Summary: We have just seen that God's love is proclaimed in the Word, proven at the Cross & now we will find it is perfected in believers. Those believers who abide in God will find God's love being perfected in their lives.
1 JOHN 4:12-19 [LIFE, LIGHT & LOVE SERIES]
God’s love is a selfless love. It considers the welfare of those He loves. If God considered only Himself; He would not have created such rebellious beings much less sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world. God’s love not only reaches out to the world, it reaches into the life of every believer to do its great perfecting work.
We have just seen that God's love is proclaimed in the Word, proven at the Cross & now we will find it is perfected in believers. Those believers who abide in God will find God's love being perfected in their lives (CIT). To abide in God you must abide in love for “God is love.” God perfects His love in us by us loving the brethren. As we abide in God & His love is perfected in us, we will bear bold witness of the love of God to the world.
I. ABIDING IN LOVE, 12-16.
II. PERFECTED LOVE, 17-19.
[III. Honesty Tested, 20-21.]
Verse 12 reveals what happens when we make God a reality in our daily life. “No one has beheld God at any time; (then how are people going to see God) if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.”
If “no one has ever seen God,” [ b/c God is spirit] how does He reveal Himself to us? When we love one another [with the love of Jesus] God reveals Himself to others through us. When we allow God to love others through us He perfects His love in us. You perfect something, or it make better or more useful, by using it with an eye to improving it. You cannot perfect anything that is untried or unused.
Our love for one another reveals God to a love starved world. The world is seeking, looking, for love in all the wrong places and all the wrong ways. True love is only found by and in those who abide in God. As we love God and the brethren, God and His love will be experienced in us and then will be expressed in fuller and more moving ways through us. As the love of God is experienced and expressed in and through our life His love will become perfected in us. We exercise and strengthen our love of the Unseen by showing love to the seen.
Even RESERVED PEOPLE can have this love perfected in them. Shy people don't need to become extroverts in order to love others. John isn't telling us how many people to love, but how to love the people we already know. Our job is to love faithfully the people God has given us to love, whether there are two or two hundred of them. If God sees that we are ready to love others, he will bring them to us or us to them. No matter how shy we are, we don't need to be afraid of the love commandment, or “love one another as I have loved you.” God provides us the strength to do what He asks. The love of God displayed in His people is the strongest proof the reality of God that He has in the world ( John 17: ).
Verse 13 tells us that it is the indwelling Spirit that confirms our relationship with God. “By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”
Not only is God’s love poured into His children by the Spirit, their relationship connection with Him is by His Spirit. The abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in our life is proof of God's presence in our life. When you become a Christian you received the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit's presence in your life is proof that you are His child. If the Holy Spirit is not in your life you are not God's child (Rom. 8:16). Now God constantly, permanently abides in us but we must daily commit ourselves to abide in God by abiding in His will and Word. If we do not abide in God we will not experience the moving of God’s Holy Spirit within our lives.
The Holy Spirit also gives us the power to love (Rom. 5:5, 8:9, 2 Cor. 1:22) the brethren. How do you know if someone is full of the Spirit? You know if someone is full of the Spirit if they are loving others especially believers (Gal. 5:22). Loving the brethren is the proof that you are abiding in the Holy Spirit of God.
Rely on the Holy Spirit to empower you as you reach out to others in love. As you do you will gain confidence, and your love will grow and be perfected.