That you may know that you have eternal life - by Tom Waters

1 John 5:6-13

How do we know that we're saved and will live for eternity in heaven? Perhaps you have sometimes worried that you might not. This passage has an encouragement that we can be confident in the saving work of Christ.

In verse 8, John describes three ways that 'testify' - the Spirit and the water and the blood. Verse 11 tells us that, "this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son." Let's briefly look at the three ways that testify.

The blood
If you have accepted Christ, you can be confident that you have eternal life, because Jesus has paid the sacrifice. It's not about whether you have "worked hard enough" or even "been good enough", because Jesus Christ has done enough. His death is sufficient for our salvation: job done.

The water
'The water' seems to refer to baptism. When we're baptised, we signify the washing off our sins and thereby being made fit for heaven. Just as the blood of Jesus testifies to him paying the price for our sin, baptism testifies to the fact that we now are free of sin.

The Spirit
As John says in verse 7, the Spirit is truth. When we accept the Holy Spirit, He works in us to make us confident of the truth of Christianity. This doesn't happen overnight. But when we pray, read the Bible, and hear it preached, the Holy Spirit helps to make us confident that we are saved. Sometimes you might not feel that confident, and every Christian has ups and downs in their faith. I confess to not knowing any quick fix to this; but the lesson from this passage is to look to the saving blood of Christ, which has wiped our sins clean.