Excerpt From God’s Gift of Perfection
Chapter 31–Part 1
“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
Bengel, a German theologian, says that there are four steps in the Christian life:
“serving God without fear or love; with fear without love; with fear and love; with love without fear.”
And Augustine says:
“Fear prepares the way for love; where there is no fear, there is no opening for love to enter.”
Fear is the medicine, love is the healing. Fear leads to love. When love is perfected fear is done. Perfect love casts out fear.
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).
The day of judgment! What a day that will be! Many have no fear of that day, because they trust that they have been justified. They imagine that the same grace which justified the ungodly will give them passage into heaven. This is not what Scripture teaches. The reality of out having obtained forgiveness will be tested in that day by our having bestowed forgiveness on others. Our fitness for entering the Kingdom is determined by the way in which we have served Jesus in the ministry of love to the sick and hungry. In our justification, all this had no part. In the judgment, it will be the all-important element. If we are to see Him as He is, and to be like Him, we must have purified ourselves as His is pure. It is perfect love, it is to be in this world even as He is, that casts out fear, and gives us boldness in the day of judgment. He who fears is not made perfect in love.
The day of judgment! What a day! What a blessed thing to have boldness in the day! To meet the burning, fiery furnace of God’s holiness, to be ready to be judged by our conformity to Christ’s likeness and image, and to have no fear, what blessedness! It is this that makes what Scriptures reveals of perfection, and of love perfected in us, of such immediate and vital interest to each one of us.
Previously Being As He Is–Part 2