1 John 4:12 New American Standard Bible
12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is perfected in us.
John wrote this in John 1:18 18 No one has seen God at any time; God the only Son, who is in the arms of the Father, He has explained Him. Jesus came to reveal the Father. When Moses desired to see the glory of God, instead of being able to see the full measure of God’s glory, the Lord passed before him. It is impossible for any mere human being on this earth to behold the full measure of God’s glory and continue to live. The God we serve is truly awesome.
Christ came to reveal the Father. In Jesus we find who the Father is. Before Christ came the nation of Israel knew the Lord from a distance. But after Jesus came, and after all that happened at Calvary and His resurrection, any person at any time is able to draw near to Almighty God by faith in Jesus Christ.
John’s audience at this time had never seen Jesus physically. John is the remaining living original disciple. He had walked with Jesus, He had seen all that Jesus did, He had seen the risen Christ, and on the island of Patmos when John was exiled and wrote the book of Revelation, saw Jesus in His glory.
Those of us who come to Christ today, come to Jesus in faith without seeing Him. When Jesus rose from the dead it was Thomas who said unless he touched the nail wounds and saw them, that he would not believe. Jesus said how much greater it is for those who have not seen who have come to faith.
How the life of Jesus is manifested on the earth today is through God’s sons and daughters. The Holy Spirit lives within us. As we grow in Christ on a daily basis, The Spirit of God continually is transforming us from the inside out. He is pruning and refining us. He is breaking the strongholds and deceptions of the enemy. As we spend time in God’s word our minds are being continually renewed and as our minds are renewed, our lives are transformed (Romans 12:2).
The greatest manifestation of the life of Jesus is that of love in action. John says “if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us”. This is only possible as we abide in Christ. Holiness, love, righteousness, compassion, joy, and peace are all a result of abiding in Christ. God has called us to be holy, but we cannot live holy lives unless we abide in Him.
God calls us to love with a sacrificial love that is only found in Him. This is only possible as we abide in Him. What Christ came to do is to restore humanity in relationship with God the Father. Through Jesus we can have an intimate relationship with Almighty God in which our hearts and minds become one with His. But it begins with abiding in Him. It is dependent on abiding in Him. He is the vine and we are the branches (John 15). If we abide in Him, His life, His love, and His character will be revealed in us.