1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.
I. ITS PROPERTIES.
1. Supreme. Love to God cannot exist as a subordinate principle.
2. Pure. Before love can reign sole monarch in the soul, the "old man" must be destroyed.
3. Entire. It will not only admit of no rival, allowing neither the allurements of the world nor the charms of the creature to alienate it from the object that has engrossed it; but it admits of no comparison.
4. Constant. It is not a spark emitted from the blaze of worldly prosperity and fanned by the softness of worldly pleasure, but a flame enkindled by the Sun of Righteousness, and like the fire on the altar it never goes out.
6. Progressive. For though perfect, it does not preclude the possibility of increase or enlargement.
II. ITS OPERATION — "casteth out fear."
1. What kind of fear?
(1) Not —
(a) A reverential fear of God.
(b) A cautionary fear of the holiness, justice, and power of God.
(c) Natural fear, which is necessary to the preservation of life.
(2) But —
(a) Servile fear.
(b) Fear of meeting the necessaries of life.
(c) The fear of man, which bringeth a snare.
(d) The fear of the last enemy.
(e) The fear of the judgment.
(f) The fear of hell.
2. How does it do this?
(1) By removing sin.
(2) By transforming us into God's image.
(3) By perfecting all the other graces of Christianity.Faith is perfected by love. Distrust is the offspring of suspicion, and want of confidence is want of love. Where there is perfect love there is true tranquillity, the sweetest harmony: all is peace — perfect, perpetual, eternal peace.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.