We’ve been reading through 1 John at our Thursday evening small group Bible study. Last night we read 5:13-14. But verse 15 is my focus:
“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.”
Three things are implied:
1) The readers of this letter (1 John) believed in Jesus.
2) Know= We can have confidence that we have eternal life. It’s implied by 1 John 5:13 that the readers had doubts or didn’t know that they had eternal life. At least some of them did. How often do you doubt that you’re saved? There’s more to just believing to be saved. Even the demons believe that God exists and who Jesus is and yet, they are not saved. (James 2:19) BUT our salvation is not dependent on our good works/deeds/ what we do or don’t do. It depends on God’s grace (Ephesians 2:18-19) and our response is baptism (Acts 2:38). And so BECAUSE of God’s free gift, we are saved from the ultimate consequence for our sins, that is eternal separation from God. And we get to have a confident relationship with Him.
3) Have= we HAVE eternal life. It’s not something we have to wait for to get someday. Maybe. If/when we’re in Christ we have eternal life right then and there and it’s present tense. Not “I’ll have it when I die.” I have it today–at this moment.
But the question remains: What is eternal life?
I’m glad you asked!
“Now this is eternal life: that they [you, me, everyone] may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” said by Jesus to God, the Father (John 17:3)
Eternal life is having a relationship with God through Jesus. We can know that we have it. He gives it to us freely. We just have to receive it. A gift not received is gift not opened. You can receive the blessings of an unopened gift if it just sits there. You must respond in order for the gift to be opened. It won’t open itself. Neither will a relationship with God happen unless you respond. And that response occurs at baptism (Acts 2).
Receive the gift and open it. And then enjoy the blessings of a confident present day relationship with God. He loves you.