The Practical Demonstration of God’s Love

Title: The Practical Demonstration of God's Love

Bible Book: 1 John 4 : 12-16

Author: Johnny Hunt

Subject: God's Love; Love of God



Edgar Guest has a poem entitled “Sermons We See.”

“I'd rather see a sermon than

hear one any day;

I'd rather one should walk with

me than merely tell the way.

The eye's a better pupil and

more willing than the ear,

Fine counsel is confusing,

but example's always clear;

And the best of all the preachers

are the men who live their creeds,

For to see good put in action

is what everybody needs.”

To understand the love we are to have for one another, we must not miss the truth of 1 John 4:12 “His love.” The love that you have as a born again person is no mere imitation of the divine love. It is an experience of the divine love and an extension of that love to others.

When you are saved (born again), God Himself is imparted to you. He dwells in you and sheds abroad in your heart His love.

In 1 John 4:7-11 we see:

1. The Love of God originated with the Father.

2. The Love of God manifested with the Son.

3. The Love of God Perfected in His Family.

The greatest Revelation of God’s Love is Jesus Christ in the flesh.

The second greatest Revelation of God’s Love is Jesus Christ manifesting His love through His family.

I. The Practical Illustration of God’s Love 12

What does God invisibility have to do with love?

A. Your Love For Others Displays God Is Real

When we love one another, we put God on display. The unseen God reveals Himself through the visible love of believers.

The love that originated in God and was manifested in His Son is now demonstrated in His family.

The world will not believe that God loves sinners until they see His love at work in His family.

B. Your Love For Others Demonstrates God Abides In You

When real love, agape, God’s love abides in believers, their loving actions and attitudes make the invisible God visible to the world.

John 14:23: “Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”

“God abides in us” –speaks of relationship as well as a statement concerning our conduct. When we abide in Christ, we are behaving according to His character.

C. Your Love For Others Meets God’s Goal For You.

“His love has been perfected in us.”

God’s love achieves its purpose in your life; reaches its highest goal.

Do you ever hit a snag with this biblical principle?

“Picture this scene in the Upper Room with Jesus in John 13 when He gives them the new commandment.

John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Peter looks over at John and thinks, You mean I have to love that dreamer, that guy who has his head in the clouds?

John looks at Peter and thinks, You mean I have to love that loudmouth?

Matthew looks at Thomas and thinks, You mean I have to love that skeptic?

Thomas looks at Matthew and reflects, I have to love that tax collector?” David L. Allen

II. The Practical Expressions of God’s Love 13-16

“By this we know” – this is how we know”

John uses this phrase at least 10 times in this letter.

A. The Witness of the Spirit 13

Here John wants the believer to know they abide in God and God abides in them through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

How do we know for sure that this natural abiding is real?

Context – V12 “we love one another…and His love is perfected in us”

1 John 4:15-16: “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”


1. He gave us His Spirit as a grace gift at conversion.

2. We confess Jesus is the Son of God

3. We abide in God’s love and His love abides in us.

Romans 8:15-16: “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God”

“Refers to a Spirit produced awareness of the rich reality that God has made us His children and therefore, that we can come before Him without fear or hesitation as our beloved Father. It includes the confidence that we are truly sons of God. “Abba”-Daddy or Papa; conveys intimacy” John MacArthur

V16 “bears witness with our spirit” – in Roman culture 7 reputable witnesses had to be present, attesting to its validity. Yet, God’s Holy Spirit confirms our adoption by the fruit He produces in us and the power He provides.

Note also one other great truth:

Ephesians 1:13-14: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

Authority was officially under the person whose stamp was on the seal.

4 Primary Truths

1. Security

2. Authenticity

3. Ownership

4. Authority

“Spirit is given by God as His pledge of the believer’s future inheritance in glory.” John MacArthur

B. The Work of the Savior 14-15

In John’s 1st century witness and confession, He is making known the full deity of Christ. Right belief about who Jesus is and what He has done on the cross is essential to salvation.

When “God abides in you and you in God” that is genuine salvation.

Loving others will not spring forth out of guilt but out of gospel gladness and gratitude.

We are moved to love because of our connection to Christ, who has so lavishly loved us.

C. The Witness of the Father 16

“The love that God has for us” – gave us His Spirit; gave us His Son. Now, He abides in us, God is love.

This verse reminds us that we have come to know by believing.

“God is faithful to His promises. All that He has given us through His love is ours now and will always be ours. His past faithfulness and His present faithfulness guarantees His future faithfulness to us.” Calvin

“God is love” – is demonstrated by what He did on the cross for sinners.


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