1 John 4:17-18 (NLT): “And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”
Selwyn writes: “The root cause of fear is an absence of love. … Where there is no love, fear flows in. I assure you that if, at this moment, you had a vivid awareness of how much God loved you, every fear troubling you would vanish. And why? Because once your personality detects (through the power of the Holy Spirit) the presence of its Creator, it responds to it with faith and not with fear.”
I think, it’s important to realise that the word ‘love’ as used above – is the type of love that comes from God (agape), and it does not refer to ‘love’ as experienced between husband and wife, or parents and their children, or that type of love experienced by two close friends. The love that flows from God can influence the quality of all these different types of human relationships – but they are not the same!
Consequently, I don’t fully support all of Selwyn’s views in today’s study, without some clarification – for example, we are never afraid of those who love us – if they love us, in the same way that God loves us. Unfortunately, some forms of imperfect ‘love’, which originates in the human heart, and are not of God; do not drive out fear. Do you agree?