It seems pretty easy for us who live in America to acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God. Our nation was founded on biblical principles so it’s kinda ingrained in our nations DNA. For many parts of the world as in the days when this passage was written it was often a death sentence to openly confess belief in Jesus. Competing with Caesar worship was just not a good idea back then.
Today in countries like Iran or China to believe in Jesus means to be ostracized from society, family, friends, and possible imprisonment and persecution. John, the writer of this passage had himself suffered persecution and exile for his faith. To acknowledge in this verse means to confess belief in. It’s not a head knowledge but a deep, profound, life-changing heart knowledge.
It means we accept that Jesus came directly from God and is the one who can truly save us from our sins. It’s not just a mouth confession but a lifestyle confession meaning that our whole way of living is changed by this confession. Our lives begin to produce spiritual fruit like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Not all at once but it is definitely there.
As we grow spiritually we begin to produce more and more fruit in our lives. It all begins with an acknowledgment that Jesus is indeed the Son of God. The fruit of our lives will be proof of that genuine confession. It will be evident to all especially those who know us best that something has changed deep down inside of us. We are a new creation and the old has passed away. New life has sprung forth!