That you may KNOW you have ETERNAL LIFE
Text: I John 5:13-21
"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life,"
(This knowledge is for believers only)
This entire letter of John is summed up in chapter 5 verse13 “THAT YOU MAY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.” John was writing to an audience that had come under the influence of some false teachers. He wanted to assure them of their salvation, and to encourage them to reflect on their lives to see if the proof of their salvation was evident in their lives.
In I John Chapter One he challenges them to consider whether they are walking in the Light as God is Light.
In Chapter Two he challenges them to consider whether they are walking in obedience (v. 1-6), whether they are practicing love toward one another (v.7-11), whether they are more in love with the world or with God (v. 15-17), whether they are holding fast to the teaching regarding the person and work of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God (v.18-24), and whether they are abiding in Christ, and following His model (v.25-29).
In Chapter Three he challenges them to consider whether they are practicing the righteousness of Christ (v. 1-10), and whether they are walking in obedience, practicing Christ like love, and having faith in Christ alone (v.11-24).
In Chapter Four he challenges them to consider whether they are discerning in their hearts regarding false teachings (v. 1-5), whether they are remaining steadfast in their understanding of the truth regarding God’s love (v.6-12), and whether the Spirit is abiding in them and they are practicing the love of God toward others (v. 13-21).
In Chapter Five he challenges them to consider whether by faith in Jesus Christ they are overcoming the world (v. 1-12).
He concludes by offering three final checks or proofs of eternal life: Answered prayer (v. 14-17), Victory over sin (v.18-19), and knowing Jesus is truly the Christ, One with God, and the Son of God (v.20). Knowing Him and knowing the Father is eternal life. ”This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)
The byproduct of “passing” these tests of faith, is that we have confidence before God (2:28; 3:21; 4:17; 5:14).
John’s final admonishment to them, having encouraged their confidence in Christ, is that they would guard their hearts from idols. Knowing the surpassing grace and love of God expressed to them through Jesus Christ, he encourages them to not treasure any thing or person more than Him. Our passionate love for God should be exclusive over all else.