“If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 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.” - 1 John 5:9-13
In my almost fifty years of living, I have never experienced a presidential election like the one in 2020. While I am incredibly proud to be an American and grateful for all the sacrifices that have been made so that we can enjoy life and liberty, I was dumbfounded and even embarrassed by the presidential debates. Grown men running for the highest office in our country, probably the highest office in the world, were acting like complete idiots. During the debates, they interrupted each other constantly and spent most of their time hurling insults and accusations. Throughout the campaign, there was a sense that the candidates did not just disagree, but believed their opponent was lying. What could be more antithetical to leadership than deceit and untrustworthiness?
Clearly, the Apostle John was not writing with our 2020 presidential election in mind; however, he too addressed the issue of truth. There were many voices clamoring for attention in John’s day, just as there are today. Some were trustworthy and true, and some were not. John wrote to clarify which voices and words his readers could believe. The testimony of God was true as it was written in the Old Testament scriptures, and the testimony of God was true in the person of Jesus Christ. In his earthly ministry, Jesus spoke perfect truth about himself, about his Father, and about the Kingdom of God. Jesus’ testimony was not only true, but it offered the way to eternal life. To know and to believe in the salvific work of Jesus was to have that eternal life.
That truth was being challenged by the lies of the enemy. Even within the church of John’s day, there were false teachings about Jesus. John referred to the people who spread those lies as the antichrists. Some claimed that Jesus was not truly the Son of God, but merely a great teacher. Some said that he was the Son of God, but he did not really live as a man. Lies abounded, but John wrote to help the children of God discern between the truth and lies. Never one to mince words, John charged those who denied the truth of Jesus Christ with calling God a liar.
Take a moment to ponder these words. The Author of life, the Author of truth, the one who is himself Truth - how could one call him a liar? The sovereign and perfect God could not lie, as he could never be untrue to himself. John wanted his readers to feel the weight of their words and beliefs about God. Were they inadvertently calling God a liar? This was a serious charge!
John knew the truth. Since his time with Jesus, he had devoted his life to teaching that truth. To know and believe in Jesus Christ was the way to know and believe in the Father. To know and believe in Jesus and his Father was the way to eternal life with them. Truth or lies; life or death. John would say there is no middle ground. Either God spoke perfect truth in his Son or Jesus Christ was a liar.
Unlike the Presidential campaign of 2020, the words of the Lord are always trustworthy and true. The great news is that our sovereign God saw that debate, and he has a plan for Biden, Trump, and for the United States of America. While man will fail us, the Lord never will! May we stake our lives on his perfect truth today.
Reflect & Respond:
Are you living into this perfect truth? Eternal life is not just a promise for the future; it is also about the quality of our lives today. Ask the Lord if surrendering more deeply to his truth would enhance your life. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our new six-week Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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