Perfect love casts out fear. The eternal wrath of God against us is now covered by Christ as shown in 1 John 4.
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and
he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God
has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and
God abides in him. 17 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. 18 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. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone
says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does
not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not
seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must
also love his brother.
1 John 4:15-21, ESV
this devotion from 1 John 4, our understanding of love is deepened.
Continuing with the fact that God IS love, we gain a better
understanding of how this influences us as Christians, especially in our
relationships with others. As God is perfect, so is His love perfect and in that love there is no fear.
Our relationship with Christ, as a Christian is changed; now God lives IN us and we live IN God. Thankfully, this relationship continues forever because God keeps us by His power. Think about the implications of God being in us; sin now creates an ongoing struggle in our lives. Before we became a believer, we never faced the continuing struggle of our sinful nature against the holy nature of Christ which now lives in us.
Therefore, we no longer fear the Day of Judgment. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. The eternal wrath of God against us is now covered by Christ. This helps us to understand the transition that takes place in the hearts of Christians. God's love continually lives in us and gradually conquers the sin that still tries to take control of our lives.
This is why John can so boldly state, If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
Let us remember that God is love and God lives in us. That love from God that now lives within us will no longer allow hatred to consume and control us. Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Two great truths are taught in this Bible passage. First, the perfect love of God which lives in us as Christians casts out our fear of God's judgment upon us. Second, because we now have that love of God which is perfect living in us, it is no longer possible to hate our brother.
A true Christian is changed from the heart out!
today that your heart will be filled with the love of God which is perfect and that
you will no longer fear God's judgment against you. Pray also that you will no longer hate your brother (friend, neighbor, etc.).
Devotional Reflections from the Bible Home Page
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.