1 John 4:13-16
13 This is how we know that we remain in Him and He in us: He has given assurance to us from His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent His Son as the world’s Savior. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God. 16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
In John 15, Jesus tells His disciples to remain, or abide, in Him in order to bear much fruit, for apart from Him we can do nothing. Just as a branch broken off from the vine soon withers and dies, so we have no spiritual life or vitality apart from abiding in Christ.
In this passage in 1 John, we learn a little more about how we abide in Christ. God sends His Spirit to indwell us and the Father sends the Son to be our Savior. If we believe and profess the right things about Jesus – that He is the unique Son of God – and act upon that belief, then we remain in God and in His love for us.
The Father sends His Son to save us. The Father sends His Spirit to indwell us. Because Father, Son, and Spirit are active in our lives, there is a sense in which we participate in the life of the Trinity.
Now, let us be clear. In no sense do we become God, as if we are a fourth member of the Trinity. God the Creator is entirely distinct from all His creation, and it is idolatrous to consider any part of His creation as God. Yet, as followers of Jesus, we have the great privilege of being in dwelt by the Creator of the universe who lives in us by His Spirit, and to abide in Him, and He in us.
God is committed to us, to transform us, to empower us, to love us, and to abide in us. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all active in our transformation. We have the great privilege to live our lives “in God” and to have Him abide in us, by indwelling us and empowering us.
Many years ago, I heard of a terrible tragedy that came upon an elementary school when a fire broke out. The community was devastated, as families suffered the most terrible loss imaginable. When the school was rebuilt, they installed the best sprinkler system on the market to minimize the potential of this threat ever occurring again. Sometime later, during a routine inspection, it was discovered that the sprinkler system had never been properly connected to its water source. A shiny, beautiful, and expensive system that was useless without being connected to the right source.
Are we shiny, good looking Christians who look good on the outside and yet lack any spiritual power because we are not connected to the One who gives us strength?
How will you abide in God and in His love today? How will you stay connected to your source of spiritual power and allow Him to live through you?
- What do you think it means to live your life “in God” and to have Him indwell you? How does this change the way you live your life – your thought life, the places you go, the way you behave, the way you relate to people?
- How can you conscientiously remain dependent on God and stay connected to His presence and power in you? Perhaps throughout the day, you can remind yourself of being connected to Jesus.
- 1 John 4:19 says that “we love because God first loved us.” Receive God’s love for you. Let it pour over you. Then, as a result of being loved, go out and love those you encounter today. After all, “God is love, and the one who remains in God remains in love.”