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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 John 4:15

 

 

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Whosoever shall confess - Much stress is laid on this confession, because the false teachers denied the reality of the incarnation; but this confession implied also such a belief in Christ as put them in possession of his pardoning mercy and indwelling Spirit.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-john-4.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God - In the true sense, and from the heart. This will always prove that a man is a Christian. But the passage cannot mean that if he merely says so in words, or if he does it insincerely, or without any proper sense of the truth, it will prove that he is a Christian. On the meaning of the sentiment here expressed, see the notes at 1 John 4:2. Compare the notes at Romans 10:10.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-john-4.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

1 John 4:15

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God

Confessing Jesus as the Son of God

This implies--

1.
A deep and living conviction, a true perception of mind and heart, that “Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins” and the only Saviour for lost mankind.

2. A vital belief in His salvation, in the efficacy of His blood, and the power of His grace.

3. A hearty and full acceptance of the gospel of the Son of God; a resting in all the doctrines, a waiting for all the promises, an observance of all the ordinances, an obedience to all the commandments.

4. A proclaiming of the Lord as our Divine Redeemer in the face of the world. (J. Slade, M. A.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "1 John 4:15". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/1-john-4.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him, and he in God.

Confess that Jesus is the Son of God ... There is a form of metonymy (synecdoche) in a statement of this kind. The primary pre-requirements of salvation, the so-called "plan of salvation" is meant by this. The New Testament reveals that "obeying the gospel" as the New Testament writers called it, meant believing in Christ, repenting of one's sins, confessing the Son of God, and being baptized "into Christ." As a consequence of such primary obedience, and subsequently to it, the Holy Spirit was given, not to make men sons of God, but because upon such initial faith and obedience they became sons of God (Galatians 4:6). There are two possible meanings of John's words here, and both of them may be correct.

(1) He refers to the Christian's obedience of the gospel at the time he became a Christian, the confession of faith in Christ, of course, being a prominent part of conversion. If this is what was in the apostle's mind, the meaning of it is almost identical with Peter's words on Pentecost (Acts 2:38f), Peter's "gift of the Holy Spirit" meaning exactly the same thing in that passage that John meant by "God abideth in him" here. There can be no difference in these.

(2) If, as Roberts thought, John was speaking of a time in the lives of Christians long after their conversion, then he may be "saying that if this confession can be sincerely repeated by the believer, that God abides in him, and he in God."[41]

In either view, it is conversion itself, and primary obedience of the gospel to which this verse undoubtedly refers. This somewhat sudden mention of initial Christian obedience, after all John had been saying, and continued to say about "love," reminds us that:

With John, love always includes obedience to all God's commandments; and where obedience is not manifested, love is not. Even with God, love was not mere sympathy, but sending his Son to be the propitiation.[42]

[41] J. W. Roberts, op. cit., p. 119.

[42] William Hurte, Restoration of New Testament Christianity (Rosemead, California: Old Paths Publishing Company, 1964), p. 489.


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 4:15". "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

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God,.... The only begotten of the Father; that he is not a mere man, as the Jews, and Ebion and Cerinthus said, but a divine person, equal with the Father; which contains all that relates to the dignity of his person, and his fitness for his office as a Saviour, and which was the test of faith in those times, and the grand article of belief: not that a bare assent to this had what followed annexed to it; for the devils believed and owned that Jesus was the Son of God; and so might, and did, unregenerate persons, as the centurion at the cross of Christ, who know nothing what communion with God is; but this confession is such as is attended with a believing in Christ from the heart unto righteousness, life, and salvation, and a cheerful obedience to his ordinances and commands, from a principle of love to him, and faith in him, things not to be found in devils and carnal men; see Romans 10:9.

God dwelleth in him, and he in God; See Gill on 1 John 4:13; this should encourage to an open and hearty confession of Christ as the Son of God, and Saviour of sinners, and to a public profession of his name, and faith in him, and an holding it fast without wavering.


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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 4:15". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-john-4.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Whosoever shall h confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

(h) With such a confession as comes from true faith, and is accompanied with love, so that there is an agreement of all things.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". "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

shall confess — once for all: so the Greek aorist means.

that Jesus is the Son of God — and therefore “the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14).


