“Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God.”
— 1 John 4:15 (Msg)
There is a gift known to humankind that much of humankind has not reckoned upon or redeemed. But with this gift is an irony. To receive this gift we must give something ourselves; we must give ourselves; give ourselves over to God; then to receive the gift of salvation—the free gift, because all gifts should be free, and this gift is totally and majestically free. All that’s required is participation in receipt; for all gifts to be gifts they must be received; that is, to agree we are God’s and always were; to receive our Creator; to agree to relinquish our rebellion agenda; our rebellion against God. This gift is about receiving communion with God.
Everyone who believes Jesus is God’s Son demonstrates this by participating continuously in an intimate relationship with God.
These are fairly plain words. With belief comes action.
The Action Out of Belief
Those who believe that Jesus is truly the Son of God are transformed by a Kingdom participation. They cannot not be engaged in growing spiritually. They are drawn toward intimacy with God. Their belief compels them toward action. And this action is life-transforming.
Those who confess that Jesus is truly the Son of God, by their words and actions, draw close to God and are brought closer to the knowledge of God. More and more they receive God’s revelation and are motivated and able to serve the Kingdom agenda.
Confessing Jesus as the Son of God means something significant in one life. That one life—our lives—are changed, and always for the better. We truly receive life. Before this—and it’s good to be able to contrast the difference between two lives—life was not really life, not really. It was an attempt at life; a physical life with sputtering attempts at spiritual life, but without really knowing why.
Continuous intimacy with God brings forth many blessings. We cannot help but make our faith viable in an action-oriented way. We grow as individuals through the lifespan and are kept humble. We realise, and see how, God is central to everything. And we are determined to finish well.
An Abiding LORD
When we have learned to abide in God we see that God abides in us.
Before we sided with God we couldn’t see how God sided with us, but now we have been converted, and have taken our place in the Kingdom, we see God working for us despite all barriers.
This working of God is not a working for our selfish interest; God works by Spirit and truth. Where we abide in the truth—and continuous participation with God aligns us—we are blessed. The more we abide, the more God abides in us and through our lives. It’s the only way it can be.
Jesus transforms every believer, because every believer abides, and to everyone abiding in God, God abides in them. Such a symphony of abiding comes through continuous intimacy; participation with God with all our senses and all our being.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.