March 11, 2016
I John 5:9, 11-13
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Bible teacher and author James McCarthy shares this story. He and his new bride attended a Bible conference a month after they were married.
The speaker reviewed the gospel and encouraged all present that if they had
any doubts as to whether or not they were right with God to deal with it right
then and there. He spoke about the benefits of trusting Jesus as Lord and
Savior in a formal manner and told of a farmer who for years had struggled
with doubts as to whether or not he was truly saved. This farmer knew what
the Bible said about salvation and the promises God made to anyone who
believed in Jesus for salvation. Nevertheless, over and over he would profess
faith in Christ, worried that God hadn’t heard him or that he hadn’t done it
correctly. Recognizing that his struggle was a spiritual one, he carved the
date into a wooden stake and drove it into the ground behind his house. He
knelt beside it and placed his trust in Christ one last time. Thereafter, when-
ever troubled about his salvation, he would walk outside, point at the stake,
and tell Satan, “Right there on that date I trusted Christ.” His doubts soon
Such doubts about salvation are a common occurrence, especially for Christians young in the faith. I had the same doubts the first few years of my faith journey. I accepted Jesus into my heart and life when I was 19. I did not know the ‘correct’ way to do it, because I did not grow up in Christian home, and didn’t have much of a church background. I only knew three things:
Jesus is real! Jesus is alive! And Jesus loves me!
And I fell head over heels in love with Him! Looking back – and after I understood God’s plan of salvation as put forth plainly in the Bible – that was my salvation experience!
But I struggled with doubts those early years. I finally came to realize and believe what the Bible plainly tells us in John 5:9 and 11 through 13:
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater….And this
is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His
Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God
does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the
name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life….
And, much like the farmer, I drove a stake of belief that God meant what He said! Now, it was not a physical stake with the date I accepted Christ carved into it. I don’t even remember the exact date. It was sometime in the summer or fall of 1965, at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Is there any clearer statement than what John wrote in the fifth chapter of his first epistle? And he kept it so simple that even those worriers who are often given to doubt can Drive A Stake and lay this issue to rest! Look again at verse 13: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life….” Here are a couple of observation concerning what John is saying about believing:
• “…the Son of God…” – Jesus is the Son of God, God the Son – co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit – God, Three in One, the Trinity! This is important because Jesus said in John 8:24 (International Standard Version), “…unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” He is telling us that, according to Exodus 3:14, He is the very God of the Old Testament – of all ages!
• “…in…the Son of God…” – The meaning is “…into…the Son of God…” It is so much more than just a nodding acquaintance. It is putting our faith – our very life – into Jesus Christ!
• “… in the name of the Son of God…” – The name of a person in Bible times often referred to the character of that person – who that person was. The name and title of the Lord – Jesus Christ means “Jehovah saves by His chosen and anointed One”! The name of Jesus refers to the total person of Jesus!
There are only two options put forth in this Scripture – both in verse 12. And there is no middle ground!
• “He who has the Son has [eternal] life…” – as a present possession the moment you receive Him as your Savior! (See John 5:24; Colossians 1:13, 14).
• “…he who does not have the Son of God does not have [eternal] life.” What you have without Jesus as your Savior is a wasted life now and eternal hell! (See John 10:10; Revelation 20:15).
So receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior! Then Drive A Stake with the date carved on it! Each time the devil tries to make you doubt your salvation, point to that stake as proof of the fact that you have the Son of God in your heart, and eternal life in Him!