Acts 1:15-17, 21-29
1 John 5:9-13
John 17: 11-19
1 John 5:9-13
If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
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 section of I John draws on themes that are familiar to us from the Gospel of John — witness, faith, and eternal life.
We are called as Witnesses….but we have other witnesses as well including God the Father. Thats pretty good company to have.
The way in which believers lay claim to their part in this personal relationship is through faith (cf. John 3:16, 20:31).
Often in the New Testament, “faith” is primarily a matter of trust or commitment. But in John’s Gospel and in this epistle, faith is primarily a matter of “belief.” However, it is not so much “belief that” as it is “belief in;” belief in Jesus as God’s own Son.
At all Souls, we appropriately rejoice in the gifts of an inclusive church and an open table.
And yet this epistle, like John’s Gospel, reminds us that right belief does matter for full life.
In the Fourth Gospel and in this epistle, eternal life does not refer exclusively to life beyond the grave (cf. John 3:16, 6:54). Eternal life is full life, now and in the world to come.
When the epistle says that those who “believe in the name of the Son of God may know that they have eternal life” (1 John 5:13), it does not mean that the faithful believe now and have eternal life later. Those who believe know that they have eternal life because the belief, the faith, is itself eternal life, real life
*Adopted and edited from commentary by David Barlett