The Certainty of Eternal Life
Topic: Sin Verse: 1 John 5:16–5:17
“THE CERTAINTY OF ETERNAL LIFE”
1 John 5:13-15
Theme: Answered prayer is one of the greatest confirmations of one’s relationship to God.
I. The Prerequisite for Our Confidence – 5:13
A. The Establishment of Our Confidence
- Perhaps the most imperative truth a person must know is whether or not they have been born again to “eternal life.”
- Here John says that he wrote his epistle “so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
- God is not interested in a guessing game, wherein we have to wait and see whether or not we have made it into the Kingdom of God.
- Confidence in the security of our salvation is established through faith – and is available “to you who believe in the name of the Son of God.”
- The significance of “believing in the name of the Son of God” is stated repeatedly by John in his gospel:
- John 1:12 – it is equated with receiving Him.
- John 3:16 – it is the sole way to avoid perishing.
- John 8:24 – it is the sole way to avoid paying for one’s own sin.
- John 11:26 – it is the sole way to eternal life.
- John 20:31 – it is the sole way to eternal life.
B. The Evidence of Our Confidence
- John’s purpose in writing the epistle of 1 John is that we “might know that [we] have eternal life.”
- But, what are “these things I have written to you …” – what are the things that enable us to know that we have eternal life … the evidences or tests of this life?
- In this book, there are various tests that indicate whether “eternal life” has been received through faith in Christ:
- “walking in the light” – 1:6-7
- “keeping His commandments” – 2:3
- “loving the brethren” – 3:14
- “belief in the Name of the Son of God” – 5:13
II. The Privilege of Our Confidence – 5:14
A. An Affinity to the Will of God
- Having the above-mentioned characteristics present in our lives, we possess confidence before Him – “This is the confidence which we have before Him …” – a confidence that finds its primary expression in the willingness to come before God in prayer.
- However, when a believer prays, he doesn’t pray like an unbeliever – whose approach to prayer is the same as the one concerning his good deeds: they are designed to subject God’s determination to man’s desires.
- That is, most people who have not been reconciled to God, enthralled by His glory, and yielded to the absolute perfection of His will, pray to change God’s mind to agree with them.
- However, the believer who has confidence before God in His relationship with Him, “asks … according to His will”
- In asking things of God in prayer, the believer draws himself into a position of aligning with God and yearning to see it from God’s point of view.
- In this, I am not speaking of asking only what we already know to be the will of God; I am speaking of a heart attitude that seeks yieldedness to God and His will when we approach Him in prayer.
B. An Awareness of Companionship with God
- When such is the case, as we come asking “anything according to His will, He hears us.”
- We have absolute confidence that our companionship with God is intimate – that not only do we desire to approach Him for guidance, He is attentive to us in our approach to Him – cp. James 1:5.
III. The Provision of Our Confidence – 5:15
A. The Provision of Answered Prayer
- “And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”
- This is the privilege of the believer, to participate with God in the accomplishment of His will as we are conformed to that will in prayer.
- When we bring requests before God, surrendered to agreeing with the supremacy of the will of God, requests so made are taken by God and espoused and He makes them His own.
B. The Provision of Authentication
- Thus, as we see that for which we have prayed granted, we have every sense of authentication in our relationship to God who has granted it.
- The granting of requests is, in part, a verification of the confidence we possess in our relationship with God.
- A person who fails to pray, or who never knows regular answers to their prayers, must wonder if they are in a right relationship with Him.