"We started this week’s readings with the “Love Chapter” and end with the same message that God is love. In 1 John chapter 3 verse 11 to chapter 4 verse 21 we see that Just as Jesus came to model the Father’s love, we are called to model that same love today. May we be Christians known for our practical outpourings of love, not so that we can be glorified but our father in heaven." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.Love & Fear. Two very very strong emotions. It is important to not necessarily just use your own understanding of these two loaded words. It is very important to let Scripture define them for you to understand this passage better.
We love because he first loved us. If we say we love God yet hate a brother or sister, we are liars. For if we do not love a fellow believer, whom we have seen, we cannot love God, whom we have not seen. And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love one another. (1 John 4:16b-21)
Love is defined by Christ and John writes this in clear terms a few sentences earlier in this passage.
"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1 John 4:10)In the Bible the word fear is complex. Especially when you consider the translation of the word from the original languages it was written. In the Old Testament we learn to fear God and here we learn love drives out fear. How can both be true? I don't have it all figured out. It seams like a contradiction on the surface. For me this is where learning the original words and their meaning in Hebrew and Greek helps out a little. Also reading this in the context of the rest of the Bible bring some perspective.
The word fear in Deuteronomy 6:13 and other places leans toward reverence and the word fear here in 1 John 4:18 leans toward panic, flight, and terror. For me the difference is a fear of reverence that draws you in verses a fear of panic causing anxiety and repelling you away.
The fear in this context, in these verses, is a fear as in panic leading toward anxiety and flight.
God created humans with all the complexity anyone could ever imagine. Actually it is beyond our imagination. God created us in his image with the incredible capacity to love. This capacity to love and be loved is directly from God.
GOD IS LOVE. A relationship with God is based on love. This relationship is possible only because of a great act of love by God. An act symbolized in the cross. An act by God that sprang from the heart of who God is: LOVE. An act that changed everything. An act that is perfect love. An act that is the perfect example of love. An act of love that has the power to push fear away.
True and perfect love found in Christ drives out fear, anxiety, and panic leading us to love others more freely.
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
I am working through the E100 Bible Reading Challenge again. You can learn more about my journey and read the other posts completed so far at this link. I encourage you to stop back soon to read another passage.
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