I John 5:13-21 - A Lifestyle that Transforms
Part Eight: You Must Live Confidently Knowing that You have Eternal Life
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him.
16 If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.
18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true-even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. - I John 5:1-12
Welcome to our final study of "A Lifestyle that Transforms" from I John. John teaches us how to live a genuinely biblical lifestyle that honors God. Today, we will consider I John 5:13-21 and our eighth lifestyle choice: "Your must live confidently knowing that you have eternal life." John encourages us to live in the confidence of who we are in Christ and, if you do so, this lifestyle will transform your self-image, your family, your church, your co-workers and all relationships that you encounter daily.
In our previous seven studies in I John we learned that you are living a lifestyle that transforms when your fellowship is focused on Jesus, you walk in the Light, you do the will of God and not love the world, you remain in the Son and avoid counterfeit teaching, you do what is right, you love your brother, and when you believe that Jesus is the Son of God. In our passage today, John reinforces themes taught previously. He encourages us to approach God with confidence, to intercede in prayer for our brothers, to live in the Truth, and to stay away from idols. John directs us strongly to live confidently knowing that you have eternal life and, by doing so, to choose a lifestyle that transforms.
You can live confidently knowing that you have eternal life. The devil will try to cause doubt in your heart as to whether or not you are saved. He will cause you to question God's love for you and even if you are worthy of God's love. Please remember that doubt and anxiety are not from God and so you can reject those thoughts. When you follow God wholeheartedly and obey His commands then you know that you are secure in God's love. There is nothing that can separate you from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39). You can walk daily with confidence knowing that if God is on your side then no one can stand against you (Romans 8:31).
You Can Approach God with Confidence
Second, when you are in relationship with God, He will reveal His will for your life to you. You can read His Word, the Bible, pray, and seek counsel from mature Christian believers and learn God's Will for your life.
Third, whatever you ask, according to His will, will be heard by Him. Remember though that your wish is not God's command and that you must ask according to His will. The truth is that you are His servant and when you submit to Him then He will reveal Himself as He truly is: a loving Father. What can be greater than interacting with our Heavenly Father?
Fourth, John writes that when we ask according to God's will then we will receive what we asked of Him. Our answer may not come in the form or manner that we anticipated but, our request will be answered and what we receive will be far better than what we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20, 21).
Intercede for Your Brother
There are times in the family of God when believers walk away from God's love. They refuse to obey and instead seek to live by their self-will and desires. This rejection of Divine love was only one outcome: death. If life is being in the presence of God then death is being outside the presence of God. Amazingly, there are people who receive Divine Love readily and yet reject it and go their own way. This is a sin that leads to death. While God is not willing that anyone will perish, He will not force His love on anyone. He will allow such people to experience the consequences of their actions.
But, I am so thankful that believers who walk with the Lord will find that God will give them life when they repent and do what is right. Believers are not yet perfect. We all have good days and bad days. While we focus our lives on living rightly, there are times when we take a misstep or go down an inappropriate path. It is at this exact moment, that John wants us to intercede in prayer for the wayward ones so that they will be open to hearing from the Lord and go back to where they need to be. It would be inappropriate for us to see a brother in Christ go down a wayward path and not pray for Him.
Live as One who Knows the Truth
We can live now as ones who know the Truth! We are children of God who are dedicated to Him. When we are in right relationship with God then we are safe, as we mentioned earlier, and the evil one cannot harm us. We may be attacked physically and psychologically but our souls are saved and bound for heaven.
It is true that the evil one is in control of the world for a time. But, even the devil can read the Bible and knows the outcomes and consequences for his actions. While we live in a world broken by sin, we can still follow God and in the understanding of Truth. We may find ourselves in situations that we do not understand but we can live in the Truth that God is with us and that our understanding will come later.
Stay Away from Idols
John's final line in his letter is short and to the point: stay away from idols. This reminds me of the teaching in Hebrews 12:1-3, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
The application of the truths today are clear. We must live confidently in our relationship with the Lord. This does not mean that we are arrogant for arrogance shines the spotlight on us. Our confidence is in the Lord and we live to serve and honor Him. We must cherish our relationship with the Lord and value it above all else. We must love others, even to the point of getting involved in prayer on their behalf. We must live in the Truth of who we are in Christ. Finally, we must avoid being soiled by the things of this world and instead, live a life separated and dedicated unto the Lord. When we live confidently knowing that we have eternal life, then we are living a lifestyle that transforms.
Dear Jesus, thank you that you give me eternal life. Help me to walk confidently in You so that I can honor you with my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
For You to Consider
- How should the outcome of eternal life in heaven influence the way that you live today?
- What is your view of your relationship with God the Father?
- Why does God not always give us exactly what we want from Him when we ask according to His will?
- Why do we avoid praying for a brother who is in sin?
- What does it mean to walk in the Truth?
- What changes in your life do you need to make to live a lifestyle that transforms?