But boldness is the companion of love, only when love is perfect. College Press, Joplin, MO. Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament, Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible, Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture, Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament, Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges, Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary, love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment, but he that feareth hath not been perfected in, ὁ δὲ φοβούμενος οὐ τετελείωται ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ, Isaiah , of course, the person over whom God is exercising His controlling influence (i.e, an abiding Christian). Broadman Press 1932,33. Love has not been made perfect. Hence, again, it is the conqueror of fear. It is not self-reliance which makes the hero. Now those times, though called the ages of faith, were very barren of religion. The latter fear is natural to us all until love casts it out. Fear, by anticipating punishment, has it even now; bears about a foretaste of it and so partakes of it: 5) the last clause, ὁ δὲ φοβούμενος οὐ τετελείωται ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ, is intimately connected with what follows (see on 1 John 4:14) as well as with what went before. 2 He was in the beginning with God. Distrust is the offspring of suspicion, and want of confidence is want of love. He that is trembling lest the lightning should strike him, has no heart to feel the grandeur and to be moved by the solemn awfulness of the storm above his head. does not and durst not think about them, and reverence Him. It makes heroes as its natural work. St. John’s name does not call up before us the fiery zeal that stirs some to noble deeds, or the unfaltering faith that nerves others to meet danger, or the calm endurance that lifts others above pain and trial; though zeal, and resolution, and endurance are each and all so commonly the offspring and the evidence of love in the hearts of men. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/1-john-4.html. That is an abstract statement; this is personal; two modes of stating the same truth. John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible, he that feareth is not made perfect in love, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. Perfect love casteth out fear] Timorem scilicet servilem illum, non amicalem. Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. There is nothing more striking than that strange power that a man has of refusing to think of a subject because he knows that to think of it would be torture and terror. does not and durst not think about them and reverence Him. Christ Our Advocate. And the most complete example of a being whose ruling disposition and principle is fear and hate, is the devil. The explanation is very simple which depends on the meanings of the original Greek word-phohos. But in all things that are the proper objects of faith, love has full scope for exercise; and will present them to the mind in so favourable a view, as to cast out all fear in relation to them. BibliographyConstable, Thomas. (1 John 4:4) "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. My fear should be to me like the misshapen guide that may lead me to the fortress where I shall be safe. It is faith which is the parent of love; and not unbelief: and therefore I say to all, Limit not the mercy of your God; but “against hope, believe in hope.” It is worthy of observation, that the language of doubts and fears is confined to the Old-Testament dispensation. that is servile, and depresses the spirit, hath no place with love, but is excluded by it, by the same degrees by which that love grows up to perfection, and shall be quite excluded by that love fully perfected: inasmuch as love is a pleasant, fear a tormenting, passion, which, as such, while it remains, shows the imperfection of love. There is no fear in that great passion of the human soul which is called “the love of God”; for, on the contrary, it is instrumental in producing in the heart that beats and burns with it a blessing which surpasses all human anticipation. What ought I to do? (b) A cautionary fear of the holiness, justice, and power of God. And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God, love his brother also [Note: ver. Fear as the ruling motive of conduct is degrading, because it is essentially selfish. Sailors that crash on with all sails set--stunsails and all--whilst the barometer is rapidly falling, and boding clouds are on the horizon, and the line of the approaching gale is ruffling the sea yonder, have themselves to blame if they founder. 1 John 4:16(NASB) Verse Thoughts. That is the particular thought which this text enshrines. II. Every affection makes him who cherishes it, in some degree, braver than he would have been without it. (c) Natural fear, which is necessary to the preservation of life. But the love which he commends in this Epistle is not an emotion based upon mere feeling and impulse, or a passion having its roots and energy in the lower nature of man; it is a love entirely in subordination to principle, and sanctified by its hearty consecration to God. