This weekend Pastor Andrew will be preaching from 1 John 4:11-19. As we approach Sunday, it would be beneficial to go ahead and engage with this passage of Scripture by reading it now:
“Beloved, if God so love us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 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. We love because he first loved us.”
When Andrew was prepping for this sermon, he asked me to think back to something I deeply feared as a child. This wasn’t difficult. I was quite overdramatic and a bit of a hypochondriac as a kid. When I heard adults discussing sickness and disease, I began to have some of the symptoms of that sickness or disease. When I read about diseases and sickness in science class, I honestly remember feeling sick. I look back at this and laugh, but as a kid, I was convinced and fearful that I either had a disease or that I was going to get one soon enough. In all reality, I didn’t miss the mark. Apart from Christ our sin has killed us and we are all infected with a nature that is fallen and corrupt. This has plagued mankind since the early chapters of Genesis. Apart from Christ, we should be fearful: Fearful of death, fearful of standing before the Holy Creator of the cosmos, and fearful of our eternity destiny. But in Christ, we should not fear. The Apostle John says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”
How does perfect love cast out fear?
What does love really mean?
I believe John answers this question in a previous chapter and that our text is the outworking of it. In 1 John 3:16, John states, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
Who laid down his life? Jesus, fully God and fully man. The Apostle Paul confirms this for us in Romans 5:6-8, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person- though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die- but God show his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
God’s love is that Christ lived, died, and is risen and presently interceding on behalf of his people. This should cast out all fear and anxiety in the life of a Christian.
So, the next time you fear, remember the gospel, apply the gospel, and model it in your relationships with other people.
Order of Service
Rejoice (Romans 5:3-5)
Welcome and Announcements
In the Hope of His Glory (Romans 8:1-20)
Grace and Peace (2 Peter 1:2)
Forever (We Sing Hallelujah) (1 Corinthians 15)
Sermon: Love is Stronger than Fear by Pastor Andrew
Offertory & Closing Song: Perfect (Hebrews 10:1-18)