Summary: We know that we have eternal life when we fully understand that the love of God means our relationship with God will never be driven by fear.

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1 John 4:1-21

“No Fear In Love”

Let’s open our Bibles to 1 John and read the next section … 1 John 4:1-21


Does reading through the book of 1 John kind of feel like going in a spiral to you? We seem to keep coming back to the same themes, concepts and teachings

The antichrists in 1 John 4:3 are seeking to distract us from the truth that Jesus is the Christ, who has come from God.

1 John 2:22 - Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist – denying the Father and the Son

Those of the world in 1 John 4:4-7 live their lives in complete contrast to those who are of the faith. As a result those of the world have no clue about our spiritual truths.

1 John 3:1 - The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

We read about the love of God in 1 John 4:7-12

Love which is the source of our relationship with God.

1 John 3:16 - Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

Love which is fully based on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus.

1 John 3:1 - See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!

Love which causes us to love one another.

1 John 3:11 - This is the message you heard from the beginning: we should love one another.

The call to love our brother and sister in 1 John 4:19-21 is a call that has rung out before.

1 John 2:9 - Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.

It feels like a spiral. Going round and round.

But it a special kind of spiral. I want us to think here of a spiral staircase. You start at the bottom and go around. Technically as you go around you end up in the same GPS position … but you are higher and you have a greater perspective.

That is what John is doing. The apostle takes us into a theme, or teaches us about an area of the kingdom. We digest it for a while … then later we come back and move with a greater perspective.

As we come around … we grow … we learn more … we are given further insight … we reflect again … and we move forward.

John’s teaching method gives us a very important insight:- you never stop growing in your relationship with Jesus. No matter how long you are in the faith you will never get to a point where you can say, “I know it all.” There is always a new aspect that you will see. Or, more likely, you will again be reminded about aspects of your faith journey that you have forgotten. That is why, at the end of the day, walking with Jesus keeps coming back to a few simple key spiritual disciplines.

Read your Bible and meditate on it regularly.

Pray regularly.

Fellowship with other believers regularly.

That’s what the church has been doing basically since day 1.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)

What was the result?

The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47).

John keeps encouraging the spiritual growth and understanding of the readers. Earlier teaching truths, then reminding the readers of those truths with an addition. The addition that we are going to focus in today is in verse 18.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18

In Scripture there is two types of “fear” … both types of fear are related.

One type of fear is what can be called “reverential fear”.

Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

Acts 9:31

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 5:21

This “reverential fear” … also what we call “awe” … is a response to the majestic, powerful, amazing, beyond all that we can imagine, works of God in Christ. The transformation of Judea, Galilee and Samaria – and they way that the Gospel was spreading – caused people to be in awe of what God was doing. The way that Christ worked for us – being a servant who humbly washed the feet of his disciples – is cause for reverence and it impacts the way we treat one another.

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