Has anyone ever broken a promise to you? It stinks, doesn't it?
I remember when I was building my theater, a person I was working with promised me that he would be able to get the toilets, sinks, plumbing equipment, and a few other items needed for the restrooms. He was able to get these items for a discounted price. It meant big savings on my already tight budget. I trusted that he would follow through.
I waited for him to call with the items.
I contacted him about the items and when they would be delivered.
I never heard back.
Finally, as deadlines drew close, I realized that what he promised was never going to happen, and I ended up spending thousands of dollars we hadn't budgeted for to get the equipment we needed.
People will let us down. Our closest friends and confidants will sometimes break their promises. Unfortunately, that is just the way it is. But as Christians, we have the assurance that our heavenly Father will never let us down. He will never break His word. He will never betray our confidence. His promises are YES and AMEN! (2 Corinthians 1:20)
The epistle of 1 John gives us five things we know for sure about the Christian life. It provides us with five incredible promises given to us by our heavenly Father.
While John's gospel was written to bring unbelievers to Jesus, his first epistle was written to reassure Christians in their faith. It was written to counter false teachings and to encourage Christians that they are serving a God of love, light, and life.
John dynamically ends his first epistle by giving us five certainties or five promises that we have as Christians because of Jesus Christ.
1. We know that we have eternal life.
1 John 5:13 says, "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life." John wrote this epistle, this beautiful letter, so that we may know that we have eternal life. For those of us in Christ, eternal life in Jesus is a guarantee.
Eternal life, however, isn't necessarily referencing time. While it is true that although we die in the flesh, we will live forever with the Lord, (Philippians 3:20-21) eternal life is so much more than that.
Eternal life is a person, and His name is Jesus. 1 John 5:20 tells us that "Jesus is the true God and eternal life." Jesus told us in John 11:25 that HE is the resurrection AND the LIFE.
John 17:3 says, "And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." If you are just living to die and go to heaven, you are missing so much, my friend. You are missing the true eternal life that can is found in Jesus.
Eternal life is all about building a relationship with Jesus and possessing His nature.
It is becoming more like Him every single day. It is knowing that we will live forever with Him in paradise. How awesome a God we serve that we can walk in the confidence of knowing that we have eternal life!
2. We know that our prayers are answered in the will of God.
1 John 5:14-17 tells us that we have the confidence of knowing that when we ask anything ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, He hears us. What a beautiful promise. When we approach the throne of grace, He promises that He will hear our voice. (Hebrews 4:16)
The second thing I know about this Christian life is that when I pray in the will of God, my prayers will be heard and answered.
What does it mean to pray in "the will of God"? John Macarthur, a noted Bible scholar, said, "to pray according to God's will is to pray in accord with what He would want, not what we would desire or insist that He do for us."
God will answer, but He answers in His will, His way, and in His timing.
3. We know that we have victory over sin.
1 John 5:18 says, "We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him."
In reading different translations of this verse, I found it to be a bit confusing: all the "he's" and "him's." In essence, 1 John 5:18 is saying, "We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son keeps them, and the evil one cannot touch them."
As believers, we belong to Jesus, and because of our Lord, we have the victory over sin. Jesus has KEPT US!
Many Christians go about blaming the devil for every little thing that goes wrong in their lives. I wrote a powerful post about those that are lying to themselves thinking the devil is always two steps in front of them surrounding them on every side.
Satan must only operate within God's supremacy and cannot function outside of what God allows. (Look at Job 2:5 and Romans 16:20 as examples) Satan may tempt and test us, but God protects us and places limits on Satan's influence. (John 17:12-15)
Because of Jesus, we know that we have the victory. We know that we are overcomers, and we know that because of Jesus, we have dominion over the enemy!
4. We know we belong to God.
1 John 5:19a says, "We know that we are from God . . . ". Our fourth promise as Christians is that we belong to a great and mighty God.
There are so many people looking to just "belong." They just want a place where they can fit in. It reminds me of the theme song from the old TV show Cheers . . . "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came . . ."
We all want a place to go where everyone knows our name. We all want to belong.
Some search for belonging in the world; looking to bars and nightclubs. Some feel they "fit" in the arms of lovers and strangers. Many find belonging in new age doctrines and "feel good" teachings. And others find their place in anything that will give them a temporary fix of feeling welcomed and loved.
It is so sad to see so many just searching for belonging, and only finding emptiness. John warns us in 1 John 5:19b that, "the whole world lies in the power of the evil one." As a Christian, you will never fit in with the world.
The only true place of belonging and acceptance is in the arms of Jesus. Where do you belong? You belong in His goodness and grace. You belong in His peace and joy. You belong in His faithfulness and mercy. YOU BELONG IN HIM.
As a Christian, your search for belonging is over. You do belong to a mighty God who has your name engraved on the palm of His hand. (Isaiah 49:16)
5. We know that Christ is the one, true God.
1 John 5:20 says, "And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life."
I love Matthew 16:13-20. I can just picture the scene. Jesus and His disciples are walking along the roads of Caesarea Philippi. They are perhaps talking and laughing when Jesus breaks the conversation.
"Who do people say that the Son of Man is?". The disciples look at each other unsure of what to say. They pause their conversation. A few answer that some say He is John the Baptist and Elijah. Maybe it was Matthew or Andrew who said that He is Jeremiah or one of the prophets.
Then Peter answers. I can hear his humility. I can hear his heart. I can hear his rough voice as he replies, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
You are Christ. You are the Son of the living God.
How confident was Peter? He had been walking with this great preacher and healer named Jesus for a few months now. He was listening to His teaching and resting on every word. But something in His spirit was quickened to know that this man . . . his dear friend . . . was Christ, the Son of the Living God.
Are you Peter today? Do you know that you are serving the One True God? Many will try to sway us from believing that. Just as in John's day, false teachers are trying to tell you that there are many gods and you can serve many different idols.
We must be wise. We must keep ourselves vigilant. We must keep ourselves from idols as John warns in the final verse of this epistle. We must remember what we heard from the beginning. (I John 2:24)
We have the confidence of knowing that our God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the one true God.
John closes his first epistle in a powerful climax letting us know that we have five amazing assurances as followers of Christ. In a world that is ever-changing, we have this constant.
As Christians, the way often gets hard, and we don't know whether to turn right or left. There are so many noises and so many voices vying for our attention; we don't know who or what to listen to.
My dear friend, remember these five promises. Remember what you heard from the beginning, and recall the simplicity of the Gospel. We have been given great and precious promises. They are ours, and they will help us to live in eternal life.
What do I know for sure about the Christian life?
I know that we have eternal life in Jesus.
I know that our prayers are answered in the will of God.
I know that we have victory over sin.
I know that we belong to God.
I know that our God is the one true God.
All My Love . . . Erika 💛
YOUR TURN: What do you know for sure about the Christian life? Let's talk about it in the comments below.