13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 14And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. —1 John 5:13-15
The apostle John didn’t leave us guessing. “Hey John, why did you write this letter?” He tells us. “ I write these things . . . so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
You can know it. People say, “I don’t think you can know whether or not you will go to heaven.” God wants you to know, it’s okay to know. The Holy Spirit inspired John to write so “that you may know that you have eternal life.”
Which begs this question: What things does is he talking about? In this letter, John included five marks of the real deal Christian; five clues that reveal those “who believe.” I’m going to summarize them.
- Clue One: We love deeply. A true follower of Jesus Christ loves deeply. You love God more as time goes on. You love other people more. If you’re not a more loving person than you used to be, you’re missing one of the marks.
- Clue Two: We obey faithfully. “I used to do my own thing. If I wanted to do something, I did it!’ That was before I came to Christ. Now I’m more concerned about what God wants me to do and I’m obeying increasingly and faithfully.”
- Clue Three: We live authentically. “Man, I used to be all about putting on a mask and making people think certain things about me. Now I don’t want to play games. I just want to be real, honest, open, and transparent.”
- Clue Four: We know completely. “When I think back to how little I knew about the Lord when I came to the Lord compared to what I know about the Lord now. I’m knowing Him more and more.”
- Clue Five: We believe confidently. “I used to be filled with fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. But I’ve learned I can trust God with my life. I don’t know what’s coming up ahead, but with His help I know I am going to get through it.“
People will not object to a battle if they know they are confident that they will have victory, everyone one of us can have victory if we want it.
Do you want it??
These are John’s five marks of real Christianity. I trust you will be challenged to pursue them and encouraged to find them in your life as you trust in Christ.