In my personal study, God has been speaking to me a lot about love through the book of 1 John. The title of this post is inspired by 1 John 4:18. I love how the Amplified Classic Version states this. It says, “There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]. ”
This is a very loaded scripture, and I encourage you to read 1 John 4:7-21 for more context. This passage talks about the nature of God and emphasizes the fact that God is love! When we accept Jesus into our hearts to be our personal Lord and Savior, God abides (lives) in us, and we in him. This is evident through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us as a guide and to help us know the mind, will, nature and character of God. (see vs. 13-14) If God’s nature is love, this means that whoever lives in love lives in God! As we continue to grow and mature in our faith, our ability to love like God does also grows and matures. This is because we are being renewed in our hearts and becoming more like Christ.
So how should this truth affect us? Well, going back to verse 18, it says that “full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror.” That is a very powerful statement! It means that as our love is maturing, fear has less and less of a stronghold on us until its power is completely broken. The rest of the verse goes on to say, “For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].” So this shows us that fear is not our portion. God has not subjected me or you to condemnation; in fact, he has redeemed us from the realm where that rules. So we have no reason to continue to operate in fear. I know that naturally, I am someone who gets afraid quite easily: from people, things, and scenarios. But this reminds me that God does not want fear to have a hold on me anymore. And the same applies to you as well! God’s love expels fear, and because God is love and we dwell in him, the spirit fear is not allowed to try to rule over us. So the next time you are in a situation that causes you to be afraid, remind yourself that you abide in love, and the spirit of fear has been expelled from this realm. It has no place to torment you.
I highly encourage you all to read the book of 1 John. I have truly been blessed by it and the book has brought me new light and understanding of the truths which build the foundation of the Christian faith.