Daily Reading: Daniel 9, 10;1 John 4
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. (1 John 4:18, NASB95)
What an awesome promise to live without fear of divine wrath. It is much like Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” How is there no fear of judgment?
- Jesus is the perfect propitiation for our sins (1 Jn. 4:10). The Father does not condemn us because He sent the Son to be our Saviour (1 Jn. 4:14).
- We know that we abide in Him and He in us because He has given us of His Spirit (1 Jn. 4:13).
- The love of God has been revealed to us and we have entered into that love through the Son. Therefore, God now and always dwells with us (1 John 4:13, 16).
Aren’t we to live with a fear of God?
- Proper wisdom and knowledge are founded on “the fear of the Lord” (Prov. 1:7; 9:10). He calls us to be in a holy relationship with Him, without sin separating us from Him.
- John says that we cannot claim to know God and walk in darkness (1 Jn. 1:6). If we’re in sin, then we don’t really know God and fear is the result.
- Paul also talks about not allowing grace to be an excuse for sin (Rom. 6:1).
- The writer of Hebrews reminds us, “Our God is a consuming fire,” and then immediately says, “Let love of the brethren continue” (Heb. 12:29-13:1). Love causes us to live in a way that’s pleasing to Him.
- The Christian does not live in fear of divine judgment, but “in reverence and awe” of whom we serve (Heb. 12:28).
Therefore, all who are in Christ know the love of God, and that His love has cast out all fear. For this reason, John goes on to say that if we believe in the name of the Son of God, we may know that we have eternal life (1 Jn. 5:13). On the day of judgment, we have confidence because we have received what Jesus has done for us. Have you experienced the love God has for you? How do you respond to God’s love? Do you serve God out of fear of judgment or love for Him?