I John 4:13-17; A Devotional

, posted by Martin Glynn

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. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 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. 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.

Here John speaks of us being confident for the day of judgment. The Greek word for confidence here is parresia which comes from pas (all) and reo (to utter or pour out). The essential word picture here is that all pours out of you; you hold nothing back. This idea makes you bold and unrelenting, especially in your speach. But what makes us bold? Love.

“Love? Really? I thought love made us sensitive, and nice all the time. I thought that loving people were always careful, afraid of hurting others.”

Well true love is based on God. Not only is it loving God, but loving the things of God, and wanting what is best for them. If I love you, I want what’s best for you. Sometimes, what’s best for you isn’t what makes you comfortable or happy. For the source of this love in me is God abiding in me. Therefore, our own love isn’t our emotions, but God’s love working through us.

But our confidence doesn’t just come in the possession of this love, but it also comes from knowing that God is inside of us. We can be sure of this from several different things.

Number one (verse 12), if we actually exhibit this love for one another, we know that God must be the one generating it.

Number two, if we testify that Jesus Christ has come into the world, and is Lord, then God’s Spirit will enter us.

Therefore, do not let you theology make you doubt whether or not you are saved. We are to be confident in our walk, not second guessing ourselves. We shouldn’t be wondering whether we are saved, or just think that we are saved. God has given us an assurance, and we should live in that. So be confident, and proclaim the gospel with boldness.