“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” -1 John 5:20-21
In these verses we see that Jesus is the truth: He reveals God. We also see that Jesus is reconciliation: through His incarnation and sacrificial death, we can have a personal relationship with God. As incredible as these realities are, these verses don’t end there.
More than Knowledge
These verses point to something even more glorious. John writes, “we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ.” John doesn’t only speak of knowing God, but being in God. More than knowledge, we have union with Him. Considering some human relationships may help us to understand this better.
We talk about different relationships with different levels of intimacy. Perhaps you know someone, but they’re just an acquaintance. You don’t know them as well as someone who is your friend. And a friend you don’t know as well as a spouse. You are united with your husband or wife. That’s why we call it a marriage union. There is no human relationship deeper than matrimony. And marriage is just a glimpse of the intimacy we can have in a union with God. Ephesians 5:31-32 talks about this:
“’Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”
This shows what sort of relationship we can have with the Creator of the cosmos. By faith, we can be permanently united to Christ. And He, through His Spirit, is permanently united to us. Us in Him and Him in us. Always. Forever.
And these verses show that Jesus is the only way to this union. The NIV translation of these verses reflects this well. “And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ.” We are in God by being in Jesus. Jesus is the way into the Father. Otherwise, our sins still separate us from God. We have to turn from doing things our own way and turn to Jesus, who paid for our sins on the cross. He will receive and welcome anyone with open arms—arms that hung on a cross and suffered for us. And in receiving Him, we can be united to Him and receive His Spirit, uniting us with the Father.
Jesus is the way.