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Summary: We love because God first loved us, especially when we were completely unlovable. We must remember it is God who made our relationship with Him possible, and Christians should approach Him with confidence knowing His love for us is without end.

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No Fear in Love

1 John Bible Study, Part 11

1 John 4:14-21

Introduction

- A person saved by love (Christ’s love for us) must be able to show love

-- We may have trouble loving perfectly, but there is a difference between:

• Loving perfectly, and,

• Not loving at all

- Greek word used is “hilasmos” which means atoning sacrifice or propitiation

-- It literally means “an offering to appease (satisfy) an angry, offended party

- Fortunately, God’s gift to us was not His response to how we treat Him

-- This gift was initiated by God; not dependent on how we would or will respond

- Challenge: The way the world sees God’s love is shown through His people

-- It is the true mark of the faith when we demonstrate love to one another

-- Sure, we will get angry and frustrated … but how long do we hold onto that?

- Read 1 John 4:14-21 / Pray

∆ Point 1 – God is Love

- There is something interesting here that we must understand in this letter

-- Remember, John is writing it to a church that believed false doctrines/teachers

-- They had a real problem with allowing nonsense to be taught in the church

-- APP: Therefore, his letter is a timely encouragement to remain faithful

- Those who are reading this probably never saw Jesus in the flesh

-- They have many first/second hand accounts of Him, but never saw Him

-- However, the teachers at this time claimed “heavenly journeys/revelations”

-- At their core, they were click salesmen who capitalized on human needs

- Why? Simple: Each of us understands there is something wrong with us

-- There is a problem, a God-shaped vacuum in our hearts that is void

- Capitalism has figured this out and makes trillions each year on it

-- Q: What is the largest section of books you’ll find in a book store?

-- A: Self-help! Everyone has a solution that they want to sell you!

- The teachers of this time were selling them some sort of watered-down gospel

-- They were more interested in promoting themselves; than God

- Therefore … John’s words in v14-16 are directly pointed at them/us

-- “We have seen and testify …” – firsthand account from the church leaders

-- Also, their faith has moved them to settle in their hearts forever one thing

-- God has sent the Son; and He is the Savior of the world (period)

- APP: John reminds: You do not have to see Jesus in order to believe this

-- You don’t have to have lunch with Him to testify about what He’s done

-- Our testimony is based on what we’ve personally experienced

-- Therefore, if (v15) we acknowledge who He is; then He lives within us

- And when He lives in us, there is more (don’t miss this) … read v16

-- We RELY on the love of God that He has for us; b/c it’s strengthening

- Testifying about Jesus does more than just recap a story of what He did

-- Yes, He offers humanity salvation and rescues that which is lost

-- But, it also encourages us that He is the Son of God; sent for God’s purpose

- Therefore, if we remember what He has done; and live like He lived …

-- IMP: We show love for one another because we demonstrate what He is!

- TRANS: “God is love.” It’s a statement, a fact, a settled argument for us!

∆ Point 2 – No Fear in Love

- The judgment seat of Christ will be far more severe than anything known

-- It will be day of final conviction/sentence/punishment for all non-believers

- John’s encouragement is simple: You can face that day confidently

-- Why? Because in Christ, you are complete – because you are His

-- APP: We live like Him (v17): literally, we are His witness to others

- John says (v18), “There is no fear in love” … but what does this mean?

-- Mature love has no fear; it’s unafraid of the actions of immaturity

-- A Christian who fears the judgement seat has not reached maturity

-- Those who live in fear of Christ misunderstand what He’s given us

- He has already set us free; already provided all that we will ever need

-- A person who lives with love towards God has nothing to fear

- “The one who fears is NOT made perfect in love”

-- IMP: If we still fear the judgement seat and know Him, we have work to do

- We are called to live in love towards those around us (brothers/sisters)

-- But even more so – to live in love towards those outside of the church

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