Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Marsha's Musings: Perfect Love Casts Out Fear (1 John 4:17-19 KJV)

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:17-19 KJV)

Verse 16 is often used in the context of romantic love between a man and woman or general love (like or affection) between people. But that is not the context here.  This is talking about God's unconditional love for us and our love for Him.  If we have been saved by His love and grace, then we are freed to love God without fear of the day of judgment and torment.  

Our pastor often says we should live with a conscience toward God and the day of judgement.  Does this mean we are to live in fear?   If so, then what he says goes against this Scripture.  

It is a fact that we will give an account for what we have done as Christians.  Many forget that and live with abandon. 

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15 KJV)

So how can we reconcile these two things?  It's simple. Our love for God should be so great that our desire is to please Him overshadows everything else.  When we love God in this way we will live with a conscience toward God and a view toward the judgement but it won't be in fear of torment because God first loved us and saved us from that. We can have perfect (mature) love toward our Heavenly Father knowing that He will do all things for our spiritual good.

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