The Apostle John liked to use the word testimony, and he noted that no one’s testimony carries more weight than God’s. So listen to the divine testimony about our salvation:
And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son . Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (I John 5:11-12, ESV)
Four truths about salvation stand out in this text, seen in red above.
1) It’s a gift. That means, it is freely given and I’ve done nothing to merit it. My money didn’t buy it and my good works didn’t earn it. This is what makes the Gospel so counter cultural: I am powerless to gain it, save humbly receiving it. No religion or philosophy teaches this; somehow and on some level…it’s up to me and my efforts…my goodness…my performance.
2) Eternal life. Literally, “belonging to the age to come.” The gift of salvation is life that will last forever, never to end. But Jesus further qualified this in John 17:3 by stating that eternal life is to know Jesus. It’s a quality of life as well as quantity. Salvation is life to the full: here and now, and, throughout eternity. It is knowing Christ and enjoying Him forever.
3) “In Christ”. That’s a phrase we see all over the New Testament. Christ suffered for my sin, and God chooses to deal with me as He deals with Jesus. Christ reconciled me, a sinner, to God. Worthy of condemnation, I am now an heir of God Himself. And I am a co-heir with Jesus Christ, reigning with Him even now. I am complete in Him and lack nothing. It is all because of Christ, and only through Him; I did nothing to deserve this!
4) The sharp divide. It is common these days to shun exclusivity: “I’m OK if you’re OK, do whatever works for you” That’s not the message of the Bible. Jesus Christ is not a suggested path; He is the way, the truth and the life and apart from Him nobody comes to God. He is the sinless Savior, offered up for sinners to bring us near to God, who is incomprehensibly holy and just. If my trust and confidence is in Him alone, God’s TESTIMONY is that I possess eternal life. If I do not have Jesus, I do not have life. Period.
That’s the testimony about my salvation. The question is will I choose to truly believe this today, and rejoice in it? Feelings change from day to day, and we cannot stand on other’s opinion of us. What matters is what God says: as John said elsewhere, God is greater than our hearts, even when our hearts condemn us.