1John 4:11-15 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God.
‘Seen God at any time’ the word seen [Greek: horao] means to see with the eyes and also see with the mind. That it means here to comprehend fully or understand is clear from the fact that many men have seen God with the eyes (Gen. 18:2, 33; 32:24-30; Ex. 24:10; 33:11; Jos. 5:13; Isa. 6:1-13; Ezek. 1:26-28; Dan. 7:9-14; 10:5-6; Acts 7:56-59; Rev. 4:2-5; 5:1-7).
‘Given us of his Spirit’ this is plain evidence of sonship (3:24; 4:13; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6). Only sons [both men and women] are given the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9). This does not refer to the fullness of the Spirit, which all sons have not received (John 7:37-39).
‘And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.’ The disciples have actually heard, seen, and touched Him, not transiently, but frequently. They lived with Him daily for years. They heard His teaching and saw His divine works (1:1-3; 2Pet. 1:16; Acts 5:31; 1Cor. 15:1-8).
‘Confess that Jesus is the Son of God’ much stress was laid upon this in the early Christians because the Jews and many Gentile false teachers denied the reality of the incarnation. If one in those days accepted this, Christ’s physical death to atone for sins, and the physical resurrection of Christ, he would likely accept Jesus as personal Saviour. But in our day when Christianity is the accepted religion in our country such confession of Jesus as Son of God has become a mere form in many circles. People think that because they acknowledge this fact in public they are saved from sin and are true Christians. One can do this mentally and verbally many times a day without having a change in his life. One must believe from the heart as well as confess with the mouth (Rom. 10:9-10). If and when one does this he will be made a new creature in Jesus Christ (5:1; 2Cor. 5:17). True New Testament confession includes complete surrender of the life to God and consecration regarding future conduct that it will be according to the whole will of God as light is received (1:7-9; Rom. 12:1-2; 2Cor. 7:10).