John points out several truths that we should know as he concludes this book. The first is a promise to behold and identifies why he wrote this book he in the first place. He says, “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.” As believers of Jesus as the Son of God, we have eternal life. It’s a promise of a life devoted to Jesus that never ends.
What is your response to that truth? How does it make you feel? Take some time to just let that one promise resonate with your soul. Eternal life with Jesus. For me, that’s a feeling of peace and security.
The battle here is against the world. Who can win it? The world is big and oftentimes scary. There are unknowns. There are traps. John tells us “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”
As Christ followers we are not only children of God but we can defeat this evil world. We don’t have to feel like the victim. Too many times people take the easy way out and blame others. We can easily lose our identity. God made us just how we are. Why don’t we embrace that and live life to its fullest?
Is God living in you? How do you know for sure? John spells it out simply here,“All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.” That seems pretty straightforward. In John’s day, and probably still in current day, there are people who believe Jesus was a man and not God, or God but not a man. John goes out of his way in this book to make sure we are clear that Jesus is God and also a man.
If we are clear on who Jesus is – God’s Son, we can also be sure that we have God living inside us. Since we know that God is love, we know that we are capable of loving because God is in us. It’s a beautiful love triangle. But it all depends on God.
John speaks of the antichrist among us, that is, ones who do not represent Christ. He warns us to not trust everyone. What do you see? Do you see clearly? This is wise counsel as there are many voices of influence in the world who do not profess Jesus Christ as Lord. Those are the ones to look out for.
I think of cults and how people are sucked in to believing
the leader. Many of those situations have turned out badly for those who blindly
trusted. Instead, John counsels us to “test” the spirits to see if they are
from God. Do they profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior? If not, we should not
be drawn in by them.
God’s love is inside us. That is a beautiful gift, isn’t it? Especially when we know that love is a key message in the Bible. Love is more than a feel good emotion. It’s more than an act of compassion. John tells us “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us.” Think about giving up your own life for a friend or family member. Don’t just gloss over this, but truly imagine the sacrifice.
The verse I quoted above is from 1 John 3:16. Isn’t it beautiful how John 3:16 is very similar yet speaks of God’s love for the world that he gave up his son. Those are both beautiful glimpses into the devotion, sacrifice, and even pain that comes with perfect love from above. We have that love inside us ready to share with others.