I John 4:12-16 True Love.
At the beginning of His gospel record, John made the point that, “No one has seen God at any time” (v. 18a). God made this point to Moses when he said, “no man shall see Me, and live” (Ex. 33:20b). However, “the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (1:18b). Jesus did this in his person, words, and deeds. John states this truth after the declaration that begins his gospel, namely that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (1:1). Indeed, he reiterates this at the beginning of this letter (1:1-4). In the Son incarnate, as Paul put it, we have “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15a Cf. II Cor. 4:4).
Likewise, it is only as our lives image Christ’s, in character, word, and deed, that we can have the assurance that God abides in us, and that his love is being perfected in us (v. 12). This is also a proof that the Spirit is at work in us (v. 13). What John and the other apostles and N.T. writers saw and testified to, was “that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world” (v. 14). To this end, abiding in him, and he in us, is not only not divorced from one’s actions, but it is also not divorced from what one believes. “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God” (v. 15). So love for God, and his love for us, shows itself in word and deed (v. 16).