The privilege of having God’s abiding presence
And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 John 4:13-14 NLT
John from the text, provides Christians the source of their confidence. They are able to abide in Christ and Christ abides in them through the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This is the beauty of having a personal relationship with Christ. In the Old Testament, the Israelites experience God’s abiding presence at the tabernacle or the temple. God’s presence is felt only when they are in those structures. When Moses dedicated the tabernacle, the presence of God dwelt in that place. “Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34). But since the presence of God is in the tabernacle, “Moses could no longer enter” (v. 35). Later on, Solomon builds the temple for the glory of God left the tabernacle because the people sinned. As soon as the temple of God was dedicated, the presence of God was experienced only in the holy of holies. “The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:11). But as soon as the people sinned and the temple was destroyed, the glory of God left. Ezekiel, the prophet, was given a vison and the task to preach to the people and call them to return to God in repentance so they can experience the presence of God. “The glory of the Lord went up from the city and stopped above the mountain to the east” (Ezekiel 11:23). The coming of Jesus into this world had brought the presence and glory of God no longer to dwell in the temple but in the lives of those that trusted Him by faith. “‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ ‘What!’ they exclaimed. ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?’ But when Jesus said ‘this temple,’ he meant his own body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said’” (John 2:18b-22). Those who repented of their sin and believed in Christ and what He accomplished on their behalf at the cross experienced God’s abiding presence. Paul talking to the believers in Corinth says to them, “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). Then he repeated this and told them that their “body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Our witness then to this world is to demonstrate God’s love for He abides in us through the Holy Spirt who lives in us. Our witness is about the coming of Christ to “to testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14).