1 John 5:12-15

In 1 John 5:12-15 John reminds us that God has declared Jesus is the Son and the only way to gain eternal life.  One option, one way, one Savior, one Lord.  God has a simple plan, and it is Jesus.  If we have Jesus, we have eternity. “So whoever has God’s Son has life; whoever does not have his Son, does not have life”.  It is all about Jesus, and living in Jesus is the evidence of eternal life. “I have written this to you who believe in the Son of God so that you may know you have eternal life”. Even if we already believe, John wants us to know that you have eternal life, so we can have this assurance, and so that you may continue to believe.

The need to hear the simple gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ does not end once we embrace the gospel. We benefit by it, are assured by it, and are helped to continue in it as we hear it and embrace it over and over again.  We need to soak in the reality of Jesus.  We can know our future.  We can have confidence in eternity. We can only know this if our salvation rests in Jesus and not in our own performance. If it depends on me, then on a good day I’m saved and on a bad day, I don’t really know. But if it depends on what Jesus has done for me, then I can know.  It is all about Jesus, not one thing that I might do on my own.

But the confidence related to our faith in Christ goes beyond eternity.  “And we are sure of this, that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will”. We can have confidence in Jesus.  It goes beyond eternity to power in prayer. John relates the idea of confidence in Him to prayer.  Guzik tells us that our prayer should include:

  1. God would have us ask in prayer. Much prayer fails because it never asks for anything.
  2. God would have us ask anything in prayer. Not to imply that anything we ask for will be granted, but anything in the sense that we can and should pray about everything. God cares about our whole life, and nothing is too small or too big to pray about.
  3. God would have us ask according to His will. It is easy for us to only be concerned with our will before God, and to have a fatalistic view regarding His will. But God wants us to see and discern His will through His Word, and to pray His will into action.

And if we really know he is listening when we talk to him and make our requests, then we can be sure that he will answer us”. If something is God’s will, why doesn’t He just do it without needing our prayers? Why would He wait to accomplish His will until we pray? Because God has appointed us to work with Him in this world we live in. God wants us to work with Him, and that means bringing our will and agenda into alignment with His. He wants us to care about the things He cares about, and He wants us to care about them enough to pray passionately about them. Prayer is us getting on God’s page, not us trying to make Him join our agenda.  When we get on God’s agenda, prayer is answered!

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