“[God] has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them”
(1 John 4:13-16, NLT).
(1 John 4:13-16, NLT).
The Apostle John has been talking about what we as Christians need to do to show that we are true believers. We are to obey God (which involves our wills, our commitment); we are to believe (that involves our minds); and we are to love (which means we put our feelings of concern into action). But now we come to the key thought of the letter: “God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us.” What is the key that unlocks the door to so many mysteries?
The key is that we have been given God’s Spirit. As I said in the last article, most of us do not naturally desire to know God better or to show God’s love to others. Since time began, people have often been both selfish and spiritually blind. But when we become Christians, God’s Spirit comes to live within us and even helps us to want to do what is right – to know God and follow God’s way. We have God’s very Spirit living inside us, helping us think and do what will be honouring to God, giving us the desire and energy to put our faith into action. How amazing is that!???
But this is only one part of our experience as Christians, a part that is more personal and inside. The other part of the key, according to John, is to believe that Jesus Christ is “the Saviour of the world.” We know from God’s Word and history that Jesus came to earth as a human being, lived, grew up, shared God’s message with people, and was finally put on trial and executed because of His amazing and offensive message. The real core of the Message (the Gospel) is that Jesus is truly God, not just a good teacher or wise prophet. He proved to be who He claimed to be – God’s Son, who not only died but came back to life – even now. And not only is Jesus our Saviour in the sense of bringing us into a close fellowship with God but He also works to save us from our sins: weaknesses, mistakes and bad habits – even from “all fear” (1 John 4:18).
So, we show we are believers by telling others that Jesus is “the Son of God.” And God’s Spirit helps us better understand what this walk with God is all about. By His Spirit, “we know” (and continue to know) how much God loves us. No doubt, we are loved by God; and we learn to share this love with other people, especially to our brothers and sisters in Christ. “God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” Amen.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.