For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8:15-17 (ESV)
I was really struck by the above passage of Scripture as I re-encountered it in the past week. Obviously in this post I am not attempting to discount the truth found in many passages of Scripture on the fear of God.
But check out the following words regarding the interaction of fear and love (remembering the proclamations in 1 John 4:8 and 16 that ‘God is love’.)
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. 1 John 4:17-19 (ESV)
Think about and consider this … Abba Father is perfecting His children … fellow heirs of Christ … IN love (much like Jesus is the perfector of faith) … perfect love … casting out fear … WOW!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17 (ESV)
Now take a moment to consider the above like this …
- Wherever you see God substitute Abba Father and read it again.
- Consider the truth that all that believe, all that do not perish, all that gain eternal life, all that are saved … are children of God.
- Consider that God loved the world with a perfect love and that the Son came out of a perfect love … not fear … of His Abba Father!
Meditate on that a bit … then consider these words of Jesus …
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father. John 10:14-18 (ESV)
God’s love of the world is fulfilled IN the love of Christ Jesus for His Abba Father and the obedience born out of that love!
Oh Lord, open the eyes of the world and your children to the perfect love found IN Christ Jesus!