THE HOLY SPIRIT PRODUCES THE ASSURANCE OF ABIDING
How do I know that someone is physically dead or alive? Is he thinking, moving, feeling, smelling, speaking, listening, breathing — is he acting in accordance with his nature?
Problem: When someone is in a coma — they are breathing, but that is about it — you have no assurance of life until you see some other familiar signs.
I know that I have the life of God within because I have been given the Holy Spirit and He shows!
I. (:13) PROPOSITION STATED
A. Introductory formula — “By this”
Refers to what follows
B. Concept of Mutual Abiding — “we know that we abide in Him and He in us”
No place here for skepticism or agnosticism — “we know”
Sameness of life and nature; cf John 15 — Vine and branches
C. Products of the Holy Spirit — “because He has given us of His Spirit”
Perfect tense = permanent gift; we remain the recipients of the Spirit.
Again, we see that God takes the initiative.
Involves the new nature, the gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit as well.
II. (:14) THE HOLY SPIRIT INSPIRED THE TESTIMONY OF THE APOSTLES (WHICH IS THE BASIS FOR FAITH AND LOVE)
A. The testimony of the apostles is based on historical fact
“And we have beheld and bear witness”
Points back to 1:1-4; this is significant since we cannot see the full glory of God; but with their own eyes the apostles saw the Son working out His mission as the Savior of the world
B. The significance of that historical fact was revealed by the Holy Spirit
Many other people were exposed to the same testimony and some of the same historical facts; but they had a completely different response.
C. The substance of their testimony = the signifiance of the fact
“The Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world”
– The Deity of Jesus Christ
– The Love of God
The Roman emperor was presented as the “savior of the world;” cf. John 4:42
III. (:15-16) THE HOLY SPIRIT PRODUCES THE FAITH AND LOVE WHICH PROVIDE THE ASSURANCE OF ABIDING
A. (:15) A true confession of the Deity of Jesus Provides the Assurance of Abiding
“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”
The Holy Spirit inspires every true confession of faith. The apostolic testimony is necesssary, but it does not compel assent. It is by the Spirit of God that men confess. cf. Matt. 16:16-17
B. (:16a) God’s love motivates our faith and love
1. motivates faith because He has demonstrated love
“And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.”
2. motivates love because His eternal nature is love
“God is love”
C. (:16b) Genuine love Provides the Assurance of Abiding
“and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”