By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in the world.There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:17-19
Like I shared yesterday, this blog and this series is an ever-changing exercise. When I wrote the first part of this post on Friday, I had a bunch of different ideas in mind. There is so much to talk about when it comes to fear of man. But after reading through 1 John 4 this past weekend, it felt like the Lord provided a new direction. Mainly, 1 John 4: 18-19 is the vein by which we'll be talking about all other fears.
The truth about fear is exposed in 1 John.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment.
There you have it. I cannot say it better.
Fear has to do with punishment.
But perfect love casts out fear. That then leads to the question, what is perfect love? 1 John 4 answers that question as well. Perfect love is God's love as displayed through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus died willingly for the sins of man, so that we don't have to be fearful of punishment for our sins, but can trust that Christ's sacrifice covers our transgressions.
We no longer have to fear punishment if we believe in Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ covers us.
The greatest judgment we will ever face is eternal judgment, but if we believe in Christ, we can have confidence on the day of judgment that we are covered.
How does this affect fear of man?
When we're fearful of man, we're often fearful of the potential punishment.
What if they hate me?
What if they reject me?
What if they don't like me?
But in light of eternal punishment and judgment, facing earthly rejection from man is nothing. It feels weighty at the time, but when you know that you can have confidence on the day of judgment before God, that changes our perspective of man.
We will all stand in judgment one day. If we are in Christ, we can have confidence on that day. Our identity and confidence is in Jesus, so what man thinks about us no longer matters.
Having faith in Christ, in what he did on the cross and what that means in light of eternity is what helps us overcome fear of man.
I'm still learning this and applying it. I have struggled for so long with fear of man, but when I think about standing in judgment one day and knowing that I can have confidence in Christ, that makes judgment or punishment or whatever man might do to me on earth pale in comparison.
We don't have to be fearful of man or earthly punishment when we have faith in Jesus Christ, because we can have confidence in spending eternity with the Lord, free from punishment and judgment, thanks to what Christ accomplished on the cross.
This post is part of a 31 day series called Faith > Fear. You can find all of the posts here.
Shalom! I'm Madi, a laughter-loving, movie-going, spontaneous-dancing, follower of Christ. Join me as I seek glimpses of God's grace in the ordinary and everyday.
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She Laughs Without Fear