“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (I John 5:13).
Two points from this verse are especially noticeable. First, John’s words, inspired by the Holy Spirit, serve to remind us that we can be assured of our salvation. Unfortunately, too many Christians go through life, failing to experience the joy God intended for them to have, because they doubt their own salvation. Further, because these Christians doubt their salvation, they live in fear of death. Second, John’s use of the words “these things are written” is significant. This assurance of salvation does not come from any feeling we have, but by comparing our lives with the things that are written. Consider the following questions.
First, am I in Christ (I John 5:11)? When a person is in Christ, he (she): is a new creature (II Corinthians 5:17); has access to all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3); has redemption from sin (Colossians 1:12-14). One “get into Christ” by being baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:26).
Second, am I obeying Christ (I John 3:24)? One cannot get into Christ nor abide in Christ without obeying the commandments of Christ.
Third, am I following Christ’s example (I John 2:6)? Jesus both taught and showed us how to live (Acts 1:1).
Fourth, does God’s word dwell in me (I John 2:14)? When God’s word dwells in us we are spiritually strong and are able to overcome temptation. Consider I Psalm 119:11 and Matthew 4:7-10.
Fifth, does the love of God rule my heart (I John 2:15-17)? Love for God dispels love for the world.
Sixth, is the practice of righteousness a way of life for me? Christianity is not limited to “one day a week,” be ought to be a way of life for us.
*This article was adapted from a sermon outline by Tom Holland.