Knowledge, Confidence & A Prohibition (1 Jno. 5:13-20)
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
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. 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.
19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
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.
Since full faith in Christ had been challenged by deceivers, John uses considerable ink to instill confidence in his readers. Here is that phrase, “that you may know that you have eternal life.” Note the previous paragraph is loaded with “testimony,” which links directly to their knowledge and confidence they were able to have toward God.
Part of this confidence is, “He hears us.” However we are warned not to ask God to forgive the impenitent (those who keep on sinning). We can and should pray for the penitent (those who commit sins not leading to death).
God’s people do “not keep on sinning.” If we sin, John has already instructed us how to reacts (1 Jno. 1:7-2:2). The confidence theme continues: “…we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding.” One understanding we have is to “keep ourselves from idols.”