When it comes to the Christian life, there are certain truths that give our faith substance, truths that give us hope and certainty. Of course, every promise of the Scriptures will come to pass, because it is based on the mighty character of God. These promises have either already come to pass, or they are awaiting fulfillment in the future, according to the Lord’s timing.
We find some of these certainties at the end of 1 John. After clarifying the difference between those who call themselves Christians and those who truly are Christians, the apostle presents some encouraging certainties for those who have repented of their sins and have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
These are based not on what Christians can accomplish or attain but are based on what Christ has done in and for them. These are divine certainties. They are assured by the character of our great God. They help us to continue to pursue the Christian life and to be transformed by His grace and truth. They are certainties that encourage us to keep fighting the fight and give us a longing for His Second Coming.
These certainties cannot be taken away from us. Because we are living in Christ, we can state boldly with the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:37-39, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Christian, you are secure in Christ because of what He has done for you. He holds and secures every believer’s salvation.
In John 10:27, Jesus clearly says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” That is a certainty that gives us great hope.
The Apostle John picks up on this truth in 1 John 5:13, saying, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
John clearly wants the Christian to understand that he possesses eternal life only in Jesus Christ. He is the one who gives it and has secured it with His death, resurrection and ascension.
Jesus defines eternal life in John 17:3, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Jesus said that eternal life means to know God and Himself. It is a relationship with God whereby His nature is imparted or imputed into us. There is transformation, a new nature formed in the Christian.
Eternal life is not just the quantity of time one lives but also one’s state of being in Christ. It is having God’s life and nature in us, today and for eternity. Eternal life is not something we are waiting for. Eternal life begins when the Lord comes into your life. The Word of God definitively shows us that once Jesus is in our lives, we have the blessing of living in eternal life.
Yet, we also know that the total fulfillment of eternal life will not happen until we reach heaven. This is a certainty that Jesus has given every Christian.
Notice something else about verse 13: There is a requirement which must be met to receive this eternal life. To make it a certainty in your life, you must believe. You must have faith in Jesus and Jesus alone for your salvation. John says, “…I have written to you who believe in the name of Son of God…”
The only way to obtain eternal life is by believing in Jesus Christ. “Believing in His name” is believing all that Jesus has done as a person and believing in His work.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” There is no other way to obtain eternal life or reconciliation with God than through the means He has provided. Jesus is God’s means to secure eternal life. He secures much more than that, but for our consideration in this article, this is a huge blessing.
Belief means that we understand that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, that He is without sin, and that He performed many miracles so that we would know that He is God’s Son. We believe that He died on the Cross for the penalty of all mankind’s sin, even though we deserved to die. Therefore, through Christ’s atonement we may live, just as He lives, since He rose from the grave on the third day and now sits in heaven waiting to come back for His Second Coming.
Knowing we have eternal life because we believe and have received Christ as our Lord and Savior has great impact on how we live out our Christian life today. It gives us the ability to obey and serve our God and Savior. Possessing eternal life makes us able to love and serve others. This is a certainty for all those who believe in Jesus Christ.
The question is, do you believe in Jesus Christ? Is He your certainty? Eternal life awaits those who believe. Rejoice, Christian. Rejoice in the certainty that Jesus brings! Give Him praise, and give Him thanks.