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 1st JOHN 5:13







Usually we daily study some short Bible Text, Old Testament or New, a verse at a time.

Rarely have we examined a single one-verse Text.

But that's exactly what we're going to do now, the Lord willing.

Perhaps Scripture's strongest Verse on the assurance of one's salvation, 1st John 5:13 is a "must learn" Passage for the Believer in Christ.

Believers love John's writing anyway.

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the Name of the Son of God." 1st John 5:13

Here is the Bible's final word on assurance, on the Christian knowing for sure he or she is saved by the Grace of God.

Final word?


The first verb in our Text is "have written" and translates "grapho" in its indicative aorist active 1st person singular form. John himself is speaking, under the "inspiration" of the Holy Spirit of course. The "point" of 1st person singular is that one writer is talking, not two or more. Here is personal testimony, from the Disciple whom Jesus loved! Who often leaned upon our Saviour's breast!

The indicative mood tells us that a statement is being made, a fact presented. A question is not being asked. An exclamation is not being made. Nor a command given. A truth needs to be conveyed ... and here it comes!

Active voice, when describing a verb, means that the writer is working without human help! However, this being Scripture, John is writing under the influence of God the Holy Spirit. "Holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" teaches 1st Peter 1:21. While "moved" is a fairly common New Testament verb, appearing nearly 70 times, is is often associated with the sea, a nautical word! It's the exact expression, "phero," a fisherman would have used when the wind caught his boat's sails, propelling it forward!

Active voice, but a passive pen!

But, Brother Bagwell, don't forget you said this verse was God's final word on the subject of assurance.


The "time" sense of our verb here, aorist, means that the action being depicted is one that has now been completed, finished! It is no longer ongoing!

John wrote these words about assurance about 2,000 years ago. Since then, nothing better has been written.

All of God's Word is like this, final and authoritative!

Listen to Jude. In verse 3 of his only chapter he talks about "the faith," which is undoubtedly the Body of Truth we call the Bible, and says that it has been delivered "once." This term is "hapax" in Greek and means "one time only," or even "once for all!"

The Bible is NOT still under construction!

Do not expect a 67th Book! It only has 66 and that number is not fluid! It is solid, unchanging!

Do not look for chapter 1,190! The Scripture's 1,189 do the job!

Even another single verse is not expected! The 31,102 we have are just perfect!

We will further examine this topic of assurance tomorrow, Lord willing.

For now, just BE SURE that we are about to embark on the Bible's, hence God's clearest and most concise statement about KNOWING you are saved, being positive that one possesses eternal life!

Don't miss a lesson!

They will be too valuable!

Your peace of mind and tranquility of heart may be at risk!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




I love it when the Bible writers explicitly tell us to whom they are speaking. James does this often. "Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." Not much doubt about James 4:8.

Jesus too. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites." Matthew 23:25

And now, John.

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God." 1st John 5:13

Saved people are the recipients of this Epistle!

The "you" is the dative plural personal pronoun "humin." We know now John is writing a group of saved folks. Likely, a Church.

The verb "believe" is really a present participle. The ones believing!

It is framed to suggest that this believing continues day after day, hour after hour, really never ceasing!

"Pisteuo" means to trust or confide or have faith in something or someone.

The "Name" of Jesus is Biblically equivalent to His Person, His Character or His very Essence.

Literally it says we have believed "into" His Name! "Eis" is the preposition.

And when Jesus is here called God's "Son," the Greek noun "huios" is employed. It suggests sonship in its dignity and privilege! The honored Son!

But, Brother Bagwell, you were going to preach about Assurance, the assurance of one's salvation.

Yes, I am.

From 1st John 5:13 also.

But the only people who can have real security are those who have already been "believing on the Name of the Son of God!"

Any other security is false, deceptive and eternally dangerous!

John is writing to Believers.

Now it's true that John acknowledges several kinds of Believers, several levels of maturity in Christians I should say.

Back in 1st John 2 he addresses the fathers in the faith, then the young men and lastly the little children. The fathers are old and wise and have proved themselves faithful! Salute them! The young men are strong and agile and can fight the enemy! Encourage them! And the little children are new to the faith, just beginning! Feed them!

But each category, its members, can have security, can KNOW that they are saved!

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God." 1st John 5:13

Come to think of it, a lot of the Bible, the vast majority of it, is written to those who so believe!

Assurance must be preceded by saving faith in Jesus!


If you have not really trusted Jesus, believed on Him to salvation, you will never have real security!

And you certainly do not want some false kind!

