“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. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.” (1 John 5:16-17 ESV)
This Sunday will be our last class. We will be looking at the above passage, plus 2 John and 3 John, to finish out our class on 1 John. There are several issues to consider in trying to get a handle on what John is saying to us. Consider the following while preparing for class this week:
1. Does “brother” refer to a brother in Christ, or generally to our fellow man?
2. Do “death” and “life” refer to spiritual or physical death and life? Before answering too quickly, look at 1 Samuel 2:25.
3. If “brother” is a brother in Christ and “life” is spiritual life, then would God need to give him “life” again? Hasn’t he already entered into “life” at his conversion?
4. Is “sin that leads to death” a specific set of sins, such as those punishable by death in the Old Testament (i.e. Lev. 20: 1-27)? Or one specific sin, such as a blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (see Mark 3:29)? Or a person who, once saved, now rejects the faith and renounces our Lord (an apostate)?