Tuesday, December 05, 2006

And the witness is this...

One of the first passages of Scripture I memorized as a young Christian comes from today's New Testament reading:
And the witness is this: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his son. He who has the son has the life; he who does not have the son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.
1 John 5.11-13
That passage was, and is, a great comfort to me, especially that last part about being able to know that you have eternal life.

John is very keen on connecting these three together:
  • believing Jesus is the son of God
    If you don't believe Jesus is the son of God, he says, you make God out to be a liar. Ouch!
  • overcoming the world
    Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. - 1 John 5.5

    Now that's good news. Overcoming the world - with its temptations and distractions - that sounds really good to me. Because most of the time I don't feel like I've overcome the world; I feel like I'm just staying afloat. Maybe the thing is to recognize that, as he says, we have indeed overcome the world, and not feel and act defeated?

  • eternal life.
    And as an old friend (who'd object to being characterized that way) said, "Eternal life begins now." The other thing is that eternal life is secure. If you had it only for a couple of years, it wasn't eternal at all, was it?
This is a great chapter in a great book. The next verses talk about how he hears us when we pray according to his will. That is a great thing, too. Imagine if the President (or the Queen, or the Prime Minister) heard you when you asked for something - how cool would that be? Then consider what it means that the Master of the Universe hears us when we pray to him - and how much cooler that is, especially since it's reality, not just a "what if".

And that's some good news.

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