1 John 5

I Know That I Know

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13

How do you explain faith? I mean tangible faith that says, “I know that I know.” Once, when I was feverish with strep throat, I knew God would heal me if I called the elders to pray. Since they were meeting next door, I called them. While I was on the phone, my fever broke—I knew I was healed. When an elder came, we praised God together.

John described many things we can know in chapter 5. We can know we love God’s children because we love and obey God (v. 2). We have eternal life because we believe in the name of the Son of God (v. 13). “If we ask anything according to God’s will, He hears us” (v. 14), and “we have what we asked of Him” (v. 15). We can know that as children of God we won’t “continue to sin” and that the “evil one cannot harm” us (v. 18). We have a new spiritual Father—we’re “children of God,’ amidst a world under the control of the evil one as we once were (v. 19).

How did we receive this knowledge? John spoke of three witnesses: the Spirit, the water, and the blood (vv. 7-12). When we believed, we received the Holy Spirit. In fact, the Spirit worked inside us before we were even aware of His presence: He enabled us to see that Jesus Christ is the Son of God so we could receive new life (John 3).

We are not the same people we used to be. We may struggle and feel like the same old sinners, but something has been planted inside us, watered by the Living Water Jesus Christ gave us (John 4). The blood He shed on the cross for our sins secured our new lives. If we have moments of doubt or lapses of sin, we need only come for forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9).

Do our hearts burn within us like the hearts of the two Emmaus Road disciples (Luke 24:32)? How will our daily lives change as we act on the knowledge we have received and walk in God’s truth and love?


Why aren’t Jesus’ commands “burdensome” (v. 3)? What image is used in Matthew 11:28-30? Is it easy for you to obey His commands?

Compare 1 John 5:13 and John 20:30-31. What is the difference between the audience for whom John wrote his gospel and the audience for whom he wrote his epistle?

Using 1 John 5, what character traits would you expect to find in a believer? What would you say to people whose lives do not match what they say they believe?

Do you remember a time you knew God answered a specific prayer or the Spirit comforted your grieving heart? Share that experience with someone this week.

Nancy J. Baker

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