Reflection: Some cite these verses in support of the proposition that it is unnecessary, even sinful, for a professing Christian to fear God’s judgment. But is that a safe conclusion? Certainly, we should not let fear (i.e., terror) overwhelm us (Rom. 8:15; 2 Tim. 1:7). However, there are several passages in the New Testament which suggest that it is positively beneficial to fear God in the sense of holding an attitude towards him of reverence and awe (e.g., Luke 1:50; Acts 9:31; Heb. 12:28-29). In that sense, at least, it is right and proper to fear the prospect of God’s judgment (see
Phil. 2:12-13; 1 Pet. 1:17). Tomorrow we will look at Jesus’ words on this issue. But, for now, let us look more closely at today’s verses. What the Apostle John wrote was that “perfect love casts out fear” and that “whoever fears has not been perfected in love”. Given that most if not all Christians are still in a process of sanctification, our love is not yet perfect – far from it. Certainly, no one in this world behaves “like Jesus”. So, for reasons we will explore further over the next three days, there is still good reason to be reverently fearful.
Question: Do you imagine that the love you currently exhibit is perfect, or, realistically, do you have some way left to go?
Prayer: Father, I realise that perfect love casts out fear. But I admit that my love for you and for others is yet far from perfect. Sanctify me, so that I may one day be able to set all fears aside. Amen