2019-06-16 – 1 John 4.7–21 – No Fear in Love
Bible Text: 1 John 4.7–21 | Preacher: Pastor Jerry Higdon | Series: 1 John | 2019-06-16 – 1 John 4.7–21 – No Fear in Love
(Flag Day, High-Noon Youth, Fathers Day, Bible Camp)
Good morning everyone. It is so nice to be able to spend some time with you all in fellowship with the Lord. Thank you and God bless you for being with us today.
Happy Fathers Day to the fathers here today. I found a wonderful anonymous poem to share with you today about fathers:
God took the strength of a mountain, The majesty of a tree, The warmth of a summer sun, The calm of a quiet sea, The generous soul of nature, The comforting arm of night, The wisdom of the ages, The power of the eagle’s flight, The joy of a morning in spring, The faith of a mustard seed, The patience of eternity, The depth of a family need, Then God combined these qualities, When there was nothing more to add, He knew his masterpiece was complete, And so, he called it Dad. Again, happy Fathers Day to all.
As we are going through the Bible book of First John, last week we talked a little about how we can differentiate between the spirit of truth and the spirits of deception? The crux of the message was that the Holy Spirit guides us in that regard and we should learn to listen to the Holy Spirit and we should also know God’s word so we will not be duped by the evil spirits intentions of the world.
Today’s message is about Love, specifically the love from Father God and our love for each other. The title is No Fear in Love, and that is something we all should realize as Born Again Christ followers. There is truly No Fear in Love.
Please turn in your Bibles to 1 John 4:7, pg 1084 in the Pew Bibles, The Inspired, Infallible and Living Word of God, and let us start with Prayer.
Being that it is Father’s Day, when I think of my father James Grady Higdon,
back while he was still alive in Detroit, I remember his strong stature and his entrepreneurial drive for getting ahead at any cost. I also remember thinking that he was pretty much fearless, and as a young boy I appreciated that. There was a lot of evil things around us in Detroit that we did rightfully fear. I drew confidence from my father’s strength and bravery. He respected God and loved God like a son might love a distant father. I miss my dad, and I will suggest if your father figure is still alive that you make sure he knows that you love him. Our Bible says we are to fear our Father God, but that type of fear is more about having awe and respect for Him, not being afraid. For as we will see in these first verses today, our God is a God of love. And in that we truly should have No Fear in Love.
Verse 7 of Chapter 4 says: 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.
12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as the world’s Savior. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God. 16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.
These verses constitute one long unit describing what perfect love is and that it is available to all of mankind. His love is inherent in all He is and does. Even His judgement and wrath are perfectly harmonized with His love.
While the phrase “God is love” isn’t found in the Old Testament, we read of God’s love throughout it. The most commonly used Hebrew word to express God’s love in the Old Testament is the word “chesed”, which is translated as steadfast love, lovingkindness, faithful love, and mercy. Of the 194 times this word is used, it refers to God’s love 171 times. God has always been and will always be a God of love. Way back when God revealed Himself to Moses, He called Himself: “The LORD God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands.” Exodus 34:6
Twice in this verse He referred to Himself using the phrase steadfast love, and when repetition was used in ancient Hebrew, it was for the purpose of emphasis. Throughout the Old Testament, God refers to His steadfast love: Deuteronomy 7:9 says, “The LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations”. That’s the God I worship, tried and true and full of love.
And in Psalm 103:11, I like what King David wrote, “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him.” And “The steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children”. In the Old Testament, from Genesis through Malachi, God is portrayed as the One who faithfully and eternally loves. And then the New Testament states outright that God is love.
In fact, Jesus himself is portrayed as being His Father’s love solution for all of humanity. And that is what our next verses say, starting at chapter 4, verse 16:
God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God and God remains in him. 17 In this, love is made complete with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because as he is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And we have this command from him: The one who loves God must also love his brother and sister
Having and exhibiting love is vital when trying to live a life that reflects Jesus.
Having and exhibiting love is vital when trying to live a life that reflects Jesus. In a sense, all the ways in which we try to be more like Jesus have love at their core. As we read through our Bibles, we can see that love for the Lord and others is the root character qualities which help us become more Christlike. Compassion, honesty, forgiveness, kindness, goodness, gentleness, patience, self-control, hope, humility, joy, peace, gratitude, holiness, and faithfulness are all rooted in love. Even our initial choice for accepting Christ as Lord, putting off the old self and putting on Christ, as the apostle Paul wrote, is also rooted in love.
As Christians, We love God because He first loved us, and based on His love, we now want to live in a manner which glorifies Him. We now make the effort to change, to renew our heart, will, mind, soul, and spirit because we love the Lord and want to be more like Him and to reflect Him—even if that reflection is only a dim glow of who He fully is. But even as dim as that glow we have may be, it still shines brightly in this world of darkness and gives glory to the one who created us, the one who loves us and saved us, and with whom we will spend eternity.
Jesus Christ gave us some great examples of the kind of love He was speaking about, and how we can demonstrate that love in our daily lives. Dr. Luke wrote in Luke chapter 6:30, where Jesus said, “Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods, do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them”. (The Golden Rule) Jesus also said in Luke 6:35, “Love your enemies, and do good, and lend expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you”.
There are many, many wonderful examples and commands from Jesus and the apostles in our New Testament that exhibit God’s love so well, and we should be endeavoring to learn from those examples and be applying them more and more onto our daily lives. Amen?
Now this might be a shock to you, but just because somebody professes to be a Christian doesn’t mean they actually are. You might recall last week we learned how we should test the spirits to see if they are truth or not, well we can also test people to see if they truly are Christians or not as well. Only those who display love in keeping with what Jesus said or did actually possess His true born again character. Again our last verse 21 commands that, “The one who loves God must also love his brother and sister”. This isn’t just talking about blood brothers and sisters, but our Christian brothers and sisters as well. And I will argue, that the love and grace that was given to us by God, we should be demonstrating and sharing with all of God’s children. God loves you so much, and He desires and commands you to share and show His love to the world. That is the test. Are you demonstrating God’s character in your daily lives? That is His will for you and me.
In these verses today we really see a restatement of the whole Good News Gospel. Jesus died for our sins even though we didn’t, and still don’t, deserve it. There is “No Greater Love” ladies and gentlemen. “No Greater Love” indeed. And being that this is Fathers Day, let us also recognize that Father God is the one who sent Jesus to the world, so He that He could die for our sins. Father God loved us so much that He even sacrificed His Son for you and I. So that we could have everlasting fellowship with him in heaven.
Psalm 103:13 says, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him”;
2 Corinthians 6:18 “I will be a Father to you and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
Ephesians 3:15 “[God is] the Father from whom all fatherhood derives its name.”
God truly loves you dear church. Indeed, God truly loves you.
Billy Graham once said, “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”
That definitely describes our Father in Heaven, and I know it also describes many of our fathers here on earth as well. Happy Fathers Day all.
Let us Pray..