Live with Confidence

Key Verse: “This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
—I John 5:11

Lesson Scripture:
I John 5:1-15

THE APOSTLE JOHN IS here addressing the Lord’s people who are living during the present Gospel Age and who have a special hope and relationship with God. They have been especially blessed because they rest with confidence in the provisions of grace that have been made available to them by their faith in our Lord Jesus.

This week’s lesson begins with the apostle’s reference to the special blessing the Lord’s people receive when they have been begotten by God’s Spirit because of their faith in Jesus. John writes, “Every one who believes that Jesus is the anointed one, has been begotten by God; and every one who loves the begetter, loves the one begotten by him.”—I John 5:1, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott

Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott has been used in this scriptural reference because the translators of our common version King James Bible have been inconsistent in translating the Greek word gennao. The word gennao, which has been used three times in this verse, has been variously translated ‘born,’ ‘begat,’ and ‘begotten.’ The one word is translated ‘begotten’ or ‘born’ depending on whether the father or mother is involved. It should be translated ‘begotten’ in all three instances. The apostle here employs the human conception process to illustrate what happens when God calls someone. He first enlightens them with the Holy Spirit, which is the begotten state. As that spiritual life develops and continues to grow, spiritual birth will one day take place when the New Creature is eventually ‘born’ in the Spirit.

John uses the word gennao again to describe this begetting process of the Holy Spirit. We follow the less confusing Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott translation which reads, “All that has been begotten by God overcomes the world; and this is that victory which overcomes the world,—our faith.” (vs. 4, WED) John is not using the word gennao to describe the act of being born. He is speaking to those who have been begotten of the Spirit, and are striving diligently towards the spiritual birth which will follow a life of faithfulness even unto death.

The third occurrence of the Greek word gennao in this lesson is found in verse eighteen where John writes, “We know that every one who has been begotten by God does not sin; but the one begotten by God guards himself and the evil one does not lay hold of him.” (vs. 18, WED) This describes the walk of the spirit-begotten child of God. Thus it is the New Creature in Christ Jesus that is not in sympathy with sin. The Apostle Paul explains that the New Creature does not walk “after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:4) The spiritual birth does not take place until the end of our consecrated life.

We are also reminded that prayer is essential to spiritual growth and progress. We read, “This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (I John 5:14,15) With this wonderful assurance of our Heavenly Father’s provisions for our spiritual growth let us continue to live in full confidence of faith.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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