II) 1 JN 5:9-13
ASSURANCE OF YOUR SALVATION
A) [1 Jn 5:9]:
(v. 9) "We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which He has given about His Son."
1) THE TESTIMONY OF GOD IS GREATER THAN MAN'S AND IT IS ABOUT HIS SON
This verse states that the testimony of God is superior to any man's because God is Who He is:
He is Sovereign and Almighty. And the particular testimony that author John points to here is the testimony of God which He has given about His son relative to trusting in Him unto salvation unto eternal life to which the next 3 verses attest]:
B) [1 Jn 5:10]:
(v. 10) "Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His Son."
1) BELIEVING IN THE SON OF GOD IN THIS CONTEXT = BELIEVING IN HIM AS CHRIST, AS ONE'S MESSIAH TO SAVE YOU UNTO ETERNAL LIFE
The context of this has already been established in the first verse of chapter 5:
a) [Compare 1 Jn 5:1a]:
"Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God...."
[Kenneth S. Wuest states, ('Ephesians and Colossians in the Greek New Testament', Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, Mich, 1963, p15):
" 'Christ' is the transliteration of christos which means 'anointed'....
...In the Church Epistles, the word does not refer to our Lord in His official capacity of the Messiah of the Jewish nation, but as The Anointed of God, the Person chosen from the Godhead to be the anointed Prophet, Priest, and King to accomplish the purposes of God in the plan of salvation."
So to believe that Jesus is the Christ is to believe that His purpose as the Christ = to be your Savior unto eternal life, is true resulting in the reception of becoming born of God, i.e., saved unto eternal life:
b) [Compare Jn 1:12-13]:
(v. 12) "Yet to all who received Him [Christ, (v. 1)], to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God -
(v. 13) children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God."
2) BELIEVING IN THE SON OF GOD AS CHRIST = MESSIAH TO SAVE YOU PRODUCES THE RESULT OF HAVING THE TESTIMONY OF GOD IN ONE'S HEART, I.E., ONE'S MIND
"Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony [of God] in his heart." =
Believing in the Son of God [to save you, (vv. 1, 11)] produces the result of having this testimony of God in one's 'heart', (i.e., in one's mind, ref. Heb 4:12). This means that one accepts the truth in what God has said, i.e., His "testimony" about His Son relative to eternal life. And Scripture teaches that God will then deliver on His promise of eternal life to that individual who believes, (Jn 3:16; 36; 5:24; 6:47; etc.).
3) ANYONE WHO BELIEVES IN THE SON [TO PROVIDE ETERNAL LIFE FOR HIM] HAS THIS TESTIMONY OF GOD'S IN HIS HEART = MIND = MENTAL UNDERSTANDING
"has this testimony in his heart" = in his mind, (Jn 12:40; Eph 4:18; Mt 9:4; Heb 4:12, etc.). Scripture equates the expression 'in his heart' with 'in his mind'.
a) DETAILED STUDY ON 'HEART' = MIND
Anyone who believes that the Son will provide eternal life for him has this testimony in his 'heart' such that it is a part of his mental understanding that he is now saved unto eternal life.
B cont.) [1 Jn 5:10 cont.]:
(v. 10 cont.) "Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His Son."
4) ON THE OTHER HAND ANYONE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE GOD'S TESTIMONY ABOUT HIS SON MAKES GOD OUT TO BE A LIAR
"Anyone who does not believe has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His Son." =
Disbelieving the testimony of God that eternal life is secured solely through believing in the Son of God is tantamount to calling God a liar. So to be saved one must believe in the testimony of God about His Son relative to eternal life. Anything less and anything more than a one time moment of accepting the testimony of God about His Son relative to eternal life, i.e., believing in it would make this verse untrue. And the next verse tells us what that testimony is which individuals must believe in order to have eternal life]:
C) [1 Jn 5:11]:
(v. 11) And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
1) THE TESTIMONY OF GOD ABOUT HIS SON IS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE TO MANKIND THROUGH HIS SON
Notice that eternal life is described as something that is given, i.e., a gift, (cp Eph 2:8), to mankind and that gift it is established is in the possession of the individual, i.e., given to him, when he believes the testimony of God about eternal life being through His Son. So believing the testimony of God about His Son incorporates such testimony within the mind of the individual, (v. 10), resulting in that individual having the Son, i.e., having eternal life]:
D) [1 Jn 5:12]:
(v. 12) He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."
1) HAVING THE SON = BELIEVING IN THE TESTIMONY OF GOD ABOUT HIS SON = HAVING ETERNAL LIFE
"He who has the Son has life" = He who believes in God's testimony about His Son - that the Son will provide eternal life for him if he merely believes in the Son doing this, has eternal life, (Ref. v. 10)
2) HE WHO DOES NOT HAVE THE SON = HAS NOT BELIEVED IN GOD'S TESTIMONY ABOUT HIS SON = DOES NOT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE
"He who does not have the Son of God does not have life." = To have the Son means to believe that He will provide eternal life for you. To not have the Son is to not take God at His Word, (i.e., believe), that the Son alone will provide eternal life for you. And he who has not believed in Christ as Savior "Does not have [eternal] life."
a) [Compare Jn 3:18]:
"He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already [unto condemnation], because he has not believed in the name of the One and only Son of God."
"believed in the name of" = believed in the capacity and willingness of God to grant eternal life as a gift - just for trusting alone in Him alone, (Jn 3:1-18; Ro 3:21-24).
3) IF YOU BELIEVE WHAT GOD HAS TESTIFIED TO ABOUT HIS SON THEN YOU WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE BECAUSE GOD SAYS SO
If you believe what God has testified to about His Son, then you will have eternal life because God says so. God being Who He is as it is clearly indicated in verse 9: a sovereign God Whose testimony is greater than man's, He will deliver. And John writes these verses about eternal life for the following reason]:
E) [1 Jn 5:13]:
(v. 13) I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you many know that you have eternal life."
