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“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
That perfect love that casts out fear is not our love for one another or our love for God, but God’s love for his elect. Perfect love is God’s love. It is everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3), free, unconditional love (Hosea 14:4), electing love (Romans 9:13-18), predestinating love (Ephesians 1:3-6), redeeming love (John 3:16; Romans 5:6-8; 1 John 3:16; 4:9-10), immutable love (Malachi 3:6), and indestructible, unquenchable love (Song of Solomon 8:7).
If ever you come to know the Lord Jesus Christ and are given the sweet assurance of God’s perfect love for you in his darling Son, the knowledge of that love will cast out fear from your soul.
No Fear in Love
I do not suggest that God’s saints in this world live without fear, but I am saying that we should. And I am saying that as God the Holy Ghost assures us of the perfect love of God for us, he makes us fearless. — “Perfect love casteth out all fear!” — “He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” That is to say, he who fears does not have the love of God made perfect in him. — “Perfect love casteth out all fear!” The blessed assurance of God’s perfect love in Christ casts out the fear of divine judgment, wrath, and punishment; it casts out the fear of providential matters; it frees us from the fear of men, fear of death, and fear of eternity.
That perfect love that casts out all fear is described for us in the 8th chapter of the Song of Solomon as unquenchable love. — “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.”
What a description Solomon gives of the love of Christ, the “love that passeth knowledge.” It is our blessed Christ who says, “I raised thee up under the apple tree.” And it is our dear Savior who says, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, and with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” It is God our Savior who declares, “I drew them with cords of love, and with the bands of a man.” He found me in a desert land, and in a waste howling wilderness. — “Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it.”
The Lord Jesus declares his love to his church; and she replies, “Set me as a seal,” not only on thy heart, but also on thine arm, the place of your love and the place of your strength, the place of the most tender emotion and deepest passion, and the place of power, safety, and work.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? His love is invincible and irresistible as death. It is a jealous love, as unyielding and unalterable as the grave. It is comparable to fire, coals of fire, the very flame of Jehovah.