THE LIFE OF GOD IN US
Lord, I ask for a heart fixed on You in this challenging world.
Read 1 John 5:1–12
Faith in the Incarnate Son of God
5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
a 1 John 5:8 Late manuscripts of the Vulgate testify in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. 8 And there are three that testify on earth: the (not found in any Greek manuscript before the fourteenth century)
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectHave you ever struggled to live a godly life?
Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley recommended a book to them, which Charles in turn gave to his friend George Whitefield. These Christian pioneers were to bring much transformation to church and society in eighteenth-century Britain. The book was The Life of God in the Soul of Man.(Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man, 1677).
This book’s stirring title, though of its time, succinctly summarizes the new birth, or, as John calls it, being “born of God” (1).
What difference does faith in Christ make? God’s life is in our life, which enables us to love God and His children. His life in us gives us strength and a desire to keep His commands (1–3). This life of God in us is eternal life, and comes through His Son, Jesus (11): “Whoever has the Son has life” (12). It also means victory! We can overcome the downward drag of the world, if we continue to exercise faith in Jesus Christ (4, 5), who is, of course, the Ultimate Victor.
No wonder John keeps pointing us to the historical Jesus. “The water and the blood” (6, 7) may refer to His baptism and death; these events witness powerfully that He is God’s Son come among us as our Savior. God witnesses to us in many ways about His Son. We need to follow the evidence found in Him.
Do you find yourself trying to follow God’s commands by your own strength? Take time to surrender your will to God today so that His Spirit can work within you to desire and to live a holy life.
Spirit of God, I need You. I cannot live this life on my own. I need your supernatural strength flowing through me today.