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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 John 4:14

 

 

We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

Adam Clarke Commentary

And we have seen - Jesus Christ manifested in the flesh; see 1 John 1:1, etc.; and do testify - bear witness, in consequence of having the fullest conviction, that the Father sent the son to be the Savior of the world. We have had the fullest proof of this from his doctrine and miracles, which we heard and saw during the whole time that he sojourned among men.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-john-4.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And we have seen - Notes on 1 John 1:1.

And do testify - Notes, 1 John 1:3. That is, we who are apostles bear witness to you of this great truth, that God has sent his Son to be a Saviour. Compare the notes at John 20:31. The reason why this is referred to here is not quite apparent, but the train of thought in this passage would seem to be this: The writer is discoursing of the love of God, and of its manifestation in the gift of the Saviour, and of the proper influence which it should have on us. Struck with the greatness and importance of the subject, his mind adverts to the “evidence” on which what he was saying rested - the evidence that the Father had really thus manifested his love. That evidence he repeats, that he had actually seen him who had been sent, and had the clearest demonstration that what he deemed so important had really occurred.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-john-4.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

1 John 4:14

And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world

Christianity a fact and a power

I.
Christianity is an external fact in the history of the world.

1. The condition of the world was desperate. Man through sin had destroyed himself. Nothing short of salvation would have met the case of man as a sinner. The sinner can destroy himself, but he cannot save himself.

2. This salvation was of necessity a fact. It was a great act. Thoughts and words would not have sufficed to save us; good wishes would not have availed us. To speak would not have been enough. To do was essential. Redemption was a work of infinite greatness and difficulty. And it is this that we find in the history of the Man Christ Jesus--the eternal thoughts and feelings of the Godhead realised in glorious works.

II. Christianity is a spiritual power, or a source of permanent influence on the world.

1. The Incarnation of the Son of God was the indispensable condition of the reunion of man with God. This is the highest greatness that any creature is ever capable of attaining--that God should “dwell in him, and he in God.” This does not mean to be lost like a wavelet in the ocean of Godhead, as the Pantheist imagines, but to become one with God in the affinity of holiness and the fellowship of love, and yet to preserve forever our personal individuality in the conscious enjoyment of that union. Man could not have been saved by ascending--by the mere development of his natural powers. Our salvation has been wrought by a descent of unparalleled magnitude. Descent is the ground of ascension.

2. It follows that the Incarnation and death of the Son of God form the spiritual power that is to create the world anew the moral lever for raising humanity to God. If we see a Christian of extraordinary attainments in godliness, we may be sure that this is the secret of his strength his thoughts and affections revolve constantly around this great centre, “God manifest in the flesh”; he abides by faith and love in Christ, and thereby God dwells in him, and he in God. This is the “secret of godliness.”

3. Hence the facts of our redemption accomplished in Palestine years ago remain in the world yet, as great spiritual forces operating on the souls of men to raise them to God.

Conclusion.

1. Let us appreciate the gospel above all things.

2. Let us ever remember that godliness, and all progress in holiness, draws its strength from Christ and His Cross, His life, death, and resurrection. (G. Parry.)

The Saviour’s mission and its blessed consequence

I. The evidence for the truth.

1. “We have seen.” The apostles and others had sensible evidence of the truth of the gospel. It was impossible they could be deceived. The life of Jesus was a fact about which there could be no mistake. It may be supposed the early disciples had an advantage over us in the sensible evidence which they enjoyed of the truth of the gospel. Yet it is doubtful whether our privileges are not greater than theirs. The benefit of their satisfaction is enjoyed by us in the record of it contained in their writings. We have found the Saviour to be all that they have declared.

2. There is, however, the testimony as well as the personal observation of the apostles. “We have seen and do testify,” they say. And is not theirs a credible testimony? They were competent to observe and report accurately. They deserve our confidence, and while we give it to them, we put their testimony to the proof. We have found that the “gospel of Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God unto salvation.

