Quietly Through 1st John (Week 14) :: Seeing God Through Love ( 1 John 4:12-16)

Seeing God Through Love

12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 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. (1 John 4:12-16)

Ideas to Consider

  • If no one has ever seen God the Father, how do we know He exists?
  • How do we know we abide in God and He in us (v 12)?
  • In addition to love, what is another evidence that God abides in us and we in Him (v 15)?

If no one has ever seen God the Father, how do we know He exists? #quietlythrough #1stJohn Click To Tweet

COMMENTARY

(This is just a little bit of what I took away from the passage. Remember, I’m human and severely flawed. Don’t just take my words as God’s truth. Be sure to be led by the Spirit, not me.)

No one has seen God the Father at anytime, yet we still know He exists. How? By our desire to selflessly love others and our never-ending desire to confess Jesus as the Son of God.

We love and we speak truth, not only are these actions proof of God’s existence, but they are also evidence that show God is in us and we are in Him.

Love and truth — they show that God abides in us and we abide in Him. He doesn’t depart from us. We don’t depart from Him. We dwell together continually. And the dwelling leads to love and truth.  

Dwelling in Christ leads to love and truth. #quietlythrough #1stJohn Click To Tweet

The dwelling leads.

Let me say that again: the dwelling leads. When we are dwelling in Christ and Christ is dwelling in us, we will be lead to love and speak the truth that we are incapable of apart from Jesus.

Jesus said:

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)

The primary fruit of the Spirit is love — love that is others-centered and expects nothing in return. Love that is produced by simply abiding in the Vine — in Jesus — is love that the world sits up and takes notice of.

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35)

Loving the way Jesus loves is how every true believer will live. As God abides in us His love is perfected in us (v 12). In other words, the Spirit makes our love complete. He gives to us what we are lacking so that Jesus-love is produced in our lives.

Loving the way Jesus loves is how every true believer will live. #quietlythrough #1stJohn Click To Tweet

This love is evidence of our great Father and His love for us.

We also know that God exists and abides in us by the truth that we speak. The truth that we speak — the truth that reveals God is in us — says Jesus is the Son of God (v 15). As children of the most High we confess and openly declare that Jesus was sent into the world to be our Savior. Speaking this truth, declaring this truth, and rejoicing because of this truth is evidence that God is in us and we are in Him.

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. ( John 1:12)

“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33)

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

PRAYER

Lord, your love is perfect and your truth unshakable. I am in awe, God, that you would chose to abide in a sinner like me. I am baffled that you would allow me to abide in you. What great love! What amazing grace! I pray that as you continue to perfect your love in me, that by your grace I would surrender to your will and love those you place in my life selflessly. That I would love without expecting anything in return.  I also ask that you would continue to increase my desire to speak truth — to declare the name of Jesus. I ask this in His name. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. What comes first? Abiding or loving? Abiding or truth speaking?
  2. Read John 13:34-35. Are you able to keep Christ’s command on your own? What do you need?
  3. How do you abide? What does that look like in your daily life? What does this look like moment by moment? Be specific.

FURTHER STUDY IDEAS

Here are a few study ideas to do between now and next Tuesday. I suggest doing one or two a day in order to keep you thinking about the passage all week long.

  • Start or continue a double entry journal.
  • Hand write the passage.
  • Did this passage make you think of other passages in the Bible? Share those passages with the rest of us in the comments.
  • Do a word study on the words perfected and abide. How does this help you understand the passage?
  • Write a summary of what you’ve learned from this passage. If you are a blogger, write a post and share it in the next #QuietlyThroughThursday LINK UP.
  • Read 1 John 1-5.

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