1 John 4:14
And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
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4:14-21 The Father sent the Son, he willed his coming into this world. The apostle attests this. And whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. This confession includes faith in the heart as the foundation; makes acknowledgment with the mouth to the glory of God and Christ, and profession in the life and conduct, against the flatteries and frowns of the world. There must be a day of universal judgment. Happy those who shall have holy boldness before the Judge at that day; knowing he is their Friend and Advocate! Happy those who have holy boldness in the prospect of that day, who look and wait for it, and for the Judge's appearance! True love to God assures believers of God's love to them. Love teaches us to suffer for him and with him; therefore we may trust that we shall also be glorified with him, 2Ti 2:12. We must distinguish between the fear of God and being afraid of him; the fear of God imports high regard and veneration for God. Obedience and good works, done from the principle of love, are not like the servile toil of one who unwillingly labours from dread of a master's anger. They are like that of a dutiful child, who does services to a beloved father, which benefit his brethren, and are done willingly. It is a sign that our love is far from perfect, when our doubts, fears, and apprehensions of God, are many. Let heaven and earth stand amazed at his love. He sent his word to invite sinners to partake of this great salvation. Let them take the comfort of the happy change wrought in them, while they give him the glory. The love of God in Christ, in the hearts of Christians from the Spirit of adoption, is the great proof of conversion. This must be tried by its effects on their temper, and their conduct to their brethren. If a man professes to love God, and yet indulges anger or revenge, or shows a selfish disposition, he gives his profession the lie. But if it is plain that our natural enmity is changed into affection and gratitude, let us bless the name of our God for this seal and earnest of eternal happiness. Then we differ from the false professors, who pretend to love God, whom they have not seen, yet hate their brethren, whom they have seen.And we have seen - Notes on 1 John 1:1.

And do testify - Notes, 1 John 1:3. That is, we who are apostles bear witness to you of this great truth, that God has sent his Son to be a Saviour. Compare the notes at John 20:31. The reason why this is referred to here is not quite apparent, but the train of thought in this passage would seem to be this: The writer is discoursing of the love of God, and of its manifestation in the gift of the Saviour, and of the proper influence which it should have on us. Struck with the greatness and importance of the subject, his mind adverts to the "evidence" on which what he was saying rested - the evidence that the Father had really thus manifested his love. That evidence he repeats, that he had actually seen him who had been sent, and had the clearest demonstration that what he deemed so important had really occurred.

14. And we—primarily, we apostles, Christ's appointed eye-witnesses to testify to the facts concerning Him. The internal evidence of the indwelling Spirit (1Jo 4:13) is corroborated by the external evidence of the eye-witnesses to the fact of the Father having "sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world."

seen—Greek, "contemplated," "attentively beheld" (see on [2647]1Jo 1:1).

sent—Greek, "hath sent": not an entirely past fact (aorist), but one of which the effects continue (perfect tense).

He here signifies we are not left at any uncertainties, touching that matter of fact, wherein lies this mighty argument for the exercise of mutual love among Christians, God’s having

sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world; for, as he again inculcates, we testify upon eye-sight, having beheld him, and conversed with him, living and dying.

And we have seen, and do testify,.... This seems to be particularly said of the apostles, who had a clear discerning of the love and grace of God, manifested in the mission of Christ into the world; for though no man had seen his nature and his person, yet they had seen his love, and the exceeding riches of his grace, which he had shown forth in Christ Jesus; and they had also seen Christ, God manifest in the flesh; they had seen his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father; they had seen him with their bodily eyes; they had seen his works and miracles; they had seen him dying and risen again from the dead, and go up to heaven; they were witnesses, and eyewitnesses of him, and bore a faithful testimony of him, and for him, and particularly set their seal to this truth,

that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world; not of every individual person in it, for there are some that will go into everlasting punishment, and even a world that will be condemned; Christ is not in fact the Saviour of all the individuals of human nature, and therefore was not sent to be such; for if he was, the end of his mission is not fully answered; nor of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles also, and who are chiefly intended by "the world"; See Gill on 1 John 2:2; and even of all the elect of God, styled his people, his sheep, his friends, his church, and the sons of God; and it may be said of all that believe in him throughout the whole world, without any distinction of nation, age, sex, state, or condition: and Christ is the Saviour both of the souls and bodies of these, from all their sins, original and actual; from the power of Satan, the bondage and curse of the law, and wrath to come, and he is the only, able, willing, and complete Saviour, and who saves with an everlasting salvation.

{11} And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

(11) He underlays this charity with another foundation, that is, faith in Jesus, which joins us indeed with him, even as charity witnesses that we are joined with him. Furthermore he testifies of Christ, as who had seen him with his eyes.

1 John 4:14-15. That love brings with it fellowship with God, is caused by the fact that God is love and love springs from God. But God’s love was made manifest by the sending of His Son, and this is testified by the apostles, who themselves have seen Him. The last thought which 1 John 4:14 expresses serves as an introduction to the thought that follows in 1 John 4:15, in which the believing confession (and therefore faith) is described as the condition of fellowship with God, and hence also of true love.

καὶ ἡμεῖς] By ἡμεῖς John means here himself and his fellow-apostles; comp. 1 John 4:6.

τεθεάμεθα καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν, comp. chap. 1 John 1:1-2. τεθεάμεθα expresses the direct seeing (Gospel of John 1:14), not knowledge through the medium of others. The apostles saw that the Father sent the Son, inasmuch as they saw the Son Himself—and not after the flesh merely, but also as the μονογενὴς παρὰ πατρός. With τεθεάμεθα corresponds the closely-connected idea μαρτυροῦμεν, which presupposes one’s own direct experience; comp. Gospel of John 1:34.

