ABF Lesson March 18

Fear and Love Part 1
 

Scripture

Ezekiel 33:30-32 - warning from Israel's examples to not just enjoy teaching but to listen to God and live it out

Proverbs 16:6 - fear of the LORD keeps us from evil

Philemon (esp vv. 7-9) - mature believer appealed to on basis of love rather than being commanded

1 John 4:16-18 - perfect (mature) love casts out fear

Proverbs 1:7 - fear of the LORD is beginning of knowledge

2 Corinthians 9:7 - give willingly

Jude 1:4 - using God's grace as license to sin

Romans 3:7-8 - "let us do evil that good may come"

1 Corinthians 13 - love makes it real -- and it will remain

Romans 13:8-11 - love fulfills the law

Matthew 22:35-40 - law summed up in "love God, love your neighbor"

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 - how we live this life does matter; consequences for how we spend our earthly lives even for the believer

Building Blocks

Perfect - means "mature", at the end of a process.  Being perfected in love is a process.

Love fulfills the Law - when studying the Word and applying it to our lives and how we act, whether in the church or in the world, we must remember that any Law or Command that we walk out has its roots in love.

Lesson

Fear and love are both essential parts of a growing follower of Christ.  Fear is at work in immature believers to "keep us from evil".  As we mature, love takes the place of fear, until we are perfected in the love of God in Christ.  We must always keep in mind that being perfected in love is the goal, the destination.  When studying the Scripture, we must understand that different Scripture speaks to believers at different levels of maturity.  Some Scripture speaks with terror, some with commands backed by fear of consequences, others appealing for willing submission to the will of God on the basis of love.

I personally acknowledge that I'm not perfected in love yet, and there are times when the fear is good and keeps me from things I regret, yet I desire to grow more and do things in the knowledge that God loves and I want to do his will.