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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 4:15". "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

Whosoever shall confess (ος εαν ομολογησηιhos ean homologēsēi). Indefinite relative clause with modal εανean (= an) and the first aorist active subjunctive, “whoever confesses.” See 1 John 2:23; 1 John 4:2. for ομολογεωhomologeō (οτιhoti). Object clause (indirect assertion) after ομολογεωhomologeō This confession of the deity of Jesus Christ implies surrender and obedience also, not mere lip service (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:3; Romans 10:6-12). This confession is proof (if genuine) of the fellowship with God (1 John 1:3.; 1 John 3:24).


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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 4:15". "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

Whosoever ( ὀς ἐὰν )

Lit., who if there be any.

Shall confess

See on 1 John 1:9.

Son of God

See on 1 John 1:7.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". "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

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

Whosoever shall, from a principle of loving faith, openly confess in the face of all opposition and danger, that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him.


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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 4:15". "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

15Whosoever shall confess He repeats the truth, that we are united to God by Christ, and that we cannot be connected with Christ except, God abides in us. Faith and confession are used indiscriminately in the same sense; for though hypocrites may wisely boast of faith, yet the apostle here acknowledges none of those who ordinarily confess, but such as truly and from the heart believe. Besides, when he says that Jesus is the Son of God, he briefly includes the sum and substance of faith; for there is nothing necessary for salvation which faith finds not in Christ

After having said in general, that men are so united to Christ by faith, that Christ unites them to God, he subjoined what they themselves had seen so that he accommodated a general truth to those to whom he was writing. Then follows the exhortation, to love one another as they were loved by God. Therefore the order and connection of his discourse is this, — Faith in Christ, makes God to dwell in men, and we are partakers of this grace; but as God is love, no one dwells in him except he loves his brethren. Then love ought to reign in us, since God unites himself to us.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-john-4.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

Ver. 15. Whosoever shall confess] {See Trapp on "1 Corinthians 12:3"}


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". 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 4:15. Whosoever shall confess See on 1 John 4:2. The confession here required must have been sincere, otherwise it would have been of no moment. Confessing Jesus to be the Son of God, or the Messiah, implied their taking him for their Head and Lord, whom they were to love, imitate, and obey. Together with confession of the mouth, there was to be faith in the heart, and a suitable behaviour in the life and practice. They were to confess that Jesus isthe Christ openly and publicly, even when danger and persecution attended that confession. Hence came afterwards the distinguishing name of confessors, to denote those who had suffered in part for their religion, and who were ready to have died as martyrs, rather than to have denied the truth. Such were undoubtedly the most likely to imitate Christ's example, obey his commands, and rejoice in the prospect of his second coming. The connection of this verse with the context stands thus: It was intimated, 1 John 4:14 that the apostles had known and clearly proved, that Jesus was the Messiah and Saviour of the world. Here it is to be observed, that whoever duly attended to the evidence which the apostles had brought, and thereupon with the heart believed Jesus to be the Son of God, and lived and acted accordingly, was a true Christian, and in the divine favour: Whence St. John makes the intended inference, 1 John 4:16 namely, that whoever believed that astonishing instance of the love of God in sending his Son, would be inflamed with a just sense of it, and would sincerely love his fellow-christians. See John 17:22-23.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-john-4.html. 1801-1803.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

1 John 4:15. υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, the Son of God) and therefore the Saviour of the world, 1 John 4:14.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". 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

This discourse is most studiously and observably interwoven, of these two great things, mentioned 1 John 3:23, faith in the Messiah, and the love of one another, as being the principal antidotes against the poisonous insinuations of the apostates. Of confessing: See Poole on "1 John 4:2".


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". 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

Confess that Jesus is the Son of God; truly, sincerely, heartily; receiving him as the Son of God.


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Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". "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

15. ὃς ἂν ὁμολ. Quicunque confessus fuerit (Vulgate): less well, Si quis confessus fuerit (Jerome Adv. Jovin. II. 29). This explains and confirms τοῦ κόσμου. Without any exception, Whosoever shall confess (see on 1 John 2:5) God abideth in him: but this was just what the false prophets refused to do. See on 1 John 4:2-3, and on 1 John 5:1. Comp. Ephesians 3:17.

