Recently I elaborated on the Liberty of the Christian. The writer of the illustration I quoted presented the idea of a “perfect man.” At first, I thought surely his choice of words was inaccurate. How can we as earth-bound Christians be perfect people? Only Jesus was perfect, right?
So I began a Bible search for the word “perfect.” To say the least, I was surprised by how many times it is used. There is definitely a direct correlation between perfect, and love.
My research on this is very enlightening to our study of freedom. I will break it up over the next few posts to keep it from being too long.
For now, I want us to ponder the Webster’s Bible translation of 1 John 4:7-21:
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is from God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify, that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.
God is love: and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. In this is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth, is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man sayeth, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar.
For he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God, love his brother also.
Matthew Henry puts it this way:
A loving Christian is a perfect Christian; set him to any good duty, and he is perfect to it, he is expert at it. Love oils the wheels of his affections, and sets him on that which is helpful to his brethren.