Whoever Has the Son

“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12).

- 1 John 5:11–12

It is clear from any cursory reading of the Gospels that Jesus said and did many things that seemed scandalous to those in His culture. His willingness to dine with known sinners offended many who did not have a right view of their own depravity (Matt. 9:10–13). Even His disciples found it hard to receive His teaching that He must die and rise again (Mark 8:31–33).

Perhaps His most scandalous statement of all is recorded in the gospel according to John. Jesus’ statement that He is “the way, the truth, and the life” and that “no one comes to the Father” except through Him (14:6) instantly offends any who will not submit to His lordship. To those who think their own goodness and righteousness is the way to salvation, this statement instantly demands total allegiance — not to one’s own effort but to the life and teaching of the Christ. In today’s pluralistic and relativistic culture, these words of our Savior are the least likely to be embraced out of any that came from His mouth.

In today’s passage, John brings his section on the testimony concerning the real incarnation of Jesus to a close with a reminder of what comes to us when we believe in the biblical Christ. To those who have the Son, to those who believe in His name, God has given eternal life, and all those who do not have the Son of God do not have life (vv. 11–12).

Today there are many who think they have life, but in denying the biblical testimony about Jesus they reveal they do not have it at all. All those who will receive the testimony of God recorded in sacred Scripture, all those who will trust in Jesus alone, all those who will place their destiny in the hands of the Son, will never perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Being eternal, the life God offers to us in His Son cannot be lost. All those who believe will never be separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:38–39). We will not have a full experience of this life until the age to come. Yet even now it is ours, enabling us to live with hope in this present darkness.

Coram Deo

Our sovereign God has chosen to grant eternal life only to those who will receive His Son. As Reformed evangelicals we are likely to have no problem affirming this teaching, but how many of us neglect sharing the Gospel with lost family, friends, and neighbors and thereby in practice deny that life comes only in His name? If you do not know any non-Christians, meet one and endeavor to share the Gospel with him.

Passages for Further Study

Pss. 16:10
Pss. 18:46
Dan. 12:2
Matt. 19:16–30
1 Tim. 6:12

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