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Commentary: How Do We Know?

By: Pastor Roy L. Crane

Listen to Pastor Roy’s Sermon Audio regarding this commentary Here!

Read the Scripture 1 John 5:9-13

“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.” In everyday life, we constantly accept the word of our fellow men. If we did not, business would be at a standstill and social life would be impossible. We accept the testimony of men who may be mistaken and who may be deceivers. Now if we do this in everyday life, how much more should we trust the word of God, who cannot fail and cannot lie. It is most unreasonable not to believe God. His witness is absolutely credible.

When a man does accept His testimony concerning His Son, God seals the truth by giving the man the witness of the Spirit in himself. On the other hand, if a man disbelieves God, he makes Him a liar; because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. People think they can accept or reject God’s testimony concerning Christ, but John would have them know that to reject it is to accuse God of dishonesty.

John now summarizes the Christian message: “This is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” What tremendous truths these are, namely, that God has given eternal life to men, and that the source of this life is in His Son.

From this, the conclusion is inevitable. He who has the Son has life; and he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. The teaching is unmistakable. Eternal life is not found in education or philosophy or science or good works or religion or the church. To have life, one must have the Son of God. On the other hand, he who does not have the Son of God does not have life, that is, true life. Eternal life is inseparable from Jesus Christ.

John states in the clearest terms why he has written the preceding passages. The purpose is that those who believe in the name of the Son of God may know that they have eternal life. If you have the marks of those who are children of God, then you can know that you have been born into the family of God. This verse also teaches another precious truth, namely, that assurance of salvation comes through the word of God. John wrote these things so that people may know that they have eternal life. In other words, the Scriptures were written that those who believe on the Lord Jesus may have assurance that they are saved. There is no need of hoping or guessing or feeling or groping in the dark. It is not presumption for one to say that he is saved. John states in the clearest possible manner that those who truly believe in the Lord Jesus may know that they have eternal life.