That sends people to Hell!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




We have been looking at a Bible Verse that discusses one's assurance, that peace-bringing knowledge that an individual is saved by the Grace of God!

Are you saved?

Do you know so?

Study with us this Lord's Day.

John writes "These things have I written unto you ... that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life." 1st John 5:13

The verb "may know" is in the subjunctive mood. It is not expressing a command. Here it is not even guaranteeing a condition. It is rather expressing a desire John had for these Believers in Christ.

It is possible that they know.

May it be so!

Just as only the Lord Jesus can save ... so can only the Lord Jesus give assurance!

But, Brother Bagwell, how can the things John wrote have any bearing on my knowing that Jesus is my Saviour, my Lord? "These things have I written ... that ye may know."

Because John, all the way through his first Epistle gives us little "hints" or even "tests" on how we can knew we are saved!

For example, in 1st John 2:9 John suggests that if we do not love our brethren, we likely are not saved! So does 1st John 3:14.

In 1st John 2:19 the Spirit tells us that those who do not remain faithful, who do not "continue" in the Faith, perhaps are without Christ anyway.

Then again in 1st John 3:9 we are taught that true born-again Christians do not habitually and delightfully fall into certain sins, never getting victory over them!

Later, in 1st John 4:13, it is the indwelling Holy Spirit Who gives us the full and sure knowledge that we are "in" Christ Jesus. The Spirit "indwells" us the moment we are saved!

1st John 5:4 adds more. The real Believer "overcomes" the world. He does not live a constantly defeated life! Worldliness can be shed! The Love of God the Father dispels it!

Then 1st John 5:12 caps it all! Do you know Jesus? Do you have Him living in your heart, your soul? "He that hath the Son hath Life. And he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." And if Jesus is within a man or woman, the implication is that he or she will KNOW that He is present!

Do not misunderstand me today. These are not things one must do to be saved! Salvation is by Grace through Faith in Jesus. That alone!

These are things that accompany salvation.

Things whereby we may know, may be assured, of our standing in the Lord!

Yes, John, tell us again.

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the Name of the Son of God." 1st John 5:13


                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The first Epistle of John is a great Book of Scripture.

Four times in those five chapters John tells us WHY he is writing.

In 1st John 1:3 we are told that John is declaring these things to us ... "that we may have fellowship." That's fellowship with God the Father, God the Son and then with our fellow Christians!

Remember this purpose ... fellowship. The noun "koinonia" means having things in common, sharing life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Then immediately in 1st John 1:4 the Apostle relates: "And these things we write unto you, that you joy may be full."

Full joy!

When one's joy is "full," in Greek "pleroo," it is to the point of overflowing one's heart and soul and life!

Thirdly, John writes "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not." 1st John 2:1

We are not to practice sin, to sin in the same area habitually, over and over again! "Hamartano" means to miss the mark, to fall short of God's standard. The Bible will keep us from doing so! "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119:11

Then, lastly, and most critical for our study today, comes 1st John 5:13. John wrote so that "we may know that we have eternal life!"

The verb "know" here is a subjunctive perfect of "oida" and means to know for sure. It is a strong desire John has for the Believers under his watchcare. And it is a "knowing" that once begun, once possessed, stays with a man or woman all his or her days!

One little Book, 1st John, can help me have fellowship with God, experience full joy, sin less and less, and be made sure of my salvation!

Talk about something being powerful!

Here's my point today.

Since we've been studying 1st John 5:13 about the assurance of salvation, I have come to believe that these four purposes of 1st John stand together!

Here are three reasons why folks lack the assurance of their salvation.

One, they forego fellowship with God!

Two, they lack joy in their Christi life!

And three, they are carelessly living in sin!

These four "purposes" rise or fall together.

And the converse may be true also, we may lack full joy because we are not sure we are saved!

If a man knew for sure he was born-again, he might deliberately fellowship more with the Father and the Son!

In that case the only answer is ... read and study and memorize and meditate and ponder and master the Book of Scripture we call 1st John!

That will solve all four of these vital issues in the Christian's life!


                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Can a man know for sure that he is saved?

Can a lady be positive about such a thing?

According to the Bible, the answer is a resounding yes!

In 1st John 5:13 the Beloved Disciple gives us one of his reasons for writing that precious little Book. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the Name of the Son of God."


Such knowledge obviously is possible.

Today I want us to study the verb "have" in "have eternal life."

Everyone who has been saved by the Grace of God, washed in the Blood of the Lamb, can say this. "I have eternal life!"

