1 John 5:17

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“All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.”
All unrighteousness is sin,
Hebrews warns against committing a sin that has no possibility of repentance (He 6:6; 10:26-27).  The sin in Hebrews was the return to using Old Testament sacrifices after full realization that the sacrifice had come – Jesus’ death on the cross.  There is no possibility of repentance as long as one operates on Old Testament sacrifices because that prefers the type to the antitype.  Christians can commit a sin leading to premature physical death.  Prayer will not change this fact (5:16). 
John does not want to be misunderstood by his statement in the previous verse that there is no need to pray for the Christian who commits the sin unto death.  He does not want to minimize the seriousness of violating a holy God or to discourage Christians from praying for all carnal Christians. 
Sin violates God’s objective and absolute standards for life.  “Unrighteousness” is the underlying principle for the commission of sin.  Unrighteousness is injustice – it is the desire to break out of God’s will, authority and objective standards for right. 
Any “unrighteousness” or lawlessness against the authority of God’s standards for life is sin.  There is no exception to this – “all.”
“All unrighteousness” is an occasion for intercessory prayer except for the sin unto death (5:16). 
and there is sin not leading to death
On the other hand, there is a sin “not leading to death.”  Intercessory prayer will change this situation, but not the sin unto death of the previous verse.  Spiritual Christians should definitely pray for carnal Christians having not committed the sin leading to death.  Intercessory prayer is important to deliver the carnal Christian from divine discipline.  Unconfessed sin always invites discipline. 
PRINCIPLE:  There is a limit to God’s tolerance of sin in our lives. 
APPLICATION:  Most sin does not lead to corporal death, therefore, we can pray for most carnal Christians who do not commit the sin unto death (5:16).  It is obvious that God makes distinctions in types of sin among His people.  There is a classification of sin that leads to physical death and then there is a class of sin that does not lead to corporal death.  For example, Christian teachers have greater responsibility than non-teachers regarding sin.
Ja 3: 1 “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”
God is long-suffering and merciful but there is a limit to His tolerance.  God takes responsibility for who and what we are.  He will not let His people get away with what non-Christians practice.  He gives us so much rope and then, like a dog, we reach the end of our rope and jerk up short.  God loves us too much to let us get away with bloody murder.  He will not let us play fast and loose with the world too long. 

18 Responses to “1 John 5:17”

  • Thank you for your thoughts on this scripture

  • Please pray for me for my finances. I am $12,000 in debt need to pay in full NOW..I have a few health concerns also….Also please lift my daughters Toni Lynn, and Tammy in prayer to be able to concieve babies. They have been trying and having much difficulty..
    I am praying for three miracles..
    God Bless
    Love In Christ

  • Cheryl, I prayed for you, Toni, Lynn, and Tammy.

  • the bread of the life

    the Christians should not have practice committed sins look to 1 John 3:9; Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

    “born of God” which meant is born again, should not practice to commit sins. that why we need to practice walking with the Lord all the times.

    we should be to faithful to church, read the bible, visit to hospital, etc until arrive to Bema will receive the reward, you should serve for the Lord all the times.

    Pray for peace to Jerusalem….

  • Bread of life, did you read my comments on 1 Jn 3:9?

  • thank you for the explanation. I was thoroughly confused, and the Life Application notes in NLT do not explain it in that detail (OT sacrificial ways)

  • You should all rethink what u are saying!! sin is the working of the law . My Fathers work is finished but now all things new and i mean all, New City above not below. Now we must work the Spirit working to be perfect and as long as you pic up scripures and not have the spirit u are working the law just like the old days and you know the are no more!! if you would like to know more

  • JC, your thoughts are incomprehensible. Please try to rephrase your point.

  • If you knew my father then you would understand! question for you? The jerusulem you see with you eyes what is that 2 you?

  • JC, I suggest you read my commentaries dealing with that subject.

  • I know what you believe and thats why im helping and anyone who reads this . Showing you the LIGHT to get out of prison / darkness . Not by site only by faith remember its all new look above not below.

  • JC, your thinking sounds cultic to me.

  • Have i said somthing rough? Are we supposed to wake by site and not trust in the Light? so u called Gods thinking cultic ? soon!!

  • JC, it is presumptive to equate your thinking with God’s thinking.

  • I think what JC is saying that its a spiritual Jerusalem not as so many believe  a physical Israel. Those who do that are the cult who worship physical Israel they try to be physical Jews but if thats your thing    

  • TL, the five unconditional covenants of the Old Testament promise Israel a future land. These covenants are reiterated in the New Testament. There is abounding evidence for this in the Bible. 

  • Umm… Hebrews 6 doesn't have but 20 verses, I'm not sure what you mean by "26-27" after that reference. // The wages of all sin is death (Rom 6:23) but thanks to God and His wonderful grace those that seek repentance are granted the free gift of eternal life… except for those that are apostates (Heb 6 4-6) and those that blaspheme against the Holy Spirit (Mat 12:31) these are the only sin(s) (they're pretty much the same thing) that are "unforgiveable". Also, In James he is warning people not to take the responsibility of teaching God's Word lightly. James is talking about being careful with your tounge and basically "practicing what you preach", especailly if what you preach is the Word of God. Teachers are only judged more harshly if they fail to practice what they're preaching… But then again, if that teacher seeks true repentence for his sin then he won't be judged at all will he? Praise God for His glorious gift of grace and His love for us!

  • Cameron, thanks for noticing the typo: the passage is 10:26,27.

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