September 02 2021
Today, Thursday September 2
“Perfect Love Casts Out Fear”
1 John 4:17-19 “By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.”
Today we begin a new section of verses in our study of 1 John 4. Up to this point, the emphasis has been on Christians loving one another; but now we turn to a deeper—and more important—topic: a believer's love for the Father. We cannot love our neighbor or our brother unless we love our Heavenly Father. We must first love God with all our hearts; then we can love our neighbor as ourselves.
The key word in this section is perfect. God wants to perfect in us His love for us and our love for Him. The word perfect carries the idea of maturity and completeness. We as believers are not only to grow in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18), but we are also to grow in our love for the Father. We does this in response to the Father's love for us. Remember in the last section we learned: What God is – God is love; What God did for us – God sent His Son to die for us; What God is present tense doing for us – God is abiding in us by His Holy Spirit.
How much does God love us? Enough to send His Son to die for us (John 3:16). He loves His children in the same way as He loves Christ (John 17:23). And Jesus tells us that the Father wants the love with which He loved the Son to be in His children (John 17:26).
In other words, our Christian life should be a daily experience of growing in the love of God. It involves us coming to know our Heavenly Father in a much deeper way as we grow in love.
It is easy to fragment the Christian life and become preoccupied with individual pieces instead of the total picture. We see this everywhere in different churches. One church may emphasize "holiness" and urge its members to get victory over sin. Another may stress witnessing, or "separation from the world." But each of these emphases is really a by-product of something else: a believer's growing love for the Father. Mature Christian love is the great universal need among God's people.
When Paul dealt with the many difficult issues in the Corinthian Church in his first letter to them it is obvious that he concluded that their root problem was lack of mature love. That’s why he wrote 1 Corinthians 13 and concluded it with this great statement: “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
How can a believer know that his love for the Father is being perfected? In 1 John 4:17-5:5 we will find four evidences or proofs that our love for the Father is growing every day! They are: Confidence (4:17-19); Honesty (4:20-21); Joyful Obedience (5:1-3); and Victory (5:4-5).
Today we live in a world of great fear! By God’s grace and through His Word, I trust you and I can experience what John state in this passage: “Perfect or mature love cast out all fear”.