One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 46. This is the Psalm that comforted Martin Luther in his time of trouble, and it also prompted him to write A Mighty Fortress is Our God. The opening of this Psalm says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear.”
One of the most comforting things about our God is that he desires to take away our fears. God knows that his people struggle with unnecessary fears in this world, yet he speaks into our lives so that we live with peace, confidence, and boldness instead of fear.
Today’s passage from 1 John 4:15-21 is no different. Just as God calmed the fears of his people in the Old Testament, he calms them here in the New Testament. Yet, there is a specific fear that John is addressing today, and that is the fear of impending judgment.
Within the context of this book, there seems to be a great struggle going on in the original audience with assurance of salvation and impending judgment. John addressed the assurance of salvation piece in 3:19-24 (I preached this text Dec 31, 2017. The sermon audio is on-line if you missed it). Today, he addresses impending judgment.
It appears that true believers were agonizing over their future judgment. Their faith was immature, and they were letting misinformed feelings govern their hearts. John calls them to grow and mature in their faith, reminding them of their standing in Christ, and teaches us all that, because of what Jesus has done for us, we can stand with confidence before God, not fear.
Today, look for the following outline, all beginning with the letter “C”:
- Christian Confidence
- Call to Maturity
- Christ’s Initiative and Call
Let the words of Romans 8:1 ring in your ears: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!”
Adam Mumpower, Senior Pastor