May you help me understand what Paul says in 1John 5 vs. 16&17 (If any one see his brother sinning a sin that does not lead to death, he shall pray for him, and God shall give him life. Every unrighteousness is sin; and there is sin that does not lead to death.
- It this a command or advice, or recommendation by Paul to pray for brothers brother committing sin that does not lead to death
- Which sin lead to death and which one does not
- How do we differentiate so that we don’t pray for the wrong once we were suppose to pray for
It is true that all sins will finally result in death; “for the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23 There is however; sin that does not lead to death and sin that leads to death. One death is immediate while the other is later. The apostle here differentiates the two; one will lead unto an immediate death and the other; if not repented upon, will finally bring death.
In the Old Testament murder was punishable by death; idolatry was punishable by death; rebellion was also punishable by death. Lev. 2:21; Deut. 21:18-21. But listen to Lev. 24:19-21 “If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor, as he has done, so shall it be done to him— fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him. And whoever kills an animal shall restore it” The sin of Lev. 2:21 and Deut. 21:18-21 leads to death- an immediate one but those of Lev. 24:19-21 are not unto death.
THERE IS SIN LEADING TO DEATH
This type of sin manifests in the following three behaviors
A. REFUSING GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION THROUGH JESUS.
Where does this starts?
It starts by someone DENYING JESUS TO BE THE SON OF GOD. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3: 18.
This person understands the Gospel; he knows that Jesus is Lord and Savior, but; out of his own free will i.e. in his right frame of mind, chooses to reject Jesus.
B. BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT
“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come” Matthew 12:31-32
This person; like the Pharisees Jesus was referring to in the above and preceding verses; saw the power of the Holy Spirit witnessing to the Deity of Jesus but still chose to speak evil of the Holy Spirit. Such person is fully convinced that Jesus is Lord and Savior but he too, out of his own accord chooses to not only reject but speak evil of the evidence that the Holy Spirit has put on display about Jesus also.
A. APOSTASY (FALLING AWAY)
Revolt or defection. It is a deliberate act of departure from the truth. It is always relates to rebellion against God originally instigated by Satan, the apostate dragon of Jb. 26:13.
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. Hebrews 6:4-6
This person was saved and served the Lord. Somewhere along the way he gets deceived and chooses to depart from the faith. Apostle Paul in Hebrews 6:4-6 says he has tasted the heavenly gift and have become partaker of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the power of the age to come. The Apostle John says we should not pray for someone who is guilty of this kind of sin.
THERE IS ALSO SIN THAT DOES NOT LEADING TO DEATH i.e. IMMEDIATE DEATH
I believe this refers to all other sins in 1John 1:8-10. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
These kind of sins will however; lead to death if left unconfessed and repented upon. The key phrase is CONFESS AND REPENT.
We don’t claim to have all the answers. We too are still bible students. We have; however, as guided by the Holy Scriptures and the leading of the Holy Spirit tried to give an honest interpretation which we believe will to a certain extent help.