Knowledge of Eternal Life
1 John 5:11-13“And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life. I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.“
It is important that a believer have real assurance of eternal life, 1 John 5:11-13 indicates that this was John’s very purpose in writing his epistle. It is dangerous, however, to use this verse as a “proof text” apart from the whole context of “This I have written to you” to give such assurance, because the question must be faced as to what constitutes real belief “in the name of the Son of God.”Many professing Christians may well have a superficial assurance of salvation because of a superficial faith.
According to the apostle John, genuine belief in the Son of God can be tested by “This I have written to you” .
A few more verses, of importance.
1 John 2:5 “But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.“
1 John 2:29“Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.”
1 John 3:14“If we love our Christian brothers and sisters,[a] it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.“.
1 John 3:24“Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.“.
1 John 5:18“We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them.“.
Such words of assurance do not require that the believer be sinless
1 John 1:8-10“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts”.(note 1 John 1:8-10), for the Greek tenses imply only that he does not sin habitually. Nevertheless, Christians who are comfortable in a nominal profession of faith, with little outward evidence of that faith, would do well to examine their faith in light of John’s “tests of faith,”1 John 5:11-13whereby we may “know that |we| have eternal life.”