ὁ Θεὸςτῷ Θεῷ. The communion is of the closest kind: comp. 1 John 3:24; John 6:56; John 14:20; John 15:5. Even Apostles, who have beheld and borne witness, can have no more than this Divine fellowship, which is open to every believer. For μένει see on 1 John 2:24. Vicissim in se habitant qui continet et qui continetur. Habitas in Deo, sed ut continearis: habitat in te Deus, sed ut contineat ne cadas, quia sic de ipsa caritate apostolus ait; Caritas nunquam cadit. Quomodo cadit quem continet Deus? (Bede).


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Bibliography
"Commentary on 1 John 4:15". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-john-4.html. 1896.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

15.] And recognition of this fact is a condition and proof of the life of God. Whosoever confesseth (the aorist can only be given by the English present and an exegesis,—viz. that this present betokens not a repeated act and habit, but a great act once for all introducing the man into a state of ὁμολογῆσαι. All futures, “shall confess,” and futuri exacti, “shall have confessed,” are objectionable; the one as losing the retrospective tinge, the other as making it unduly prominent, and indeed imparting a slight hue of transitoriness, which least of all belongs to the word.

The same remark holds good of this confessing, as before with regard to denying, ch. 1 John 2:23; viz., that we must not bring into it more than the Apostle intends by it: it is not the “confession of the life” which is here spoken of, but that of the lips only. Of course it would be self-evident that this is taken by the Apostle as ruling the life: but simply as a matter of course. He speaks of the ideal realized) that Jesus is the Son of God (i. e. receives the testimony in the last verse as true), God abideth in him, and he in God.


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-john-4.html. 1863-1878.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

15. Confess—In accordance with our testify, in last verse.

Jesus… Son of God—Not but that men may barely confess this one article and reject other truths, and thus be unsaved heretics. Our apostle simply gives this essential part for the whole testify; this being the test question between him and the heretics with whom he is dealing, Note 1 John 4:2.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-john-4.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Whoever will confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.’

God’s salvation is only effective through His Son. Each one who truly confesses Jesus as God’s Son, and as the Saviour of the world, believes in the fact that the only Son became flesh in the man Jesus and dwelt among us, and makes that confession as a response of faith in the light of all He has done for us in dying for us. Then as a result of this true faith he has God abiding in him, and himself abides in God. So salvation is through faith, and love for the brethren is one of the outwards signs of the reality of that faith and of our experience of God’s love.


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Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/1-john-4.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Confessing that Jesus is God"s Son is not the only condition for abiding in God. It is one evidence that one is abiding. One not abiding may or may not make this confession. Confession is the last step, the step of bearing witness (cf. 1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:23; 1 John 4:3; Romans 10:9-10).

"The notion of God "abiding" in someone has rich associations with John"s Gospel, where meno occurs more than three dozen times. The word can mean simply to dwell somewhere; one"s domicile is where one "abides" ( John 1:38-39 a; John 2:12; John 4:40 2x]; John 7:9; John 8:35 2x]; John 10:40; John 11:6; John 11:54). But there is a fuller sense. God"s Spirit descended and "remained" on Jesus, according to John the Baptist ( John 1:32-33). The Spirit was Jesus"s constant companion. To "remain" or "abide" in Jesus"s teaching is to be his true disciple ( John 8:31). A disciple will be informed and steered by all that Jesus commanded and taught. God the Father "remained" or "abode" with Jesus during his earthly days ( John 14:10). The Father was the source of the very words he spoke, and Jesus "remained" continually in the Father"s love ( John 15:10 b. "Abiding" describes a reality involving father, Song of Solomon , and Spirit." [Note: Yarbrough, p252.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/1-john-4.html. 2012.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

1 John 4:15. ὁμολογήσῃ, aor. of a definite confession born of persuasion. Such a conviction implies fellowship with God.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-john-4.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

confess, &c. See Matthew 16:16.

Jesus. App-98.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". "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

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

Shall confess - once for all (aorist).

That Jesus is the Son of God - and therefore "the Saviour of the world" (1 John 4:14).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". "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

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
confess
2; 5:1,5; Matthew 10:32; Luke 12:8; Romans 10:9; Philippians 2:11; 2 John 1:7
God dwelleth
12; 3:24

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-john-4.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

Whoever declares. Compare 1 John 4:2. Such faith implies fellowship with God! Compare 1 Timothy 6:12; Matthew 16:16; Romans 10:9-10. "God lives in the one who declares his faith in Jesus as the Christ incarnate."


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". "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

See the comments at verses1-3.


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Bibliography
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on 1 John 4:15". 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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