The Assurance that We Have of God’s Love
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 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. 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. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.
Are you sure that God abides in you today?
John wrote this letter to help you answer that question. Consider how many times he has made us think about this.
2:3—By this we may be sure that we know him . . .
2:5b—By this we may be sure that we are in him . . .
3:10—By this it may be seen who are the children of God . . .
3:14—We know that we have passed out of death into life . . .
3:19—By this we shall know that we are of the truth . . .
3:24b—By this we know that he abides in us . . .
4:2—By this you know the Spirit of God . . .
4:6b—By this we know the spirit of truth . . .
5:2—By this we know that we love the children of God . . .
5:13—I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you might know that you have eternal life.
What does John want us to be sure of? Our Salvation.
Four Evidences of Salvation that is Found is this Passage:
- We have received the Holy Spirit (v.13)
- We have the apostolic testimony (v.14)
- We have personally acknowledged Jesus as God’s Son. (v. 15)
- We have confidence in God’s Love (v. 16-19)
Verse 17 tells us how to have something everybody wants to have.
And verse 18 tells us how to get rid of something everybody wants to get rid of.
The Main Point of the Text:
John wants to help us enjoy confidence before God. He does not want us to be paralyzed or depressed by fear of judgment. Nothing would make John happier than to produce a generation of Christians who were utterly confident that God would accept them on the judgment day.
Does the Lord Jesus cringe in terror before the Father?
Of course not. Then, humbly but sincerely, we may share His boldness, His confidence and freedom of speech. He has loved us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3), which will never let us down and never let us go. If we are always afraid of what Father may do to us, we do not really love him, and if we do not love him it is because we do not really believe that He loves us.
And where will you find the power to love?
I close with verse 19: “As for us, we love because he first loved us.” Our acts of love on behalf of others never cause God’s love to be initiated towards us. It is always the reverse. God loves first. Then we know and believe the love God has for us (v. 16). Trusting the love that He has for us in Jesus Christ, he abides in us and HIS love overflows into action and is perfected with us. And we have confidence for the day of judgment.
Our love all begins with the love of God. “We love because He first loved us.” If you lack the power to love, look to the cross of Christ and let the love of God for sinners fill you with hope.