WHAT CAN YOU KNOW?


"These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may KNOW that we have eternal life . . . And if WE KNOW that He hears us, whatever we ask, WE KNOW that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him . . . WE KNOW that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. WE KNOW that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And WE KNOW that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that WE MAY KNOW Him who is true . . . " (1 John 5:13-21, NKJV)

Devotion 7 of  32


BELIEVING ON THE NAME OF THE SON OF GOD

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God . . . " (1 John 5:13)

The language is strange to the legalist, 0r the person who has a penchant for Law, for it is higher than he can reach. Believing on the name of the Son of God is being convinced in the heart that He is precisely the One He is declared to be declared by God. The Gospel, in its essence, is "the record God has given of His Son." Thus we read, "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 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.  (1 John 5:10-11).

The "name" of the Son of God is the Person declared in that "record," or testimony. In this instance, the word "name" does not denote an appellation or designation. It rather speaks of personage, celebrity, and reputation. It is WHO Jesus is and WHAT He has accomplished according to the will of God, and in the behalf of the people. It is Jesus Christ precisely as He is represented primarily in the Gospel, and generally throughout the Scriptures. This is why it is such a serious transgression to cause people to question the validity and accuracy of Scripture. To do such a thing leads to a distortion of "the name of the Son of God." Those who wade in the muck and mire of the supposed best and worst manuscripts, or who play with the degree to which Scripture is inspired, are getting close to Divine indignation. They have taken too much upon themselves, and too much from the people of God. "The name of the Son of God" presumes a precise and clear revelation of Him in God's "record." If that revelation does not exist, then we will be unable to be saved!

The individual believing on the name of the Son adheres to Him in the capacity in which God has revealed Him, trusting wholly in Him for salvation in all of its varied aspects. These aspects can be summarized in the words, justification, sanctification, and glorification. Justification removes us from the condemned state, giving us a new heart and imputing the righteousness of God to us. Sanctification orients us for the world to come, effectively separating us from this present evil world. Glorification is the culmination of salvation, when we will be conformed to the image of God's Son, being "like Him."

The believer, therefore, leans wholly upon the Son for deliverance, guidance, tutelage, intercession, and strength.

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

In his Gospel, John had a similar objective. "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life THROUGH HIS NAME" (John 20:31). It is thought by many that John's Gospel was written to those who are not in Christ. There is, however, no Scriptural evidence to support this. It is more likely that it was written to fortify the faith of believers against the barrage of false teaching that was being leveled at them. That marvelous Gospel lifts high the Divinity and glory of Christ as a shining beacon in the midst of erroneous views of the Savior being perpetrated by men. 

I can tell you from experience that it requires considerable effort to extricate ones self from the restrictive notion that Christ's main attention is devoted to the lost. It is true that Jesus presented Himself as the Good Shepherd that left the ninety and nine sheep to seek and save the lost one (Luke 15:3-7). However, His primary residence was the sheepfold, not on the mountains. He did not take the sheep to the mountains, but brought the lost sheep from the mountains to the fold.  When He found the lost sheep, He returned to the fold. He did not summon the sheep to the crags and mountains. The shepherd did not live in the mountains. His primary identity is with the sheep.

Christ's fundamental work is caring for the church (Eph 5:29), for He "always lives to make intercession" for them (Heb 7:25, NASB). He is the Shepherd of the sheep as well as the Savior of the world, and the Captain of their salvation as well as the One who seeks and saves that which was lost. The saints are the ones He is bringing to God (1 Pet 3:18), and bringing to glory (Heb 2:10).

There is room for the church to improve in believing on Christ's name. Becoming a son of God is related to believing on Christ's name. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12). The lame man that was healed at the Gate Beautiful was made strong "through faith in His name" (Acts 3:16).

Therefore, when John writes that those who trust in Jesus might know they HAVE eternal life, He writes so those who are the sons of God might know they have eternal life. He is alerting the sheep to their possession of eternal life, and declaring to those who are being brought to God and glory that they have eternal life right now.

In every way, it is a disadvantage to NOT know you have eternal life, and a decided advantage to know it. What about you? Do you KNOW you have eternal life?

PRAYER POINT: Father, in the name of Jesus, help me to have a more firm grasp on eternal life to know during my dark and trying hours that I have eternal life now.

Tomorrow: THE CENTRALITY OF BELIEVING