|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:22-24 When believers had confidence towards God, through the Spirit of adoption, and by faith in the great High Priest, they might ask what they would of their reconciled Father. They would receive it, if good for them. And as good-will to men was proclaimed from heaven, so good-will to men, particularly to the brethren, must be in the hearts of those who go to God and heaven. He who thus follows Christ, dwells in Him as his ark, refuge, and rest, and in the Father through him. This union between Christ and the souls of believers, is by the Spirit he has given them. A man may believe that God is gracious before he knows it; yet when faith has laid hold on the promises, it sets reason to work. This Spirit of God works a change; in all true Christians it changes from the power of Satan to the power of God. Consider, believer, how it changes thy heart. Dost not thou long for peace with God? Wouldst thou not forego all the world for it? No profit, pleasure, or preferment shall hinder thee from following Christ. This salvation is built upon Divine testimony, even the Spirit of God.
Verse 24. - We are again in doubt as to whether αὐτοῦ and αὐτός refer to God the Father or to Christ. The former seems better on account of verse 22; but the latter may be right (John 14:15; John 15:5). Compare the conclusion of the first main division (1 John 2:24-28). In this (or, hereby) probably refers to what follows; the ἐν does not disprove this, in spite of the ἐκ which follows. St. John has combined two constructions: "In this we know... in that" ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν... ὅτι, as in verse 16; and "From this we know... from" ἐκ τούτου γινώσκομεν... ἐκ τοῦ; comp. 1 John 4:6. From the Spirit which he gave us. "He" is probably the Father (John 14:16, 17), and the aorist ἔδωκεν refers to the special occasion of Pentecost. Hitherto St. John has mentioned only the Father and the Son; now the Spirit also (alluded to in 1 John 2:20, 27) is introduced by name as a witness and test of the truth. The sentence forms the transition to the subject of the next section (1 John 4:1-6), which is a sort of digression, the subject of love being mentioned in verse 7. This verse is said to have been a favourite with Spinoza.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he that keepeth his commandments,.... Attends to those instructions and declarations concerning faith in Christ, and love to the brethren, and acts according to them:
dwelleth in him, and he in them; that is, he dwells in Christ, and Christ dwells in him; the same is said of believing in Christ under the figurative expressions of eating his flesh, and drinking his blood; see Gill on John 6:56;
and hereby we know that he abideth in us; or dwelleth in us, as before,
by the Spirit which he hath given us; which if understood of private Christians, as the preceding verses incline to, the sense is, that union to Christ, and the continuance of it, or his indwelling as a fruit of union, and the permanency of that, are evidenced by the Spirit of God; who is given in consequence of union and relation to Christ, as a spirit of regeneration and sanctification, of faith and love, of adoption, and as the earnest of the heavenly inheritance; but if of the apostles and ministers of the word, it may regard the gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed on them, fitting them for their work and office, and who is a spirit of truth, and not of error; and by having and enjoying these, they knew that Christ abode in them, and had reason to believe, according to his promise, that he would be with them, and with his ministering: servants in succession, to the end of the world; and this sense seems to be encouraged by the former part of the following chapter.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. dwelleth in him—The believer dwelleth in Christ.
and he in him—Christ in the believer. Reciprocity. "Thus he returns to the great keynote of the Epistle, abide in Him, with which the former part concluded" (1Jo 2:28).
hereby—herein we (believers) know that he abideth in us, namely, from (the presence in us of) the Spirit "which He hath given us." Thus he prepares, by the mention of the true Spirit, for the transition to the false "spirit," 1Jo 4:1-6; after which he returns again to the subject of love.
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