I JOHN 4:18

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”

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There is no perfect love, except for God’s.  The love He has offered as a symbol of His love began in the Garden with the creation of a man and a woman.  Marriage between a man and a woman is a symbol of the way Christ loves the Church. 

However, if there is fear in love, love is broken.  Even imperfect love should not have the effect of fear.  If love creates fear in a relationship, something has gone wrong.  

I John 4 v 11 chalk heart

In contrast, by falling in love with God, there can be no fear of Him or of His judgment.  For God is love.  It is His very character, His nature.  Because of that, He has done everything to draw us to Him, to make us in right relationship with Him.  He has wooed us, sacrificed Himself for us, all so that we may live with Him forever beginning with the marriage supper of the Lamb. 

Adam Clarke said, “‘There is no fear in love’ The man who feels that he loves God with all his heart can never dread him as his Judge.  As he is now made a partaker of His Spirit, and carries a sense of the Divine approbation n his conscience, he has nothing of that fear that produces terror or brings torment.  The perfect love–the fulness of love–that fulness of love, which he has received, casteth out fear–removes all terror relative to this day of judgment, for it is of this that the apostle particularly speaks.  And as it is inconsistent with the gracious design of God to have His followers miserable, and as he cannot be unhappy whose heart is full of the love of is God, this love must necessarily exclude this fear or terror; because that brings torment, and hence is inconsistent with that happiness which a man must have who continually enjoys the approbation of his God.”

I John 4 v 11 no one loves

“‘He that feareth’  He who is still uncertain concerning his interset in Christ; who, although he has many heavenly drawings, and often sits with Christ some moments on a throne of love, yet feels from the evils of his heart a dread of the day of judgment; is not made perfect in love–has not yet received the abiding witness of the Spirit that he is begotten of God; nor that fulness of love to God and man which excludes the enmity of the carnal mind, and which it is his privilege to receive.  Bt is the case of such a man desperate?  No: it is neither desperate nor deplorable; he is in the way of salvation, and not far from the kingdom of heaven.  Let such earnestly seek, and fervently believe on the Son of God; and He will soon give them another baptism of His Spirit, will purge out all the old leaven, and fill their whole souls with that love which is the fulfilling of the law.  He who is not yet perfect in love may speedily become so, because God in a moment, ‘I will, be thou clean; and immediately his leprosy will depart.’  Among men we find some that have neither love nor fear; others have fear without love; others that have love and fear; and others that have love without fear.

 

I John 4 v 10 cross and back

1.  Profligates, and worldly men in general, have neither the fear nor love of God.

2.  Deeply awakened and distressed penitents have the fear or terror of God without His love.

3.  Babes in Christ, or young converts, have often distressing fear mixed with their love.

4.  Adult Christians have love without this fear because fear hath torment, and they are ever happy, being filled with God.”

Addie going to sleep

As a child myself, I vividly remember lying in my bed sweating with the black iron fan vacillating between my sister and myself while looking out the dark window pondering the sermon an evangelist had just delivered which caused me a great deal of fear.  It is because even at a young age, I knew sin separated me from God, and I was fearful of being left at the imminent return of Christ for the faithful.   Yeah.  That’s the kind of fear that happens before casting ourselves upon the Lover of Our Soul.  I no longer lie awake at night fearful of the judgment of God.  Rather, I am called to prayer, the close fellowship with God upon whom I cast all my fear fully trusting in His perfect love.   It is because there comes a time after beginning to walk with God, even with a divided heart, when one surrenders all allowing Perfect Love to cast out all fear.

 

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