Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament1 John 4:6
- We (hmeiv).
- In sharp contrast with the false prophets and the world. We are in tune with the Infinite God. Hence "he that knoweth God" (o ginwskwn ton teon, present active articular participle, the one who keeps on getting acquainted with God, growing in his knowledge of God) "hears us" (akouei hmwn). This is one reason why sermons are dull (some actually are, others so to dull hearers) or inspiring. There is a touch of mysticism here, to be sure, but the heart of Christianity is mysticism (spiritual contact with God in Christ by the Holy Spirit). John states the same idea negatively by a relative clause parallel with the preceding articular participle, the negative with both clauses. John had felt the cold, indifferent, and hostile stare of the worldling as he preached Jesus.
- By this (ek toutou).
- "From this," deduction drawn from the preceding; only example in the Epistle for the common en toutwi as in 4:2. The power of recognition (ginwskomen, we know by personal experience) belongs to all believers (Westcott). There is no reason for Christians being duped by "the spirit of error" (to pneuma thv planhv), here alone in the N.T., though we have pneumasin planoiv (misleading spirits) in 1 Timothy 4:1. Rejection of the truth may be due also to our not speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).