“Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people …To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life” (Luke 1:68, 74-75).
Two awesome mercies are embedded in this promise from God: first, a redeemer would come that would save us from our enemies. Second, the Savior would enable us to serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life. These promises were fulfilled in Jesus’ victory at the cross, where the Lord defeated all principalities and powers of darkness, putting his foot on Satan’s head and crushing it.
Christ made provision for us to live all our days without fear. “Perfect love casts out fear … But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). John is not talking about unwavering love, or even mature love in a Christian. That is not where perfect love begins for true believers. According to John, the first consideration of perfect love is unconditional love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. “If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us” (4:12).
If you are interested in living a life without fear, John says, there is a way to get there. Indeed, there is a perfect love that drives out all fear, and here is the first step we must all take: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (4:11).
Loving others is something we are commanded to do. John says in the previous chapter, “This is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment” (3:23).
Loving others is more than forgiveness, much more. It means to offer fellowship, esteem others highly, and make ourselves available to them in their time of need. According to John, when our love is aligned with God’s Word — when we embrace his love for us, and we love one another unconditionally — only then will we live without fear.