We start today in , and I have to chuckle when we look at the Bible expert commentators on this passage.  One commentator believes that this passage is saying that John is referring to the unforgivable sin, but that commentator then says that they have no idea what the rest of the passage means so they weren’t even going to try to explain.

When we look back at ::9, John is telling us to pray for one another.  This is our primary responsibility, to prayer en we are not sure.  Our primary responsibility is not to understand the sin that leads to death.  Praying for them is not about revealing sin, or exposing it, fixing their problems, or anything other than bringing our heavy hearts to God in worship to raise this situation to Him.

God has given us the freedom to believe or to refuse his offer of life.  Rejecting Jesus will lead to death.  Jesus provides the only covering for sin.  Without him, there is no other way to salvation and righteousness in God’s eyes.  That is the unforgivable sin.  We are to pray for those who are struggling with sin, and we are to pray for one another.

In these few short verses, Paul is going to review what he has spoken of throughout this letter.  First, he is going to say to walk with those who are suffering.  Those who are born again, it cannot exist in our hearts next to sin.

But on any given day, we don’t have it all together.  We mess up, but when we sin, it does not lead to death.  The grace of God covers us in our imperfect moments.  But God gives us strengths in those moments.  And as the enemy comes after us, we simply need to point our eyes and hearts to God, and the enemy will not have any power.

So since the enemy only has the power that we give him, the flesh becomes our ultimate enemy. Know that you are a child of God.  But remember that the world around you is of the evil one, and we are to guard our own hearts to not give a foothold of the enemy.  You don’t have to worry if God is faithful.  He has given his own son that we might know him.  In addition, we are in him by accepting his son Jesus Christ, and through that we will know that what God has promised is true.  So what God provides is knowledge.  Not just head knowledge but experiential knowledge.  Many Christians get stuck in the “I know what it means” but get lost in how to live it out.

So as Paul describes the truth of God, he invites them to take that further to live out that truth in our own lives and in the lives of those around us.

Satan knows where your weaknesses are, and he really tries hard to keep us from praying.  Satan constantly questions God to his people.  It causes doubt and in that doubt he can keep people from communicating with God.  So pray.  Not matter what, pray.

Paul wraps this all up by saying, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”  Keep yourself from those things that pull you way from being a child of God.  Guard your heart.  Don’t give it away.  But know that as you live in the identity of Jesus Christ, grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, and that becomes the beginning of fellowship.  God loves you so much, that he loves us just as he loves Jesus.

We never say that God we want to be good enough for you, but instead we accept that the righteousness that is given is not through us but through Jesus in our stead.  Perfect love has been defined by God by giving his son.  That is how much he loves and wants us.

16 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. (ESV)

3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. (ESV)

16 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. (ESV)

17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.

18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. (ESV)

19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. (ESV)

20 And 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. He is the true God and eternal life. (ESV)