By Stan Brown
I John 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God. This is not merely saying “Hey guys, I think that Jesus is the Son of God”. This is what John the Baptist declared after seeing the Spirit descending out of heaven as a dove and landing and remaining on Jesus. The Apostle John may well have been there when John the Baptist testified “I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God. (John 1:34)”. This was Mary’s response when Jesus was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world. (John 11:27)”. These are the words of Peter’s great confession. “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Matt. 16:16),” to which Jesus responded flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. This a confession that only comes from a relationship that is described by John as God abides in him, and he in God.
Confession means more than to acknowledge as a fact. It is a deeply held agreement with God about truth. John has previously spoken of confessing when he wrote If we confess our sins (1John 1:9). When we confess we agree with God about our sins. He also speaks of an association with confessing the Son and a relationship with the Father, the one who confesses the Son has the Father also (1John 2:23). John has also said every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. When we confess Jesus, we agree with God about who Jesus is. There is a significant alignment between what we say and how we live. This a confession that only comes from a relationship that is described by John as God abides in him, and he in God. This is a confession by word and by deed that declares who Jesus is.
This is the fourth time John has discussed mutual abiding as he writes God abides in him, and he in God. He will say it one more time in the following verse. In 3:24 he coupled it with the one who keeps His commandments and the indwelling Spirit. In 4:12 it is associated with if we love one another. In 4:13 he once more speaks of the indwelling Holy Spirit. In the current verse he speaks of confessing our Lord in everything we do and say. In the following verse love will once more be emphasized.
It is simple enough. We have placed our faith in Him. We have come to the place where we have partaken of eternal life as we have believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. John describes this in his Gospel, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (John 21:31). We have eternal life, yet John writes that there is so much more available to us as we walk in the light, keeping His commandments and confessing our sins with the cleansing blood of Christ surrounding us. As we walk where He walks, the indwelling Holy Spirit saturates us with God’s love. We abide in Him and He in us. There is no better place to be.