July 31: Assurance

Read 1 John 5:1-21

In this letter, the apostle John wrote about various topics from sin and sanctification to love, antichrists, and the believer’s relationship to the world.  Why did John write these things?  In spite of the diversity of topics, there seems to have been a common thread in John’s purpose.  There was a single umbrella under which John’s words fit; a purpose he was attempting to accomplish.  His intentions seemed to be outlined in the final lines…especially in 5:13:

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.”

John wrote to give us confidence.  Contrary to the opinions of many today, a person can be sure about eternity.  Whether you will spend your life in the presence of God or in eternal hell does not have to be a mystery to you!  Your friends or family members don’t have to respond to questions about their destiny after this life with words like “I don’t know.” or even “I hope that I will be in heaven.”  John essentially says, “Every person can be sure!”

What is the basis for this confidence?  It is not personal performance whereby we earn our salvation.  In fact, verse 11 points out that God is the giver of eternal life.  Passages like Ephesians 2:8, 9 remind us that salvation is a gift that cannot be earned.  Instead of performance, the true root of salvation is a faith relationship with the Son, Jesus Christ.  “He who has the Son, has life.”  (5:12)  In other words, those who have personally come to trust in the finished work of Jesus on the cross as the means by which they receive God’s forgiveness for their sins have the assurance of eternity in God’s presence!  Do you have that confidence?

I can’t even begin to count how often I have referenced these verses for my own assurance and as a means of clarifying the eternity of others with whom I have spoken.  The value of memorizing 1 John 5:11-13 is immeasurable!  Why not go to work on committing them to memory?