II. The truth so attested, “that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”

1. The origin of the gospel. “The Father sent” the Saviour. Redemption arose from the counsel of the Godhead. It could have no other origin. Had it been revealed to the intelligent creation that men might be saved by the death and incarnation of the Son of God, they would have pronounced the sacrifice to be impossible. But the mystery has been solved by the great fact.

2. The agent whom the Father employed. “He sent His Son.” He did so, because no other was sufficient. He was chosen because He alone is equal to the task.

3. The design of His mission. “The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour.” What a precious name and office! It is a complete salvation which He has provided.

4. The universal efficacy of the gospel of Christ. “The world” is the object whose redemption is proposed.

III. The view which the text presents of its reception--“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God.”

IV. The blessed consequence--“God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” These terms, so often used by the apostle, express the endeared communion, that arises out of faith in Christ, between the believer and God. It supposes an enjoyment of the Divine favour. “There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.” It supposes confidence in the Divine strength. Waiting upon God in prayer, that he may be enabled to resist temptation and faithfully perform the duties required of him, he is sustained by the assurance, “My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” It supposes an earnest effort after the Divine holiness. Sin is more and more seen to be hateful, and holiness to be increasingly excellent. It supposes unreserved devotedness to the Divine service. (J. Morgan, D. D.)

Christ the Saviour of the world

I. Take notice of some things imported in this testimony.

1. The world needed a Saviour; otherwise one had not been provided for them by Him who does nothing in vain.

2. None of inferior dignity to the Son of God could be the Saviour of the world.

3. Christ was sent Saviour of the world from heaven’s proper motion. The plot to save man was concerted entirely without him.

4. Christ is fully furnished for the saving of a lost world. His being sent in that character speaks His ability to answer it (Hebrews 7:25).

5. The salvation of lost sinners of the world of mankind is very acceptable to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, as well as to Himself, otherwise He had not sent His Son Saviour of the world (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

II. Open this character, Saviour of the world, is which Christ was sent.

1. In what sense Christ is Saviour of the world.

2. What is the business committed to Him as Saviour of the world.

Use

I. Of information.

1. Behold here, admire, and believe the great love of God to a lost world, in providing a Saviour, and such a Saviour, for them, even His own Son.

2. Behold here a broad and firm foundation of faith for all and every one of you; that you may come to Christ, whatever your case is, and claim His righteousness and His whole salvation for yourselves.

3. Sinners living in their sins, pining away, and about to perish eternally in them, are without excuse.

4. Believers themselves may be ashamed and confounded, for that iniquity prevails so against them. Alas! it is a sad sign the Saviour is little employed among us.

Use

II. For trial,

1. If Christ has really begun to save you, ye will have the saved man’s thoughts of sin, and of the wrath of God.

2. Ye will have a transcendent esteem of and love to your Saviour (1 Peter 2:7).

3. Ye will be groaning under the remains of the disease of sin ye are saved from; your conscience will witness ye would fain be wholly rid of it (Romans 7:24).

Use

III. Receive the Lord Jesus, then, O sinners, in that character wherein His Father sent Him, as the Saviour of the world, and your Saviour.

1. Consider you need a Saviour. Your disease of sin will ruin you, if ye be not saved from it.

2. There is no Saviour besides Christ (Acts 4:12). (T. Boston, D. D.)

The Saviour of the world

I. The fact.

II. The author. “The Son.”

1. Because He was the most precious of all God’s possessions.

2. Because He was in sympathy with God’s own heart. No one else understood the mysteries of Divine love.

3. Because no one else was able to effectually carry out the work of salvation, or to accomplish redemption.

III. The originator. “The Father.”

1. This reminds us that although the Father is a God of justice, He did not desire to destroy.

2. It shows us how intense is His love.

3. It suggests the Divine purpose of elevating the lost, for none but a Divine Being could set a perfect example.

IV. The proof. “We have seen and do testify.”

1. The persons who record their testimony are above suspicion.

2. They saw Christ’s life, teaching, power, death. (Homilist.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "1 John 4:14". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/1-john-4.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father hath sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

And we ... This might be an epistolary, or editorial "we," for the apostle John, or, as Smith thought, "a reference to John and the rest of the apostles who were eyewitnesses."[39] The words "bear witness" indicate that the latter meaning is the true one. As Plummer said, "The language of this verse would be strained and unreal in one who had not seen Christ in the flesh."[40]

A tremendous weight of Christian truth is concentrated in this verse.

