Updated: May 5, 2021
1Jn 4:16 (NKJV) says, "And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him."
What a great verse!! But most translations say the love that God has TO or FOR us. The Greek uses the word en, meaning IN, and denoting rest. We have known and believed the love that God has IN us!! And the word has in Greek is echo!
In other words, Love, Himself, echoes IN us that He abides IN us, and we abide IN Him.
The word abides is such a beautiful word that speaks of ONENESS. It is a word the Apostle John uses 34 times in his gospel, and 19 times in his letters. It is meno in Greek, meaning to dwell or to be present. It denotes the permanency of something.
In the book, Deep Bible Study: The Importance and Value of Proper Bible Study, R.A. Torrey says, "John uses the Greek word meno (to abide) in the same way that Paul uses oikeo (to dwell).” The root of oikeo is oikos, meaning a house, tents, a dwelling place, God's house, and the tabernacle! It is the place where one has fixed his residence; it is one's settled home. And the Hebrew equivalent of meno is yashab, and it is also the equivalent for oikos in the Septuagint. It means to sit, to inhabit, to marry. The ancient root word is to press to the tent (the dwelling place), return to the tent for rest, or sit. The ancient pictograph of yashab is ישב (yod, shin, bet), and it is saying, when work (yod) is FINISHED, we return (shin) to the house (bet), to sit down (yashab) at the end of our day of labor!
ALL is FINISHED! And we have returned to the house once again free to live as sons, unhindered by sin and death. And we are now SEATED with Him.
Mankind’s day of labor has ended… we rest IN Him, and He rests IN us. ABIDING! ONENESS! What beautiful words!
But we have made verses about abiding conditional. In other words, as something we must continually do or strive after, when in reality, abiding is about our union, our ONENESS. It’s a word of REST! And it's about Him dwelling IN us and us echoing His life — echoing His IS-ness and NOW-ness IN us here on earth. 1 John 4:16 is saying that we NOW intimately know and are COMPLETELY persuaded of Love, Himself, echoing IN us that God is PURE Love. And that Love is IN us, and we eternally abide IN Him, and He eternally abides in us… we are ONE. Knowing and believing are both in a perfect indicative tense, meaning it’s a COMPLETED knowing and a COMPLETED believing with ongoing results. We ALREADY know and believe this in our hearts. FINISHED!! And we will CONTINUE to know and believe that God is Love who abides IN us and AS us, because Love echoes THROUGH us.
Abiding isn’t conditional!! Verse 15 of 1 John 4 says, "Whoever confesses (homologeo) that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides (meno) in him, and he in God." At first glance this sounds like God will only abide in us IF we do something – IF we confess that Jesus is the Son of God. BUT grace is COMPLETELY unconditional! Love is COMPLETELY unconditional. And abiding is also COMPLETELY unconditional!
I love the Mirror Bible translation of that verse (emphasis mine), “For anyone to see and to say (homologeo) that Jesus is the Son of God is to awaken to the awareness that we are continually, seamlessly joined in ONENESS (meno).”
Abiding is a word of permanence, meaning it can’t be undone! Abiding is a FINISHED word… not something we need to strive to do, or continue to do, or even remember to do! He just IS continually (ETERNALLY) present IN us, and likewise, WE are endlessly (ETERNALLY) present IN Him.