Do you ever struggle with assurance? Assurance as in the idea of how do we know for sure that we are saved. I know in my own walk with the Lord I have had times in my life where I really felt like I was connected with Jesus and other times when I felt like I was living in direct rebellion to what I knew to be true. I would convince myself that I was not saved because of the way I was acting. One of the most widely known verses in the Bible is John 3:16. It describes salvation coming in the form of believing in Jesus. It does not go into great detail of what it means to believe in Jesus, fortunately John wrote an additional letter to the early Christians that clarifies what believing in Jesus really means. What is great is that his clarification uses the same simple and accessible language that he used in his Gospel. Look at 1 John 5:1,
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.
He John is refining his definition of belief in Jesus. He is telling us that we have to believe that was the Christ. In this he means that we have to understand that Jesus died for our sins so that we could be reconciled back to God. He describes the result of this reconciliation in 1 John 5:13,
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.
See how the result of reconciliation with God is eternal life. This idea echoes the declaration of John 3:16 where John wrote, “that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
What does this mean for us as disciples? It means that we can approach our faith and our following of Jesus from a simple starting point. If we believe in Jesus as savior we can be assured of eternal life. We can also confidently approach God and fellowship with Him. This is a huge reality that we sometimes miss out on because we are worried about our salvation. The big take away for me is while there are definitely deeper things that we experience as disciples as the Spirit sanctifies and transforms us, the seed of faith is simple belief in Jesus as savior and if you find that seed in you be confident of your salvation.
Heavenly Father, thank you God for the assurance of your salvation. Father, help us walk in the reality of your love and give us a greater revelation of Jesus as the Christ. Affirm our belief in him as our savior. I pray for those not in your family today. Plant the seed of belief in them. Give us a boldness to testify about Jesus. In Jesus name, Amen.