Thursday 09 January 2014

Bible Book:
1 John

“God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.” (v. 16)

1 John 4:11-16 Thursday 9 January 2014


This passage concerns the means of revelation. Nobody has everseen God, although those who saw Jesus Christ saw God made flesh,God's love in action in a human life. But the writer of this lettertells us that God goes on revealing Godself whenever Christlikelove is enacted in any human life.

Yet there is an implied contradiction within this passage. Thewriter says both that "God abides in those who confess that Jesusis the Son of God, and they abide in God" (v. 15) and that "God islove, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides inthem" (v. 16). Christianity is a confessional faith and the firststatement is consistent with that. The second statement, however,implies that those who abide in love abide in God, even if they donot confess that Jesus is the Son of God.

But perhaps these two statements are not so much of acontradiction as they first appear. For what exactly is meant by'confess'? The Greek 'homologeo' means "to declare openly", or "toagree" and obviously relates to logos, meaning word, but also to'homo', meaning 'man'. This recalls the prologue to John's Gospel(John 1:1-14), where Jesus himself is called'logos', or 'the Word of God'. God and man are one, spoken word andsilent love are united. The Word became flesh and lived (or'abided') among us (John 1:14), and God is revealed not only byJesus' words, but by his very being and his whole life. In the sameway, Jesus Christ is confessed as the Son of God not only in words,but also in action and in the quality of our love. Therefore, thosewho do not necessarily confess in words, but do 'abide in love' areincorporated in God and able to reveal God to others.

To Ponder

  • If somebody confesses in words that Jesus is the Son of God,but does not abide in love, to what extent does God abide inthem?
  • What non-verbal ways of confessing Christ have youencountered?
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