Encouraging Believers-1 John 5:16-17

1 John 5:16-17 “If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.”

1 Giovanni 5:16-17 “Se qualcuno vede suo fratello commettere un peccato che non conduca a morte, preghi, e Dio gli darà la vita: a quelli, cioè, che commettono un peccato che non conduca a morte. Vi è un peccato che conduce a morte; non è per quello che dico di pregare. 17 Ogni iniquità è peccato; ma c’è un peccato che non conduce a morte.”


     These verses at the end of the first Epistle of John have been somewhat confusing to believers. But they need to be understood in the context of the whole point of the Epistle: to keep us spiritually clean from sins that will eventually destroy our spiritual growth. Here it seems like there are two types of sins (a sin that does not lead to death and a sin that leads to death) but this is not the case. John is simply explaining to us how the severity of sin can lead to death. The story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11) serves as a sober reminder that willful, intentional and deceitful sin as well as lying to the Holy Spirit led these two people to death. Let us also be aware that any sin that continues in our lives unchecked will lead to greater sin and eventually threaten our spiritual soul and destiny.

     Most sin does not follow this format. Believers should want to conquer sin and feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit when it occurs. The admonishment is when we see a brother fall into sin during the normal process of spiritual growth with its ups and downs, we should be the one to encourage him to continue on the spiritual journey and ask God to help him overcome sin. 

Pray with me: Lord, I know that every believer must address and conquer sin that can easily distract them from spiritual growth. Help me to be supportive and encouraging when I see someone slipping and help me to do it like You would.

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