“Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”
And by this we know that He abides in us,
Applying truth to experience is a valid proof of our fellowship with the Lord. Application of the principles of God’s Word to experience is not the cause but the effect of fellowship with God. This is the evidence of fellowship.
We come to know experientially [Greek word for “know”] that we are in fellowship with the Lord if we apply truth to experience. His abiding in us is more important than our abiding in Him. The Lord is keen to convey to us His pleasure to have fellowship with us.
by the Spirit whom He has given us
The Holy Spirit working in us is evidence of fellowship with the Lord (Rom 5:5; 8:14-16). Actual fellowship of life with God is the core of John’s argument in this epistle. Apart from the Holy Spirit supernaturally conveying information about our fellowship with the Lord, it would be impossible to know about God’s viewpoint on fellowship with us.
The tense in the Greek for “has given” means permanence [perfect tense]. God gave the Holy Spirit to us permanently at the point of salvation (1 Co 12:13).
Ultimately, assurance of fellowship with the Lord comes from the Lord, not us.
The result of fellowship is an assurance of God’s work in us and power in prayer. The Spirit filled life is a prerequisite for answered prayer and the power to love Christians.
Rom 5:5, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
The source of assurance of God’s fellowship with us is the abiding Holy Spirit within us. In the final analysis, assurance of fellowship comes from God Himself. The Holy Spirit initiates belief, and He assures us of belief. He empowers us to love Christians. He affects our wills so that we want to do His will.
Spirituality is the essence where all attitudes and actions find their source. God inherently connects spirituality to eternal life because eternal life is God’s life. When a Christian receives eternal life, God animates him with new life, eternal life. When the believer walks with God in fellowship, eternal life becomes manifest in him.
Sometimes the believer violates his new nature in Christ. When he does this, he violates the very animating principle of his spiritual being. The believer constantly has a war between his divine nature and his fallen nature (3:6-10). Every time the believer allows God to control him through his new nature, it always comes from God’s power. It is a manifestation of his eternal life.