Testifying To What You Have Seen
“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.” 1 John 4:14 NKJV
This is a fascinating statement by John that is so powerful when you realize the impact of his words upon you and your life. Note that the verse begins by saying, “And we have seen…that the Father has sent the Son…” It is an amazing pronouncement because just two verses earlier John was very adamant is saying, “No one has seen God at any time…” How can this be? In one breath he is saying no one has seen God and two verses later he proclaims that we have seen the Father who has sent the Son and testified to that.
When we read that it is easy for us to think that John is referring to himself and the other disciples when he says “we have seen” that Jesus is the Son and Savior. But the “we” in that statement is not John and the other disciples. First of all, this was written probably 55 to 60 years after the crucifixion of Jesus, so most of those who had seen Jesus with their own eyes were likely already dead, so they could not be the “we”. The “we” he refers to is those who are reading his letter at that moment, and even you and me as believers in Jesus today who are reading his letter.
If you read this in context it also helps us when we understand that he had just told those he was addressing that they have the Lord Himself abiding within them (the same is true for us today). John was referring to them as the “we”, whom he was addressing. So John is saying to those he was speaking to, and to you and me today as believers, that we have seen and testify to the fact that Jesus was sent by the Father and is the Savior! In the two verses before, when John said no one had seen God because with their natural eyes, it is true. Not one of us has seen the Father, but John also just explained that the Lord abides in us. As a born-again believer, the Holy Spirit dwells and abides in you in your spirit. That is what it means to be a new creature and creation in Him. Your spirit which was dead is now made alive again in Him. In fact, because His Spirit is in your spirit, you are tied directly to the presence of the Lord in the heavenly realm at all times because the Holy Spirit is a part of who God is. He is in you, so you are tied to the throne room by the Holy Spirit. That is astounding, right?
If we can understand that, then what John says makes sense. With natural eyes, we cannot see God, but our spirit is tied to the heavenlies and in His presence right now even though we cannot see it. Our spirit does, however, see the things of the spirit realm. So, you and I are the witnesses John speaks of and we are to give testimony of what we see. Every day we should be giving testimony to others of what we know to be true, the good news that we know because our spirit is in His presence abiding in Him as He abides in us.
J Todd Hostetler