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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

PERFECT LOVE

1 John 4:17-21 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. 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. We love Him, because He first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.

If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us (1 John 4:12). This is one of the verses that lead into the lesson text, and what a wonderful, and meaningfu, text it is regarding true love in its perfect form. When perfect love dwells in the heart of a man or woman, there will be no occasion to fear the wrath of God on Judgment Day. All of God's children that faithfully abide in His Son, Jesus Christ, have this assurance; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (1 John 2:28). With Jesus Christ as our great High Priest we are able to come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (See Heb 4:14-16). Faithful Christians that, by believing faith, have obediently been baptized into the body of Christ for the remission of their sins, can come boldly before God with confidence, that they have been made pure from all sin by the blood of Jesus Christ, and by the grace of God, will inherit an eternal home in heaven. While living in this world, as human men and women, it is this obedient act that converts one to become Christ-like, reconciled to God, become brothers and sisters of Christ, and have the hope of eternal salvation.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. Although there will always be an awesome, reverential fear toward God, with perfect love there will never be a tormenting terror of facing God, and Jesus Christ, on Judgment Day. Knowing God's goodness, we are assured that He will never subject His obedient children to misery and torment. Only those that fear God's wrath due to disobedience hath torment during their lives on earth. The writer of the Hebrew letter also tells every faithful Christian that God will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my Helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me (Heb. 13:5-6). Indeed, those that have perfect love for God, through His Son Jesus Christ, will not seek to hide from His presence. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

We love Him, because He first loved us. This verse of the lesson text reminds us of John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The physical blessings alone, that our heavenly Father has given us are sufficient grounds on which we should love God, as our Creator, and the Author of our salvation. However, and more importantly, the wonderful love God demonstrated by the gift of eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ, must fill every redeemed soul, that submits to His will, with perfect love.

When perfect love, as a seed that is planted, germinates in the soul of men and women, then they will demonstrate their love of God, through compassionate acts of love toward all mankind. If the seed of love is not accepted, then God's commandment is rejected, and perfect love fails to exist toward God and all mankind. The 20th verse of the lesson text confirm this truth. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

Regardless of the color of one's skin, their sex, national origin, status in life, or any other source of social identification, we must accept the fact that all people of the world were made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). Without exception, every person in the world, from the beginning of time, to time's end, God loved so much that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17). Neither man nor woman can have perfect love for God, whom he or she has not seen, and hate any other mortal being made in His image. And this commandment have we from Him, that he who loveth God love his brother also. This, dear friend, is perfect love!