“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
John now summarizes his overall purpose for writing in 5:13-21. This is the conclusion and epilog to the epistle. He wants to assure believers of their possession of eternal life.
“These things” refer the entire epistle of 1 John. John wants to review the primary purpose of the epistle. The primary purpose of the letter brings confidence of faith.
I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God,
Assurance of salvation rests on God’s promise and testimony. It relies on God’s Word, not our works.
John looks at his writing of 1 John from the viewpoint of his readers. Genuine Christians come to faith by believing.
Jn 1: 12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name…”
Jn 6: 35 “And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’”
Jn 6: 47 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.”
Jn 8: 24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
Jn 11: 25 Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’”
Belief is the basis for salvation, not our merit.
Eternal life is a quality and quantity of life that we cannot earn, deserve or buy. We cannot go to some spiritual supermarket and purchase salvation. If we could purchase it, we could never afford it. The only way we can get eternal life is to have it conferred on us freely. God gives it free of charge.
Ro 6: 23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Believe” means simply to receive God’s promise or accept it. Extend your spiritual hand out to God and receive it. No gift can be yours until you reach out and receive it. We insult God if we offer Him religion or morality in payment for salvation.
Ac 13: 38 “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; 39 “and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
Ac 16: 30 “And he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’”
Ro 4: 5 “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness…”
Ga 3: 22 “But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”