The Father sent the Son ... The entire story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is here reduced to one line.

To be the Saviour of the world ... The world's being lost in sin is implied; otherwise no Saviour would have been required. Many do not seem to realize that they are lost without Christ. It is wrong to think of being saved, as if it meant, merely, to go to heaven when one dies. People are lost now; they need redemption now; We (all people) need salvation from ourselves, from our habits, our temptations, anxieties, fears, frustrations and uncertainties. One does not have to wait until he dies to be lost; every man without Christ is already lost. Only in the world's Saviour can human life be endowed with that purpose, significance and vitality, without which, human life tends to wretchedness and misery. In Christ all is changed. Life in him is so exceedingly rich that John called it "eternal life," thus naming it after the ultimate reward which is the central hope of that life, and the great motivator of it here and now.

[39] David Smith, op. cit., p. 192.

[40] A. Plummer, op. cit., p. 104.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-john-4.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And we have seen, and do testify,.... This seems to be particularly said of the apostles, who had a clear discerning of the love and grace of God, manifested in the mission of Christ into the world; for though no man had seen his nature and his person, yet they had seen his love, and the exceeding riches of his grace, which he had shown forth in Christ Jesus; and they had also seen Christ, God manifest in the flesh; they had seen his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father; they had seen him with their bodily eyes; they had seen his works and miracles; they had seen him dying and risen again from the dead, and go up to heaven; they were witnesses, and eyewitnesses of him, and bore a faithful testimony of him, and for him, and particularly set their seal to this truth,

that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world; not of every individual person in it, for there are some that will go into everlasting punishment, and even a world that will be condemned; Christ is not in fact the Saviour of all the individuals of human nature, and therefore was not sent to be such; for if he was, the end of his mission is not fully answered; nor of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles also, and who are chiefly intended by "the world"; See Gill on 1 John 2:2; and even of all the elect of God, styled his people, his sheep, his friends, his church, and the sons of God; and it may be said of all that believe in him throughout the whole world, without any distinction of nation, age, sex, state, or condition: and Christ is the Saviour both of the souls and bodies of these, from all their sins, original and actual; from the power of Satan, the bondage and curse of the law, and wrath to come, and he is the only, able, willing, and complete Saviour, and who saves with an everlasting salvation.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-john-4.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

11 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour of the world.

(11) He underlays this charity with another foundation, that is, faith in Jesus, which joins us indeed with him, even as charity witnesses that we are joined with him. Furthermore he testifies of Christ, as who had seen him with his eyes.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-john-4.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

And we — primarily, we apostles, Christ‘s appointed eye-witnesses to testify to the facts concerning Him. The internal evidence of the indwelling Spirit (1 John 4:13) is corroborated by the external evidence of the eye-witnesses to the fact of the Father having “sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.”

seenGreek, “contemplated,” “attentively beheld” (see on 1 John 1:1).

sentGreek,hath sent”: not an entirely past fact (aorist), but one of which the effects continue (perfect tense).


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-john-4.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

We have beheld (τετεαμεταtetheāmetha). Perfect middle of τεαομαιtheaomai as in 1 John 4:12, though the aorist in 1 John 1:1; John 1:14 (ετεασαμεταetheāsametha). John is qualified to bear witness (μαρτυρουμενmarturoumen as in 1 John 1:2) as Jesus had charged the disciples to do (Acts 1:8).

Hath sent (απεσταλκενapestalken). As in 1 John 4:9, though απεστειλενapesteilen in 1 John 4:10.

