Things We Can Know


There are thousands of voices around us clamoring for our attention and affection. How can we know which ones are true? Most are distractions, irrelevant, or at best temporarily helpful. But when we listen to the voice of truth, it resonates encouragement. When we respond, it pulls us deeper into passionate engagement with people and gives us a joyful presence.

  • What difference does knowing the truth make in your life?


13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.

18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.

19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

20 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. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Make a list of the “Things We Can Know” that John mentions in this passage.
  2. What is the key qualifier in verse 14 regarding how we ask God for things? How can we know his will (see Romans 12:1-2)?
  3. Verses 14-17 give us direction and encouragement about our prayer life. What specific things does John talk about in these verses about prayer?
  4. If you can have confidence and know that God hears you when you ask him things, how does this shape your prayer life?


God has gone to incredible lengths to save us; knowing this truth, we can have confidence to approach him in prayer for others and ourselves. John reminded the Church about things they could know confidently—so confidently that their lives and affections were radically changed forever. What an incredibly encouraging thing to know that we are heard by God and can powerfully intervene in the lives of others for good. We can know that as believers, we are not sinless, but we will sin less. These are life-changing reminders of the things we can know!

  • Take some time to ask the Holy Spirit to remind and reinforce the truth of these things in your heart…so “that you may know” and have your life changed as a result!