THE ASSURANCE OF THE SPIRIT

1 John 4:14 (ESV) … “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.”


In addition to the gift of the Holy Spirit to believers, another way believers can trust in this relationship with God is that the message came from those who had seen with [their] own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. “We” refers to the apostles and other eyewitnesses of Christ’s life on earth (see 1:1–3). They were appointed by Christ to testify to others about their firsthand, eyewitness experiences (1:3). Therefore, Christians have two proofs of God’s love for them: (1) the indwelling presence of God’s Spirit and (2) the eyewitness testimonies of the apostles and those who knew Jesus.


The expression “Savior of the world” occurs only one other time in the New Testament—in John’s Gospel in the passage where the Samaritans recognize that Jesus is the Messiah (John 4:42). John made it clear that Jesus was not just the Jews’ Messiah but also the world’s Savior—the Deliverer of all who put their trust in him.


In New Testament times, “savior” could be used of men and gods. Caesar was considered the savior of the Roman world. Christians may have called Jesus “Savior” to stress his exalted nature and his transcendence over this world’s rulers. As the Son of God, he released from sin those who regard him as Lord. For more on Savior, see Luke 2:11; Acts 5:31; 13:23; Ephesians 5:23; Philippians 3:20; 2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 1:4; 2:13; 3:6; 2 Peter 1:1, 11; 2:20; 3:2, 18.


If a believer inquired, “How can I know that God is at work in my life?” John would answer, “By the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit.” Here are questions to ask to evaluate your experience:


• Have I ever been convicted of my sin by the Spirit? (John 16:8)

• Am I indwelt by the Spirit? (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19)

• Am I being taught by the Spirit? (John 16:12–15)

• Do I sense the leading of the Spirit? (Romans 8:14)

• Do I see any evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in my life? (Galatians 5:22–23)

• Do I see signs of power in my life as I witness? (Acts 1:8)


When Christians are fully yielded to God, the Spirit is able to “blow through” their lives (see John 3:8) in powerful, unmistakable ways. Is this your experience? [1]




[1] Barton, B. B., & Osborne, G. R. (1998). 1, 2 & 3 John (pp. 97–98). Tyndale House.

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