Dear Fellow Believers in Christ, (Christ is living in us as our all in all with His Agape Love that overcomes all fear)
At our Spirit rebirthing, the Father had the the Seed of the fullness of Christ placed in us, to be our life, our love -- our all in all. Why did John contrast love and fear in I John 4:18 as opposites? Could it be that we really don't have a fear problem, as much as a lack of love problem? Could it also be that we don't have a fear problem, as much as a lack of Christ problem -- a lacking of knowing that Christ is our life and our all in all in every area? Let us go to God's Word and carefully hear the Holy Spirit's voice on this important contrast of love or fear.
LOVE or FEAR
"There ever is no fear in love; but complete love ever casts out fear, because fear ever has torment, and the one who is continually fearing has not already been completed in love" (I John 4:18, Greek Expanded Translation).
First, We Operate Out of a Root of Love or a Root of Fear in this World
In I John 4:18, John contrasts love and fear. Love and fear are genuine opposites. Hatred is a product that comes out of a root of fear. Fear and faith are not opposites. Faith ever works through love (Gal. 5:6). The enemy attempts to administer fear; fear of rejection by and through others; or self-rejection in various ways to us. We either will operate out of a root of love or a root of fear in this world. These two roots are listed with their products below:
Root of LOVE or Root of FEAR ACCEPTANCE or REJECTION RESPECT or RESENTMENT FORGIVENESS or UNFORGIVENESS SUBMISSION or REBELLION MEEKNESS or STUBBORNNESS JOYFUL or FRUSTRATION APPROVAL or DISAPPOINTMENTS PATIENCE or IMPATIENCE HONOR or ANGER GENTLENESS or ENVY / STRIFE MERCIFUL or HATRED PEACEABLE or RETALIATION SELF-DENIAL or SELF-DECEPTION HUMILITY or PRIDE FELLOWSHIP or WITHDRAWAL
Second, Christ In Us is the Father's Love Expression through Us to Others
Paul said, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Gal. 5:22,23, NKJ). This is the fruit (singular) of the Spirit of Christ within us. This is the personality and character of Christ in us to be expressed through us to others. You will notice that many of the direct products of the root of love in the list above, are directly out of Christ, who lives in us as our life (Gal. 2:20). The Father has placed Christ in us for our salvation and to be a love-expression through us to others.
Third, Not Knowing and Letting Christ Live Through Us Moves Us to Fear
If we don't let Christ live His life in and through us to be and do the Father's will, then we will operate out of the root of fear in the list above. The more we fail to see Christ is our life our only life in this world, the more we are sucked into separatism thinking, that comes out of the old knowledge of good and evil. When our mind is filled and regularly operates out that knowledge, it stops the flow of His agape love flowing in us for others. Out of fear and rejection, we move on into resentment, unforgiveness, rebellion, anger, envy, hatred and pride.
Fourth, Fear Comes From the Operation of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
Paul also declares, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind." (II Tim. 1:7). A spirit of fear comes from the enemy and our operation out of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam was walking and talking with God daily in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:8). Adam disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:6). Operation out of that knowledge made him "afraid" when God came for fellowship later that day (Gen. 3:10).
Fifth, It Must Be Christ and Christ Alone Who is our All in All that Works
Perhaps there are those having some difficulty not believing that love and fear are opposites. Perhaps there are those that still believe, that the opposite of fear is faith. Peter tells us, "But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love" (II Peter 1:5-8). Faith is a gift of God (Rom. 12:3) that is given to us so that we would accept Christ for salvation. Paul tells us that both the faith and the grace is "not of yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8,9). Perhaps there is still the thinking of faith, as OUR faith. We should be living by HIS faith, HIS life, HIS knowledge, HIS self-control, HIS perseverance, and ultimately HIS love. There is a considerable growth path from your faith to love. If perfect or "complete love ever casts out fear" (I John 4:18), then it may take you a long time to cast out fear with YOUR faith. This could be a wake-up call with insight why some things may not be working. Operation out of the wrong knowledge and out of the wrong belief just doesn't work. It must be Christ and Christ alone, who is our all in all. Christ is our only hope and strength.
Sixth, Christ Ever is Perfect or Complete Love and He Lives in Us As Us
John tells us, "Love has been already completed with us in this, that we may ever have boldness in the day of judgement; because as He ever is, so ever are we in this world" (I John 4:17). Don't miss those words, "as He ever is." Perfect or complete love is only in Christ. Christ was placed inside of us at the birthing to be our love, our life, and our all in all. Christ is the pinnacle of perfection and completion. Completeness is something we cannot attain to on our own. This is why the Father in His eternal plan had the Holy Spirit birth Christ the living Word, the living seed of eternal life and love in us. So that "as He ever is, so ever are we in this world" (I John 4:17). Christ living in us as us is our true boldness.
Seventh, Christ Living in Us and Through Us as Our All in All Never Fails
Paul said, "the love of Christ constrains us" (II Cor. 5:14). We need to know "the love of Christ which passes knowledge" – the knowledge of good and evil (Eph. 3:19). We need to "be filled with all the fullness of God" in Christ (Eph. 3:19). It will be expressed "exceedingly abundant" through Christ who is "the power who works in us" (Eph. 3:20; I Cor. 1:24). Paul is talking about the love of Christ in us in I Corinthians 13. In fact, you could substitute Christ for agape love in each of the verses of that chapter and it would be so true. "Christ suffers long and is kind: Christ does not envy" (I Cor. 13:4). "Christ bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Christ never fails" (I Cor. 13:7,8). We have just two choices. We can chose self-denial for Christ, His life and love – or we can chose self-deception to be living without Him as our all.