“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:9-13).
We live in an age were everything seems to be in a turmoil. Politics, finance, society and the church have suffered from devastating problems, and people no longer have any respeect for these institutions. But Christians have a certainty that transcends the sinking sand the world finds itself in. While change is all around us, we can rejoice in the fact that we trust in a God who never changes. In John’s first epistle the word “know” is used forty-three times, and at each instance it speaks of our Christian experience with the Living God. We know for sure that God loves us, Christ died for us, and that we have eternal life through Him. Here then is certainty in an uncertain world!
What has been written thus far does not suggest that we will always be certain in everything in life. In fact a little uncertainty is not a bad thing, for we cannot know it all or have all our questions answered, so this is where faith comes in. We simply do not have the capacity to be all-knowing like God. We do not exactly know how He created the universe, yet this gives us a sense of awe as we contemplate the Lord’s majesty and creativity. “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
This kind of uncertainty therefore is not a lack of faith on our part and nor is it a result of not studying the Scripture. Many of the ways and methods God uses to perform His will are beyond our understanding. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33). Even salvation to a large degree is greater than our ability to comprehend. “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). Our inability to fully grasp the fullness of Christ does not cause us to wander about in spiritual confusion, but instead our faith grows in the knowledge that we worship the one who is altogether greater than we could ever hope to imagine.
Some uncertainty is evil though. The Gnostics (those who claimed to have an elevated and secret knowledge of God) only succeeded in confusing people with their confused logic. Those in the church who bought into the teachings of the “faith teachers” soon lost their faith in Christ. Since “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33), the Gnostic’s notions did not come from Him. When secret knowledge (the meaning of the word “occult”) comes in, truth quickly disappears. John called believers to get back to the Lord and His word to overcome such confusion.
We are to accept that what is written in God’s word is absolute truth. While some may think we are naïve to hold to such a view, just look at their lives to see if what they believe makes them better people. Too many readily accept the teachings of men, but forget that the testimony of Scripture is of far greater value. The Law demands that “at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established” (Deuteronomy 19:15), and we have the three witnesses to confirm God’s word, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son” (1 John 5:7-9). We believe that Christ lived, died and rose again exactly the way the Bible states He did. Such a truth sets people free from confusion and uncertainty. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free … If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:32, 36).
God’s love for us is beyond all human measurement. “To know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19). Who of us can fully grasp the love of God, for we cannot even understand why He loved us in the first place? But we know He does! Why are we convinced that the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ on the cross paid the penalty for our sin? The answer is a simple one, we just believe what He said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). How do we know that we are going to Heaven when we die? The answer is the same; Jesus said so! “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3). See how faith destroys trouble and fear!
We can also be assured that God hears and answers our prayers. This does not mean that we will get everything we desire, but we are certain that He never ignores His own. This means that we can be confident of the Lord’s presence every moment of every day, for He said that He would “never leave … nor forsake” (Hebrews 13:5). We can be certain that God always brings the very best into our lives. “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
God is in control, we can be certain of that! He cares for us, loves us and provides for our every need. He is our Creator, Saviour and Friend. Those who have this assurance can face this world of uncertainty with unconquerable faith and confidence in God. All we need is a sure knowledge of Christ.