence factor. If you knew that in fifteen minutes you would have to stand in judgment before the Holy God and learn your eternal destiny, what would your reaction be? Would you smoke and pace? Would you say to yourself, "I don't know what God's going to say--will it be 'Welcome home, child,' or will it be 'Depart from me; I never knew you'? - Too Busy Not To Pray, IVP, p. 113.
H. A. Ironside - An elderly man said to H. A. Ironside, "I will not go on unless I know I'm saved, or else know it's hopeless to seek to be sure of it. I want a definite witness, something I can't be mistaken about!" Ironside replied, "Suppose you had a vision of an angel who told you your sins were forgiven. Would that be enough to rest on?" "Yes, I think it would. An angel should be right." Ironside continued, "But suppose on your deathbed Satan came and said, 'I was that angel, transformed to deceive you.' What would you say?" The man was speechless. Ironside then told him that God has given us something more dependable than the voice of an angel. He has given His Son, who died for our sins, and He has testified in His own Word that if we trust Him all our sins are gone. Ironside read 1John 5:13, "You may know that you have eternal life." Then he said, "Is that not enough to rest on? It is a letter from heaven expressly to you." God's Spirit used that to bring assurance to the man's heart.
Source Unknown - Regarding salvation and assurance, there are three groups of people: (1) those who are secure but not sure; (2) those who are "sure" but not secure; and (3) those who are secure and sure. Category one are conscientious believers in Christ who are saved but lack assurance. In category two are professing Christians who say, "Even though I'm living in sin, I'll make it. After all, 'once saved, always saved!'" The third group are born-again believers who enjoy a warm, secure relationship with Christ each day. The objective basis of our salvation is the finished work of God's Son on the cross. The subjective basis for our assurance is our believing the truth about Christ (I John 2:2,4; 2:15; 5:1), loving the brethren (I John 3:14, 18, 19, 4:7-8), and obeying Christ's commandments (I John 2:3-5).