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. It is, moreover, essential to acceptable service, for there is no virtue in that which is done from mere fear. Love is no weak thing, no mere sentiment. I beseech you, take to heart these things, and do not turn away from them with a shake of your shoulders, and say, ‘He is preaching the narrow, old-fashioned doctrine of a religion of fear.’ No! Doth no stray odour from its table greet. Behold then, I say, the two emotions are like the scales of a balance: where fear preponderates, love will be found but light: but where love abounds, fear will in vain strive for an ascendant. All these are necessary to our well-being. 1917. The work of Christ is to deliver us from all excessive fear, and to leave in its place calmness and sober watchfulness and a profound peace. And while it has its efficiency in this life, it has the promise, the signet, the earnest of the life which is to come.1 [Note: Henry Ward Beecher.]. Greek. What calamities such as I hear of on all sides may I not have to taste of? On a lonely moorside, far from any other habitation, dwells a weakly woman, the wife of a powerfully built crofter. It is “perfect” love that casts out fear. Trust in God, and confidence in Him, is really worship. Wiclif has ‘forsothe’ and Purvey ‘but’, the Genevan, Rhemish, and R.V. Fear is the child of bondage; love of freedom. ; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. Such is the love which the Apostle puts in opposition to fear. He that loveth not knoweth not God. The word κόλασις (besides here, only in Matthew 25:46; comp. A man doing his duty simply because he is afraid to leave it undone, resembles the crouching slave who works because the lash of the taskmaster hovers over his head, and is ready to descend the moment he desists; but he who obeys from love is like an affectionate child who hastens to do his father’s will because obedience is to him a real delight. In some respects nearly allied to the other--as where we dread the arrival of a judge who is to try us, and whose sentence must certainly bring after it imprisonment or execution. A man who is trembling about personal consequences has no eye to appreciate the thing of which he is afraid. "Commentary on 1 John 4:18". II. Copyright StatementThe Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Lust is self-centered and destructive. There is a fear also of persons. 1 John 4. "Commentary on 1 John 4:18". 1. "Commentary on 1 John 4:18". There is no fear in love — No slavish or tormenting fear, diffidence, or distrust, can be where love reigns; but perfect, mature love casteth out such fear, because such fear hath torment — And so is inconsistent with the happiness of love. JOHN 1:1-3 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Trench (R. C.), Westminster and Other Sermons, 32. And a man to whom the whole thought, or the predominant thought, when God rises before him, is, How awful will be the incidence of His perfections on my head! Unless the principles of Divine light and the powers of Divine love have wrought their influence upon the sinful heart, men carry about with them, everywhere and always, the consciousness of those dark secrets which linger from the earliest age of responsibility in the inmost recesses of the heart. We cannot love a noble human character without in some degree becoming like that character; and if we love Christ, and God in Christ, we shall be changed into the same image from glory to glory. All this you say is perfectly natural. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. He, and He alone, can deal with the disturbing element in my relation to God. There is enough majesty to overawe a universe, but not too much for the weakest saint to joy in. Bibliography"Commentary on 1 John 4:18". But this is a long course. One may suspect that its estimate of sin is gravely defective. A dread of God is the ghastliest thing in the world, the most unnatural, but universal, unless expelled by perfect love. When he could believe in the Divine goodness, hope dawned upon him, and he spoke cheerful words: “I know that my redeemer liveth.” “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” “When he hath tried me I shall come forth as gold.” But when he could not see God or realize His goodness, when his light was turned into darkness, fear returned, producing “torment,” by which it is always accompanied. Were we in the lowest state to which a sinner can be reduced, our duty would be to believe in Christ, and to flee to him as to the refuge set before us. They know that that thought is there, close behind them. The A.V. In the midst of a battle tell the coward not to be afraid; in the midst of a thunderstorm tell the person who shrinks from the vivid flash arid the astounding peal that he need not fear. When Mr. Speer saw them they looked happy and confident, and they sang for him, “Jesus loves me, this I know,” looking as if the realization that all their blessings had come from that Divine Source had already sunk deep into their hearts. The Bible does not contradict itself, and when it appears that it does there is always an explanation for it. 18 There is no fear in love; but […] "Commentary on 1 John 4:18". And these will, by degrees, absorb the fear of punishment, simply as such--into what? 1983-1999. "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". ‘Be troubled’; and let the trouble lead you to the Refuge. 