“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God,
Confession is one condition for abiding. The basic idea of confession is agreement, to say the same thing. “Confess” is made up of two Greek words: to say and same. We agree or make a compact with God about His Son.
Confession is a synonymous term with faith. The confession that Jesus is “the Son of God” means acknowledgement that He is God. The Greek tense in “confess” means that this person comes to a decisive moment when they acknowledge Him as the Son of God (aorist). Confession of the deity of Christ implies surrender to His character and authority.
There is a connection between confession in verse 2 and the confession here. Confession in verse 2 has to do with the genuine humanity of Christ. Confession of that differentiates true believers from the fakers. Here confession has to do with the confession of His deity, the fact that He is the Son of God. Confession in this verse serves to differentiate between those who give evidence of love and those who do not. In each case, the Holy Spirit produces the confession.
God abides in him,
1 John says six times that God abides in us. Five times it says that we abide in Him. Confession of Jesus as the Son of God and divine love operating in the believer has a clear relation. Without the manifestation of the Son of God to the world, there would be no divine love in the world.
Confession is more than a proclamation of doctrine; it is a voucher of a life united with God.
There is a very close correlation between what we believe and what we do. Confession is more than a profession. Many people confess Christ, but they have never trusted Him as their personal Savior.
Ro 10:8-11, 8 “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and your heart’ [that is, the word of faith which we preach]: 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’”
The implication of the confession that Christ is the Son of God is that He is the sovereign Lord over our lives. He is God Almighty to us. He imparts His life to us, called eternal life. The nature of that life changes the individual. He abides in the believer, and so changes his perspective on love. Love finds its source in faith in the Son of God.
God’s love does not see others as obstacles or neutral objects, but people worthy of His attention. God’s proof of this is the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross for our sins. True love shows itself in concrete action.