The verb is "echo" as an indicative present active 2nd person plural. It means to receive, to possess, to have and hold, even to wear (usually of clothes) and also to be married to someone!

What a range of meaning!

To KNOW that one has received eternal life, it being a gift from God!

To KNOW one is wearing eternal life, much as Gideon wore the Spirit of the Lord!

To KNOW one possesses eternal life, personally speaking!

To KNOW that one is going to some day marry eternal life, the Lord Jesus Christ! Yes, in the future comes the Wedding ... yet even now, we are engaged!

To KNOW that one is presently holding eternal life, and yet it is holding me much more strongly!

Also remember that "echo" or "have" is a present tense verb. This is not "some day" eternal life! This is "right now" eternal life! "He that hath the Son hath life" wrote John in his Gospel, 3:36 to be exact. If you've got Jesus in your heart, you have eternal life in your soul! This very second!

If you are sure you are saved, joy in that fact all day long!

Never get over it!

It's miraculous that God saved us!

It super-miraculous that He gives us knowledge of that salvation, assurance of our standing with Christ, in Christ!


                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




We have been studying just one verse this week, 1st John 5:13.

But what a great verse it is!

It clearly says that a saved man or woman can KNOW that he or she has eternal life!

What a blessing that truth has been to countless multitudes!

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the Name of the Son of God." 1st John 5:13

My question today is this.

WHY does God give us this sure knowledge concerning eternal life?

Why would God allow a person to know?

And while there are perhaps many answers to that question, one is given in our Text.

" ... That ye may know that ye have eternal life, AND THAT YE MAY BELIEVE ON THE NAME OF THE SON OF GOD."

I've capitalized the answer!

At first this seems a bit puzzling!

Those who believe in Jesus have been given such great assurance ... that they may believe in Jesus?

Yes, that's what John says!

But let's look at the two verbs used for "believe." Both translate the verb "pisteuo." It means "to trust" or "to have faith in" a person or thing, "to have confidence" in him. "To commit" is a common King James translation of "pisteuo" also.

But the first time "pisteuo" is used in our Verse it's a present participle in the active voice. The second time it is a subjunctive verb in the present "tense" active voice. Generally speaking in linguistic syntax, Greek included, a full verb in a sentence has more strength and power than a supporting participle. In other words, the second "believe" is even stronger than the first "believe!"

Here's what John is teaching us.

We, the ones believing in Jesus right now, should desire assurance of our salvation. That's an assurance that is readily available from God Himself! The result of such assurance is that we will even more, even further, more strongly believe in Jesus as the Son of God!

The second "believe," being a subjunctive, suggests that this condition, this deeper faith and trust and confidence in Jesus as the Son of God is a desirable condition in which to live! And a possible one too! It's John's goal for his readers! And God's goal for His children!

It's WHY He gives assurance in the first place too!

God does not go around handing out big packages of "assurance" so some so-called Christian can get lazy and say, "Well at least I know I'm going to Heaven! I'll be at the mountains for the next two Sundays and at the coast for the next three! Church will just have to wait! God's Grace is so good!"

Folks who say they have "ultra assurance" often are the most carnal in the Church. Well, hear me today. They may be lacking some things, real Holy Spirit assurance being just one of them! Maybe even salvation!

Neither does God give us assurance so we can win theological arguments!

Or just sleep better at night!

How many people have falsely claimed assurance and consequently become slack in their praying or Bible study or other Christian duties?

If so, something is wrong!

He gave us assurance to deepen our faith!

He metes out such a blessing, knowing one is born again, to give us a closer walk with Jesus!

To sweeten the fellowship!

That, in an ever deepening way, we may find Jesus sweeter and sweeter and more and more our Rock and Deliverer and Friend and High Priest ... every day of our lives, every hour, every minute!

Lord let it be so!

"These thing have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the Name of the Son of God."

The paradigm looks something like this ...

Belief in Jesus ... then a God-given Assurance ... then even deeper BELIEF in Jesus!

It's all about our dear Lord!


                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




If someone should ask me to name the single greatest factor concerning the assurance of one's salvation, without hesitation I would respond, "The witness of the Holy Spirit!"

Here's what the Bible says: "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Romans 8:16

In other words, when a man or woman is truly saved, and the Holy Spirit of God indwells them, the residing Holy Spirit's very Presence validates one's salvation!

Yes, when one is really saved, the Holy Spirit Who convicted you in the first place transforms you into a temple, your body! He then "moves in" to live for the rest of your days! See 1st Corinthians 6:19-20.

If He is "in" you ... you will know it!

