Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:12
This verse makes a bold claim of where true life is found. The 1 John 5:12 meaning makes it abundantly clear that life is found in Jesus alone.
If you are following Jesus that probably doesn’t sound all that revolutionary. It’s something we know. But this verse is important for all Christians to know because we are surrounded by voices claiming something else. This is a reminder we all need.
We are going to look at this claim that “whoever has the Son has life” and see how it applies to our lives today.
The Context Of 1 John 5:12
1 John was likely written by John to several churches around Ephesus. This letter was primarily written to edify these readers in the truth of Christ. At the time, there were heretical teachings that were gaining popularity. John writes to correct these beliefs and point the church back to the life of Christ.
In 1 John 5 we are nearing the end of the letter, and we see John return to emphasizing the importance of love in the Christian life. Throughout 1 John this has been a common focus, that God loves us, and that we should in response place our trust in God.
John assures his readers that when they place their trust in God and follow his commands, it leads to confidence and assurance in God’s salvation. Followers of Jesus will be able to stand strong against the temptations of the world.
In 1 John 5:6-12, we see John give reasons to believe in Jesus. He lists some of the events of Jesus’ life and how they give proof that Jesus is who he says he is. This leads us to 1 John 5:12 which is wrapping up this section and drawing a conclusion.
Let’s take a closer look at the meaning of 1 John 5:12.
The 1 John 5:12 Meaning
This verse is short, but there’s a lot packed into these words. To help you better see the 1 John 5:12 meaning I’ve broken it down into two sections.
Whoever Has The Son Has Life
John is saying that Jesus is the way to find life. Remember, at the time there were false teachers going around claiming eternal life was found elsewhere. And John is reminding his readers that life is found in Jesus alone.
This is a claim that Jesus made in John 14:6, “I am the way the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus is making an exclusive statement, he is THE way to eternal life.
John is echoing this teaching and reminding his readers that if they have Jesus they have life.
Whoever Does Not Have The Son Of God Does Not Have Life
John contrasts his first statement with the obvious conclusion. If you don’t have Jesus then you don’t have life.
This is the consistent message throughout the New Testament. Jesus, and Jesus alone, is what you need for eternal life. There is salvation in no one else, and there is nothing else you need in addition to Jesus.
Still today there are teachers who claim you don’t need Jesus to be saved. Or others who claim you need Jesus and something else to be saved. Those claims clearly go against 1 John 5:12 and Jesus’ own words. It is in Jesus alone that we find salvation.
How Meaning Of 1 John 5:12 Applies To Your Life
1 John 5:12 should cause us to pause and reflect: where are we searching for life? Where are we placing our hope?
The world has no shortage of things that claim life is found in. But they are empty promises. Once we get them they satisfy for a moment and then leave us wanting more. Jesus is offering us an invitation into a better life.
1 John 5:12 reminds us that true life is found in Jesus alone. If we have Jesus then we have life. If we don’t have Jesus then we don’t have life.
Jesus is inviting you into a rich, beautiful, and better life. You will have to die to your old life and that’s not easy. But in return, you get something far better. True life. It’s a life that is only found in him alone.
So, will you step into that life?
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