By Stan Brown
I John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
This verse sums up everything John has said as we understand who we are (we are in Him), who He is and what He has done. In verse eighteen the first we know statement declared that as believers we are given a regenerate inward self that cannot be touched by the evil one. In verse nineteen the second we know statement declares that we are of God which is completely separate from the world system. These two statements provide the foundation for the third we know statement which says that we have been given a spiritual understanding that makes it possible to know the One who is true.
We know that the Son of God has come. He is the One who has come to destroy the works of the devil (3:8). His coming is that which gives us the ability to be a believer who abides in him, and he in God. (4:15). His coming gives us an opportunity to be an overcomer. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (5:5). He is the One who provides for us eternal life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life (5:13). His coming has given us an understanding; that is an ability to think with spiritual comprehension that was previously nonexistent. Simply stated the coming of the Son has provided for us eternal life that includes an ability to understand the sphere in which God exists as opposed to the domain of the world. There is no other place where true understanding can exist but in the domain of the One who is true.
We know that we are given the ability to both know and abide in God and His Son Jesus Christ. These ideas have been at the heart of John’s message all along. He cares deeply about those he describes as beloved and his little children. He desires that we not only spend eternity with God but also know Him and abide in Him right now. It should be noted here that this verse contains one or the strongest statements in Scripture concerning the deity of Jesus.
The coming of the Son of God has given us the ability to know the One who is true; that is the Father and the Son. Thus we are given the ability to understand truth. There is no other way to comprehend that which is true, indeed the One who is true. This is the One whom John described early in his Gospel. John 1:9-13 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
John ends this verse with the words eternal life which take us back to the beginning of this epistle, we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us (1:2). Therefore, let us take full advantage of the understanding we are given concerning eternal life. Let us walk in the light in fellowship with Him. Let us keep His commandments. Let us love one another. Let us be God’s message of love to the world.
Although there is one verse remaining in this epistle, the three we know statements provide a fitting conclusion to John’s epistle.