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The Apostle John wrote 1 John as objective truth: to encourage Christians that they are justified by faith in Christ and can live with assurance, knowing that they have eternal life and are going to heaven. John states this main truth in 1 John 5:13: "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God in order that you may know that you have eternal life, and this is the confidence which we have before Him."

The Apostle John gives a series of tests of this assurance. These tests were necessary because false teachers were deceiving those in the church. They were teaching a false way of salvation, giving a false assurance of heaven. The Apostle John mentions this threat in 1 John 2:26: "These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you." These teachers deceived others regarding genuine Christianity and who had a legitimate hope of eternal life. They were claiming such things as one could deny his sin and still count on eternal life; one could walk in darkness and still have fellowship with God and one could live a life of disobedience to God and still have eternal life.

In 1 John 2:29 – 3:3, the Apostle John presents 3 marks of genuine salvation:

  • 1) The nature of genuine salvation, which results in practicing righteousness.
  • 2) The source of genuine salvation, which leads to hostility with the world.
  • 3) The completion of genuine salvation, which results in a pure, sanctified life.
  • This passage will help Christians discern falsehood, stand firm against error, separate themselves from lies and deception and practice sacrificial Christianity.