To be the Saviour of the world (σωτηρα του κοσμουsōtēra tou kosmou). Predicate accusative of σωτηρsōtēr (Saviour), like ιλασμονhilasmon in 1 John 4:10. This very phrase occurs elsewhere only in John 4:42 as the confession of the Samaritans, but the idea is in John 3:17.


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-john-4.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

We have seen ( πεθεάμεθα )

Have deliberately and steadfastly contemplated. Compare 1 John 1:1, and see on John 1:14.

Do testify ( μαρτυροῦμεν )

Rev., bear witness. See on John 1:7.

Sent

See on 1 John 4:9.

The Savior of the world

See the same phrase, John 4:42, and compare John 3:17. Σωτήρ Savioroccurs in John only here and John 4:42. Elsewhere it is applied both to God (1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 2:3; Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:4; Judges 1:25), and to Christ (Luke 2:11; Acts 5:31; Acts 13:23; 2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 1:4, etc.). The title is found in Paul's Epistles of the Captivity (Ephesians 5:23; Philemon 3:20), and in the Pastorals (see above), but not in Corinthians, Romans, Galatians, or Thessalonians. In classical writings the term is applied to many deities, especially to Zeus (Jupiter); also to Hermes (Mercury), Apollo, Hercules, and even to female deities, as Fortune and Aphrodite (Venus). “Zeus Soter” (Zeus Savior) was used as a formula in drinking at banquets. The third cup was dedicated to him. Compare Plato: “Then, by way of a third libation to the savior Zeus, let us sum up and reassert what has been said” (“Philebus,” 66). The drinking of this cup was a symbol of good fortune, and the third time came to mean the lucky time. “Twice then has the just man overthrown the unjust; and now comes the third trial, which, after Olympic fashion, is sacred to Zeus the savior, … and surely this will prove the greatest and most decisive of falls” (Plato, “Republic,” 583). Hence the proverb, τὸ τρίτον τῳ σωτῆρι , lit., the third to the savior; i.e., the third or lucky time. The name was also given later to princes or public benefactors. The kindred noun σωτηρία salvationdoes not occur in John's Epistles, and appears only once in the Gospel (John 4:22). It is found thrice in Revelation (Revelation 7:10; Revelation 12:10; Revelation 19:1). Σώζειν tosave occurs six times in John's Gospel, and once in Revelation (Revelation 21:24). It does not appear in the Epistles.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/1-john-4.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

And in consequence of this we have seen and testify that the Father sent the Son - These are the foundation and the criteria of our abiding in God and God in us, the communion of the Spirit, and the confession of the Son.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-john-4.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

14And we have seen He now explains the other part of the knowledge of God, which we have referred to, that he communicates himself to us in his Son, and offers himself to be enjoyed in him. It hence follows, that he is by faith received by us. For the design of the Apostle is to shew, that God is so united to us by faith and love, that he really dwells in us and renders himself in a manner visible by the effect of his power, who otherwise could not be seen by us.

When the Apostle says, We have, seen and do testify, he refers to himself and others. And by seeing, he does not mean any sort of seeing, but what belongs to faith by which they recognized the glory of God in Christ, according to what follows, that he was sent to be the Savior of the world; and this knowledge flows from the illumination of the Spirit.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-john-4.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

Saviour (See Scofield "Romans 1:16").

world kosmos = mankind. (See Scofield "Matthew 4:8").


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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 1 John 4:14". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/1-john-4.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

