Scripture for Today: 1 John 5:13-21
“13 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. 14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. 16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death 18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”
John concludes this incredible book with a reminder as to why he wrote these words. “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.” (v. 13). Throughout the book John made a compelling argument for why we should surrender our lives to God’s plan in response to His love. We have learned that when we surrender to God’s plan, we truly begin to live. However, in closing, John expounds on this a little more. Following God’s plan does not merely allow us to live an abundant and incredible life here on earth. John peels back the fabric of eternity and lets us know that the life we receive through following God’s plan is actually eternal life. Amid all the blessings and benefits we receive here on earth as children of God, John wants us to know that nothing compares to the benefits of eternal life.
John goes on to mention several other benefits of living in line with God’s plan and experiencing the eternality of the life He provides. In verse 14 we see that we have “confidence… before Him… to ask anything according to His will.” We don’t need to be embarrassed, or ask with apprehension. We can approach God confidently as His children. In verse 15 we read that when we ask things that are according to His will, “we know we have the requests we have asked from Him.” In verses 16-19 we see that God has given us power to overcome sin and the ability to support others who struggle. And finally in verse 20 we read that “He has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true.” The benefits and blessings of receiving the eternal life God has promised are truly remarkable.
John concludes His teaching with this statement, “This is the true God and eternal life.” To remove all ambiguity, John declares that there is only one God capable of providing true, fulfilling, sustaining, abundant and eternal life. This God is the one who sent Jesus Christ, His own son, to die on a cross so that you and I, through love, could be restored to relationship with God.
My NEXT Step: Write down the reasons, based on specific scripture from 1 John, that you know you have received the gift of eternal life from God?
Questions to Catalyze Growth:
- Why did John write this book, according to verse 13?
- According to this passage what do we learn about “eternal life?”
- According to this passage what do we learn about sin?
- What are the benefits of receiving eternal life that John describes in this passage?
- After finishing the book, what do you think are the top 2 or 3 main ideas John is trying to communicate?
- After writing about love and God’s plan for our lives for the entire book, why do you think John ended with the phrase, “guard yourselves from idols?”
- Identify one action you can take today, to practically live out the last line of this book today; “guard yourself from idols?”