1 John 5:17

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Thinkingstuff, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
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    What do you understand this verse to mean?
     
  2. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    I always like John Gill...

    Ver. 17. All unrighteousness is sin,.... All unrighteousness against God or man is a sin against the law of God, and the wrath of God is revealed against it, and it is deserving of death; yet all unrighteousness is not unto death, as the sins of David, which were unrighteousness both to God and man, and yet they were put away, and he died not; Peter sinned very foully, and did great injustice to his dear Lord, and yet his sin was not unto death; he had repentance unto life given him, and a fresh application of pardoning grace:

    and there is a sin not unto death; this is added for the relief of weak believers, who hearing of a sin unto death, not to be prayed for, might fear that theirs were of that kind, whereas none of them are; for though they are guilty of many unrighteousnesses, yet God is merciful to them and forgives, Heb 8:12, and so they are not unto death.
     
  3. Amy.G

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    Could the sin unto death possibly mean the sins that unbelievers commit? When a Christian sins, he does not die spiritually, he is eternally saved, but when an unbeliever sins, his sins lead to spiritual death because he has rejected the only remedy for sin, Jesus Christ.

    I say this because of these verses:


    1Jo 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.
    1Jo 5:18 We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.
    1Jo 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

    Those born of God are under the power and curse of sin. Those who do not believe are under sin's curse of death.

    What think thou? :)
     
  4. Marcia

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    There's a lot of debate on this. My pastor has said that he thinks this means a sin that will lead God to taking a believer home. First John was written to believers, so it is unlikely this is referring to unbelievers.

    Think of the believers in 1 Cor. who "sleep" because of how they abused the Lord's Supper. God took them home.
     
  5. Amy.G

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    Yes. You are correct. They were believers. I guess that messes up my theory, doesn't it? :laugh:

    I know there is a lot of debate over this. Do you agree with your pastor that the sin unto death is a physical death? Or do you think it might be spiritual? I'm guessing it's not spiritual since the epistle is written to believers. It's quite difficult understanding this.
     
  6. Marcia

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    I think it's physical. It may have been something more visible in the early church when God was establishing it and keeping sin out in a more stringent fashion. Think of Aninias and Sapphira! After that example, I bet a lot of people were not even thinking about lying in that way!

    The abuse of the Lord's Supper must have been pretty bad and God just stepped in and took some home.

    I have had Christians tell me they think this goes on today, though I guess we can't really be sure.
     
  7. Amy.G

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    I guess that is a definite possibility. I hadn't thought of it that way. I do believe God acted in ways during the establishment of the church that He doesn't do today. Tongues, raising people from the dead, ect.

    Good thoughts. Thanks.
     
  8. Deacon

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    Gill’s Commentary
    It answers the question with without having real substance.
    …. so unsatisfying here.

    1 John has always been a difficult book for me.
    So many black and white issues (or darkness and light as John puts it).

    Re: 1 John 5:16-17

    Problem:
    In this passage, translations use the phrase “a sin”, this could just as easily be translated “sin”.
    Look at various versions and compare (esp. with the ESV).

    If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.
    1 John 5:16-17 ESV

    Question: Is John describing a particular sin or unconscious/inadvertent/causal sin?
    (If “particular sin”, this leads us towards a doctrine of mortal verses venial sins).

    Rob
     
  9. Aaron

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    I've always taken it as the unforgiveable sin, blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which the Jews committed when they said that Christ had cast out devils by the power of the Devil himself.

    Speaking against the Holy Ghost, that is, attributing miracles wrought by the Holy Spirit to Satan is unforgiveable, and it is vain to pray for one who commits such an act.
     
  10. MB

    MB
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    Tell me what sin is there that doesn't bring death?
    MB
     
  11. Bob Alkire

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    I see it as, John is encouraging us to help fellow believers who are straying; we can be the tools God uses to restore an erring brother or sister to true fellowship.​

    As J. Vernon McGee has in his Thru The Bible;
    "Believers who are alive today have all sinned but we haven’t sinned a sin unto death. We did something that was wrong, it was unrighteousness, but God didn’t take us home. If He were taking home every believer who sinned, I would have been taken home a long time ago. "​

    I agree with Marcia on it being physical death, because our salvation isn't the question here.​
     
  12. webdog

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    The sin a believer commits doesn't bring spiritual death.
     
  13. MB

    MB
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    True webdog; it can cause loss of reward but it is not unto death.
    MB
     

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