Ver. 14. And we have seen] sc. By special privilege (that which natural eye never saw, 1 John 4:12), the backparts of Jehovah, his wisdom, justice, mercy, &c.; we can see no more and live, we need see no more that we may live.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-john-4.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 John 4:14. And we have seen, &c.— "And animated and sealed by this Spirit, as we have seen and known by undoubted evidence ourselves, so we courageously testify to others, how hazardous soever the bearing that testimony may be, that the great almighty Father of all hath sent Jesus his eternal and only-begotten Son, under the infinitely important character of the Saviour of the world; and that it is in him, and by him alone, how proudly soever the infidel world may reject him, and disdain him, that eternal salvation can be obtained," St. John and the apostles had been eye-witnesses of Christ's holy life, numerous miracles, patient sufferings, and willing death; they had also seen him after his resurrection: to such proofs of their divine mission, St. John had referred at the beginning of this epistle, and he now refers to them again; withal declaring, that he and the other apostles had testified what they had seen; and from their testimony, supported by many miracles, the world might be satisfied of the truth of their message, and look upon Jesus as sent of God the Father to be the Saviour of mankind, and might hence gather the great love of God to men.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-john-4.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

As if the apostle had said, "Though no man hath seen God at any time, yet the apostles, who preach the doctrine of faith unto you, and press the duty of love upon you, have seen with our bodily eyes the Lord Jesus Christ, and do testify, that God the Father glorified his love, by sending his Son to be the Saviour of a perishing world; not of Jews only, but of the Gentiles also.

And we further declare, That whosoever believing this our testimony, shall confess with his moouth, and believe in his heart, that this Jesus, whom we preach, is the Son of God, and shall evidence the truth of his faith by the sincerity of his love, and other good fruits, it is certain that God dwelleth in him by his Spirit, and he dwelleth in God by repeated acts of love.

And finally, we apostles well knowing, and firmly believing the love, the wonderful great love, which God hath manifested towards us, in and through his Son Jesus Christ, we again affirm and conclude that God is love.

Love originally, the fountain from whence all love flows. Love efficiently, the producing cause of all love in the hearts of our people. Love subjectively, a God full of love and mercy, of goodness and pity towards his creatures. Love objectively, he is deservedly the first and chief object of our love, as he is the first and chief good. Love declaratively, both his word and works declare the purposes of his love unto us, and give demonstrations of innumerable instances of his beneficence towards us. But especially God is love essentially.

Love in us is an adventitious and accidental quality; in God it is an essential property, it is his very essence and nature, inseparable from his being; he can as soon cease to be, as cease to love.

And as God is love, so we again affirm, that he that dwelleth in love, that is, he who has love, as the prevailing habit in his heart, and as the governing principle of his life, dwelleth, by communion, in God, as the eye dwells in the light, and as one friend by love dwells in another; and God, by his Spirit of love, dwelleth in him.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/1-john-4.html. 1700-1703.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 2456

CHRIST THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD

1 John 4:14. We have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

WERE it announced to us, in a time of war, that the enemies of our country were vanquished, that those who had menaced us with utter destruction were all taken captive, and that we might henceforth enjoy an honourable and lasting peace; our first inquiry would be, What ground is there for crediting the report? If we were assured, that several persons, who had been present at the battle and had seen the captive enemies, were sent by the conqueror on purpose to make known to us the glad tidings, we should be filled with transports of joy, and congratulate one another on the glorious event. Such tidings, and thus authenticated, we have to declare unto you; not indeed in reference to an earthly enemy, but in reference to our great adversary, the devil; whom Christ, our Almighty Deliverer, has subdued. The Apostles were sent by their victorious Lord to proclaim the news: and they have come to us, affirming that they were eye-witnesses of the truths which they have been commissioned to declare. They acknowledge, indeed, that “Satan bruised his heel; but they affirm, that he bruised Satan’s head.” Satan so far prevailed as to have him crucified: but by his very death our blessed Lord overcame him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; yes, “on the cross itself he triumphed openly over that wicked adversary, and spoiled all the principalities and powers of hell;” and in his ascension “he led captivity itself captive.”

But that we may ascertain more correctly the nature and truth of their testimony, we shall shew,

I. What evidence we have of the fact reported in the text—

It would divert us too far from our subject to enter into the question of the credibility of the Apostles; suffice it to say, that, as they had no possible inducement to deceive us, so they have never, on any occasion, betrayed the smallest wish to deceive us. Their veracity is unimpeached, and may fully be relied on.

