Christians have true life with God
13 I have written these things to you who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. I want you to know that you have true life with God for ever. 14 Also, we can trust God to help us when we turn to him. We know that he will hear us. When we ask for anything that he wants us to have, he listens to us. 15 Since we know that, we also know that God will give to us the things that we ask for. It is like we have already received those things from him.
16 If you see that another Christian is doing something bad, this is what you should do. If it is a sin that does not cause death, pray that God will help him. Then God will help that person to live for ever with him. That is for a sin which does not cause death. But there is a sin that causes death. If another Christian does that, I am not saying that you should pray for God to help that person. 17 Any wrong thing that a person does is sin. But not all sins cause death.
5:17‘A sin that causes death’ is when someone does a bad thing that takes him completely away from life with God. A sin like that causes a person to die in their spirit, so that they can no longer live with God for ever.
18 Nobody who has become a child of God continues to do wrong things. Instead, the Son of God keeps him safe. Satan cannot do anything against a child of God. 19 We know that we belong to God. We know that Satan rules all the people who belong to this world. 20 We also know that the Son of God has come into the world. He has helped us to understand what is true. As a result, we know the only true God. We live together with this true God, because we belong to his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God. He is the one who gives us life with God for ever.
5:18Or: ‘God keeps his children safe.’
21 My little children, be careful to keep away from idols.
5:21John is writing this letter to help Christians to know God better. He wants them to be sure that they have true life with God. If we trust in Jesus as the Son of God, we become God's children. God will hear us when we pray to him. He will give us the good things that he chooses for us. God will keep us safe from the power of Satan. He will help us to do what is good, so that we do not continue to do wrong things.