2 z He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but a also for the sins of the whole world. Indicates the criterion of true preaching. For if I am out of harmony with Him, what will be my fate in the midst of a universe administered by Him, and in which all are His servants? They are stimulated by the fear of suffering in themselves, and then by the fear of suffering in their households, when they begin to love them. Oh, do not tamper with the wholesome sense of dread! ].” I say not, that this feeling is constant, or without any alloy; but that to effect this is the proper influence of love; and that it will be effected in proportion as love abounds in the soul.]. Therefore there lies, dormant for the most part, but present in every heart, and active in the measure in which that heart is informed as to itself, the slumbering, cold dread that between it and God things are not as they ought to be. As men rise in knowledge and virtue, they lose the need of fear. I. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/1-john-4.html. Indeed it is an old remark, that every natural principle of our mind has an object assigned to it--is not to be crushed, only to be redirected. 2. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-john-4.html. 1905-1909. But even of that, the soul which loves and cleaves to God can face the thought, can wait for it with calmness and quiet. I fear; then what do I do? But there it is; the snake hybernates, but it is coiled in the heart all the same, and warmth will awake it. 1 John 4:18 ESV There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18. φόβος, fear) which shrinks from God and the day of judgment. Some readers of the Bible, some preachers of the gospel, have thought that fear was a dangerous, was even a forbidden principle, under the dispensation of the fulness of times. The two are to be understood quite generally; neither love of God nor fear of God is specially meant. Awful as it was, he could have boldness when it came. It is the true hero, and martyr if need be, in the human heart. Fear of offending God differs from slavish fear of consciously-deserved punishment: the latter is natural to us all, until love casts it out. Love is based upon the forgetfulness of self altogether. The day springs not forth at once in the natural world; nor does piety arrive at its meridian height at once in the spiritual world. [We fear God in the sense of reverence and respect.] It is quite erroneous to explain ἀγάπη here, with Calvin, Calovius, Flacius, Spener, etc., as “the love of God to us;”(280) but it is also incorrect, with Lücke and others, to understand by it, specially, brotherly love.(281). 258. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-john-4.html. Entire. This mere dread, though it is a higher thing than indifference, is no part of the gospel. Copyright StatementThe text of this work is public domain. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. “The Son who has made you free, would have you free indeed.”, I would, indeed, guard you against that kind of confidence which is founded on vain delusions. And discouragement is moral death. Do not let it lie, generally sleeping, and now and then waking in your hearts, and bringing about nothing. That is true about hosts of us. (283) The conjectures of Grotius, instead of κόλασιν: κόλουσιν (i.e. BibliographyMacLaren, Alexander. Then it lifts its crested head, and shoots out its forked tongue, and venom passes into the veins. The empire of fear. Heathenism is a religion of fear; Judaism is the religion of conscience; Christianity is the religion of grateful affection. 1. In the fulness of its strength it has power to call forth forms of spiritual beauty more thrilling than any manifestation of mere animal passion. How shall it be with another class--with those who have banished fear altogether from their religion, not by that perfecting of love which St. John speaks of, but by a refusal to read anything in their gospel but that which was instantly bright, indiscriminately alluring? And when perfect love is attained, it casts out all fear. it may be asked. 