1 John 4:12 - God Is Love And Lives In His People.
1 John 4:12; God Is Love And Lives In His People.
TEXT, TRANSLATIONS & PARAPHRASES
1 John 4:12 (KJV) No man hath seen God at any time. If we love
one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:12 (NIV) No one has ever seen God; but if we love one
another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:12 (AMP) No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if
we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His
love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion
(to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us!
1 John 4:12 (CWR) None of us can say that we've seen God. But
if we love each other, God lives in us and His love will be
perfected in us as we share it with others.
If we love. In the Gospel, John explains that only the Son could
reveal the Father, because He alone among men had ever seen Deity. Here
the apostle tells us that although we cannot behold God, by
exercising brotherly love we can have the invisible God dwelling in our
hearts. [SDA Commentary]
Dwelleth. In the heart that truly loves, God has a permanent
home--and what better way can there be to gain a personal knowledge of the
Lord than by having Him as a permanent guest in our hearts? The
desire for a physical sight of Deity assumes a secondary place when the
Lord actually dwells with the believer. [SDA Commentary]
His love. This may refer either to the love of man for God or
the love of God for man (see on ch. 2:5). Commentators are divided
as to the meaning here. [SDA Commentary]
Perfected. The complete clause, "his love is perfected in us,"
is open to more than one interpretation. It may be taken as meaning
(1) the operation of God's redemptive love is perfectly demonstrated
in the transformed life of the believer, or (2) the same love that
God showed to man is exemplified in the lives of those who love
their brethren, or (3) our love for God is perfected as we love our
brethren. [SDA Commentary]
Since our love has its source in God's love, his love reaches
full expression (is made complete) when we love fellow Christians.
Thus the God whom "no one has ever seen" is seen in those who love,
because God lives in them. [NIV SB]
This is the second of the two perfectings discussed by John. The
first occurs in ch. 2:5, and refers to those who keep Christ's word.
1 John 4 Love is evidence of salvation. If you are born of God
through faith in Jesus Christ, you have His nature within (2 Pet. 1:4).
Since "God is love" (vv. 8, 16), His children who have His nature
should also manifest His love. The children should be like the Father!
Our love for others makes God's love real and visible to them
(v. 12) so we can better witness to them about Christ. It also makes
God real and personal to us. Merely reading in the Bible about God's
love is not enough. Seek to experience that love in your heart by
sharing it with others.
Just as truth is victorious over lies (vv. 1-6), love is
victorious over fear (vv. 17-19). As you mature in your love for God, you
realize that you have nothing to fear, for your Father has everything
under control. You trust those you love, and faith and love will give
victory over fear. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren
1 John 4:7-12 John shows that love is grounded in God's nature.
Those who have been "born of God" ought to emulate His character. God
provides both the source (v. 9) and example (v. 11) of the believer's
love. Moreover, love for others is an integral part of one's
relationship with God (v. 12). While "no one has seen God" (cf. John 1:18),
God's love is evident in the work of Christ (v. 9) and in the
believer's love for others (v. 12). [Believer's SB]
This passage may be the strongest single passage in the Bible
concerning the love of God. The basic message is simple: God is love. The
Greek word used here for love means a self-giving love that seeks the
best interests of its object and is not selfish or self-seeking.
God's love creates a response of love in us (v. 19). We can know if we
truly belong to God by checking to see if love controls our lives.
Such love drives out any fear we might have of God's judgment.
Love is the identifying characteristic of the Christian life and
comes from God, who is love. God showed us His love by sending His Son
to minister and die for us. We know we are living the Christian
life because we are aware of the Holy Spirit living in us. That
awareness comes as the Spirit leads us to testify about God's love in
sending Jesus as our Savior. [Disciple SB]
Relationships not rules are at the heart of Christian ethics.
Love is the root of right relationships. Love is not something we
manufacture. Love is the central characteristic of God Himself and thus is a
gift we receive from Him. Love is defined not by words but by the act
of God in giving His Son to die on the cross for us. That love
compels us to love others. When we do, we show we belong to God and He
lives in us. [Disciple SB]
If no one has ever seen God, how can we ever know him? John in
his Gospel said, "God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side,
has made him known" (John 1:18). Jesus is the complete expression of
God in human form and he has revealed God to us. When we love one
another, the invisible God reveals himself to others through us, and his
love is made complete. [Life Application SB]
Some people enjoy being with others. They make friends with
strangers easily and always are surrounded by many friends. Other people
are shy or reserved. They have a few friends, but they are
uncomfortable talking with people they don't know or mingling in crowds. 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 much' 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. No matter how shy we are, we don't need to be afraid of the love
commandment. God provides us the strength to do what he asks. [Life
Non-Christians frequently ask believers to "prove" God. You
can't see Him, or touch Him, they may say. How can you know God
On the one hand, you and I might argue from history. Jesus
lived. He died. And His resurrection is the most thoroughly attested
event in the ancient world! Those events demonstrate God's existence,
and His active love.
But there's an even better way to answer. God revealed Himself
in the love Jesus showed in giving Himself for us. And God creates
a Jesus kind of love in the hearts of those who know Him. Others
can know that God is real by seeing Jesus' kind of love expressed by
It's sometimes possible to reason another person into faith. But
it is usually easier to love them to a personal trust in Jesus.
[The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]