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.
Don’t confuse the language of fear in this verse with the language of fear in the Lord, because the meaning of fear in this verse is very different than having the fear of the Lord (Pro 14:26). If you believe in Jesus Christ as the living Son of God that has come in the flesh (1Jo 4:2) then you have no reason to fear as described because our faith produces confidence in love that fills the place of fear (Heb 4:16) through conversion. God is love (1Jo 4:16)!
- But you might be struggling with doubt or disbelief that God is love?
- Or it might be that your belief is secure, but your faith is in question?
I pray this devotional will encompass you with perfect love. We need to establish the experience of faith to understand how love is perfected as the previous devotional incited. To do that, lets distinguish the difference between belief and faith because the relationship between the two reveals the invisible power of God for salvation to glorification. If you’re not a Christian, please consider following along our devotionals.
THE TREASURE OF FAITH
If you are a Christian, then you know who Jesus Christ is because you’ve heard and believed in the good news of the gospel; God sent His only Son (Jesus Christ) to be that Person who took away the sin of the world (Jhn 1:29, Heb 9:26). That means every repentant believer—although experiencing the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life—is born again to salvation through the baptism of Jesus Christ (Mat 3:13-17, 1Jo 2:16, Rom 10:8-13, Mark 16:16, Act 2:38). When our Lord was baptized, the heavens opened and our heavenly Father said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”(Mat 3:17). Why was our heavenly Father well-pleased?
Justice for sin is the death of this world unless it passes over somehow for life to exist eternally. To be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect means to have faith in the love of God—For God so loved the world—that He gave us the example of faith (Jhn 3:16-21). So to believe in Jesus means we’ve experienced salvation from our sin by the transfer of our account, that’s right, money and all—the sin of our souls—onto the cross of Jesus Christ. That requires faith! We no longer fear death because our lives are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ who still lives (Act 2:33)! And that is how death passes over those who believe. So to have faith in Jesus means our future is established in heaven where He is right now (Rom 8:35-39)!
The relationship between belief and faith is a declaration of trust in the invisible work of God. The aim of our faith is what casts out fear because we look to Jesus Christ!
The two most difficult tasks of faith conversion:
(1)Dying to the idol worship of yourself (because when your faith is in sin—rejection of the truth—your belief remains in the evil one of this world Jhn 8:44). The other is (2)loving your enemy to the extent Jesus loves you (because it’s only natural to gravitate toward the comfort of your environment (Gal 2:11-13) and harbor animosity against your abusers — to not care for the life of your enemies Mat 5:43-48). But when your belief is united by faith in Jesus (Heb 4:2), you’ve overcome the evil one (1Jo 2:12-14) and have the power to love your enemy even to death; your life is converted by the aim of your faith because your belief rests where Jesus is now (Heb 4:3). And so you are converted from a lifestyle of condemnation to a lifestyle of freedom; that is the promise of God and work of the Holy Spirit (Jhn 3:36). Our mission is clear, tell the world, and hope they hear (Luk 2:10-11).