In today’s religious climate, I think 1 John is one of the most important, certainly one of the most helpful, epistles. John explains exactly why he has written the letter: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (5:13). The matter of assurance of salvation seems to be at the top of church members’ lists of questions, i.e., “How can I know that I am saved?” John answers that question.
But before John answers that question, he reminds his readers that our salvation is possible only because of another, Jesus Christ. If we are truly Christians, “we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1:8). And, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1:9). And, “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins” (2:1,2). Before I ask, “Am I saved?” I need to ask, “How am I saved?” or “In whom am I saved?” And the answer? Jesus!
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest Name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go. -- Luther B. Bridgers (1910)