Assurance of Salvation

1 John 1:5

In 1 John 5, the apostle John tells us how we can know (be assured) that Jesus is our Savior.  Over the years, I have referred back to this chapter a few times when considering assurance of salvation.  

Verse 1 says, "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God..."  This verse reiterates what John told us in John 3:16--that we have eternal life through faith in Christ.  Then verse 13 says, "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."  This verse tells us that John's purpose for writing these things is so that we will know_ (be assured) that we're born again.  

Verse 4 says, "Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith."  If we look to our faith to overcome the world, then we know_ that we're born again.  This doesn't mean that we become perfect and no longer sin.  John explained in 1 John 1:8-10 that we still sin, but Christ covered all of our sins on the cross.  (Note that in verse 18, the Greek word "hamartano" is in the present tense, implying a life characterized by sin rather than an isolated act of sin.)  

Verse 6 says, "It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth."  We know that we are born again because our faith comes from the Holy Spirit who is telling us the truth.  This is the key to assurance:  We know that we're born again because of the assurance that the Holy Spirit give us.  

Verses 9-11 say, "We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.  Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony.  Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.  And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."  

God does not want us to live in doubt.  Even when our faith seems weak, we can be assured of salvation because of act of Christ on the cross, and by the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  

Owen Weber 2012