The Assurance of Love
This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: 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. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. – 1 John 4:13-16
The definition of the life and work of a believer is love. If it hadn’t been clear before, these verses from 1 John have made it undeniably and abundantly obvious. We see the deep and unending love found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We see the love we have for one another flowing out of the love of our Creator God. Today’s verses explain that this love we have is what assures us of our union with Christ.
Our assurance lies in the Trinitarian God so beautifully revealed in His Word. We have been given God’s Spirit. We testify that the Father sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. Our assurance lies in the love that exists within Our Triune God: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.
These verses go on to say that we “know and rely on the love God has for us.” This is monumental in its implications about our relationship with God. Firstly, we know this love that God has for us. We cognitively, intellectually, and emotionally understand and acknowledge the love that God had, and continues to have, for us. We see this love in the good news of the Gospel of Jesus. Secondly, we rely on this love. God living in us, and us in Him, goes far beyond just acknowledging the truth about Him. James 2 tells us that even the demons believe the truths about who God is. So, as a believer, we don’t just know about God’s love, we rely on it. We experience it.
This is the very nature of the Triune God we worship. The Father doesn’t simply know about the Son. The Son doesn’t only acknowledge The Spirit. In their Tri-Unity, they experience one another. In this same way, our knowledge of God is only our assurance insomuch as it causes us to experience the Unity we have with Him.
The closing verse here holds these truths together in the simplest way. “God is love.” The love we have is an outflowing of the love God has. That love is manifested in us because of our Union with Him. We are assured of our Union with God, not just through our knowledge, but also through our reliance on, and experience of the love of the Triune God.
Action Step: Read Jesus’ prayer to The Father, found in John 17: 20-26. How does Christ’s prayer help you understand, even better, the love between the persons of the Trinity and between God and man?