Many have questioned whether or not they truly have eternal life and a surety of a relationship with God. John felt that the Christian should be secure. He wrote, “These things have I written you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 Jn. 5:13). We must not assume that we have eternal life while ignoring what God tells us is necessary to have it! How can we determine?
If we walk in the light (1 Jn. 1:7). God is light and His Word beacons this truth to all who would believe. Acceptance of that Word is essential! To walk in the light” means that we no longer live in sin. It also means that we access continual cleansing by the blood of Christ. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).
If we keep His commandments (1 Jn. 2:3). We can know that we know Him when keeping His commandments. We receive from Him because of our obedience (1 Jn. 3:22). Jesus authored salvation only for those who obey Him (Heb. 5:9). Having proper priorities insists that we love not the world, but seek God’s kingdom and His righteous standards (Mt. 6:33). God accepts nothing less than the presentation of our bodies in sacrifice (Rom. 12:1).
If we are children of God (1 Jn. 3:1, 10). It is God’s expression of love to call us His children. When we behave righteously, it is then obvious that we are from God and are manifested as His children. Children usually show a striking resemblance to their parent. We become His children by faith and being baptized (birthed) at which time our spirit meets His (Gal. 3:26-27).
If we love God and brethren (1 Jn. 4:7-8). Those who love God and others show that they “know God” in so doing. A love for God leads us to a love and appreciation for other people. A legitimate question was asked by John to stress consistency in love, “…for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 Jn. 4:20).
If we are “in Christ” (1 Jn. 5:11). Life is to be found in Christ and we must be in Him to experience spiritual blessings and to access everything that pertains to living a godly life (Eph. 1:3; 2 Pet. 1:3). “Salvation is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory” (2 Tim. 2:10). Jesus is the only way to come to the Father (Jn. 14:6).
—Mike King; lakesidechurchofchrist.com