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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE CHRISTIAN CONFESSION

1 John 4:13-15 Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

The relationship experienced by a faithful Christian results in a mutual indwelling - each Christian dwells in God, and God dwells in each Christian. This is the lesson found in the last verse of the previous chapter of this epistle. It reads, And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and he in Him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit, which He hath given us (1 John 3:24). It is God's word that was given to us through the inspired teaching of Jesus Christ, and the gospel messages of His disciples, that were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. God dwells in us when we read, hear, believe, and obey His commandments, which were delivered by the inspiration of the His Holy Spirit. It is obedience to His word by which a Christian becomes an habitation of God through the Spirit (See Eph. 2:20-22).

Having just read and studied God's law of love (Vss. 7-12), we are assured that through pure love for God and for all mankind, we know God, and are known by Him. Love is just one of many spiritual fruits produced by obedience to the will of God, which we come to know through the Holy Spirit. Love is the first-fruit mentioned by Paul in his letter to the churches of Galatia. He wrote, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-25).

And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Here John speaks for all of Jesus' apostles by saying that "we" testify that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. According to the gospel recorded by John, this is exactly what Jesus said would take place. Our Lord gave them this assurance: But when the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning (John 15:26-27). John also gave this same testimony as he began this epistle. The life of Jesus Christ was manifested to them - we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life (Jesus Christ), which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us (See 1 John 1:1-3).

Indeed, Jesus Christ is the Son of God; the Messiah, sent by God to be the Savior of the world. This truth has been witnessed to the world by the inspired apostles of Jesus Christ. They firmly believed this to be a true confession of their faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore, the apostle John gives all readers of this epistle, the assurance as stated in verse 15 of the lesson text: Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. Every man or woman, having a repentant heart, and desiring to become a child of God, and a member of the body of Christ, must sincerely make the same confession of faith that was made by the apostles. Paul told all the Christians of Rome, that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Rom. 10:9-10).

Hearing the gospel message of salvation, every man or woman, that has believing faith in God, will gladly make the confession that Jesus Christ is His Son sent to be the Savior of the world. With this confession they will humbly submit to baptism - the emersion in water, for the remission of their sins. Reading Acts 8:35-38, this is exactly what the Ethiopian eunuch did under the inspired teaching of Philip. Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. As they came to sufficient ...water: and the eunuch said, see, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (A)nd they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Yes, hearing the gospel message of salvation is necessary. But it must be followed by faith, belief, confession, and baptism. This is God's plan of salvation. There is no other way!