As an eyewitness, John is saying that this is a truth they have seen. So in this big picture of Jesus being the savior of the world, he points at each of us. The Holy Spirit works in us to affirm that truth. He isn’t just savior for all, but he is savior for me!
If any single person acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them. People will absolutely fight against this statement. What are the implications of this statement? It means that God’s plan is only fulfilled through his Son. So if God’s plan only plays out that way, what will be our response to that? Will I align with God’s plan, or will I go against God’s plan?
We know and rely (which comes from the same word as faith or believe) on the love of God. God is love. It is something that God has brought it all. There is nothing to bring, but God brings the love. So if we live in love we will live in God and God will be in us. God truly does love me.
This is how real God’s love is to us. We do not need to bring anything. God, through Jesus, has seated us next to Jesus in Heaven. As Jesus is, that’s how we are in this world. That is my confidence.
This is a passage that we could spend so much time trying to unpack. So many times we hear “God is love” and then try to use that to justify some position. But this isn’t a justification statement, but a truth statement. If we try to treat this as some sort of formula, we will miss the boat. It is describing a truth that we must then search our hearts and determine if it is true in us.
If any single person acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.
4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (ESV)
13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. (ESV)
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. (ESV)
16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (ESV)
17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. (ESV)