“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
Verse 18 gives proof of verse 17. We have boldness at the Judgment Seat of Christ because God completes His love in us. John now looks at love from a negative viewpoint.
There is no fear in love;
Love accomplishes something now. The Christian does not look to the Judgment Seat of Christ with trepidation because He understands God’s love. Not only does love look forward to meeting the Lord, but it presently casts out fear; love gives freedom from fear.
Fear and love are as contrary to each other as oil and water. Fear and love can coexist, but perfect love and fear cannot coexist. Fear, in varying degrees, exists in every believer’s life. This would not be the case if God’s perfect love gripped his soul.
There is no room for fear in God’s economy of love. We cannot approach God in love and hide from Him in fear simultaneously. We overcome cowering fear of God by an understanding of His perfect love for us.
Love is the most important manifestation of fellowship with the Lord.
When the Christian manifests the Spirit filled life by loving other believers, he has no fear when anticipating the Judgment Seat of Christ. He knows that the Spirit is the controlling influence over his life. The believer, out of fellowship, torments his soul because he knows he is out of phase with God. Fear intimidates his soul with thoughts of meeting the Lord. On the other hand, the Christian in fellowship anticipates meeting the Lord at the Rapture.
Most people fear judgment. They also fear accountability to God. Non-Christians will face the Great White Throne judgment for rejecting Christ as their Savior. That will be an awful and dreadful day.
He 9:27-28, 27 “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him, He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
Jesus removed the fear of judgment.
He 2:14, “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
On the human level, only total acceptance of another person will remove the fear of rejection. For example, in marriage, a love relationship free of fear is one where there is a commitment of total acceptance to one’s mate. Total forgiveness is also necessary for a transparent relationship (Eph. 4:31-32).
God purposes that His children have confidence in His love. He does not want them to fear Him. Fear paralyzes our fellowship with God. God loves us with an everlasting love, an unconditional love. Nothing daunts or disturbs His love so we can fellowship with Him with confidence.