But, it may be asked, Were they themselves well-informed on the points whereof they affirm? We answer, They saw the things which they attest: they did not receive them from the report of others, but were assured of them by ocular demonstration. They saw all which they affirm concerning Christ: they saw,

1. His personal glory—

[Others, even his bitterest enemies, beheld him as a man like unto themselves; but some of his Apostles had ocular proofs of his Godhead: they saw him transfigured on Mount Tabor, his face shining brighter than the meridian sun, and his garments all illumined by the radiant effulgence of his Deity; and they heard the Father’s voice from heaven attesting him to be his only, his beloved Son [Note: Matthew 17:2. Mark 9:2; Mark 9:7.]. This vision was vouchsafed to them for their more perfect satisfaction: and they record the circumstance in proof, that what they reported concerning him they knew to be true [Note: John 1:14. 2 Peter 1:16-18.].]

2. His matchless perfections—

[Not they only, but his very enemies, were astonished at his wisdom, and constrained to confess, that “never man spake like him.” His power and goodness were alike manifest in the authority which he exercised over diseases, devils, and the very elements. Hence, on different occasions, his Disciples expressed their full conviction that he was the promised Messiah, the Saviour of the world: “We believe and are sure that thou art that Christ the Son of the living God [Note: Matthew 16:16. John 6:69.].”]

3. His shameful death—

[His crucifixion was seen by all: but there were some circumstances connected with his death, which tended very strongly to corroborate the opinion which his Disciples had formed of him. The effusion of blood and water from his wounded side in two distinct streams, particularly impressed them with the idea, that he died to cleanse men, not only from the guilt, but also from the power and pollution, of sin [Note: John 19:34-37. with 1 John 5:6]. And the prodigies preceding and following his dissolution were such, that the Centurion who attended the crucifixion exclaimed, Truly this was a righteous man, this was the Son of God [Note: Matthew 27:54. Mark 15:39. Luke 23:47.].]

4. His triumphant resurrection—

[At the precise moment of his resurrection, none were present except the soldiers who were placed to guard his tomb: but within a few hours he was seen by several of his Disciples: and for the space of forty days he appeared to them on a great variety of occasions [Note: Acts 1:3.]. By these manifestations of himself, the incredulity of the Apostles was overcome [Note: John 20:24-28.]: and much stress was laid upon them by the Apostles in confirmation of their word [Note: 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. Acts 10:40-41.].]

5. His glorious ascension—

[Many were permitted to behold this glorious event: and this, together with the descent of the Holy Spirit whom Christ had promised to send down, convinced the Disciples, beyond a possibility of doubt, that Jesus was the Christ. From this time, (the time of the Spirit’s descent,) the Apostles began to preach Christ as the Saviour of the world: and they constantly founded their testimony upon the fact of their having been eye-witnesses of every thing that they declared [Note: Acts 2:32-33; Acts 2:36.]. Indeed, such stress did they lay on this circumstance, that, in choosing a successor to Judas in the apostleship, they took care to have one who was on a par with themselves in this particular [Note: Acts 1:21-22.]: and, in speaking of Christ, they dwell on this circumstance with most triumphant satisfaction [Note: 1 John 1:1-3.]. It was for the purpose of qualifying Saul to bear the same convincing testimony, that the Lord Jesus appeared personally to him in the way to Damascus [Note: Acts 26:16.]: and, when his ministry was undervalued on account of his supposed inferiority in these respects, he triumphantly appealed to his opposers, “Am I not an Apostle? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord [Note: 1 Corinthians 9:1.]?”

If then such a number of faithful witnesses, all concurring in the same testimony, and all qualified to give their testimony from a personal inspection of the things attested, can establish any truth whatever, we must confess that the fact asserted in the text is established beyond the possibility of doubt, and that “God the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.”]

