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 1 John 5. We can know we love God’s children because we love and obey God (1 John 5:2). We can know  that we have eternal life because we believe in the name of the Son of God. We can know “if we ask anything according to God’s will, he hears us” (v. 14), and we can know “we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:13-15). We can know that as children of God we won’t “continue to live in sin” and that the “evil one cannot harm” us. We can know that we have a new spiritual Father—we’re “children of God” in a world under the control of the evil one  (1 John 5:18-19).

How did we receive this knowledge? John spoke of three witnesses: the Spirit, the water, and the blood (1 John 5:7-8). When we believed, we received the Holy Spirit. In fact, the Spirit worked inside us before we wereaware of his presence: he enabled us to see that Jesus Christ is the Son of God so we could receive new life (John 3:1-21).

The new life was planted inside us, watered by the Living Water Jesus Christ gave us (John 4:1-26).  Another “water” is baptism, which we do as an outward sign of the new birth we’ve received internally. And the blood Jesus shed on the cross for our sins secured our new lives.

We are not the same people we used to be. We may struggle and feel like the same old sinners and have moments of doubt or lapses of sin. But we need only come to Jesus for forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9).

How will your daily life change as you act on the knowledge you have received and walk in God’s truth and love? May your heart burn within like the hearts of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32).


Why aren’t Jesus’s commands “burdensome” (1 John 5:3-5)? What image is used in Matthew 11:28-30? Is it easy for you to obey his commands? Why?

Using 1 John 5, what character traits would you expect to find in a believer? Does your life match what you say you 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

This devotion is part of our series on 1 John.

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