A new believer’s reading of John’s first epistle confirms his possession of eternal life. His faith is in the living Christ, the Son of God (1 John 5:13). Accepting the doctrine of Christ results in accepting His person and being born of God (1 John 1:6-7, & 5:1-5).
Divine life received possesses its recipient. We cannot lose it, and it cannot lose us. This wondrous truth is intended for our joy and is expressed in each chapter in this epistle (Chs. 1:7; 2:24-25; 3:1-3; 4:15-16; 5:18-20).
Three characteristics of the believer’s position in Christ are developed by John as he writes this epistle: light, righteousness and love. Young believer, you are in Him and He is in you (ch. 4:15). Therefore you are in the light as He is in the light (1:5-7); you are righteous as He is righteous (3:7), and you love as He loves, for God is love (4:7-8). His teaching distinguishes what you are and practice from what the antichrist world is and teaches.
This marvelous possession of eternal life introduces you to the joy of fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (1:3). Your joy in practicable fellowship with God and other believers is a preservation from being overcome by the deceitful reasoning of the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life (2:16).
Notice the progression of this fellowship. In chapter 1: 1-9, our course of living corresponds to the light to which we are united. In the sweetness of fellowship with God, we become increasingly sensitive to sin. Confessing sin is essential to the restoration of fellowship with the Father, and we thus learn the greatness of our Advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous.
There is a progression of spiritual maturity in chapter 2:13-17. From young children to young men and to fathers is development in appreciation, strength and knowledge of God. This, as you will notice in your reading, results from appreciation of relationship with the Father, submission to the Word of God and walking in fellowship with Christ.
Dear young believer, yield to the possessing claims of eternal life. It transforms from glory to glory into Christ likeness. Learn of Him, awaiting the moment of which John writes, “When He shall be manifested, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is (3:2).”