The fact being proved, we proceed to shew,

II. For what end we bear our testimony respecting it—

To set forth Christ as the Saviour of the world was the one labour of all the Apostles. The same also is our blessed employment; and we make that our constant theme, or, at least, the sum and substance of our discourses;

1. That you may have just views of the Father’s love—

[We behold the goodness of our God in every thing around us: but not all the creation can exhibit it in so bright a view as the cross of Christ: there, even in the face of a crucified Jesus, shines all the glory of our God. Love, in particular, is there portrayed in its most endearing colours. The gift of God’s only dear Son to die for man, was the most stupendous effort of love that ever was, or can be, exhibited [Note: John 3:16. Romans 5:8. ver. 9, 10.] — — — It is greater love than was ever shewn even to the angels themselves [Note: Hebrews 2:16.]: and, while it brings us nearer to the throne of God than they [Note: Revelation 7:11.], it will furnish us with everlasting songs in which they can never join [Note: Revelation 5:9-10.] — — —]

2. That you may renounce all erroneous methods of seeking acceptance with him—

[If this glorious truth had never been revealed, we might well have made the same inquiries as Balak [Note: Micah 6:6-7.]. But what room is there for such inquiries now? Do we despise this unspeakable gift of God? or do we conceive that we shall be able to establish a firmer foundation for our hope, than that which is laid in the blood and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ? — — — O reject not the proffered mercy of your God! Say not, ‘The Saviour of the world shall not save me.’ This is what you do, in fact, say, when you go about to “establish any righteousness of your own [Note: Romans 10:3.].” To guard you against so fatal an error, St. Paul testified with all the energy he could express [Note: Galatians 5:2-4.]: and we also testify, that there is no other foundation to be laid [Note: 1 Corinthians 3:11.], nor any other name to be trusted in [Note: Acts 4:12.], but that of Jesus Christ.]

3. That you may embrace the Lord Jesus with your whole hearts—

[View him as sent down from heaven, even from the bosom of the Father: view him as dying in your place and stead [Note: Isaiah 53:4; Isaiah 53:6. 1 Peter 3:18.]: view him as saving a ruined world. Can you forbear to love him? Can you refrain from seeking an interest in him? Are you not ready to cry out, “Hosanna to the Son of David; Hosanna in the highest?” Behold him, I say; admire him; adore him; trust in him; “cleave unto him with full purpose of heart;” “count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus your Lord.” Alas! you are but too little affected with his love; and need to be reminded of it continually: “we determine, therefore, with God’s help, to know nothing among you but Jesus Christ and him crucified,” and to set before you his love, till it constrains you to love him, and to live to him.]

Conclusion—

[Hear once more our testimony. We testify, that Christ is indeed the Son of God, even “Emmanuel, God with us.” We testify, that the one errand on which he came, was to save a ruined world. We testify, that he has done all that was necessary for the salvation of our souls; and that “he is both able and willing to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him” — — — O compel us not to complain, as he did, “We testify of that we have seen, and ye receive not our witness [Note: John 3:11.]!” but let us behold you inquiring after him, till ye can say with the Samaritan converts, “we have seen (‘heard’) him ourselves, and believe that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world [Note: John 4:42.].” It is true, you cannot now see him, as the Apostles did, face to face; but by faith you may “see him that is invisible:” and if only you behold him now by faith, you shall one day see him, as you are seen, and “know him, as you are known.”]


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Bibliography
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/1-john-4.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

1 John 4:14. καὶ ἡμεῖς) and we ourselves. Thus John 15:27.— τεθεάμεθα καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν; have seen and do testify) This is inferred from that which follows, we have known and believed, 1 John 4:16. By the word, we have known, the first knowledge is marked, as it appears, as it is in the German Kennen lernen, to become acquainted with. For there is a kind of knowledge which is antecedent to faith: and faith is antecedent to μαρτυρίαν, testimony. But the word, we have seen, denotes the full food of the eyes, in beholding.— τὸν υἱὸν, the Son) There are two foundations and proofs [tests] of our dwelling in God, and God in us: the fellowship of the Spirit, and the acknowledging of the Son of God: 1 John 4:13; 1 John 4:15.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-john-4.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He here signifies we are not left at any uncertainties, touching that matter of fact, wherein lies this mighty argument for the exercise of mutual love among Christians, God’s having

sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world; for, as he again inculcates, we testify upon eye-sight, having beheld him, and conversed with him, living and dying.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-john-4.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

We have seen; John 1:14.


