1 Jn. 4:17, 18 Without this truth, I would not connect boldness on my part with the day of judgment.

The word for torment is translated, “punishment” in Matt. 25:46.

Perfect means to complete, reach a goal.

Perfect love casts out fear of punishment at the judgment and gives us assurance or confidence to see the Lord.

That is the goal 1 Jn. 3:2, 3. God wants us to live in this hope.

Is our love perfect? How is love perfected in us?

I. Believe God loves me 1 Jn. 3:23; 4:16, 19

We must be in Christ and his Spirit must be in us to be “as He is” 1 Jn. 4:17.

When God’s Spirit convicts us of our sin and draws us to believe with our heart in Jesus as the sinless, crucified, and resurrected Lord, he cleanses us from sin and gives us his righteousness.

God’s Holy Spirit brings his love, divine love, into our hearts Rom. 5:5.

Joseph is a type or picture of Jesus.

Joseph’s older brothers hated him and sold him as a slave to another country. The brothers hid their sin, but how did they respond when something bad happened?

Gen. 42:21, 22 They carried guilt, condemnation, and accusations in their hearts for 22 years. Joseph forgave his brothers, he wanted them close. He wanted to bless them Gen. 45:4, 5, 15, 20.

When their father died, the brothers again questioned Joseph’s love and forgiveness.

Gen. 50:17, 21 Do you see the heart of Jesus in the heart and actions of Joseph?

How personal is God’s love to you, for you? Believe God loves you.

Jesus showed us how much when he suffered and died on the cross to pay for our sins.

God wants us to rely on his love, and rest in his love, based on his goodness and word, not our performance.

II. Live by God’s word 1 Jn. 2:1-5

A false view of God’s love deceives people into being comfortable in sin.

God convicts us of sin so we repent and receive his forgiveness. This is how we stay close to the Lord. “whoever continually keeps his commandments” (1 Jn. 2:5 ISV)

Living by God’s word is evidence of believing his word. It is evidence of God’s love in our hearts.

Thank God, we can grow in love. It’s not our perfection, it’s progress in Christlikeness.

III. Love by God’s Spirit 1 Jn. 4:12, 13

God made it so that we must believe him, and stay close to him, to live for him. We cannot keep God’s word or live the Christian life without him.

By God’s grace, we can love others in very practical ways, with his love.

John is called the apostle of love by some. He did not start that way.

Mk. 3:13-17 Why did Jesus give them this name? Lk. 9:51-56 may give us clue.

I believe God is working love in me, but I still some “son of thunder” I need his help with.

Believe and love is a Spirit-empowered way to live.

Do you feel like a failure, condemned, unworthy?

Will you believe God, receive his love and cleansing now?

Will you believe God to perfect his love in you, for his glory?