1Jn 4:15-16 “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
We have often heard it said that the act of openly acknowledging some misdeed or shortcoming is good for the soul. It alleviates stress and helps to mitigate the burden of guilt. While this is true, I believe there is more under consideration here. Saying with our lips that Jesus is the Son of God is not particularly difficult or binding. The Greek carries the idea of acknowledgement or covenant (see Strong’s) in this confession.
We are not simply saying that Jesus is the Son of God. We are owning that truth. We are, without reservation, declaring that this is an immovable anchor in our lives. We are binding ourselves to this glorious truth by word, by faith, and by action. This confession is the result of the work of God, not the catalyst for God’s work.
Confessing that Jesus is the Son of God does not cause God to dwell in us or us in Him. Instead, confessing that Jesus is the Son of God is the result of God first dwelling in us. The tense of the word “dwell” (to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy) here indicates that His staying in us preceded our staying in Him and confessing that Jesus is the Son of God. God is the God of action, not reaction. The grace to acknowledge Jesus as the only begotten Son of God is our reaction to God’s action of taking up His abode in us and causing us to dwell in Him.
It is time that God’s covenant children cease to question whether or not He loves us. To confess that we know we don’t deserve His love is good. To give voice to our amazement that He loves us is good. To wonder if He loves us is not good. The scripture says that we have known and believed the love He has to us. Are we ready to let God be true and every man a liar (Rom 3:4)?
We have known the love that God has to us. It is seen in His care for us. It is felt in the manifestation of His Spirit in us. We believe it because we have heard the call to His service and the joy of His kingdom. He has proved this to us by revealing His Son and the price paid for our sin debt. We are not redeemed by corruptible things, but by the precious blood of Jesus Christ!
God is a loving God; this statement is true and says something about His action toward His children. God is love; this statement is true and says something about the character of God. God is love. When we stay in love we stay in God. Staying in love proves that God stays in us. His love to us and ours to Him is not contingent upon any particular circumstance; it just is.
Man’s affections may come and go depending on the situation, but God’s love stays regardless of the situation. It is a constant force in our lives. God staying in us is the power behind our confession that Jesus is the Son of God. It is a confession made with our lips and our lives; it stays in our hearts.
May we take comfort in, and stand firmly upon, the unfailing love of God that enables us to confess that Jesus is His Son!