Another Question About 1 John

Q. Please explain 1 John 5:8 and, if you could, 1 John 5:16-18…. sin leading to death and not leading to death. Thanks for your supernatural insight.

A. 1 John 5:7-8 is a controversial passage over which bitter arguments are held. Some say the part of the passage which reads, “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” never appeared in any early manuscript and was added in the 1500’s at the insistence of the Catholic Church. Others claim the reason it can’t be found in early manuscripts is because it was removed by people opposed to the doctrine of the Trinity. To me it’s an argument that leads nowhere, because neither side can offer conclusive proof to support their position.

In my opinion there is plenty of evidence for the Trinity in the Bible without getting stuck on the authenticity of one verse. For example, you only have to read Genesis 1:1-2 and John 1:1-2 to see the three persons of the Trinity present from the moment of Creation. And a careful reading of the New Testament will confirm that all three are said to dwell within every believer.

As for 1 John 5:16-18 we’re responsible to pray for a believer we observe in the commission of a sin, asking the Lord to forgive him. The exception is a sin that leads to death. The only such sin is to deny that Jesus died for us. There’s no forgiveness for that. I believe that John was referring specifically to those who followed the Gnostic teaching of the day denying the deity of Jesus and saying that being a mere human He couldn’t have died for our sins.

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