Fear Is God’s Tool But the World’s Weapon – Part 4

John tells us in his first letter how important love is when fighting the fears of this world. But what kind of love was he talking about and how can a Christian stay the course of love? Come with me and find out!

Podcast 26 Transcript

(This is a computer generated transcript of this podcast. This is NOT a typed transcript and it has not been edited. Expect grammatical and syntactical errors.)

Hello and good day. You are listening to Living God’s Way In An Ungodly World, and I’m your host B. R. Maul. Today I want you to think of two different people. One is very loving. Somebody that you know, that person, they just give their love. They just give their time and energy their things, and it’s so evident that they love people, that they actually care.

The other person is the opposite. Now the opposite isn’t necessarily really grouchy or really mean. They may not even be evil or wicked ’cause a person could be born again. So think of somebody that you know that they just don’t get it. They don’t get that. Other people have feelings. They’re quick to take their place in line.

They’re eager to get the most or best for themself. They don’t understand the concept of self-sacrifice. They just don’t get it. Their world tends to revolve around them. Oftentimes, their conversations even revolve around themselves, but they don’t think of other people first. But those two people kind of side by side.

One question is who do you look forward to seeing? I’m sure that’s an obvious answer. And then think of why, how you feel around that person who really loves you, who understands love, and I’m talking godly love because today is the last day that I’m gonna talk about fear and what does love have to do with fear?

Well, just about everything. Because if you don’t want fear in your life, you need love. Love is the answer in overcoming fear. And no, that is not my opinion. That is not my take on things. This is from God’s word, and we have been talking about fear in this little mini series. Fear is God’s tool, but the world’s weapon.

Because fear is part of our anatomy. It is part of who we are. God has given us the ability to fear in order to protect us, and he uses fear in order to make us better. In the process of sanctification making his adopted children to be more like his one and only begotten son, he will use trials. And in those trials we often have fear.

Fear of losing something, losing someone. But that fear is there and it’s real. But the world uses the fear to break people, to take away freedom from people. People are quick to give away their own freedom for someone else to protect them. Governments, people in power know this and use it for their advantage.

So whether it’s terrorism, pandemics, losing one’s, financial security, losing one’s, comforts, all of that, the fear of all that governments of this world will grab onto that. And use it to their advantage. But it’s great to know that if you are born again, if you are a child of God, this shouldn’t have any control over you. That is fear. So let’s take a look at why fear should not have any control over a Christian. And perhaps this will help you in your walk with the Lord in strengthening yourself in this area by asking the Holy Spirit to guide you in loving and not fearing. Turn to First John chapter four. I’ll start with verse seven.

It reads, beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. I’ll stop there. Born of God, everyone who loves is born of God and knows God now, born of God. That should sound familiar to you because several months ago talking about being born again and referencing John three, born of God means born spiritually or born again, and these are the words of Jesus. So without necessarily turning there, we can reference John three, verse six. Jesus says that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit, that’s capital Ss as in Holy Spirit, or God is spirit. That which is born of the spirit. Is Spirit.

Well, capital S Spirit is the Holy Spirit, a k a, the Triune God, part of the Triune God, which is also God the Father, and Jesus as well. So there you have it. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. There’s two very important parts there being born again and. Knows God. I’m a big advocate of knowing our Lord and Savior because that is the relationship that God seeks with his children. Just like any parent seeks a relationship with their children, so because you love doesn’t make you born again, and that’s important to understand. This what we read in First John chapter four, verse seven. And everyone who loves is born of God and knows God does not mean just because someone loves it, makes them born again.

We’ve already covered that. The only way to be born again is of course, believing in Jesus Christ as one savior, and that’s believing with the heart, not the head. However, being born again allows you to love. This is God’s love we’re talking about. This has nothing to do with worldly love. This is not at all what Hollywood portrays, so keep that in mind.

Beloved. We are talking about God’s love. It’s not a feeling, and I’ll talk more about that soon. First John, chapter four, verse eight. He who does not love, does not know God. For God is love. Okay, so verse seven says, everyone who loves is born of God, or born again and knows God. Verse eight continues. He who does not love does not know God.

For God is love. Now, when we’re talking about knowing God, this isn’t the, the head knowledge of knowing God. Many, many people have that, and we’ve talked about this before. Many people even know of the name Jesus Christ know that he died on the cross. They know a lot about it. They even sing about it. They do other stuff, but they don’t know him in a relationship form.

They just know about him. So that’s the difference between knowing God versus knowing about God. Now, keep in mind we’re talking about not fearing. So we’re really focusing in on love. Verse nine and 10 reads in this, the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent his only begotten son into the world, that we might live through him.

