Heavenly Father, You are Wonderful, Counsellor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Trinitarian God of the Bible, and the Only True God. We pray for Your presence, anointing, revelation, and guidance. We pray for divine wisdom in understanding and applying scripture, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 John 4:12-21, The perfection of love.
VV 12-13, 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.
No one has ever seen God because He is invisible but God manifested Himself to us by becoming fully human and fully divine in Christ, Colossians 1:15, John 1:14. God’s love will be made perfect in us if we love one another. Christ’s love abiding in us through the Holy Spirit will enable us to love one another.
Colossians 1:15, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation”.
John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”.
VV 14-16, 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.
John and the apostles saw and testified that God sent Jesus into the world as Savior of the world. The test of a Christian is confessing Jesus as Son of God. Whoever confessed Jesus as Son of God abides in God, and God abides in him. The test of a Christian is knowing and believing that God is love. Those who remained in love remained in God, and God remained in them.
VV 17-19, 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.
Love is made perfect in us by the God of love. Love is the opposite of fear. Love speaks of rewards, but fear speaks of punishments. Those who love God will not fear God’s judgment. Those who love God can approach Him in boldness and confidence. We love God because He loved us first, 1 John 4:19.
VV 20-21, 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
The test of a Christian is love. Failure to love our brother and sister proved that we do not love God. We are to love God vertically and love our brother and sister horizontally.
The three tests of a Christian are confessing Christ as Son of God, believe in God, and loving God. God is a God of love. John was an apostle of love. Greek for love in 1 John is “agape”, the highest form of love. Perfect love casts out fear of God’s judgments. Love is the greatest commandment and the greatest virtue. Therefore, love God and love one another just as Christ loves us.
Heavenly Father, we are forever grateful to You for loving us and for sending Jesus as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. We pray for grace and divine enablement to love You vertically and to love one another horizontally. In Jesus’ name, Amen.