7535 - Our Confidence

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Audio transcript

Today, we will be continuing our study of 1 John, chapter 4. We’ll be learning about the character of the word ‘love.’

In verse 17 we read, “Love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.”

Now, let’s focus on the concept of ‘our confidence’ as mentioned in this verse. Each of us who know and trust the Lord Jesus as Savior desire to stand before His seat of judgment without fear, but with confidence.

Dr. Wuest, in his Word Studies, points out that the love talked about here is not the great love God has exercised toward us, nor is the primary consideration the love which we’ve shown toward God. Rather the focus in this passage is upon that gift package of love which God sends into our hearts when we surrender our independent will to the Lord Jesus and ask Him to enter our life and take charge. We might look upon this love symbolically as a package of rare and precious fragrance sent to us to be opened and displayed in such a manner as to spice our inner being with this sweet perfume which is the essence of the One who gave the gift, God. But the intent is that this fragrance will not be selfishly hoarded, but will become the sweet perfume wafting from us with each step of life in an arena where most people have never had their senses awakened to this rare and precious material. The very fragrance is meant to awaken within such people a desire to smell more — to know more about God.

This very scene is what God desires to happen to the gift of His “agape” love within the life of every believer. In 2 Corinthians 2 (vv14-16) this thought is expressed when it talks about the desire that, “through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of [Christ].”

Consider John 13; verses 34 and 35, where Jesus says, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

The picture portrayed by verse 17 is that our stewardship of the use of this rare commodity, the supernatural, sacrificial love of God, will determine our confidence when we give account before Jesus. The question will be, “have we been a good steward?” Have we received the gift and honored it by passing it along to others who need to know Jesus Christ?

The words “made complete” in this verse are applied to God’s love. The meaning is that this love has been perfected or brought to its intended use and results.

The saint who appears before the judgment seat of Christ as pictured in 2 Corinthians 5:10, will face the question, “As a steward did you permit the love of God to be brought to its full capacity of effectiveness through the work of the Holy Spirit in your life?”

The original language here implies that you permitted the fullness of God’s love to be revealed in and through you. This would include a sold-out devotion to the Lord Jesus, also a boldness to consistently speak the truth in love to brothers and sisters, as well as aliens.

When God’s children have been yielded and available in this manner, then as we stand before the all-knowing Christ we will have confident joy before our Savior-judge. That which is of value is not our effort, but our yieldedness to Christ and His Spirit.

Those last words, “in the world we are like Him” reminds us of Jesus’ words to His Father in John 17:18, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” In like manner as Jesus was sent to earth to be totally dependent upon the Father, we are commissioned to depend upon Him in the same way.

And Jesus will speak no harsh words to those before Him at the judgment who lives here on earth like He did while He was here.