The subject of this testimony is: ὅτι ὁ πατὴρ ἀπέσταλκε τὸν υἱὸν σωτῆρα τοῦ κόσμου, comp. 1 John 4:9-10; σωτῆρα τ. κ. states the purpose of the sending, which does not refer to particular elect ones, but to the whole number of sinners (comp. chap. 1 John 2:2 and Gospel of John 3:16).—1 John 4:15. With ὁμολογήσῃ, comp. 1 John 4:2. The subject of the confession is: ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ; this is precisely what the antichrists deny; comp. 1 John 4:2-3.

Weiss erroneously interprets: “Whosoever abides in this confession, in him it is seen that God is in him;” the words “in him it is seen” are a mere interpolation.

1 John 4:14. The apostolic testimony (cf. 1 John 1:1-3). ἡμεῖς, either the editorial “we” or “I and the rest of the Apostles who were eye-witnesses”. ἀπέσταλκεν, see note on 1 John 4:9.

14. And we have seen and do testify] Better, as R. V., And we have beheld and bear witness: see on 1 John 4:12 and 1 John 1:2. ‘We’ is emphatic, and, as in the Prologue, means S. John and the other Apostles. See on 1 John 1:4. With their own eyes they saw the Son working out His mission as the Saviour of the world. ‘Beheld’ points back to 1 John 4:12 : ‘God Himself no one hath ever yet beheld; but we have beheld His Son’.

sent the Son] Better, hath sent the Son; as in 1 John 4:9. ‘Of the world’ is important; not of the Jews only, or of the ‘enlightened’ Gnostics only, but of all. There is no limit but the willingness of men to accept salvation by believing on the Saviour. ‘For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through Him’ (John 3:17). See on 1 John 2:2.

1 John 4:14. Καὶ ἡμεῖς) and we ourselves. Thus John 15:27.—τεθεάμεθα καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν; have seen and do testify) This is inferred from that which follows, we have known and believed, 1 John 4:16. By the word, we have known, the first knowledge is marked, as it appears, as it is in the German Kennen lernen, to become acquainted with. For there is a kind of knowledge which is antecedent to faith: and faith is antecedent to μαρτυρίαν, testimony. But the word, we have seen, denotes the full food of the eyes, in beholding.—τὸν Υἱὸν, the Son) There are two foundations and proofs [tests] of our dwelling in God, and God in us: the fellowship of the Spirit, and the acknowledging of the Son of God: 1 John 4:13; 1 John 4:15.

Verse 14. - And we have beheld, and do bear witness. The emphatic ἡμεῖς clearly means "we apostles;" and "beheld" τεθέαμεθα implies contemplation with bodily eyes, as in verse 12. The invisible God can be only "invisibly seen" by the pure heart. But the incarnate Son has been visibly contemplated; and to bear witness of this fact was the very office of an apostle (John 15:27; Acts 1:8). The language of this verse, as of chapter 1 John 1:1, 3, would be strained and rather unreal in one who had not seen the Christ in the flesh. Note that σωτῆρα has no article, and is not in mere apposition, but is a second predicate: "The Father hath sent [see on verse 10] the Son as Saviour," i.e., to be such. "The world," as commonly in St. John's writings, is specially the unregenerate among the human race. 1 John 4:14We have seen (πεθεάμεθα)

Have deliberately and steadfastly contemplated. Compare 1 John 1:1, and see on John 1:14.

Do testify (μαρτυροῦμεν)

Rev., bear witness. See on John 1:7.


See on 1 John 4:9.

The Savior of the world

See the same phrase, John 4:42, and compare John 3:17. Σωτήρ Savior, occurs in John only here and John 4:42. Elsewhere it is applied both to God (1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 2:3; Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:4; Jde 1:25), and to Christ (Luke 2:11; Acts 5:31; Acts 13:23; 2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 1:4, etc.). The title is found in Paul's Epistles of the Captivity (Ephesians 5:23; Philippians 3:20), and in the Pastorals (see above), but not in Corinthians, Romans, Galatians, or Thessalonians. In classical writings the term is applied to many deities, especially to Zeus (Jupiter); also to Hermes (Mercury), Apollo, Hercules, and even to female deities, as Fortune and Aphrodite (Venus). "Zeus Soter" (Zeus Savior) was used as a formula in drinking at banquets. The third cup was dedicated to him. Compare Plato: "Then, by way of a third libation to the savior Zeus, let us sum up and reassert what has been said" ("Philebus," 66). The drinking of this cup was a symbol of good fortune, and the third time came to mean the lucky time. "Twice then has the just man overthrown the unjust; and now comes the third trial, which, after Olympic fashion, is sacred to Zeus the savior,... and surely this will prove the greatest and most decisive of falls" (Plato, "Republic," 583). Hence the proverb, τὸ τρίτον τῳ σωτῆρι, lit., the third to the savior; i.e., the third or lucky time. The name was also given later to princes or public benefactors. The kindred noun σωτηρία salvation, does not occur in John's Epistles, and appears only once in the Gospel (John 4:22). It is found thrice in Revelation (Revelation 7:10; Revelation 12:10; Revelation 19:1). Σώζειν to save occurs six times in John's Gospel, and once in Revelation (Revelation 21:24). It does not appear in the Epistles.

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