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Lesson 18: 1 John 4:12-13

1 John 4:12
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Background Information

As your acquaintance with the Bible expands, you will find some interesting accounts in the Old Testament. Among them are two instances in which people are said to have seen God. They will be included in the Related Scriptures section for you to compare with the first sentence in 1 John 4:12. At first, you might be tempted to think that 1 John 4:12 contradicts these earlier verses. If you read them carefully, however, you will find that the elders of Israel seem to have seen very little except a pavement upon which God stood. Moses was specifically told He couldn’t see God’s face. So, while some people have indeed come close enough to see a part of God as it were, no living human being has seen God in His glory. To do so would prove deadly. We are still waiting for the day in which we will stand before Him in Heaven and see Him and live.

Also, you will notice that while Jesus is God, people have only seen the body that He took on when He became a human. His body shielded people from the glory of God so they could come near to God through coming near to Jesus. As Colossians 1:15 in the “Related Scriptures” says, Jesus is the image of the invisible God.

Related Scriptures
Exodus 24:9-11
Exodus 33:17-23
John 1:18
John 3:13 (Jesus is speaking.)
Colossians 1:15-20 (This passage is speaking of Jesus Christ.)
1 Timothy 1:17
Hebrews 11:24-27
1 Peter 1:7-8
1 John 4:20


1. Some people saw God in Exodus--sort of. Compare the Scriptures in this lesson. a) Did anyone see 2. God in His entirety? b) If anyone had seen all of God, what would have happened to that person?

3. Who is our one way of knowing what God is really like?

4. What evidence that a person is saved is given in 1 John 4:12?

5. What does God’s love in us do to our attitudes toward others?

1 John 4:13
Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

Related Scriptures
John 16:7-15 (Jesus is speaking in this passage.)
Acts 2:38-39
Romans 8:5-16 (Verse 16 especially matches 1 John 4:13)
Romans 8:26
Ephesians 1:13-14
Ephesians 4:30


1. 1 John 4:13 gives us another way of knowing we have been saved. What is it?

2. How do we get the Holy Spirit, according to 1 John 4:13?

3. If the Holy Spirit dwells (lives) in us, is that the same as God living in us?

4. According to Romans 8, can a person be saved without the Holy Spirit?

5. Does Acts 2:38-39 indicate that the Holy Spirit comes automatically to one at salvation?

6. Would any of these verses necessarily rule out a fuller and deeper experience with the Holy Spirit for someone who has already received Him at salvation?

7. How does Romans 8:26 indicate the Holy Spirit helps us? (This is only one way that He helps us. If you need to, use a dictionary to find the meaning of the word “intercession”.)

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