“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.”
that you may know that you have eternal life,
The purpose of 1 John is to prod us from doubt to certainty. God wants us to “know” that we “have eternal life,” not assume or feel that we have it. “Know” means to know with God imparted innate knowledge. This is a settled knowledge that gives peace to the mind and heart.
Eternal life is a lifetime of fellowship with God both in time and the eternal state. Eternal life is the same kind of life that God possesses. God is willing to share His life with us.
and that you may continue to believe
The present tense of “believe” suggests characterized by belief. This is set in contrast to the non-Christian who does not possess ongoing trust in Christ. Non-believers do not have and hold eternal life.
in the name of the Son of God
The word “in” involves motion towards and repose upon. We repose on the “name of the Son of God.” “Name” stands for the person. We rest in a person for salvation. We trust in the unique person of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, as God.
The name “Son of God” refers to the unique deity of Jesus Christ that makes eternal life possible.
Confidence comes from trust in God’s Word and promises.
Assurance of eternal life is not presumption, for presumption doubts God’s promises. God makes it plain that we may know that we have eternal life, not that you might have it some day. Physical life is not eternal life because we can lose it. But eternal life is not like physical life in that we cannot lose it. Eternal life is forever.
Our feelings have nothing to do with whether we are truly born again; it is a matter of accepting God’s Word at face value. It is who says it that counts. It makes a great difference who says what. If we receive a letter from a friend, we accept what they say at face value because it comes from a friend. We have no reason to suspect that they would deceive us.
On the other hand, we may receive a business letter from a company with whom we do business. We may wonder whether their proposal is on the level. They may overstate the case to get our business; it may be exaggerated or a downright lie, business being what it is in some circles. However, if we receive a communication from the Prime Minister of Canada, you would accept at face value what he said because of who he is.
Jn 20:30-31, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
2 Ti 1:12, “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”
Tit 1:2, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.”
If we do not have the assurance of salvation, we will not have the joy of our salvation. How can you share eternal life with others if you are not sure whether you have it yourself? How can you lead your children to Christ if you waffle about it yourself?
1 Jn 1:4, “And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.”
Hi Grant, could you please give any thoughts or insights on this article? Especially where he explains “the commitment test” for evidence of regeneration. And his salvation prayer is fine but then he says “. I give You my life. I will live for You as You give me strength.” It doesn’t seem as though hes saying to also trust in this for salvation ? Basically even though this is mentioned then you still are saved if your trusting in the cross? LINK below:
Scott, I have great respect for Adrian Rogers. He was one of the champions of the inerrancy debate in the Southern Baptist Convention.
There is a difference between eternal security and assurance of salvation. I Jn 5 deals with assurance of salvation, as Rogers asserts. There are both objective and subjective ways that we can have the assurance of our salvation; one subjective way is the witness of the Spirit, a doctrine well-established in Scripture. We can know we are saved by the effect it has on our lives (a misunderstood passage on this – “by their fruit you shall know them [apostates, not believers].” We can know this by the positive fruit but that is not to say Christians cannot demonstrate absolute carnality in their lives such as the believer in the Corinthian church who was sexually involved with his step-mother or a number of others in the Bible. The believer in Corinth repented of his life-style in 2 Corinthians.
There is a problem with Rogers statement that “believe and commit” are the same word. It is impossible to separate intellectual faith from any other form of faith. Belief is intellectual. Southern Baptists have historically proclaimed this nuance of the word “believe.” If he means “trust” by “commit” I have no problem with his thesis. He makes this point further on in his argument.
Grant here is a couple short articles on belief and intellectual assent that tie into the previous exchange above.
Any insights of agreement or disagreement much appreciated?
By the way I have OCD anxiety so I have a tendency to obsess over the same topic over and over so if i repeat dublicate questions or come at a topic from different angles and different wordings that is why. So i just wanted to mention that. Thank you for your insights!
Scott, it is encouraging to see an evangelist who expresses a clarity that most do not about how to become a Christian.
The main critique I might have of his articles is that he enters into too much specificity about what it means to repent. I don’t think it is necessary to change one’s mind “about sin, the need for Christ’s righteousness and about judgment in hell.” See my presentation of salvation here:
https://versebyversecommentary.com/articles/doctrine/how-to-become-a-christian-2/ (my tract)
He is clear on the idea that salvation is “one step,” not two.
Yes I agree.
I emailed Love Worth Finding because this is what they have on their website:
discover Jesus”: Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that You love me and want to save me. Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God, who died on the cross to pay for my sins. I believe God raised You from the dead. I now turn from my sin and, by faith, receive You into my life as my personal Lord and Savior. Come into my heart, forgive my sins, and save me, Lord Jesus. In Your name I pray, Amen.
“I dont see the need to as Jesus into your heart. Asking Jesus into your heart doesnt save but trusting in the Christ does. So wording really matters in my opinion.
Also telling somone to turn from their sin is works if your meaning to stop sinning. But if their meaning to turn to Christ then thats fine but I feel its not really needed because its implied in the sense of, if you’ve put your trust in Christ then you have turned to Christ and turned your back on sin.
Also I think using repentence pertaining to salvation complicates it because if you have believed (trusted in Christ) then you have repented at the same time. You’ve changed your mind about Christ; who He is and what He accomplished on the cross for your sins; His imputed righteousness upon trusting in the cross to forgive your sins.
So basically “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for Salvation”.
If you have trusted(believed) in Christ then you have also [turned from your sin] and have [turned to Christ] and you have [Repented; changed your mind] about sin and its consequences simultaneously. Aren’t these things implied in believing and happen simultaneously?
So if someone preaches repent and believe and they are saying to change your mind and put your trust in Christ then that is fine. But unless Repentance is defined properly then I think it complicates things and makes it seem as two steps. Plus i think most people when they hear the word”repent” even pertaining to salvation then they think to stop sinning which is works.
And also like you said previously if someone says to commit yourself to Christ or make a commitment to Christ and believe then this woukd be adding works, would it not?
I guess committing to Christ could be implied in the process of believing but to tell some to commit to Christ and believe is 2 steps and adding to the gospel.
Just to clarify here is an article that explains “asking Jesus into your heart” for salvation:
Scott, a person cannot become a Christian by asking Jesus into their heart. Rev 3:20 does not support this idea–see my study there. However, many people before they become Christians pray this prayer. I believe it is a prayer of positive volition for them, whereby they later find that they have to trust the death of Christ for their salvation.
Grant yes that is my point of posting the previous article!!
Words matter and clarity matters when preaching Salvation. I here people give their testimony that they “gave their life to Christ” or “asked Jesus into their heart” and I get concerned because I do not here them say that “They put their trust in the Cross for the forgiveness of their sins”.
(My heart concern is for possible false converts from lack of clarity of the Gospel).
Even the sinners prayer needs to be explained that its not about reciting a prayer but salvation is only by belief (trust).
This short article illustrates “wrong responses to the Gospel”
“Sinners Prayer” – Biblical?
Scott, I agree with the essential point.