Verse 10 in, this is love. Not that we loved God. That he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins. Well, there’s a big word, propitiation. That’s not something we use every day, is it? Propitiation? Means atoning sacrifice. God the father sent his son Jesus Christ as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

That’s why no other sacrifices are needed because he was the perfect sacrifice. Well, that may bring a question to others. What does a tone mean? Atone means make amends or to provide or serve as reparation or compensation for something bad or unwelcome. And of course, that’s our sin debt. I. So repairing or compensating for our sin debt. So atoning is also reconciliation to reconcile. So in verse nine, in this, the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent his only begotten son into the world, that we might live through him. And that’s him as in Jesus 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.

When he sent Jesus to do that, we were actually enemies. And if we are not born again, we are still enemies of God. So for those of you who may be going to a church or listening to those who are preaching, and their whole concept is just love, love, love, God just loves you. Don’t worry about what you do and how you act because God just loves.

That is not the God of the Bible. He wants no one to go to hell. But there’s still your part, your part of accepting Jesus Christ as your savior. And once you do that, beloved, and you are indeed a, a child of God, you still have your part to do. And that is knowing God, knowing your Savior, knowing the Triune God.

Christianity is not a title that we go get for ourselves. Pin it on our clothes. Or wear around our neck and walk around so people can think higher of us. Not at all. Christianity is an ongoing relationship with God, and if you’re not pursuing that relationship, then ask yourself, are you born again? And do you know God?

Verse 11 through 14. Beloved, if God so loved us. We also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us and his love has been perfected in us. Verse 13, by this, we know that we abide in him. He in us because he has given us of his spirit. Verse 14, and we have seen and testify that the father has sent the son as savior of the world.

Verse 15, whoever confesses that Jesus is the son of God, God abides in him and he. God, there’s a lot of being in a lot of abiding in these passages. That’s that relationship. Let’s take a look at those. If we go back to the beginning of this chapter, chapter four, and we can read verses one through three, and that’ll help us some to understand a little better what this means, this relationship that we have.

So verse one, beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. I’ll stop there because I do need to recognize the importance of the fact we need to test the spirits. Notice that it’s spirit’s plural, not the spirit.

It’s spirits, lowercase s in the Bible. Not of course uppercase s. So we do not believe every spirit. Why is that? Because not every spirit is lawful. There are the spirits, a k, a demons that absolutely hate God’s children. Often I’ll hear in conversation with people, That, well, I feel this is what God is telling me to do, or I, I get the impression that the Lord wants me to do this or do that, or go here or go there and the Holy Spirit does communicate to us.

He does so through the reading of God’s Word, and he will communicate also using our emotions, using that voice in our head. Born again Christian who is about to do something that is bad, going to steal or maybe said something to someone that was very rude and impolite should in fact feel that conviction from the Holy Spirit.

So there is that communication, and yes, the Lord will often put upon someone this desire to get something done or to go visit somebody or whatever it might be. We need to test those spirits because we wanna make sure it is the spirit, the Holy Spirit that is communicating to us, and that it is not the enemy disguising themselves as the Holy Spirit.

Well, how do we do that? Well, let’s read a little more verse two. By this, you know, the spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God. Verse three, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard was coming and is now already in the world.

So there’s our answer to how do we know if you are given advice from a person who claims to be Christian or is a pastor, priest, evangelist, whatever, but by asking that person, is Jesus Christ the Lord our God incarnate? If it is a demon, if it is an unholy spirit. That person, that spirit will not be able to confess the fact that Jesus Christ is indeed the son of God and came down in flesh.

Isn’t that amazing? Well, what if it’s just a thought or a dream you had or a gut feeling? Pray to God and bring it before your Lord and Savior. As simple as Heavenly Father, I feel this, that it is you that is directing me to do this or to do that, and I need to know that it’s you and just pray to him and he’ll guide you.

He’ll help you. So we do need to be careful. Verse 16 in chapter four, and we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love and he who abides in love, abides in God and God in him. So more of that abiding, okay? So to abide means to dwell in or to endure or remain in. So when he says He who abides in love, We can also read it as he who dwells in love, endures in love, or remains in love, abides in God.

This is powerful ’cause. Think about it. It’s saying dwells in God, endures in God, remains in God and further, and God in Him. So God dwells in the believer. Remains in, and that’s where that Holy Spirit that’s dwelling in us. This is another passage that shows us that. Take the time and think about that.

Christian, you have the Holy of Holies dwelling in you. That’s amazing. Now, that is what Abide is. So to abide in love is not a temporary moment or a feeling. This isn’t the, I fell out of love, or I’m so in love with her or him. That’s not what this is. This is the agape love. And agape love is a choice. And thank our good Lord that we do not just fall out of love.

Because if that’s the way his loved worked, he could fall outta love for us. But instead, we abide in love and we abide in God and God in us. So this love is an essential part of the Christians being. And what I mean by being is who you are. The soul I. That is how big this is. When I say this, I mean love.

That’s why this love is so powerful because it’s not an emotion. Now with that love, we have emotions because of that love, but those emotions are a mix of different kinds. We will feel pain losing a loved one. We’ll feel joy and jubilant being with loved ones and doing loving things for other people.

