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1 John 5:1-12



Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God …


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. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

(verses 1, 10-12)

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I can vaguely remember my six-year-old self heading to bed each night of Grade 1 and praying every time for Jesus to come into my heart to save me. I wasn’t certain I had done it quite right the evening before! So, night after night, I prayed the same prayer. I desperately needed these verses.


I’ve since understood. “Whoever has the Son has life.” Full stop.


John, of course, was drawing on Jesus’ own promises (which John himself had recorded). “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand … no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29).


“Eternal life” is a gift that doesn’t end. So, if we have received the Son – if we have believed in his name, putting the weight of our lives in his hands, receiving his forgiveness, being washed clean, embracing his salvation – then we have entered a relationship with him that is secure and certain. He holds us.


Of course, John has asserted throughout his letter that such reception of the Son will be evidenced by walking “in the light, as he is in the light” (1:7), by obeying his commands (2:3), by walking “as Jesus did” (2:6), by loving the Father rather than the world (2:15), by loving one another (3:14-15), etc. This isn’t meant as an onerous checklist – “his commands are not burdensome” (verse 3). Nor will these signs be perfectly mature in our lives. But if we have received the Son, these evidences should be present and growing. If not, then that becomes the right moment for self-examination, simply asking: “Have I truly received the Son?”


But the overwhelming point of this passage is to provide assurance. “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God … God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life.”


So, I say to my six-year-old self (and all like me): Rejoice! If we have believed, we have the Son. If we have the Son, we have life. Therefore, be filled with assurance. Realize that you are standing on solid ground. Know that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have drawn you into living relationship, for all eternity. Rejoice!


And then, in faith, with joy, step more firmly into all that John has been saying. Walk in the light. Obey God’s commands. Be like Jesus. Don’t continue in sin; rather, confess and be washed clean. Push aside love of the world; instead, love the Father fully. Love one another, decisively putting aside hate and all grudges.


Rejoice! “Whoever has the Son has life.” Full stop.

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Lord Jesus, you have allowed me to receive you. Thank you. In you I have full assurance. I have life – for all eternity – and forgiveness, salvation, your Spirit’s presence, the Father’s love, the community of faith, and so much more. I am forever grateful. Strengthen me to walk in the light, to walk in your ways, and to love and serve as you have done. To your glory. Amen.

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Reflect:

Examine your heart. Is there any doubt or uncertainty about your security in the Lord? Bring it to him. In light of the scriptures, entrust yourself into his hands. Express your thanks. Walk with him this day.

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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