Examining The Proof of Our Salvation,and what is it’s full meaning based upon John’s scriptural input to us?
1 John 5.9-13:
“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Is this the same Apostle John who wrote the Gospel of John, and the Revelation? The answer of course is yes. His gospel was probably written first around 85 AD. His Epistles between 90 and 95 AD. so it would be prudent to draw on the scripture given him prior to this writing in order to understand the background behind what he is telling us. Scripture is said to give its own commentary or interpretation, if we study it. So let’s begin with that in mind.
“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater:
Here we see that John places God’s word (what He has taught him) above the teachings of any man. For us this would mean even over the words of men who bring us the gospel.
for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:
The witness that God gives us is placed within us when we believe. What is that witness? If we go back to John’s gospel we see that he relayed to us that this witness within us is the comforter (The Holy Spirit Jn 14-15). We also see in John 1, that this power (the Holy Spirit) is given within us, even as Jesus is within us. We see that this power is ours to use in our walk, because it is leading us “to become the sons of God” (Jn 1). Why does this scripture tell us that this is what we are becoming, while in other places we are already represented as sons of God? Certainly both have to be true. We are becoming what we are positionally in Christ. Let’s continue:
he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Believers believe this record. Unbelievers do not. The record is eternal life, and it is only possessed in His Son (In Him, in Jesus the Christ). Those who are unbelievers do not believe in this testimony and they either do not enter in or they having entered in do not abide thus falling away from Him. The record says that one must be in Jesus for eternal life, as we next hear:
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
Why does John add this. Before what he tells us has to do with our part in this covenant. We must believe in Him. Jesus had made this clear to John and to His other disciples that in Him only can we bear fruit, and possess this eternal life. He made clear that If we stop believing in Him that the Father would cut us off as a branch to be burned. This is all recorded in John’s gospel, chapter 15. Obviously those who never believe never had eternal life. We have this life because we believe. We possess the teacher (the Holy Spirit) who is the power within us leading us to become the sons of God (John 1). The understanding that John now interjects is that Jesus is in us. He that hath the Son hath life. Belief comes first and knowing what this possession means to us follows. Listen:
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
John is writing to believers. So what does he mean at the end of this verse 13? Hear is what the ancient Geneva Bible translation says: These things have I written unto you, that believe in the name of that Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe in the Name of that Son of God. (GNV)
Is this a redundancy or does it mean what it says? Earlier I had asked why in some places in scripture are we called sons of God, yet in John 1, we are given power to become. This verse tells us that We who believe must keep believing — even though we have believed we must continue to believe. We must abide in Him or we will fall.
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36
We live in evil days. Days through which we have been chosen to persevere, tribulations will come, but they will not last forever.
2 Thessalonians 1:6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, (KJV)
There is a rest coming from this life’s trials and tribulations. And He has promised us rest with the saints in that day of His coming. Until then we are called to persevere, to endure, to be overcomers, to abide in Him.
Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. (KJV)
Our rest is a blessed hope, and just as God entered into His Sabbath rest after His work was finished, so we too will enter if we faint not.
Hebrews 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. (KJV)
We have not yet ceased from the work of our calling, but the blessed hope lies before us.