Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. 1 John 5:1
It was a natural step for Brett to attend a Christian college and study the Bible. After all, he’d been around people who knew Jesus his whole life—at home, at school, at church. He was even gearing his college studies toward a career in “Christian work.”
But at age twenty-one, as he sat with the small congregation in an old country church and listened to a pastor preach from 1 John, he made a startling discovery. He realized that he was depending on knowledge and the trappings of religion and that he’d never truly received salvation in Jesus. He felt that Christ was tugging at his heart that day with a sobering message: “You don’t know Me!”
The apostle John’s message is clear: “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (1 John 5:1). We can “overcome the world,” as John puts it (v. 4), only by belief in Jesus. Not knowledge about Him, but deep, sincere faith—demonstrated by our belief in what He did for us on the cross. That day, Brett placed his faith in Christ alone.
Today, Brett’s deep passion for Jesus and His salvation are no secret. It comes through loud and clear every time he steps behind the pulpit and preaches as a pastor—my pastor.
“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life” (vv. 11–12). For all who have found life in Jesus, what a comforting reminder this is!
What’s your story of faith? What led you to understand you needed Jesus?
Jesus, thank You for the gift of salvation and for those who pointed me to faith in You.
The apostle John’s letters (1, 2, and 3 John) are considered brief—particularly in comparison to Paul’s lengthy epistles and other letters, such as Romans and 1 Corinthians. However, even 3 John—the shortest of the biblical letters—would’ve been considered long by ancient standards. Scholar Randy Richards wrote: “The average letter in the first century was 87 words.” Meanwhile 3 John has 219 words in the Greek and is the shortest New Testament letter. First John—at 2,517 words—is still quite brief yet much longer than the typical first-century letter. That common brevity in ancient letters was due to several factors including the cost of hiring a secretary, the cost of papyrus and ink (which had to be handmade), and the difficulty in getting letters to their destinations.