Knowing That We Are the Children of God
These things have I written unto you … that ye may know that ye have eternal life.
1 John 5:13



The way to test yourself, the way to test any man, is to look below the surface.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

John writes his epistle to those who are already trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants believers to know that they have eternal life. But his word implies that it is possible to be saved and not to be one hundred percent sure that you are saved.
The Westminster Confession of Faith clearly understood Scripture to teach this: “This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties before he be partaker of it” (18.3).

It is a wonderful thing to be a child of God, but we cannot really enjoy the blessing of it unless we are sure that we belong to God’s family. John wants us to know this and in his epistle he sets various tests before us. He shows us that we need cleansing from sin through the blood of Christ. We need to walk with God, to have the love of God in our hearts, to hate sin and to turn from it, to confess sin, and to seek by God’s grace to live a life that is pure and holy. The result will be that we will have assurance.

If we go through the first epistle of John and do what we might call a spiritual health check we will see whether we are the children of God. If we see that we are, that will bring us peace and joy, and John’s purpose in writing his epistle will be fulfilled in our case.

Do you know that you are a child of God? If you aren’t sure, do the check. See if you are trusting in Christ, if you ‘ve repented, and if there are signs of spiritual life in your soul. Remember what Jesus Christ said: “By their fruits ye shall know them.”
Rev. Gordon Ferguson
Daily devotions are from the book “A Word in Season” edited by Dr. Alan Cairns.
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