Today we are continuing to look at the Spiritual Fruit of Love. 1 John 4:18 says, “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.” The New American Standard Bible says, “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.” I find it interesting that John says that fear involves punishment or torment. I see how fear can cause torment, but I’ve never thought of it as punishment. I suppose being fearful is a type of punishment because we are not trusting that God loves us enough to help us through those things that may bring fear.
At the beginning of the verse, John says that there is no fear in love. Verse 17 says, “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.” J. Vernon McGee says in his commentary on 1 John that, “Our love is made ‘perfect,’ and that means complete.” When we accept Jesus as Savior, we also receive His love, which is perfect or complete. We can then love like Jesus when we put away our “old man” and allow the “new man” to surface. (Romans 6:6, 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Something else our verse today says is that when we fear, we are not made perfect or complete in love. J. Vernon McGee goes on to say, “’ He that feareth is not made perfect in love.’ If you are fearful, you cannot enjoy your salvation. Joy stems from love, and if you have love for the Lord Jesus, for God, and for your brethren, then fear has been cast out.”
When we have perfect love it produces Spiritual Fruit, joy, peace, etc. When we allow His love to show out, it can help us not be filled with fear. When we realize that He loves us so much that He will walk through those fearful times with us. We will not be alone, and we have no reason to fear.
We must also allow Jesus to love through us. We need to practice loving like He does, reaching out to those who need His love, as some have said, “Being Jesus with skin on.” We may be the only example of God’s love that people see. When we see a friend who is filled with fear we can show them Jesus’ love and help them not to be afraid, giving them Scriptures that remind them that God has said not to be afraid because He is with them. Isaiah 41:10, Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalm 56:4 are just a few verses, and there are so many more verses assuring us that we need not be in fear.
When we allow Jesus love to be perfected in us, we no longer have reason to fear anything. Perfect love casts out fear! That’s what our Bible verse says…love throws it out! Just like the trash we throw out every day, love throws fear out. When we trust God and allow Jesus’ love to wrap around us when we are fearful, the fear melts away and we can rest in Him and experience the joy and peace He gives because of His love encapsulating us. Today, remember that “Perfect love casts out fear.”