Summary: John tells us three reasons a believer can know that if they are saved, they are saved eternally.
1 John is a book of Christian certainty. John let's us know that God wants us to be fully assured of our salvation. Through His Word, God provides assurance to those who have received Christ that they are truly His (1 John 5:13 (quickview) ). As the Spirit of God affirms through the Word of God the validity of one's salvation, assurance comes. Believers can have a "know so" salvation. Over and over we have seen John use the word "know." In concluding this letter, John shares with us a three-fold assurance that salvation is eternally ours.
John tells us that if we are saved, we can know we are saved eternally:
1. By virtue of the power given us - v. 18
John says that one of the evidences that we are saved is that there is a difference in our attitude toward sin.
As Dr. Adrian Rogers put it, "The unbeliever will leap into sin and when he does, he will love it; but the true believer, when he lapses into sin, will loath it."
One who is truly saved will desire to please the Lord. On occasion, however, he will fail to do so. But when failure to live a pure life comes, does the Christian lose his salvation? John says, "No!"
At first, verse 18 may give one the impression that the believer is responsible for keeping himself saved. But upon further consideration, we discover that when John speaks about "the one who was born of God," he is referring to Jesus. He is telling us that Jesus, the one who was born of God, keeps us safe by His power from the evil one.
When it comes to jokes, there are preacher jokes, lawyer jokes, and of course, heaven jokes. One such joke tells of a man who dies and goes to heaven. Of course, St. Peter meets him at the pearly gates.
Peter says, "Here's how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you've done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in." "Okay," the man says, "l was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart."
"That's wonderful," says Peter, "that's worth three points!" "Three points?" he says. "Well, I attended church all my life and
supported its ministry with my tithe and service."
"Terrific!" says Peter, "that's certainly worth a point." "One point? Golly. How about this: I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans." "Fantastic, that's good for two more points," Peter says.
"TWO POINTS!!" the man cries, "At this rate the only way I get into heaven is by the grace of God!" Peter says, "Come on in!"
We are no more able to keep ourselves saved than we are able to save ourselves in the first place. It is only by Christ's power that we are saved and it is only by His power that we are kept.