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Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "Family Bible New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-john-4.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

14. τεθεάμεθα καὶ μαρτ. As R.V., we have beheld and bear witness: see on 1 John 4:12 and 1 John 1:2. ἡμεῖς is emphatic, and as in the Prologue and in 1 John 4:6, means S. John and the other Apostles. See on 1 John 1:4 and 1 John 4:6. With their own eyes the Twelve saw the Son working out His mission as the Saviour of the world. Τεθεάμεθα points back to τεθέαται in 1 John 4:12 : ‘God Himself no one hath ever yet beheld, but we have beheld His Son’.

ἀπέσταλκεν. Hath sent, as in 1 John 4:9. τοῦ κόσμου is important. The Son has been sent as Saviour, not of the Jews only, nor of the ‘enlightened’ Gnostics only, but of all. There is no limit to His mission to save, and no limit to its success, excepting man’s unwillingness to accept salvation by believing on the Saviour. See on 1 John 2:2 and comp. John 3:17. Only twice in his writings does S. John use the word σωτήρ, here and in the Samaritans’ confession (John 4:42). In both places it is followed by τοῦ κόσμου.


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Bibliography
"Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-john-4.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

14. We have seen and do testify—This we is mainly the apostles. The coming of the Son as seen, bases the whole doctrine on historic grounds.

Saviour of the world—This is his universal office. His atonement is universal, his salvation is universal, limited only in its effects by its being rejected by its proper subjects.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-john-4.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

God"s presence is observable in the midst of Christians who love each other. God produces that love. Most of John"s readers had not, and all of us have not, seen Jesus Christ in the flesh as the apostles did. However, we can see God too and can bear witness with the apostles that God sent Jesus Christ into the world. We can share the apostles" experience that John said was his goal in writing this epistle ( 1 John 1:3-4). We can see God both in the manifestation of His love and in God"s life behind that love as we observe Christians loving one another. This verse then is a high point in John"s argument.

This is the only place in John"s epistles where he used the term "savior." It also appears only once in his Gospel ( John 4:42).

The Church has no more effective way to testify to the world about the Saviorhood of Jesus than by the Revelation -display of the Savior"s love in the fellowship of His disciples." [Note: Hodges, The Epistles . . ., p192.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/1-john-4.html. 2012.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

1 John 4:14. The apostolic testimony (cf. 1 John 1:1-3). ἡμεῖς, either the editorial “we” or “I and the rest of the Apostles who were eye-witnesses”. ἀπέσταλκεν, see note on 1 John 4:9.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-john-4.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

testify = bear witness. Greek. martureo. See p. 1511.

Father. App-98.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-john-4.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

And we - primarily, we apostles, Christ's appointed eye-witnesses to testify to the facts concerning Him. The internal evidence of the indwelling Spirit (1 John 4:13) is corroborated by external evidence of the eye-witnesses to the fact of the Father having "sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world."

Seen , [ tetheametha (Greek #2300)] - 'contemplated;' 'attentively beheld' (note, 1 John 1:1).

Sent - `hath sent:' not entirely past (aorist), but one of which the effects continue (perfect).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-john-4.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
we have
1:1-3; 5:9; John 1:14; 3:11,32; 5:39; 15:26,27; Acts 18:5; 1 Peter 5:12
the Father
10; John 3:34; 5:36,37; 10:36
the Saviour
2:1,2; John 1:29; 3:16,17; 4:42; 12:47

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-john-4.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

That the Father sent his Son. John speaks as an eye-witness! See John 15:27; 1 John 1:1-4.


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-john-4.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

John and the other apostles could testify, because they had seen the evidences that the Father has sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.


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Bibliography
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on 1 John 4:14". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/1-john-4.html. 1952.

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