Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20120104.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
1 John: True, Fulfilling Fellowship With God
Part XIV: Identifying The God Of Love In Believers' True Spiritual Fellowship
(1 John 4:12-16)
Lesson: Though the Unseen God Who is a Spirit has Himself never been seen by the human eye, the human eye has plenty of EVIDENCE of His existence by the acts of love godly believers share toward one another, for that love comes directly from the Holy Spirit Whom God gives to us at salvation!
- Jesus told the Samaritan woman that God is a Spirit, that they who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth, John 4:24.
- However, to say God is a Spirit is to imply God is invisible, and the world has difficulty believing in an Entity it cannot empirically sense by its five senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste.
- The answer to this need of a testimony of the Unseen God is given in 1 John 4:12-16 where the God of Love is manifested in tangible terms as believers truly fellowship with one another (as follows):
- Identifying The God Of Love In Believers' True Spiritual Fellowship, 1 John 4:12-16.
- Jesus told His disciples shortly before His death that the world would know they were His disciples by their love one toward another, John 13:35.
- The practical outworking of this statement is expressed by John in 1 John 4:12-16 (as follows):
- Though no human has ever visibly seen the Unseen God with his human eyes (1 John 4:12a), if we as believers love one another [as John has described thus far in his epistle, cf. 1 John 3:16-17), God is "remaining" ( meno, U. B. S. Greek N. T., 1966, p. 821) -- John's word for "spiritually fellowshiping" -- in us, and His love is "made complete" in us, 1 John 4:12b NIV.
- In seeing that we believers love one another, we ourselves experientially know (ginosko, Ibid., p. 822; Arndt & Gingrich, A Greek-English Lex. Of the N. T., 1967, p. 159-161) that we are "remaining" in ( meno, Ibid., U. B. S. Greek N. T.), or that we "fellowship" with God, and He with us, for we are experiencing this event out of as to source (ek, Ibid.; Ibid., Arndt & Gingrich, p. 233-236) God's Holy Spirit Who was permanently given (dedoken, the perfect tense of didomi , the perfect voice indicating an action performed in the past with its effects lasting permanently, implying eternal security) unto us, 1 John 4:13. In other words, the love believers exhibit toward one another is actually drawn as to its Source from none other than the Holy Spirit Himself Whom God the Father has permanently given to indwell the true believer, equipping him to love and so to manifest the Unseen God in his walk! (Romans 8:9b; Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 899)
- When this love is thus manifested by the indwelling Holy Spirit, and we believers then behold that manifestation, we respond by testifying that God the Father indeed has sent God the Son to be the Savior of the world, 1 John 4:14. In other words, one of the great evidences of the reality of the Christian faith is the unusual, very real attitude-translated-to-giving-godly-love we believers share toward one another (1 John 3:16-17). (cf. also Romans 5:5)
- In thus testifying that the God the Father sent God the Son to be the Savior of the world, we believers also then confess Jesus is the Son of God the Father, so God "remains" (meno, Ibid., U. B. S. Greek N. T.) or "fellowships" with us and we with Him, 1 John 4:15.
- Accordingly, we believers then experientially know (ginosko, Ibid.) and permanently believe (pepisteukamen is the perfect tense of pisteuo, "to believe," Zondervan's Analytical Greek Lex., 1972, p. 316, 314) the love that God has for us, 1 John 4:16a.
- After all, God is love at the core of His being (1 John 4:16b), and he who "remains" (meno, Ibid., U. B. S. Greek N. T.) or who "fellowships" in the realm of that love of God "remains" ( meno, Ibid.) or "fellowships" with God and God "remains" (meno, Ibid.) or "fellowships" with him, 1 John 4:16c.
- [Thus, we also conclude that as we believers thus become convinced of the reality of the Unseen God in us as a spiritually fellowshiping community, we are armed to assert to the lost world the reality of the Unseen God, and to give the Gospel of the Son of God for the lost to believe it and be saved.]
Application: May we fellowship with God to exhibit the Spirit's love and so manifest the Unseen God.