Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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THE INVISIBILITY OF GOD
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:12
Why does God say, “No man hath seen God at any time”? Why does John suddenly introduce this idea of the invisibility of God?
John does not say that we cannot love God except through loving our brethren; that is not his argument. Nor does he say that we can only love God by means of loving our brethren. Rather, he tells us that we are to love God—that we can love God and that we should love Him.
It seems to me that John is here introducing a new theme, a new idea, into his great discussion of the question of loving the brethren. And this new theme I would describe as the theme of assurance of salvation; it is the whole question of our knowledge of God and of the way in which we can know God. In other words, I am suggesting that John here is linking up with that with which he left off at the end of verse 8. Let me reconstruct it to you in this way: “Beloved,” he says, “let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love….No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us” (verses 7-8, 12).
“So,” says John in effect, “it is important that you love the brethren from the standpoint of your own assurance of salvation and from the standpoint of your fellowship with God.” John is more like a poet than a logician. Although he tends to arrive at his position in circles instead of straight lines, though there is something of the mystic in his thinking, nevertheless there is firm logic at the back of it; there is a definite line of reason.
A Thought to Ponder
It is important that you love the brethren from the standpoint of your own assurance of salvation.
From The Love of God, pp. 76-79.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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