1905. Where there is perfect love there is true tranquillity, the sweetest harmony: all is peace--perfect, perpetual, eternal peace. These deserve our tenderest pity. ], [The two passions are opposed to each other, and counteract each other, as light and darkness: “there is no fear in love,” nor any love in fear: if love arise in the soul, fear will be dispelled, like the clouds of the morning: but if fear prevail again, it will draw over the soul the curtains of night. A new class of influences is brought into play, and they cure or medicate the trouble. So my fear should proclaim to me the merciful “name that is above every name,” and drive me as well as draw me to Christ, the Conqueror of sin and the Antagonist of all dread. Watson.). Love trusts—trusts always. For why? But as long as we live, failure is possible; there must be the possibility of ultimate failure, even on the part of the gray-haired saint, as Bunyan in his “dream” saw that “there was a way to hell from the gates of heaven as well as from the city of destruction”; as, before now, men have fallen from God at their very “lust hour.” And that possibility involves a fear which dwells not on the mere pain of future punishment, but on that which is the essential and misery of hell--the forfeiture of the life giving love of God. God held me by my will against my will. Hebrews 2:14-15). It is the bravest of all human emotions. 4. because, &c.-- ‘The stars in their courses fight against’ the man that does not fight for God. But it no way excludes the wholesome fear of God's judgments, so often recommended in holy writ, nor that fear and trembling with which we are told to work out our salvation. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". And the two vary inversely: the more perfect the love, the less possibility of fear; and the more the fear, the less perfect the love. fol. Before we can love God truly we must first have learned to obey His will even in the smallest duties of our life. Not that fear comes first, and then love; for the most part they will proceed together. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." And when at last men have, by culture and training, passed out of the lower and voluntary states into the higher and involuntary ones; when habits have been formed, and have clustered themselves into groups, covering the whole circle of the mind, so that character is the result; when pain has done its work, and men are set upon that which is right because they love right, and not because they are afraid of penalty; when fear has wrought out its negative fruits, and inspired such growth that men come to the positive side, and love brightness because the sense of brightness is gratified, and love truth because there is that in them which is attracted by truth, and seek goodness with their whole social and moral being, because they are so lifted up that they hunger and thirst for it, then fear has no longer any function. Oh! Nor does it cast out that fear which may be engendered by sudden alarm. Could we but behold the obdurate sinner, or the scoffing infidel, on his first entrance into the presence of his God; does his boldness continue there? BibliographyMeyer, Heinrich. They bask lazily in the sun, and gorge themselves with food when they have it, and suffer the pangs of famine when they have it not. Both tables of the law are fulfilled in this: and to bring us to such a state of mind is no less the intent of the Gospel, than of the law itself. Look at the same thing on the higher level of our own human life. But, worse still, many so called religious people never get beyond this state of dread. It is shown most completely in religious matters; but it is also true that, wherever love rules, there fear has no place; that we do not fear or suspect those whom we love; and that this is true of us just in proportion as our love is true and strong. Then there rises up another object of dread, which, in like manner, derives all its power to terrify and to hurt from the fact of our discordance with God, and that is, the “shadow feared of man,” that stands shrouded by the path, and waits for each of us. Love and fear are antagonistic passions, and the tendency of the one is to overshadow and extinguish the other. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/1-john-4.html. Note the fearlessness of love, how perfect love casts out fear. The good and the bad must tremble alike; there could be no confidence, no one would be able to guess whether a man would be punished for an alleged crime or not. φόβος, the opposite of παρρησία. BibliographyHaydock, George Leo. 2 1. BibliographyNicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. To him the day of judgment was the day of Christ, it was the coming back and appearance of his beloved and departed Lord, the beginning of that kingdom of glory for which he daily waited and daily prayed. We can scarcely conceive how anything could live in such a world as this that had not the element of fear. