“. . .that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3 ESV)
What is the basis of your salvation?
If you answer that question with anything other than “The Lord Jesus Christ,” your heart may need to be recalibrated. Even if the answer seems obvious, we can all benefit from having our eyes adjusted so that we would focus less on ourselves and more on the One who finished the work of our salvation.
The First Epistle of John is primarily written to Christians so that they may know that they have eternal life (1 John 5:13). Assurance of salvation is the main theme. Many are familiar with the evidences that the Apostle John gives us in order that we may see God’s work in our lives and conclude with more certainty that we are indeed found in Christ. Some of those evidences include confessing the right doctrine, walking as Jesus walked, and loving the brethren. However, as with everything our sinful hands touch, we can still have a deficient view of assurance if we only focus on looking for the changes that salvation has brought into our lives. To avoid this abuse, we should start where the epistle divinely starts: with the person and work of Jesus Christ.
When you doubt, feel discouraged, or “don’t feel saved”, start from the beginning. Before looking to yourself, look to Christ. Let the Word of God written point you to the Word of God Living as you read the opening to John’s epistle and fix your eyes on the Son of God who “was from the beginning”, that is, eternal, and yet “made manifest” so that he can be “seen with our eyes” and “touched with our hands” and then proclaimed in the world!
Our study in First John will provide us assurance in both objective and subjective ways. First, our salvation is rooted in the objective reality that the Son of God became incarnate, performed miracles, obeyed the Father, died on the cross, and rose victorious from the grave. Then, our assurance is corroborated by the subjective witness of our growth in holiness. While we may flounder from time to time regarding our subjectivity, the objective reality will never change – and that is why we begin there!
Believer, thank God that our salvation isn’t dependent on us! John writes these things to bring about joy (verse 4). There is great joy in knowing that the Son of God is perfect and we’re saved by his death and resurrection. There is great joy in knowing that the message of the gospel has been proclaimed for 2,000 years and counting and nothing can stop it. There is great joy in knowing that our identity is first and foremost in the Lord Jesus Christ. May he receive the honor as we believe on him and proclaim him in this world.