That little pronoun "itself" in Romans 8:16, "the Spirit itself," is spelled "auto" in Greek. One might say that when the Holy Spirit comes to live, the new Believer has an "auto-witness" living inside his very being! It's automatic! You will know, or at least begin to know that you are saved.

In Galatians 4:6 it is taught: "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."


The Holy Spirit, upon your exercising saving faith in Jesus, comes into your heart to reside, screaming literally ... "God is your Father! God is your Daddy! You are in the family!"

He imparts assurance!

1st John 4:14 makes it even more definite. "Hereby we know that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit." The opening word, "hereby," translates "en outos" in Greek and means "in this one thing!"  One way to know, the best way, the indwelling Holy Spirit!

Let me go one step further.

As the Holy Spirit abides within your spirit, your heart, gradually transforming you into a mature Christian, He manifests Himself as a Person of the Godhead. The Third Person of the Trinity. What I'm saying is this: The Holy Spirit is God! He has divine personality too!

He can, by some open and blatant sin in our lives as well as by some hidden and covert sin in our lives, be "hurt" or "grieved" as we fail to obey the Lord! Paul commands us in Ephesians 4:30 to "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby we are sealed unto the day of redemption." That verb "grieve" is "lupeo" and means "to hurt" the feelings of someone or "to make sorrowful" or "to cause grief."

Christian, how do you feel, how do you respond, when you sin?

Can you sin flippantly?


Without thought or remorse?

Then, you may not be saved!

But when you err, and the Holy Spirit within you is hurt and pained and offended ... you will immediately know it!

Your sweet communion with Him will be broken!

All I'm saying now is this ... this holy process is another proof one is saved! The Holy Spirit can't be "offended" in your heart if He is not living there in the first place!

Again, the Holy Spirit is the Agent of Assurance!

Paul speaks these words too. "Quench not the Spirit." 1st Thessalonians 5:19

This verb "quench" compares the Holy Spirit to a flame of fire. At times He is a veritable blow torch! At other times His sweetness and direction are like a single small candle!

Be careful, warns Paul!

The winds of the world, the breezes of false doctrine or the gusts of sensuality or whatever else attacks, can cause that sweet flame of God's Spirit to "flicker!" Do not allow it to be extinguished! "Sbennumi" means just that too, "to let go out" as a fire, "to extinguish" like a flame, or "to quench" as we have here.

If ever, hopefully not, but if ever that happens and you know your sins have affected your fellowship with the Holy Spirit, stop and confess and repent and renew your communion with Him immediately!

But even with all that happening, don't you see it?

The whole Biblically described experience is proof that you art indeed Spirit indwelt! Saved! A child of God!

I repeat. The Holy Spirit is God's major Agent of Assurance!

Are you saved?

Do you know?

If not, I can't really help you much. I can only point you to Scripture.

The rest you have to work out with the Holy Spirit Himself! Of course He will immediately point you to Jesus!

Faith in Jesus!


The Holy Spirit!


"These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the Name of the Son of God." 1st John 5:13


                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Now we have one last Lesson on the subject of Assurance, knowing that one is saved.

We have been studying 1st John 5:13. It is undoubtedly one of the Bible's greatest verses concerning Assurance.

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the Name of the Son of God."

This great verse alone shows that a Believer can know for sure he is saved. In fact, it presents such assurance as normal, not exceptional.

But Scripture presents at least one more great "proof" of one's salvation.

However this is not a positive "proof," but a negative one!

Here goes!

Have you ever experienced God's Hand of discipline in your life?

Has God ever chastened you?

Listen to the writer of Hebrews, Paul I think, as he informs us: "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth." Hebrews 12:6

Now that verb "chasteneth" certainly can mean "to punish," as when a child does wrong and needs correction. But more so "paideuo" means "to train a child." God, our Heavenly Father is "child training" us, even in the hard times of life!

Back to Hebrews: "If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as sons."

See? God's Hand of chastening is PROOF you are saved, his son or daughter!

Now to Hebrews 12:8. "But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."

If God has never never whipped you ... in all the years you say you've been saved ... here's some bad news. Scripture says you are not really one of the Lord's children! He "child trains" His sons and daughters, every one of them!

Now, admittedly, this chastening is not pleasant. "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous." So says Hebrews 12:11. That word "grievous" is spelled "lupe" and means sorrowful or heavy or even painful.

It's true!

When God "whips," it hurts!

But here's the good thing. Though it hurts, it produces peace, sweet peace.

How so?

It at least gives you ample evidence that you are indeed saved!

God does not take time disciplining someone else's children!

Blessed whippings!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





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