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Seeds of the Kingdom

Perfect Love Drives Out All Fear

by Gilly Mathiesen

26 February 2022

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There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18, NIV

I used to struggle to understand what that verse meant when it said, ‘Fear has to do with punishment’. When I was afraid, I didn’t immediately think of punishment as being connected with my fear. But looking at God’s word to see where the root of fear comes from can help explain why it is connected to punishment in this verse.

In God’s word, it is interesting to note that the first emotion expressed by Adam, after he and Eve sinned, was fear. They were created by a God of love, placed in a garden where they experienced oneness and perfect love with their loving heavenly Father, before the fall. They had much freedom in the garden, but the Lord told them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, as it would lead to dire consequences.

By eating of the forbidden tree, they became aware of good and evil. God had said they would surely die if they ate of that tree, and fear of punishment entered as a result of their disobedience. Mankind was given to fear from that point forward, no longer walking in perfect love and harmony with the Lord.

The Bible tells us that God is love’ (1 John 4:16). God is so longing for relationship with us, that He did not want the human race to live forever separated from Him in a fallen state. In His great love, He placed an angel in front of the tree of life in the garden, so that Adam and Eve could not eat from it and live forever in a fallen state along with all their offspring.

Through the sacrifice of Jesus, a way was made for mankind to be made perfect in love again. It was through relationship with our Heavenly Father, where His perfect love drives out all fear and where we can rest secure in His promise of eternal security. The Bible says, ‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind’ (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV).

Our soul’s natural bent in this fallen world is to respond in fear to difficult things that happen in life, but, through Jesus, we are no longer slaves to fear, but we are made sons and daughters who can call God, ‘Daddy’. We are able to be secure in His perfect love.

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Roman Christians, wrote, ‘For you did not receive a spirit of slavery that returns you to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children’ (Romans 8:15-16, NIV).

You are no longer a slave to fear, but a child of God, adopted by your Heavenly Father, who is crazy about you.

Gilly Mathiesen Gilly has a heart to see broken lives healed. She got involved in Christian ministry at a young age, working as a missionary for some years, as well as teaching at a Christian school. She has been involved with Ellel Ministries for the past 10 years and trained and worked on the team in Northern Ireland before moving to Denmark in 2016. She and her husband Steen have been pioneering an Ellel work there since early 2018. They long to see people healed and set free to be all that God has designed them to be.


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