1 John 5:1-12
In regard to assurance of salvation, there is one dangerous teaching circulating among Christendom which claims, “One can be confident that one has not thrown away that grace (through sacraments) by simply examining one’s life and seeing whether one has committed mortal sin.” This Bishop continues, “Indeed, the tests that John sets forth in his first epistle to help us know whether we are abiding in grace are, in essence, tests of whether we are dwelling in grave sin.” Is that John’s purpose? What is important to understand is that assurance is not based centrally on us, but rather on Jesus Christ’s person and work.
Actually, John’s purpose in writing this epistle is to confirm that salvation is according to the determined will and plan of God alone. The instrument is through the work of Jesus the Son of God who came in flesh to take away sin (3:5) and to destroy the works of the devil (3:8). Therefore, this fact makes Jesus Christ the central character for our confidence.
- The grounds for assurance –
- The growth within assurance –
- The guarantee for assurance –
Overcoming the World
5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Testimony Concerning the Son of God
6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.