A Garment of Perfect Love

One of my favorite verses on fear is 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

I love this phrase: “fear has to do with punishment.” We often see something that makes us feel afraid and we feel vulnerable. When you think about it, this all goes back to the Garden in Genesis. The first effect of the fall was a sense of nakedness. We feel vulnerable so we put on clothes; we put on a good job; we put on a good reputation, good relationships, etc. At any point in our lives, the clothes might be ripped away.

But in the Cross, we are clothed with the irrevocable garment of the perfect love of God.

Think for a moment about all the ways that God’s love is perfect. God’s love is perfect in:

a. its intensity toward us…God could not love us any more.

b. its constancy with us…in Christ, God says He will never leave us.

c. in its sufficiency….we were created for the love of the eternal God; in being loved and possessed by Him our thirst is quenched.

d. its sovereignty of all things in our lives….He commandeers every molecule in the universe to work out His good and perfect plan for our lives.

Intensity. Constancy. Sufficiency. Sovereignty. With God’s perfect love, what else is there to be afraid of?

Numbers 23:23, “There is no sorcery that can succeed against Jacob.” When the children of Israel went into the Promised Land, the spies had told them that there were powerful people there with powerful magic. They feared, “What if their power is stronger than ours? What if they have large lords on their side?” God says, “Who cares what his name is? My name is bigger.”

Psalm 56:11, “…in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Answer: nothing! Do you know this love?

If you and I experience any kind of fear, it is because we have lost touch with one of those aspects of God’s perfect love: intensity, constancy, sufficiency, sovereignty.

True courage comes from the presence and the promises of God, and those are given to us irrevocably in the gospel!