“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.” 1 John 4:15–17
I love this passage in 1 John. John shows us that life with Christ is not nearly as difficult as the religious people make it seem. It’s also a lot simpler than the burdened imagine. Here are four things that God has made available to all of us through Jesus Christ:
1. Unbelievable simplicity and intimacy with God: “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” If we confess Jesus, then God abides in us!
2. Rock-solid assurance that God loves us: “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.”
3. Confidence before God’s judgment: “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.”
4. Effectiveness in making us missionaries of God’s love: “As he is [loving], so also are we in this world.” We have received God’s love, and then we become agents of his love to the world.
What does it mean to abide with Jesus? There is a beautiful picture in the Bible of those who abide with Jesus in John 6. Jesus has finished making some intense statements: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (v. 53). When he said this, he scared off many of his followers and caused them to turn their back on him (vv. 60, 66). Then Jesus asked the remaining disciples, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter responded, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (vv. 67–68).
Notice the sense of desperation in Peter’s response? “Where else is there to go? Only you give life!” That’s “remaining” with Jesus; that’s “abiding.” Abiding isn’t 10 Secret (and difficult) Steps to Spiritual Success. It’s clinging on to Jesus for dear life, because he is the source of true, abundant, never-ending life. With Jesus, we can always have hope and confidence.