1 John 5:13 reads, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 Jn. 5:13 KJV).
1 John 5:13 reads, “Ταῦτα ἔγραψα ὑμῖν τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ ἵνα εἰδῆτε ὅτι ζωὴν ἔχετε αἰώνιον καὶ ἵνα πιστεύητε εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ ὑιοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ,” (1 Jn. 5:13 STE).
John gives us three ways for receiving Eternal Life:
1. We receive eternal life by heeding the Scripture. John emphatically declares that he has written his Epistle so that we can have eternal life and know that we have it.
2. We receive eternal life by believing on the name of Jesus Christ. Only the person who believes on the name of the Son has eternal life. Believing in the very name of Jesus Christ is the same thing as believing in His person, the very God and very man.
3. We receive eternal life by continuing to believe on the name of Jesus Christ. Note: John is writing to believers, and he says that he has written so that believers “may believe on the name of Jesus Christ.” As believers, we must continue—notice the word continue—to believe; we must endure in our belief, keep on believing and believing until the Lord takes us home.
John is writing his Epistle to those who continue to believe. The present tense in the Greek text indicates that while we have eternal life, it is conditioned and we must continue to believe, moment by moment, step by step, and day by day. Our believing is incomplete as yet. You can well translate this part as, “unto those who continue to believe and do not give up.”
According to John, if a persona really knows the Son of God and has received eternal life, it is almost impossible, very hard, for him to turn away from Christ. But not completely impossible!
The past part of verse 13, “that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” is formed in Greek text as “ἵνα εἰδῆτε ὅτι ζωὴν ἔχετε αἰώνιον καὶ ἵνα πιστεύητε εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ ὑιοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ…….” The use of the Subjunctive Mood cannot be understated. The Subjunctive Mood underscores:
1. The people who received eternal life had not received it before their acceptance of Jesus Christ, nor had they received their salvation before their creation, or by an eternal decree of God.
2. To John, his writings were purposed so that they knew that they received eternal life in time and that so that they may continue to believe in Christ.
3. The use of the Subjunctive Mood weakens greatly the view that we were saved before the death of Christ by an eternal decree, and it weakens the idea that our salvation is unconditional now. In fact, it shows quite clearly that our eternal life is conditioned upon believing in the name of the Son of God and this must continue.