1 John 5:12-13, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
Blessed Assurance! Think of that term aside from the hymn many of you are familiar with. What an exceptional AND powerful concept. Assurance, indeed, but blessed as well. Blessed because it come from God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. What greater assurance could there even be?!
John, in these two verses is concluding the previous thought that we studied in the last lesson. How simply put, how dramatically emphatic. “He who has the Son has life.” Like the old cliché goes, “no ifs, ands or buts!” If you have the Son of God abiding within you, you DO have life! Remember what Jesus Himself stated as recorded by this very same Apostle, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” – John 10:10b. Jesus is talking about His followers, all His disciples including future generations.
The Beloved Apostle is just reminding his readers what Jesus, Himself had stated. From this his conclusion cannot be denied. If you are joined with Christ Jesus, you have life. The Son of God is the source of that life. We can further deduce other scenarios from this; education does not provide us with eternal life; philosophy and the sciences do not provide us with eternal life. By the same token, we can say beyond doubt that neither is good works or religion and thus the institutionalized churches cannot provide us with eternal life. The ONLY conclusion, the ONLY source of eternal life to a believer, is to him who believes on Jesus Christ as the Son of God and His voluntary sacrifice on the Cross and His Resurrection afterwards for the payment of our (all of mankind’s) sins!
Therefore, it can be concluded beyond any doubt that to have life, one MUST have the Son! Then John takes it to its farthest conclusion; “He who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” At least true, eternal life. According to the Apostles preceding statement, you cannot separate eternal life from Christ Jesus, the Son of God. Therefore, if you deny God’s witness, if you deny the Son’s gift, there is no possibility of eternal life without the Son. Since the Son IS life itself, the giver of life and the ONLY way to life itself, then those who refuse the Son are actually reverting back to trusting in the Law and the condemnation that goes along with trying to gain life through the Law!
I have stated it so much lately because of what is happening in the world around us with panic and fear, God’s Character and His Word is from everlasting to everlasting. It does NOT change! If you deny the Son, you deny God’s witness and testimony of the Son and since God is STILL, even in this age and dispensation of grace, a just, righteous and holy God, He HAS to abide by and fulfill His Word!
Thus, the blessed assurance! Those who have the Son have life eternal. It is promised, it is guaranteed by God, Himself. He has given His unchanging and unchangeable Word. You cannot in this world have any greater assurance than that. Now understand this, that goes the other way as well; you have God’s guarantee that if you wish to deny Him and reject His Gift, according to YOUR choice, He will grant that too you and you can spend eternity in total darkness, no light whatsoever for God and His Son are the Light, and in the total absence of His presence and the presence of His love! What a horrifying thought to any who have already chosen to believe!
Then John continues on with the clearest terms possible of why he has chosen to write this very theme and why he wants it understood so emphatically. “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” Don’t doubt, don’t second guess, don’t presume, but KNOW, that if you are a believer in Christ Jesus as the Son of God, because of God’s Word already written, you may KNOW beyond all doubt that you have eternal life. This is such an important aspect of truly being a child of God, the Beloved Apostle does not want anyone to have any doubts whatsoever!
You do not have to live your life hoping that you are saved. John is saying that by God’s Word you can KNOW beyond any shadow of a doubt. You do not have to rely on emotions, how you feel one day as compared to another. Your feelings have no bearing whatsoever on the subject of your salvation. The TRUTH of the Word of God is your guarantee, your assurance. If you truly believe God’s Word, His stated Truth, then you CAN know that you have eternal life!
Think about this; the Scriptures, not just John’s writings, but all those things written that point to Jesus Christ as the Son of God, were written so that you will have, beyond all doubt, assurance of your salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ! Thus as a believer Thus as a believer you should be quickened, encouraged, and comforted, and inspired in the very prospect of your salvation. How much more will we value the scriptures written, which have been done so for our assurance, consolation and salvation.
Then as the Apostle usually does, he takes it to it’s farthest conclusion, the final step in the reason why he is writing. Assurance and knowledge of the truth is the premiere reasoning and the undeniable FACT that salvation is ours. Once you realize this is not a theory but a hard fact, then he takes it to the next step in the actual living within that fact, “and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
With the affirmation and confirmation of their faith in believing, John is reminding them that they can keep on believing for nothing can rob them of that belief once they are truly “in the know.” As believers in the Son of God, in Christ Jesus AS Savior, we must persevere and continue to strive forward in the faith. To pull back from believing, to start to allow doubts to rule our lives would be the same as doing nothing. The enemy would love nothing more than to cause you to linger in doubts to the point of doing absolutely nothing as far as striving forward in faith. This is why encouraging one another is such an important part of a mature believer’s walk in the Spirit. This is why the Beloved Apostle is so adamant on returning to the same thought over and over again.
Believing is the start of our faith. Walking in that faith and belief leads to practice and experience and experience leads to actual knowing. But it takes others like the Apostle John to continue to share the Word of God to encourage and inspire those young in the Lord to persevere and press forward. This is why the Apostle Paul is constantly encouraging in his letters to strive and press forward in the Lord and not to look back on past mistakes. They ARE in the past and all they can do is either make you stronger by learning from them, or dwelling on them and causing you to be dragged back into doubts and fear.
When you can KNOW that God’s Word is meant to not just acknowledge to you the truth of God’s love and His desire that you believe in the Son of God, but is also meant to assure you beyond all doubt, you definitely grow stronger and more mature in the Lord.
Blessed Assurance! Again, think about what an awesome gift that is to a believer! It truly IS a treasure and one that has its foundations in God, Himself! When you begin to truly know the truth of His Word(s), there is nothing that can shake you from that foundation!