13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 1 John 4:13-15
Sometimes, it seems as though John asks us the same question over and over, and he slowly builds up his own answers, one at a time:
How do we know we abide in him, and he in us?
John has told us that we know through many things, including love for God and our brother, giving to our brothers in need, through the Spirit (here again in verse 13) and now, a new one: “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”
John in verse fourteen says that we have both 1) seen and 2) testified that the Father sent his Son to save our world.
Although sure, you and I never technically “saw” Jesus, I will argue that we have seen him, that our eyes have been opened to something that they were not open to originally- Jesus as Christ.
But have we testified?
There is something very important, I think, about speaking our beliefs out loud, potentially to other people. God spoke the earth into being in Genesis 1, and we were made in his image- meaning when we speak, things happen, too.
It’s as if something solidifies when we share our faith with others. Before sharing, it's like we were trying to fit the right size peg of our belief in Jesus into the correct hole, but every time, we just kept missing. There is something about sharing our faith, out loud, that makes everything click into place in our hearts.
I knew a sixteen year old girl who believed this once without knowing it. One day in in June, I was on a walk with her, and she told me that the previous December she had decided to start following Jesus. Amidst my yelling and jumping out of delight for her, I asked her why she took six months to tell me this, when she knew how excited I would be.
“I wasn’t ready yet…” she told me, hesitating. She winced as she finished, “I knew that when I told you, it would become real. I wanted some time alone with it first, to figure it out a little.”
There is something about speaking, first in confessing to a believer, and then sharing with non-believers, that changes our faith. I have a wise friend who told me once that sharing my testimony was simply sharing my version of the Gospel. When I get nervous to tell someone about Jesus, I try and remember what my friend said- that I can just tell my story, and because I’ve been transformed by him, I’m sharing the Gospel in me.
I pray that we would testify in whatever way we need to this month. Whether it is sharing our newfound faith with a believer, or sharing our solidified faith with someone who is not, would we be bold and trusting in Jesus to talk about Him as the Savior of the world.