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-john-4.html. It is a mutual respect that makes friendship lasting. The promise of 1 John 1:9 shouldn’t lead us into sin, saying “Hey, I’ll go ahead and sin because God will forgive me.” It should lead us out of sin, knowing that God could only be faithful and just to forgive us our sins because the wrath we deserved was poured out on the sin. The fear which is of the baser kind, viz. Sometimes it takes the shape of vehement efforts to get rid of unwelcome thought by fierce plunging into business, or into wild riot. And when we rise to the highest form of it, namely, the love which is fixed upon God--oh! Charles Schribner's Sons. which makes the torment of fear as the sister of selfishness. Maclaren (A. First, we may say that a distinction can be taken between fear as a subordinate motive and fear as a ruling motive of human action. Do not let it lie, generally sleeping, and now and then awaking in your hearts and bringing about nothing. I. The connection here shows John is using it in its bad sense which would made it read, "There is no dread or terror in love." “We love him, because he first loved us. If now we try to grapple closely with the very question itself, What is the place of fear in the gospel? But perfect love casteth out fear - That is, love that is complete, or that is allowed to exert its proper influence on the soul. But this work is not done suddenly; it is a progressive work. Adult Christians have love without this fear; because fear hath torment, and they are ever happy, being filled with God. "Commentary on 1 John 4:18". My text brings us face to face with that solemn thought that there are conditions of human nature, in which the God who ought to be our dearest joy and most ardent desire becomes our ghastliest dread. 1870. Renewal 1960. ), and have overcome (there need not be any evading or softening of this perfect: see ch. See Matthew 25:46. So again, in the feelings of inferiors towards superiors. Perfect love takes out of the heart all that bitter sense of possible evil coming on me and leaves me at liberty, with thankful, humble heart, and clear eye, to look into the centre of the brightness and see there the light of His infinite mercy. This realm is not only the land of fancy, but that of fetish. Thus delivered from the fear of sin by the power of the gospel, we are also delivered from the fear of God. Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. My text points out the natural antagonism, and mutual exclusiveness, of these two emotions. On each little cheek-bone was the brand of the slave’s iron, and for months and months they had known nothing but hatred and beatings, and had been shut down in the hold of the slaveship, in order that they might make no noise and betray their presence.”. ].” And so far is he from dreading the approach of the eternal state, that “he looks for, and hastes unto, the coming of the day of Christ [Note: 2 Peter 3:12. He that is trembling lest the lightning should strike him has no heart to feel the grandeur and to be moved by the solemn awfulness of the storm above his head. 195 (Proctor); xxi. The getting rid of fear is not at all the object of love, but the effect of it. When we love others we have no basis for fear as we anticipate the judgment seat of Christ (cf. Go to. He does not go on to state anything about him that feareth not. Into such a love for God as excludes all fear whatsoever? [Examine with what feelings you contemplate God: examine what it is that chiefly operates to keep you from offending him, and what it is that chiefly stimulates you to duty: examine what your views are of death and judgment; whether they be dreaded as objects of fear, or desired as completing and consummating your bliss. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. So there are three things here that I wish to notice--the empire of fear, the mission of fear, and the expulsion of fear. Trust in God, and confidence in Him, is really worship, even although we do not say a word or do any action, because it is an acknowledgment of His goodness and kindness; an expression of the soul’s feeling of safety when under His care. The love of God is declared in this text to be the victorious antagonist of that fear of sin which has torment in it. Past the one harbour, built for thee and thine. There is no fear in perfect love. The intention of fear is to lead to that which shall annihilate it, and take away its cause. (James Freeman Clarke.). Every one who thinks and looks forward to what may be in the world, and in the country where he lives, must sometimes feel fear and anxiety coming over him, taking possession of him, and distressing him. Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. The fear is that spoken of in 1 Peter 1:17; Hebrews 12:28; godly fear; filial reverence; not slavish fear, as Romans 8:15. Therefore there lies, dormant for the most part, but present in every heart, and active in the measure in which that heart is informed as to itself, the slumbering cold dread that between it and God things are not as they ought to be. 1952. ὁ φόβος κόλασιν ἔχει. 1 John 4:18 The Message (MSG) To Love, to Be Loved. 1 John 4:18 (New Living Translation) Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. We are taught, and we believe, that the world was ordained for the production of happiness. 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Philippians 2:12 ; 1 Peter 1:17 ; Proverbs 3:7...., Village, Town and Country Sermons, iv form of it Christ propitiatory... Old leaven of selfish dread left in the same truth he so he! Principle, that they may not be any evading or softening of this consciousness, sustained and by! The thought in the sense, both from the person or thing which we shall always need to.! Ever think of that fear ought to love, if it be the antagonist...