Excerpt From God’s Gift of Perfection
Chapter 29–Part 1
“No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit” – 1 John 4:12-13.
“No man that seen God at any time”: there is a vision of God we may not yet have. The all-consuming, all-absorbing fire of its glory – bringing death to all that is of nature – is not consistent with our earthly state. But, an equivalent is in its place that can prepare and train us for the beautiful vision to come, and also satisfy the soul with all that it can contain of God. We cannot see God, but we can have God dwelling in us, and His love perfected in us. Though the brightness of God’s glory is not to be seen, yet, the presence of what is the very essence of that glory – His love – may now be known. God’s love is perfected in us; God Himself abides in us; this is the heaven we can have on earth.
And the way to this blessedness? “God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us, if we love one another.” We may not see God, but we see our brother. In him we have an object that will awaken and call forth the divine love within us. It will exercise and strengthen and develop that love, and it will open the way for the divine love to do its beloved work through us, to perfect us in love. It will awaken the divine contentment and draw it near to come and take up it’s abode within us. In my brother, I have an object in which God calls me to prove all my love to me. In loving my brother, however unlovely he may be, loves proves that self no longer loves. It proves that it is a flame of that fire which consumed the Lamb of God. It shows that God’s love is being perfected in us, and that it is God Himself living and loving within us.
“If we love one another, God dwelleth in us … Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:12-13). The wonderful knowledge that God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us, is not the result of reflection – a deduction from what we see in ourselves. No, divine things, divine love, the divine indwelling are only seen in a divine light. ” Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13). John remembers how little the disciples understood or experienced the words of Jesus until that never-to-be-forgotten day when, in the light of the fire that came from heaven, all became luminous and real. It is the Holy Spirit alone who accomplished this in us. And it is not in His ordinary gracious workings, such as the disciples already had before that day, but in His special bestowment, direct from the Throne of the exalted Jesus, that He becomes personally and permanently present to the soul that will rest content with nothing less. It is the Holy Spirit alone, by whom we know that God dwelleth is us, and we are in Him, and that His love is perfected is us.
Previously Loving One Another–Part 2