1 John 5:14, 15

From: Fred Haltom (haltom@cbcag.edu)
Date: Thu Apr 24 1997 - 19:14:27 EDT

Mike MacKinnon wrote on Thu, 24 Apr 1997 at 12:09:48 -0400:

1 Jn. 5:14 "and this is the boldness which we have towards Him, that
if we should ask [for] anything according to His will, He hears us."

>>> Now my first question concerns a theological understanding of "He
>>> hears us." "akouei" is, of course, first person, singular, present,
indicative active. My feeling is that this verse is suggesting that
He hears us immediately/now, and continues to hear us. I am thinking
this because of the present, indicative active t, m, v.

1 Jn. 5:15 "and if we know that he hears our requests, we know that we
have the requests that we have made of him."

>>> Again, I focus on the present, indicative active of all the verbs
here, especially the "oidamen hoti echomen," suggesting to me that the
writer of 1 John felt that requests made to God "according to His
will" receive immediate answers, for "we know that we have (present,
indic., act.) the requests made of Him."

Am I going out on a limb...

In verse 14 we have the present general condition (EAN + subj ... Pres. Ind.)
and means "If (ever) we ask according to His will, then he
(always) hears us." Our subjective assurance that "he hears us" in
the sense of HIS being favourably inclined toward our interest as opposed
to merely hearing and knowing as our omnisciencent God does all
things. With this sense of "hearing" in mind, verse 15 builds our
faith further by adding "we know that we have (ECOMEN) the
petitions. I see this "having" as a subjective assurance of faith
(the confidence we have in him), and not necessarily the actual
reality of immediately receiving in full the answer. In verse 13
John writes to those who believe in order that you may know that
"you have (ECETE) eternal life." The same meaning for "have" is in
both verse 13 and verse 15, i.e., a present possession of faith but
not fully realized. So, our faith is confident we "have" it, but
faith may need to wait to experience its full realization.

Peace and blessings!

Fred Haltom
Assoc. Prof. Christian Ministries
Central Bible College

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