“No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.”
No one has seen God at any time.
No one has ever seen God except through theophanies (the physical manifestation of God). Each theophany was a manifestation of Christ in pre-incarnate form. No one can see God since God is a spirit (Jn 4:24; 1 Ti 1:17; 6:16). No one can see His essential being. We did not see the essence of God in the humanity of Christ.
Jn 1:18, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”
1 Ti 1:17, “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Ti 6:16, “…who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.”
If we love one another, God abides in us,
When Christians meet their moral obligation to love other Christians, God the Father abides or dwells in them. This is how we see God working in our day. Others see God by our love.
God’s love springs from fellowship with God. When God takes up residence in the believer, everyone can see it. Love is a manifestation of divine habitation. It is the Holy Spirit demonstrating the fruits of the Spirit in the life of the believer. God lives in the believer who loves other Christians.
and His love has been perfected [completed] in us
Our love is imperfect, but God’s love is perfect. God sheds abroad His love in us when we believe (Ro 5:8). It is not our love for God that God perfects, but His love perfected in us. His love answers to His nature. God’s love can reach God’s goal for us in this life.
The word “perfected” means to reach a goal, to accomplish a purpose. God can complete His love in us in time. When Christians reach out in love to each other, God’s love reaches its goal in their lives. God’s kind of love can be fully expressed in our lives. It reaches its fulfillment in us. God’s love is visible through Christians.
Christians make the inscrutable God “scrutable” through loving one another.
A direct result of our love for other Christians is a manifestation of God’s love.
Matthew knew that the publicans were thieves. If tax collectors can love people that love them, that is of no moment. They love their mothers, wives, and children. However, to love those who do not reciprocate, our love is divine love. True love loves whether anyone returns love or not. People with divine love have the capacity to love anyone.
Mt 5:46, “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?“
We cannot manifest God by showing His essence to people because He is a spirit. We see God best in the act of love. Love will reach its final destination or end when it reaches out to others. We see God’s love best in Jesus’ sacrifice and our sacrificial love. This sacrificial love makes God visible.