Living a Balanced Life Week 14 (Teaching Outline)

Living a Balanced Life

(An In-Depth Study of First John)

Week 14

Commentary

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

1 John 4:13-21

 Outline

Today’s text deals with a subject that is relevant to every person on planet earth. I have never spoken with anyone who has even remotely said something like this; “I want to have more anxiety and less confidence in my life.” As a matter of fact, at least one of the reasons given by most people for going to college or technical training is to achieve confidence in what they do. Most believe deeply that proper education and training will drastically reduce anxiety and give bold confidence in the workplace. In other words, what you have learned will manifest itself in your occupation. When having a degree in accounting proves itself, in real corporate life, by accomplishing the balancing of the books, one would describe that as an education becoming complete. Once you have experienced education manifesting itself in the workplace and successfully accomplishing its intended goal, fear is gone. You know that next month you will be able to do the same great job with the books. You have confidence!

Everyone wants to have confidence. Everyone wants to be rid of fear. The Apostle John wants the same things for all his readers. John offers everyone confidence on the ‘day of judgment’ in whom love is perfected. Of course, John is not speaking of sinless perfection; that would contradict previous chapters. The word John uses best fits our understanding of ‘complete’ or ‘accomplished’. In other words, John is stating the fact that everyone who abides in God does so by God’s Spirit, and it is by the Spirit that love is perfected in our lives. So love is perfected when it’s not just talk. Love is perfected when love moves into action. When love reaches its goal, which is to love the children of God, John says it’s complete or perfect. A proper way to summarize verse 17 from our text would be: “When you love someone with more than just talk, when the love of God manifests itself in action, you will experience an unshakable confidence before God.”

Christ-likeness is the result of abiding in God, and God in us, by the Spirit. Our text, in a way, asks the following rhetorical question: “Who would lack confidence or be in fear of judgment when we look very much like the Son of God?” Of course, compared to Jesus, all fall short. However, John states that everyone who has forgiveness of sins by the Blood of Jesus will be found walking in the light. (1 John 1:7) The Blood of Jesus atones for our sins, AND experiencing a certain “walk”, namely love in action, confirms the genuineness of our faith.  John is calling all his readers that have placed their faith in Christ alone and are experiencing the love of God manifesting itself by God’s Spirit toward others to rejoice with confidence and cast out fear.

The Spirit in us (vs 13)

  • We know we abide in God by perfected love (vs 12)
  • We testify the Son of Son is Savior (vs 14-15)
  • We know the love of God (vs 16)

What abiding does (Vs 17)

Perfected Love

  • When love reaches its goal (mission accomplished)
  • From internal and subjective to external and objective

Confidence for the day of judgment

  • Love not in word or speech but in deed and truth (3:18-19)
  • Theme of John’s letter (3:14)

Christ-likeness

  • Having the Spirit of Jesus
  • God doesn’t condemn His Son or those like Him

He first loved us (vs 19)

  • We don’t love our way into God’s favor

We rest in God’s favor and then we love

  • No confidence from being good enough

But confidence in abiding in God

LIFE APPLICATION

Our normal lifestyle is always more than just talk

Living a life of love we never consider punishment

The only way to cast fear from life is to love

Working out a lifestyle of comfort always makes one fear

 

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