That You May Know His Blessed Assurance


I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And 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

John writes with this purpose: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13) This is a key verse of the book of 1 John. John writes so that his readers who have faith in Christ may know the assurance of their salvation. In the church today there are many who truly know the Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and they are confident in their salvation.

Yet, there are some Christians who have a sincere faith in Christ but they lack the assurance of their salvation. These individuals walk the Christian life with the uncertainty of acceptance with God and a feeling that they may not be saved. On the other hand, there are those in the church that think they are saved because they “prayed a prayer” or were baptized, yet their life is unchanged. They do not live a Christian life, but are Christians in name only. These people often teach hate and judge and criticize people. They are like the hypocrites that Jesus discusses in the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 6:5-6, Jesus says “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

He wants people to be clear in their understanding of the good news of Jesus, and the confidence that we have in Christ. He writes this letter “that you may know that you have eternal life.” Similarly, he begins the epistle by saying, “[T]hat which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” John wants Christians to “know” that they have eternal life. He desires that they come to a fuller understanding of what it means to be in fellowship with God and what is required to maintain that fellowship. By so doing, they can be confident as Christians and sure of their salvation. Like with most things, we must humble ourselves before God, yet we must have the faith to believe we are saved.

I wanted to end this series on 1 John because the phrase “that you may know” is so vitally important. I have always felt that the uncertainly in salvation is like an uncertainty in God. If you truly believe, if you follow the teachings of Christ, and if you have full faith in God, then you have the assurance of salvation. God knows we are not perfect. Only God is perfection. He allows us to pray and ask for forgiveness with the assurance that if we are sincere in our prayers and actions, then we will be forgiven of our sins. I do not doubt my salvation. Others might doubt my salvation because of my sexuality or because of their lack of belief and/or understanding of God, but their doubt does not affect me. I pray that you will have the same faith and keep the same faith that I do. Do as God commands. Love your fellow man. Believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Do these things and you will have the faith that assures salvation.

It seems that many of the passages of 1 John, remind me of songs. This one is no different because it remind me of the song “Blessed Assurance” written in 1873 by blind hymn writer Fanny J. Crosby to the music written in by Phoebe P. Knapp. The popular song reflects Crosby’s walk of faith, as expressed by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” and based on an interpretation of Hebrews 10:22 “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” I think it also works alongside 1 John 5:13 “that you may know that you have eternal life.” We are given these blessed assurances by God, and we should rejoice in them.

Blessèd Assurance

Blessèd assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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