“We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (I John 4:14-16).
Here we find the apostle John coming back to the same promises as if to really drive home the point. And what are his points?
- “We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son.” This echoes the requirement Jesus gave to join His family, “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent’ “ (John 6:29). Your faith in Christ is based on something that John was an eyewitness to; the fact that God has sent the Son.
- “To be the Savior of the world.” This agrees with the testimony of the Samaritans in John chapter 4. “We have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world” (John 4:42).
- “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him.” Can the apostle make God’s abiding in us more clear? God abides in us through His Holy Spirit because we believed. It really is that straightforward.
- “And he in God.” Likewise, we abide in God on the same basis; our belief in Jesus. Let this complete phrase sink in. “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides IN him, and he IN God.” There is no behavior or love requirement to abide in God. He is IN us and we are IN Him, completely secure based on Christ’s finished work on the cross and our belief in Him.
- “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.” John has emphasized before that we who are God’s children “know God”. Knowing God means that we also know, believe in, and experience His great love.
- “God is love.” Love is God’s very essence.
- “And the one who abides in love abides in God.” Since God is love in His very essence, the one who abides in God (all of us who believe) is also abiding in His love.
- “And God abides in him.” And just to be sure we don’t miss it, John reminds us for the umpteenth time, God lives in us. I have no problem with the repetition, because I can never get enough of this beautiful and powerful truth; the God of the universe in every way available to Him lives in you and me!