“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” (1 John 5:13 NASB)
It is asserted by the proponents of the “Once Saved, Always Saved” doctrine that 1 John 5:13, among other scriptures, proves this belief to be Scriptural. As is very typical of all false doctrines, this scripture is taken out of context, and used in a way that John never intended.
John’s referencing statement, “These things I have written to you” refers to John’s entire letter. Up to this point in his letter, John has written 96 out of 105 verses, and verse 13 begins John’s conclusion and summary of the letter. John, in this letter, makes at least 18 statements of conditions that must be met so that a Christian “may know that [he/she] has eternal life”. John’s statement at 1 John 5:13 assumes the Christian has met all of God’s standards to be in the right relationship with the Father through his Son, Jesus Christ, and will continue to meet God’s standards. Therefore, the Christian can be content in his assurance of God’s love and ultimate reward for him/her.
- “If we are living in the light, as God is in the light”—1:7 NLT
- “If we confess our sins to him”—1:9 NLT
- “If we obey his commandments”—2:3 NLT; 5:3
- “Do not love the world”—2:15
- “Remain faithful to what you have been taught”—2:24
- “Remain in fellowship with Christ . . . and not shrink back from him”—2:28 NLT
- “Will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure”—3:3 NLT
- “Those who know God listen to us” [the Apostles]—4:6 NLT
- “Declare that Jesus is the Son of God”—4:15 NLT
- “Must also love their fellow believers”—4:21 NLT
- “Win this battle with the world . . . believe that Jesus is the Son of God”—5:5
- “God’s children do not make a practice of sinning”—5:18; 3:6