1 John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Three times in the above four verses God expresses the truth that we dwell in Him and He dwells in us. Not only this, but three proofs of this indwelling are also given. How do we know if we dwell in Him and He dwells in us? Verse 13 begins, "Hereby know we". In other words, "here is how we know"; here is how we know that we dwell in Him and He in us. The verse ends, "because He hath given us of His Spirit". What is God expressing to us here? The foundational truth about knowing the indwelling of God is that we cannot know this truth in the flesh. Unless the Spirit of God be given to us, we cannot know the indwelling of God.
This is such a humbling truth. In fact, this idea is met with much resistance. Men want to "figure out" God; to touch Him and attain to His level through our natural understanding. But, as Jesus reveals to Peter in Matthew chapter 16, “… Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee but my Father which is in heaven". Likewise, in John chapter 1 we read, "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God". Here, in 1 John chapter 4 verse 13, God is expressing the same sentiment. Knowing that we dwell in Him and He in us, is a gift from God. He gives us His Spirit. What a blessed gift! What a perfect starting point! God, the Almighty God, gives us of His Spirit!
In the next couple of weeks, Lord willing, we will look at the second and third proof that God gives concerning Him indwelling us. But, without this first "proof", without the gift of His Spirit, the other two are meaningless. As Jesus said to Nicodemus in John chapter 3, "unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God". Nicodemus appears to be an intelligent, well-meaning man. He does not appear to be overly arrogant nor does he appear to possess any malice. His position necessitates that he is a very learned man. Yet, when he begins to speak with Jesus about "knowing", Jesus’ response is that Nicodemus cannot "see" spiritual things. First Corinthians chapter 2 verse 14 makes this clear, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned".
It is my desire that all who read this have the gift of God's Spirit. Please do not settle for dead religion, please do not settle for church membership and baptism or any other outward form! God makes it very clear in this passage that it is His desire that each of us “know" the indwelling of His Spirit. Do you know this? Honestly, do you know this?