1) JOHN'S MESSAGE OF ETERNAL LIFE WAS WRITTEN SO THAT ALL WHO BELIEVE IN THE NAME OF, I.E., THE CAPACITY OF, THE SON TO PROVIDE ETERNAL LIFE FOR THEM MAY KNOW THAT THEY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE
So, taking God at His Word about eternal life through His Son provides assurance that you do NOW possess the gift of life everlasting in heaven never to lose it, (cp. Eph 1:13-14).
Consider if one could know now at the point of faith alone in Christ alone that one is absolutely saved, then it obviously would not depend upon any future thoughts, words, or deeds of the believer only on the faithfulness of God to keep His promise.
2) VERSE 13 IS NOT THE PURPOSE STATEMENT OF THE WHOLE BOOK OF FIRST JOHN BUT OF THE IMMEDIATE CONTEXT OF ASSURANCE OF YOUR SALVATION IN VV. 9-13
[Robert N. Wilkin states, (Confident In Christ, Living By Faith Really Works, Grace Evangelical Society, Irving, Tx, 1999, pp. 82-83)]:
"According to this view, the purpose of First John is found at the end of the book:
'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." (5:13). However, there are a number of problems with embracing 1 John 5:13 as the purpose statement of the whole book.
First, the words 'these things I have written' (Greek: tauta egrapsa) do not refer to the content of the entire book, but only to the immediate context (5:6-12). In those verses John indicates that assurance is found in believing God's testimony regarding His Son.
The same Greek expression occurs two other times in the book. In 2:26 John says, 'These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you,' and in 2:1, 'My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.' Clearly, neither of those is the purpose statement of the whole book, since they both refer only to the immediately preceding verses.
Second, a central tenet of the Tests-of-Life View is that both believers and unbelievers comprised John's audience. However, in 1 John 5:13 we read, 'These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God.' There are no unbelievers in 5:13, John made it clear here, and throughout the book, that he was writing exclusively to believers (2:12-14, 25; 3:1-2; 5:19).
Third, John gives a clear-cut statement of purpose for his letter in the prologue (1:3-4), as we shall now see.
The purpose is to help readers determine whether they are in fellowship with God. This second view is that John was writing to encourage his readers, all of whom were already believers, to examine their works to discern whether or not they were in fellowship with Christi.
This might be called the Tests-of-Fellowship View. John reveals his purpose in the prologue of his epistle:
a) [1 Jn 1:3-4]:
'That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.'
'These things we write to you' is in the first person plural. As seen above, in three other places in the book John used the first person singular to refer to what he wrote in the immediate context (2:1, 'these things I write to you,' and 2:26 and 5:13, 'these things I have written to you'). That the first person plural is used in 1:4 suggests it refers to his purpose in writing the entire letter. This is supported by the fact that purpose statements for epistles were often found in the prologue.' "
3) ALL TRUE ASSURANCE OF SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE MUST REST SOLELY ON THE TESTIMONY OF GOD AND NO WHERE ELSE - NOT EVEN PARTLY ON THE BELIEVER'S EXPERIENCES
[Zane C. Hodges states, 'The Epistles of John', Grace Evangelical Society, Irving, Texas, 1999, pp. 228-9]:
"This testimony from God, spoken through the lips of His Son, is the kind of testimony John wishes his readers to rely on so that they will know that they have eternal life.
Of course, when they initially believed, they knew they had eternal life. In the same way, every believer knows at the point of saving faith that he has this life, because the promises he believes guarantee it (cf. John 1:25-26). But the believer is not immune to doubts and uncertainties after he is saved (cf. John the Baptist: Luke 7:18-19). The antidote to such doubts is always God's promises to the believer. These promises can always be referred to again and again as a fresh source of assurance. And no book of the Bible contains more of these straight forward guarantees than John's Gospel itself (John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:35-40, 47; etc.). In our text, [1 Jn 9:13] John is recalling his audience to the testimony of God that they have already believed, and to which he himself testified.
The logic of John's argument is evident. Since the believers he writes to have believed in the name of the Son of God (whose identity is attested by 'the Spirit, the water, and the blood,' verse 8), then they should rest securely on the testimony that God has given about and through His Son. This 'testimony' (found in John 5:24 and in so many other places in John's Gospel) assures the believer that he does have eternal life. If Jesus said so, God said so - and there the matter should rest!
It should be said here that all true assurance of salvation and eternal life must rest on the 'testimony of God,' for only that testimony has full reliability and solidity. The many professing Christians who think that a more stable basis for assurance can be found in the lives they lead are only deceiving themselves. There is never a time at all in our Christian experience where we are free from sin (cf. 1 John 1:8). To suggest that Christian experience can stand on some relatively equal level with the 'testimony of God' as a grounds for assurance is nearly a blasphemy, since it compares human experience in its multitude of flaws with the flawless word of God.
[Note that if one has assurance of eternal life based on the promise of God in Scripture, then to look elsewhere will not be necessary anyway. To do so then is to refute Scripture and override it with one's personal point of view relative to one's personal experience]
Those who are willing to look at themselves with complete honesty will find more grounds to doubt their salvation than to be assured of it. Some even teach that this uncertainty is healthy! But this does not reckon with the fact that the apostle John expected his readers to know that they had eternal life. The irony is that once Christian experience is made the grounds for assurance, as some hold First John does, John's statement in this verse about knowing becomes a complete impossibility!
The apostle here seeks to reaffirm the assurance of his readership. It was the Antichrists who called that assurance into question!"
1 JOHN CHAPTER 5 CONTINUED