Category Archives: 1 John

Nike and 1 John 5:4-5

(Preface: More than attempt to write a coherent blog, this is really just note teaking from a recent study through the book of John for further reference.)

In 1 John 5:1-5, John declares that the way we experience success or victory in this world is by trusting Jesus and obeying God’s commands. After all, do you really trust Christ if you reject the commands of the Father who sent Him to die for your sins? It would seem odd, and even contradictory, to trust the provision of Jesus’ death, but to reject the goodness of God’s word. Victory in this life, and forevermore, is granted through faith in the propitiation of Christ, and ongoing success is trusting God through obedience. Obedience is success.

So just do it!

Speaking of Nike, in vv. 4 and 5, the Greek word from which we get Nike, is used four times. John writes, “Because whatever has been born of God conquers (present act. indicative of Nike) the world. This is the victory (Nike – noun) that has conquered (1 aor. act. participle of Nike) the world: our faith. And who is the one who conquers (pr. act. participle from Nike) the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” So there is a present and ongoing sense in which we are conquering through Christ. A past sense in which we have conquered. Finally, we are continuously victors in Christ.

But what is meant by “our faith” at the end of verse four? Is it our subjective believing faith? Or does it mean that “our faith” is objective faith? Meaning we have conquered by the gospel that is the faith? And does it make any difference that John uses “our”? Interestingly, in verse five, John concludes that the one who conquers is the one who believes that Jesus is the son of God. This is the only time John uses the noun form of “pistis” in this letter. The rest of the time he uses the verb form which is usually translated “believing”.