July 12, 2006 • By Ed Wrather
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. - 1 John 5:13.
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? - 1 Corinthians 3:16.
There is a search underway in McLean County, Illinois and the searchers are very determined. They are using modern technological tools, including, heat-seeking devices and infrared devices to find their quarry. They are setting up traps and gathering more evidence. What or who are they searching for? They are searching for the legendary Sasquatch aka Bigfoot. There has been a sighting in the area of a couple of the creatures, a mother and a baby. There have also been sightings of the legendary creatures across the world in many countries and so the search continues.
There is another search that those who say they are Christians might want to conduct. What kind of search would that be? It would be a search of the heart to determine whether or not the Holy Spirit is residing within. In the last chapter of 1 John the apostle John sums up his reason for writing the letter by saying in, 1 John 5:13, "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God."
This search of the heart is going to involve a tool much different from those being used to search for Bigfoot. The tool we need to use to determine whether we have the Holy Spirit within and therefore have eternal life is prayer. John says that we can have absolute confidence in this tool as he says in 1 John 5:14-15, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him."
The apostle John along with tool of prayer gives us some things to prayerfully consider in our search. Here are some of them:
1. 1 John 2:3-4: "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." If we know Jesus as our Savior, we will have a desire to be obedient to Him. Thankfully, John also tells us, "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world (1 John 2:1-2 - also see 1 John 1:9)." John does make it clear that it is possible that we may sin after coming to know Jesus as our Savior but we should have a desire to live in obedience to Him. When we sin, we should run to our Lord to find His forgiveness and restore our fellowship with Him.
2. 1 John 2:5b-6: "By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." If we have eternal life and the Holy Spirit is living within us, we should be living our lives as Jesus would live. Are you trying to live your life as Jesus would live it?
3. 1 John 2:9-10: "He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him." If the love of God abides within us and we abide in Him we will love as He has loved us. There should be no room for prejudice in the heart of a believer.
4. 1 John 2:15-16: "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world." Is our love for our Lord greater than our love of the world? It should be if we belong to Him.
I pray that your search will be successful because it is God’s will that you know whether or not you have eternal life. The apostle John makes it clear that you can know for sure whether you have been saved, have the Holy Spirit living within you, and are in possession of eternal life. Once you have eternal life by definition it can never be taken away because eternal life means it is forever, everlasting, never ending life.