For a moment, think about something that we’d much rather not. The uncertainties of this life are a challenging reality. Whether it’s personal security, our health, or our economic status, a degree of uncertainty comes with each new step. It has been said that the only certainty in this life is uncertainty.
For those who profess to know Jesus Christ, this ought not to be. Did you know that the Word of God promises us that we can be a people who are confident in real certainties? John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, wrote a letter for just this reason.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13
John is claiming that those who believe in the name of the Son of God can know for certain that they have entered into life eternal. It’s worth noting here that John is not speaking of a future day, but is writing in the present tense. His claim is that those who believe are currently living the eternal life… a life that has no end.
What does John mean by the word believe, though? Do we simply have an acknowledgement of some date in our past where we walked down an aisle and with much emotion expressed our desire for a way to avoid God’s judgement and hell? No, that’s why I mention the present tense as John is writing.
By this, John means “we who are currently believing.” If eternal life began at the moment we believed, and there’s a point where we stopped believing, then it’s no longer eternal life, but temporary. John is not describing some on again – off again easy believe-ism here, but a life that began in Christ that provides the evidence of perseverance until death.
We should also note what else John does not mean. His use of the term, believe, shouldn’t be confused with simply knowing there is a God, or even knowing a whole lot about Him. Remember, the demons believe… and tremble. Satan knows much of God, the Word of God, and the Gospel.
The only right method of defining John’s use of this word is to conclude what is made clear throughout Scripture. This belief he is speaking of is demonstrated by a lifetime characterized by faithful obedience and service to God.
One of the contributing factors of our assurance that we are of the faith is that we are ever currently believing… a belief that renders no less than living for Jesus!
- Q3 ” what is eternal life ?” (ptl2010.com)
- Am I Saved by Grace? (ptl2010.com)
- Q16 ” how do I find the balance between the ‘here and now’ and eternity ?” (ptl2010.com)
- Q2 ” what is righteousness ?” (ptl2010.com)
- Q6 ” what is belief ?” (ptl2010.com)