1 John 4:18, “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.” (King James Version)
|Translation||1 John 4:18|
|ESV||There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.|
|NASB||There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.|
|NIV||There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.|
|NLT||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.|
Also see the meaning of Faith of a Mustard Seed to learn more.
Perfect Love Casts Out Fear: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
4:14-21 The Father sent the Son, he willed his coming into this world. The apostle attests this. And whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
This confession includes faith in the heart as the foundation; makes acknowledgment with the mouth to the glory of God and Christ, and profession in the life and conduct, against the flatteries and frowns of the world. There must be a day of universal judgment.
Happy those who shall have holy boldness before the Judge at that day; knowing he is their Friend and Advocate! Happy those who have holy boldness in the prospect of that day, who look and wait for it, and for the Judge’s appearance! True love to God assures believers of God’s love to them.
Love teaches us to suffer for him and with him; therefore we may trust that we shall also be glorified with him, 2Ti 2:12. We must distinguish between the fear of God and being afraid of him; the fear of God imports high regard and veneration for God.
Obedience and good works, done from the principle of love, are not like the servile toil of one who unwillingly labours from dread of a master’s anger. They are like that of a dutiful child, who does services to a beloved father, which benefit his brethren, and are done willingly.
It is a sign that our love is far from perfect, when our doubts, fears, and apprehensions of God, are many. Let heaven and earth stand amazed at his love. He sent his word to invite sinners to partake of this great salvation. Let them take the comfort of the happy change wrought in them, while they give him the glory.
Also see the meaning of Vengeance Is Mine to learn more.
The love of God in Christ, in the hearts of Christians from the Spirit of adoption, is the great proof of conversion. This must be tried by its effects on their temper, and their conduct to their brethren.
If a man professes to love God, and yet indulges anger or revenge, or shows a selfish disposition, he gives his profession the lie. But if it is plain that our natural enmity is changed into affection and gratitude, let us bless the name of our God for this seal and earnest of eternal happiness.
Then we differ from the false professors, who pretend to love God, whom they have not seen, yet hate their brethren, whom they have seen.
1 John 4:18 | Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. Fear has no place in love. Bold confidence (1Jo 4:17), based on love, cannot coexist with fear. Love, which, when perfected, gives bold confidence, casts out fear (compare Heb 2:14, 15). The design of Christ’s propitiatory death was to deliver from this bondage of fear.
fear hath torment—Greek, “punishment.” Fear is always revolving in the mind the punishment deserved [Estius]. Fear, by anticipating punishment (through consciousness of deserving it), has it even now, that is, the foretaste of it.
Perfect love is incompatible with such a self-punishing fear. Godly fear of offending God is quite distinct from slavish fear of consciously deserved punishment.
The latter fear is natural to us all until love casts it out. “Men’s states vary: one is without fear and love; another, with fear without love; another, with fear and love; another, without fear with love” [Bengel].
Also see the meaning of Walk By Faith to learn more.