Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 John 4:15

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Whosoever shall confess - Much stress is laid on this confession, because the false teachers denied the reality of the incarnation; but this confession implied also such a belief in Christ as put them in possession of his pardoning mercy and indwelling Spirit.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God - In the true sense, and from the heart. This will always prove that a man is a Christian. But the passage cannot mean that if he merely says so in words, or if he does it insincerely, or without any proper sense of the truth, it will prove that he is a Christian. On the meaning of the sentiment here expressed, see the notes at 1 John 4:2. Compare the notes at Romans 10:10.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
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.
Ellen G. White
Sons and Daughters of God, 189

The confession of which John here speaks, is not the result of a nominal faith, but is the result of an abiding faith in the living Saviour,—the result of believing that the blessings of salvation are brought within our reach through the sufferings and death of Christ, who was raised from the dead, and ever liveth to make intercession for us. We should feel assured that Jesus is our Saviour, and that life would not be enjoyable, nor afford us peace or hope, if He had not loved us and given Himself for us.1The Youth's Instructor, January 6, 1898. SD 189.2

Our claim to Christ's righteousness is without a flaw, if we meet the conditions upon which it is promised. God has bestowed upon us all heaven in one rich gift, and whatever the gift includes is ours, if we accept Christ as our personal Saviour.... Speak of Jesus, educate the tongue to speak of His mercy, to tell of His power, showing forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.2The Youth's Instructor, July 12, 1894. SD 189.3

Christian youth, you are a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. Be brave in God. Put on the whole armor of God, and let unbelievers about you see that your life is not spoiled because you stand loyal and true to all the commandments of God. You can be, and God requires you to be, a decided witness for Him.3The Youth's Instructor, July 12, 1894. SD 189.4

We need to dwell on the words of courage that Christ spoke to His disciples toward the close of His earthly ministry.... Though a cruel death was just before Him, Christ's words to His followers were full of hope. He desired to bring all the comfort possible to their hearts. Let us be strong in Him.4Letter 24, 1912. SD 189.5

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 555

It is through the social relations that Christianity comes in contact with the world. Every man or woman who has tasted of the love of Christ, and has received into the heart the divine illumination, is required of God to shed light on the dark pathway of those who are unacquainted with the better way. Every worker in that sanitarium should become a witness for Jesus. Social power, sanctified by the Spirit of Christ, must be improved to win souls to the Saviour. 4T 555.2

He who has to deal with persons differing so widely in character, disposition, and temperament will have trials, perplexities, and collisions, even when he does his best. He may be disgusted with the ignorance, pride, and independence which he will meet; but this should not discourage him. He should stand where he will sway, rather than be swayed. Firm as a rock to principle, with an intelligent faith, he should stand uncorrupted by surrounding influences. The people of God should not be transformed by the various influences to which they must necessarily be exposed, but they must stand up for Jesus and by the aid of His Spirit exert a transforming power upon minds deformed by false habits and defiled by sin. 4T 555.3

Christ is not to be hid away in the heart and locked in as a coveted treasure, sacred and sweet, to be enjoyed solely by the possessor. We are to have Christ in our hearts as a well of water, springing up into everlasting life, refreshing all who come in contact with us. We must confess Christ openly and bravely, exhibiting in our characters His meekness, humility, and love, till men shall be charmed by the beauty of holiness. It is not the best way to preserve our religion as we bottle perfumes lest the fragrance should escape. 4T 555.4

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