July 22nd, 2021
The grand finale of the letter by John is that we must trust in God. Our confidence in God must be based on His capacity rather than our own. Our faith in Him must be objective instead of subjective. But why should we trust Him?
We trust Him because He hears us (1 John 5:13-15). Faith brings along confidence. Sometimes our faith can be shaky, but we are called to know, or to be assured, of our salvation. Our faith is not built on our experiences only, but on the fact that we believe in Christ and that we have eternal life. To know means to be aware of the truth of something; to have a belief or faith in something; to regard as true beyond any doubt. We must accept Christ to be what He claims to be; we must accept His power and authority. Have it fixed in your mind that you have eternal life. This faith is based on the fact that God hears us. He hears us in whatever we ask. We pray to Him because we know that He hears us.
We trust Him because He forgives us (v. 16-17). When forgiveness is sought, God is willing to grant it. Sin that is unrepented of is resolute rejection of the true doctrine about Christ – chronic disobedience to God’s commandments and persistent lack of love for fellow Christians. Repentance is the cure to this condition. Only through Christ is able to forgive sin. We trust in God because He forgives us. Our trust in God is strengthened by the fact that God forgives.
We trust in Him because He keeps us. (v. 18-19). In the English Standard Version, it says “everyone who has been born of God” (v. 18) which refers to Christ. Christ protects those born of God like Him. The evil one cannot touch them because they are protected by Him. God keeps those who belong to Him. He causes them to remain in a certain state, position, or activity. He makes them to retain the possession of their inheritance which is eternal life. He is their keeper; and has charge over them. He allows them to remain in their place or their position or maintain their identity with Him. He supplies them with necessities and support. He maintains their safety from injury, harm, or danger. “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper, the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore” (Psalm 121:2-8 ESV).
We trust in Him because He satisfies (v. 20-21). God satisfies our search for truth and meaning in life. True knowledge of God is a gracious act and gift of God, and it brings satisfaction in life. The true knowledge of God is the assurance that He has come and has given us understanding. Satisfaction in life is the knowledge of Christ, the truth and life. He is the true God and eternal life (v. 20).
By Thomas Resane, Bible League International staff, South Africa
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