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"God's Love Made Complete"
1 John 4:12-16

Wednesday AM Bible Study
January 11, 2006

The remarkable thing that this passage reveals to us is that God's love - to some degree - comes to us intentionally "incomplete". It's certainly complete from God's standpoint. He loves us perfectly in Christ; and will never love us in Him more than He loves us right now. But it is incomplete from the standpoint of our own expression of it.

When we love each other as Christ has loved us, then we bring His love to its intended completion. In this passage, we see God's love made complete . . .

I. IN PRINCIPLE (v. 12).

A. Many people in the Old Testament times "saw" God (Gen. 3:8; 19:16-33; 32:30; Ex. 3:2-6; 24:11; 33:11; Judges 13:22; Isaiah 6:1; Ezk. 1:26-28). But it's also true that no one has, at any time, seen God. They have only seen Him through His Son (John 1;18;12:41; 14:8-9; Heb. 1:3).

B. So, no one could ever know God's love unless God had revealed it - which He has done through His Son (1 John 4:7-11); which is communicated to us through His Holy Spirit living in us (1 John 3:23).

C. So, if we love one another with the love of Christ, it is because God Himself abides in us; and if this is so, His love is perfected in us (John 13:34).

II. IN PROCESS (vv. 13-16a).

A. The apostles received "of" the Spirit in the testimony they bore of Christ. (John 14:26; 15:13-14; 1 John 1:3).

B. When we confess what they taught, God abides in us. The two realities that must be true of a Christian will also be true of us - that God abides in us, and we abide in fellowship with Him - which must include obedience to Christ's command to love (John 13:34-35).

III. IN PRACTICE (v. 16b).

God is love (1 John 4:8). The man or woman who loves also lives and operates in the sphere of fellowship with God.

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