3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
the only true [genuine] God,
The word “true” is something that conforms to the facts. The Father as “God” is real, not imaginary—unfeigned and not fictitious. He is the “living and true God” (1 Th 1:9; 1 Jn 5:20). He is real as opposed to false.
God is one and thus the “only” true God. He is mutually exclusive; there is no other being like Him. No other god exists other than the “true God.”
and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
This is the only place in Scripture where Jesus gave Himself the compound name “Jesus Christ.” The apostles would use the compound name many times in the future.
The Father and the Son by nature are exclusive.
The Bible sets God apart from polytheism, philosophic naturalism, and mystic pantheism. The God of the Bible holds the exclusive place of “the only true God” (Dt 6:4; 1 Co 8:6).
There is one true God and He has only one Agent set from eternity. We cannot separate knowledge of God from knowledge of Jesus Christ. Any doctrine or philosophy, outside knowing Him who is true, is idolatry (1 Jn 5:20-21).
God designed salvation so that it is exclusively through His Son (1 Jn 5:11-12). He sent the Son for this special purpose. Thus, the only way to have a personal experience with God is through faith in Jesus Christ.
It is not the means of believing but the object of our faith that saves our soul. Neither is it the degree of our faith that saves us. Even our faith in Christ does not give us eternal life—it is the object of our faith (that is, trust in the death of Christ for our sins) that puts the stamp of eternal life on our souls. It is possible to believe in the wrong thing.