Read 1 John 5
Faith in the Incarnate Son of God
1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.
18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
In this final chapter of 1 John, John pleads with his readers one last time to choose a relationship with Jesus, and he highlights some of the major benefits to faith. He says that everyone born of God: overcomes the world (v. 4), has eternal life (v. 11), can approach God with confidence (v. 14), is heard by God (v. 15), is protected from the evil one (v. 18), and is called a child of God (v. 19). These aren’t small bonuses; they are massive promises. When the Creator of the entire universe adopts you into His family and becomes your Father, you receive some pretty large perks.
One of the biggest blessings that stands out the most from this chapter is the assurance and confidence of eternal life that we have as God’s children. John writes, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). John is clear that those who belong to the family of God can be certain about their eternity. He wants his readers to have confidence in the fact that they will be with God forever.
We can have that same assurance today. It’s not just early Christians who needed reassurances of salvation, but us, too. This world is misleading and confusing, and we’re tempted to believe that this is all there is. That this life is all that matters. The enemy wants us to keep our eyes focused on the here and now and never glance up at God. And that’s why John implores his readers to be confident about their eternity. Because, when we are confident that this world is not our home and know that we will be with God forever, our perspective changes. We change.
We begin to live for something more. We begin to live as though Heaven is on earth, today. We begin to do our part to bring Heaven to whatever part of earth we’re currently living on. You see, eternal life doesn’t just begin at the end of our earthly lives, it begins now.
- Would you say you are confident in your eternity with God? Why or why not?
- Do you live each day with an eternity mindset? How could you better live on mission with God each and every day?
- Now that you’ve read all of 1 John, in your option, why does John conclude his book with this warning: “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols?”
Dear God, thank you for the gift of eternal life available to anyone who believes in You. Thank you that we can be certain of our eternity with You. Help me to be confident in that gift today. Help me to lift my eyes from the things of this world to the things of your Kingdom. Help me to begin to live out the eternal life You’ve given me today. Let me not waste this day of eternity with You. Amen.