What does 1 John 5:11 mean?
ESV: And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
NIV: And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
NASB: And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
CSB: And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
NLT: And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
KJV: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
John has already mentioned "testimony" several times in the last few verses. Here he adds a sixth instance, including references to both eternal life from God and life in the Son. These are additional reassurances to the Christian. Using the tools John has provided in this letter, a Christian can be confident in their salvation.
John has already mentioned "eternal life" in 1 John 1:2, 2:25, and 3:15. He will address it again in 1 John 5:13 and 20. Eternal life is central to the changed state of a believer (John 3:16). John's Gospel also mentions "eternal life" on numerous occasions, especially with Nicodemus in chapter 3, and the woman at the well in chapter 4.
John mentions the "Son" 22 times in this letter, repeatedly identifying Jesus' status as God's Son, and His relationship with God the Father. Life is "in his Son" and is not found outside of Jesus, a concept John will further develop in the next verse.
First John 5:6–12 explains some of the evidence that Jesus Christ is, in fact, the Son of God. God's voice at Jesus' baptism, the events of Jesus' death and resurrection, and the internal witness of the Holy Spirit are all described. Because of this multi-part testimony, Christians can have confidence in what they have been taught. Those who reject these facts, in effect, accuse God of lying.
Chapter 5 concludes the book of 1 John, once again emphasizing the supremacy of love in the Christian experience. Those who put their faith in Christ can know, for sure, that they have eternal life. This assurance comes by trusting what we know of the life of Jesus Christ, as well as the evidence of the Holy Spirit within us. Following God's commands, particularly love, results in confidence of our salvation, as well as strength against the temptations of the world.
First John 5 completes the letter by summarizing how Christians can know that they have eternal life. Prior chapters have explained the various signs of ''abiding'' with God, but the key measurement is love. In this final passage, love is once again used as the supreme measurement. In light of the rest of the letter, love for God and love for others is shown to be both a source of confidence and a sign of faith.
First John seems to assume that the reader is familiar with the gospel. Rather than re-state these facts, John is concerned with building confidence in Christian believers. At the same time, his words encourage believers to examine their own lives for signs of their relationship with Christ. This letter also challenges false teachers and their incorrect claims about Jesus. Many themes are shared with the Gospel of John.
Accessed 2/25/2024 9:25:14 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.