“THAT YOU MAY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE”
Daily readings.. Judges 20, Isaiah 42, 1 John 5.
The climax to John’s First Epistle contains some challenging words with its totally positive statements about knowing “you have eternal life.” We conclude he is encouraging his readers to think positively, not to be fearful, but to know that God loves them and, as Peter puts it, God is “not wishing that any should perish” (2 Pet.3 v.9) – a point made about believers and his “patience” toward them, rather than about the godless world.
The names of believer’s are recorded “in the book of life” [Philpns 4 v.3] and in that sense they have eternal life. But believers must not ignore the warning that Christ has the power to remove names from that book!
The message of Jesus was, as we will read next week, “To the one who conquers (or overcomes) … I will never blot his name out of the book of life.” [Rev. 3 v.5].
John writes, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world” [1 John 5 v.4] and then adds, this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” A true faith, not a blind faith, gives us the clearness of vision to live courageously and overcome the things that can hinder and distract us – such believers really do have Jesus Christ in their lives every day.
This is the point John makes in v.12, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
So we can fully appreciate the point in v.13, “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.” There can be times when we will cease to “know” and our heart falters in its vision of the unseen. But note how John commented on this earlier, “whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” [Ch.3 v.20]
Later this week we read the 2nd and 3rd chapters of Revelation with its letters from Christ to the seven churches. Each letter ends with a point about the blessings to come on the one who conquers and overcomes the obstacles this life puts in their path – but “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” [Romans 8 v.37]
Let us keep responding to his love “that (we) may know …”