Perfect love drives out fear. In this part of his letter John gives the struggling Christian church assurance about the signs they belong to Jesus. [Audio | Notes]
For further thought
Q: Because Christians sometimes doubt the reality or effect of their faith John gives us five pieces of evidence as assurance – the first is the experience of the Spirit of God. Skim read through this letter again and list what the signs of the Spirit of work in someone’s life are.
Q: How does the apostles testimony (v14) assure us? Is the work of the Spirit of God to take us to the apostle’s teaching?
Q: How does verse 15 provide us with yet another basis of assurance?
– Why do truth and love need each other in these passages?
Q: How does a love relationship with God give us confidence on the day of judgement? (v17) When will love be perfected in us? Fear of what?
Q: This passage has been about making the invisible God seen in the love we share with him. Why is this love outward and practical and not isolated or only contemplative? Why does the evidence of love in us assure and challenge us at the same time?