As Christians who have assurance of eternal life, we must be people of strong and biblical convictions. We must know that we are heard by God, liberated from sin, protected from Satan, distinct from the world, and united to Christ. It is my prayer for our churches that, in an unstable world built on shifting sand, we would be people who embrace these immovable convictions built on the rock, the true God, our Lord Jesus Christ.
One of the blessings of being a believer in Jesus Christ is having a certain knowledge of our salvation and eternal destiny. This knowledge, however, must produce certain convictions throughout our Christian life.
We live in a time where people are often weak, wishy-washy, devoid of real convictions, and content to just go with the flow and swim wherever the tide of the world take them. The apostle John rejects all of that in the life of a believer, asserting that if we have eternal life, then we should be strong; we should have convictions; and we should have certainty as a defining mark of our spiritual lives. In 1 John 5, John gives us five convictions that we should manifest as Christians who know that we have eternal life.
The first conviction we should have as believers is that we are heard by God.
Our confidence about our salvation should lead to confidence in our prayers. When we come into the presence of God in prayer – to make requests, to cast our burdens upon Him, to seek His grace and His help in a time of need – we should come with confidence and boldness. This attitude in prayer should be expansive; John tells us we can ask for anything according to God’s will. We have a certain knowledge God hears us because we know that we belong to Him and that He will give us whatever we ask of Him that is according to His will.
The one qualifier is we must ask according to His will, referring to anything revealed in Scripture. If we go through the New Testament, we see hundreds of promises and commands from God we are called to believe and obey – and we should pray that God would strengthen us to believe and obey His Word. The amazing thing is that we can pray all of these things with confidence, knowing God will perform His work in us to answer our prayers.
The second conviction we have as a result of our certainty of salvation is that we are liberated from sin.
If we want to be strong and stand firm in the evil day, then we must be convinced that not only are we saved and have eternal life, but we must also have been liberated from sin. We cannot be the kind of people who, when confronted with sin in their lives, respond, “I can’t help it!” We can help it because we have been born of God. We know we can battle against sin and win because of what God has done for us in Christ.