Listen: 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

To answer your question, let’s read 1 John 4:15-18, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 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.  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.”  When we take these verses together, the meaning of verse 18 becomes a little more obvious.

The Apostle John points out the importance of confessing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  Many people through the years have taught that Jesus was a good man, a true servant of the Lord, or even a prophet of God; yet they deny that the Lord Jesus is God incarnate.  To confess that Jesus is the Son of God is to realize His person and His purpose.  As John 3:16clearly tells us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  To confess that Jesus is the Son of God is to believe on Him as the One sent by God to be the savior of the world, as is stated earlier in the chapter in 1 John 4:14, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”  With this faith in the Lord, we understand that the Lord dwells in us and we in Him.  What a blessed truth!

Let’s read 1 John 4:17in the NIV, which makes the meaning a little clearer.  That says, “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.”  By our faith in the Lord Jesus, and the abiding presence of the Lord, all fear of impending judgment is gone.  We have been made righteous and holy.  Our standing before God is that we are ‘in Christ’, and God sees us as He sees His Son.  Another blessed truth!

We are assured in Romans 8:1that, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…”  Our condemnation or judgment was paid in full by the Lord Jesus when He died for us on the cross.  Let’s consider those powerful words the Lord said from the cross in John 19:30, “…It is finished…”  The Lord Jesus completely paid our sin debt; how could there be any condemnation from God?  In John 5:24the Lord tells us, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”  Therefore, we have no fear of that coming day of God’s judgment upon the earth.

Fear has no place in love.  Bold confidence, based on love, cannot coexist with fear.  Love, when perfected, gives bold confidence and casts out fear.  We can be assured of God’s love for us.  He has certainly proven that love by sending His Son to die for us.  We can face eternity without fear.  Because we have come to realize God’s love for us we have no fear of perishing; we have no fear of God’s fierce wrath; we have no fear of being judged.  As we sometimes sing:

Jesus paid it all

All to Him I owe

Sin had left a crimson station

He washed it white as snow.

If we fear, it is an indication that we have not fully apprehended what the Lord Jesus has done for us.  It is finished” was the cry of our triumphant savior.  God exhausted His wrath on His Son for our sakes.  How great is the love of God for us.  We read in Romans 8:32-33, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.”  Through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are justified, we are made righteous, we are made holy.  May we all apprehend that precious truth so that we have no fear.  (125.5)