Wednesday, 20 May 2020
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 1 John 4:14
John again highlights the Father/Son relationship concerning Christ Jesus. This is quite purposeful. He has just said that we know that we abide in God and that He abides in us. He then gave the reason for this by saying, “because He has given us of His Spirit.” He now ties that fact into the idea of the Father/Son relationship. This will become fully evident after the next verse now, but to set that thought up, he provides the words of this verse, beginning with, “And we have seen.”
He is speaking of those who personally beheld Christ, and probably more specifically of the apostles of Christ. The idea of his words is that they not only “have seen,” but they intently observed what they saw, which is what the Greek word signifies. It was as if they were spectators in a theater, which is where the word theaomai (have seen) is derived from. It is the root of the word theatron which is the basis for our modern word “theater.”
These men had seen and observed carefully and therefore they can “testify that the Father has sent the Son.” They are qualified to bear witness of Christ, and therefore their testimony is both acceptable and reliable. The Greek verb translated as “has sent” is in the perfect tense, indicative mood. The sending of Christ is accomplished, and it is a certain fact. It is this sending of the Son by the Father which makes the giving of the Spirit possible, and it is the giving of the Spirit which makes a knowledge of our abiding in God, and His abiding in us, possible. This is because God sent Jesus Christ “as the Savior of the World.”
The same word, translated as “Savior,” is found elsewhere in John’s writings in John 4:42 when Jesus spoke with the people of Samaria –
“Then they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.’”
However, the same word is used by Luke, in Acts, and by Paul, Peter, and Jude when referring to Christ Jesus and/or to God. The Father sent the Son in order to save the world, and the condition which must be met for this to occur is to be relayed to us by John in the coming verse. What John will say (and which is in accord with what he has already said) is not at all contradictory to the words of Paul concerning the gospel. Rather, they bolster what Paul says, forming a full picture of what the gospel signifies.
Life application: In reviewing John’s words, it is good to revisit 1 John 1:1, 2 –
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us.”
Just as he did at the beginning of the letter, and elsewhere in his writings, John testifies that he has seen the physical manifestation of Jesus Christ. During chapter 4, John has been speaking of error in those who claim falsities about God, the Spirit, and related doctrine. Then just a couple verses ago, he says that “no one has seen God.” He is quite clear that people who claim to have seen God in visions are false teachers and liars. But what God has done is to reveal Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, His Son.
The word of Jesus is the work of God in the physical world we live in. And this work is as glorious as it possibly could be! It is the work of salvation through the “Savior of the world.” Jesus is the one who saves us from the work of the devil and from the fallen state we are in. Should you be suffering in pains, trials, financial troubles, family troubles, or in any other way, remember that these things are temporary.
The world and its system are passing away. Jesus will herald in a new order of things which will completely remove all of these woes, replacing them with eternal and complete joy. John testifies to what the whole Bible proclaims – that God loves us and has a great plan and purpose for us if we will only allow Him to fulfill it in our lives. He won’t override our free-will choices, so it is up to us to bend the knee and submit to the work He has accomplished for us. What a great, tender, and loving God!
The work is done, and the choice is ours! Call on Jesus and anticipate a glorious eternity in His marvelous light.
Marvelous indeed is the Lord Jesus! O God, thank You for Your wonderful plan and purpose for our lives. And this is not because we somehow merit Your favor, but because of Your infinite love and mercy. And so, we accept both willingly. May our eyes never stray from the Prize, which is Jesus our Lord! Amen.