Top Level Notes for 1 John 4:18-21
Verse 18: Dread does not exist in love, but fully mature love shoo’s fear out the door and expels every trace of terror.
- This is the love we learn from God.
- Bold confidence, based on love, cannot coexist with fear.
- Fear, by anticipating punishment (through consciousness and deserving of it), has it even now, that is, a taste of the punishment to come.
- Godly fear of offending God is quite different/distinct from slavish fear of consciously deserved punishment.
- The latter fear is natural to us all until love casts it out.
Verse 19: We on our part love God, our brethren, and fellow man because it was He who first loved us.
- When we understand the deep love God has for us (by internalizing the great act of sending His Son to die was), then we will know that with His love for us we do not have to fear…while we were yet sinners, God sent His Son to die for us.
Verse 20: The eyes are our leaders in love.
- Nature is prior to grace; we by nature love things seen.
- Seeing is an incentive to love.
- If we do not love our brothers and sisters in Christ – the visible representatives of God -> how can we love God, the invisible One, the One whose children they are?
- The true ideal lost in Adam is realized in Christ in Whom God is revealed as He is, and man as he ought to be.
- Thus, by faith in Christ, we learn to love both the One True God, and the true man, and so to love our brothers and sisters bearing His image.
Verse 21: This was commanded by Jesus Himself.
- He who loves, will do what the object of his love wishes.