Biblegateway Verse of the Day

Christ's Love Casts Out Fear

By Benjamin H. Liles

          I have to ask myself why is being fearful the opposite of having God's perfect love? Is it possible to so love imperfectly that we get and become so afraid to do for others? I think it has more to do with not doing anything at all for others. In that sense of fear it stands that the selfish person wants nothing more than what they want and not normally for others. Paul writes to the church, saying, "For you did not receive a spirit of slavery that returns you to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15).

           When we put off doing wrongdoing, both by God first and then secondly to our neighbor, we're embracing the life Jesus desired for us. Let me see if i can put it differently: if you know what you're doing is wrong, and a light is shone on the things you are doing, would you shrink away from the light, or would you rather come to it?

           The bulk of the people Jesus Christ healed and helped they came to the light that He was and also represented, the Father. Yes, they did wrong things, which is what sin is. Sin actually means "to miss the mark." And we've all done that. Paul writes to the church in Rome, "There is no one righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10, Holman Christian Standard). Our deeds before a holy and just God are filthy and dingy.

          On that note, I love how John addresses the church in his letter: "No one has seen God at any time; if we should love one another, God abides in us, and His love is having been perfected in us" (1 John 4:12, Berean Study). That's the big thing, too. If we remain in Him, abiding in the word He gives to each of us, loving one another as well as loving Him, are we not doing the same things Christ did for His fellow men and women?

          So then we find why several verses later John says what he does about perfect love casting out fear. There is no fear to be had in the Father, or even with Jesus, Lord and Savior. In fact, if we do His perfect and pleasing will in and through our lives all forms of sin are cast aside for the robe of righteousness that is Christ Jesus. He is our righteousness! When He died on the cross for our sins, for our punishment, He essentially gave us His righteousness; His love.

          Therefore, considering this same love is what made itself known to all then it also has done away with the laws of God that cannot and do not save anyone. All the laws of Moses do is to convict people of sin, showing their need for a Savior, for the One who would finalize and fulfill the words of the laws and the prophets. It's as Jesus said, when summarizing all Ten Commandments, and then some, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ’Love your neighbor as yourself'" (Matthew 22:37-40, Berean Study).

          Not one of us can uphold the Laws God gave to Moses, not as perfectly as Jesus did. This man who died on the cross and rose again from the grave has to be the Son of God, as the Roman Centurion declared (see Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39; Luke 23:47). No matter how you cut it this righteous man, Jesus, who was crucified on our behalf so that we would never taste the wrath of God is God's Son. And it is by His love that we can march on victorious in His name. Perfect love casts out all fear.  I write this so you may believe in the One who gave His life so you may have it and to the fullest. In the matchless name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

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