The Victory That Overcomes the World

1 John 5:1–4

Principle for Bible Reading

There are two major ground clauses (“for” or “because”) in 1 John 5:3–4. Pastor John focuses in on these two for’s to see the relationship between our love for God, our love for others, and our obedience to God's commands. In doing so, he uncovers our victory in Christ.

View the outline.


Introduction/Prayer (00:00–00:41)

Observations from 5:1–2 (00:37–06:04)

  1. New birth precedes and is the enabling power behind our faith (1 John 5:1).
  2. Believing that Jesus is the Christ always involves loving the Father, that is, finding him beautiful and desirable (1 John 5:1).
  3. And if one truly loves the Father, he or she also loves the children of God (1 John 5:1).
  4. Loving God’s children means loving God and obeying his commandments (1 John 5:2).

Observations from 5:3–4 (06:04–09:40)

  1. When the commandments of God are not burdensome, that is, when they are received and obeyed with joy, we are loving the children of God (1 John 5:3).
  2. The world is anything that makes God’s commandments feel burdensome (1 John 5:4).
  3. Our victory in Christ is that we see the world as unsatisfying and receive and obey God’s commandments with joy and hope (1 John 5:4).

Recap (09:40–12:04)

    New Birth ⇒
    Faith OR Love for God (one in the same) ⇒
    Victory over the World ⇒
    Obedience to God’s Commandments ⇒
    Love for Believers

Study Questions

  1. From 1 John 5:1, what is the relationship between faith in Christ and the new birth?
  2. Again, from these verses, what does love for other believers look like?
  3. Why are God’s commandments not burdensome to born again Christians?
  4. What is it about faith that gives us victory over the world?
Piper: “Our victory is that we treasure Christ in a way that exposes the world as unsatisfying.”