When we love our neighbors as ourself, when we are giving to other people from our heart, there are emotions that are attached to that, but those emotions, Christian, are not the love because God’s love is a decision and we can only carry it out. Because he loves us and because we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.

God is in us one. John chapter four 17 and 18, love has been perfected among us in this that we may have boldness in the day of judgment. Isn’t that nice? Because as he is, so are we in this world? 18. There is no fear in love. Ah, here’s this word we’ve been talking about this last four weeks. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment, but he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Wow. There’s a lot there. There’s a lot there, but let’s go ahead and unpack this, shall we? Backing up to 17, so love has been perfected among us in this that we may have boldness in the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world? What does that mean? Boldness in the day of judgment. Well, beloved, As a Christian, you have nothing to fear with a second coming of Christ and he’s coming.

We know that, and the day of judgment is coming. We know that too. Christians, we may have boldness in the day of judgment. In other words, we have no reason to fear. We do not have to fear our God when it comes to judgment because we already know that that sin debt has been paid. It’s a done deal, and so we don’t have to worry about this judgment after death.

Now whether those who do not believe in Jesus Christ are naive or simply just don’t know or don’t care, whatever their reason for not believing, they fear death. They do. I will say it boldly. There is nobody who is not born again who does not fear death. Now, to them, it may be under the guise of the unknown, but for many who know about God, who know about the Bible, who know about a lot of the stories of the Bible, who know about Jesus, who celebrate Christmas and celebrate Easter, but they are not born again, they know and they fear because that judgment is coming.

We pray for them. We pray for those who their pride is in their way and they are unwilling to let down their pride and to let Christ into their heart and to have their life because verse 18, there is no fear in love. Isn’t that wonderful? There is no fear in love. And we’re not talking the reverent fear that one has for parents and that a Christian has for Father God, because 18 continues and says, but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment.

There’s that fear. The fear that involves torment. The fear of, I’m going to lose my job if I don’t do what they say. I gotta put aside my beliefs. I gotta still act a certain way, or I have to perform things and I’m not supposed to be doing the as a Christian, but I fear losing my job. There’s that torment.

I fear losing my life. I fear losing my reputation, on and on. There’s that fear that is tormenting people, and that is the fear that the world, that wickedness, that evil uses to suppress, to control people. Now, the last part of 18 is interesting, but he who fears has not been made perfect in love. That perfect is not the perfect like without sin.

The absent of sin Christian, we won’t be perfect that way until we enter eternity and are glorified and are indeed in the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then all of creation at that point in time will be perfect. What this is referring to, I looked it up. This is a hard one for me to pronounce. But in Hebrew it is tell Leo and it says it means to complete or accomplish.

So one who fears has not been made perfect or has not been completed in love. So it’s saying he who fears has not been made perfect in love, that the person isn’t trusting in the love of God. The person hasn’t learned yet that God’s promises are God’s promises. God means what he says, and when he says, he will take care of us, he’ll take care of us.

And that’s common. And for Born again believers who are new to the faith, they often still have fear. It can take a while as you walk with the Lord to learn not to fear. I. How do you learn not to fear? You learn to love. How do you learn to love? You get to know God. And how do you know God Beloved? You read God’s word and you pray to him and you worship him.

You see that? There’s that cycle that we keep going back to being connected daily with your God love conquers fear. Do you have fear in your life, beloved? Is there something or someone that you still fear, that fear, that torments, that gets in the way of sleeping? That gets in the way of just enjoying the basics in life, not caring.

If you’re going to lose your way of life, the comforts, your reputation, whatever it might be. Do you still have that fear? Then may I encourage you to read more of God’s word? Read proverbs. I read whatever day of the month it is. That’s the number in Proverbs, there’s 31 Proverbs. And so I read one each day.

There’s 150 Psalms. If you wanna read the Psalms throughout, uh, one month, then read five Psalms. I learned through someone else that if you go every 30 psalms, that it stretches those out into different areas. ’cause there are different books in the Psalms. So you kind of get a different flavor of the Psalms, but you can do Psalm 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or you can do Psalm 1 31, 61, 91, and 1 21, and do that each day of the week.

And you just add 30. Read a New Testament book and alternate. Once you’re done with the New Testament book, go to the next Old Testament book. But just keep reading God’s word and let me encourage you as well. There are many a times where we are listening to someone else who has been walking with the Lord for far longer than we have.

I. Who have been in God’s word, so they have more insight, they have more understanding, and so God’s word just keeps piecing together and there’s, it’s just amazing the more you do get into it, you just want to keep digging more, but don’t get encouraged when you hear things explained to you. That is confusing because no one is ever gonna get to the point where we fully understand.

No one will. So just keep going because to this day there’s things I discover that I have either misunderstood or for the longest time been praying to the Lord, what does this mean? What does this mean? And then whether it is just sometime I’m reading it or maybe reading another passage or something in my life happens and then it becomes clear to me.

But knowing God is the only way that we can love. That’s it. I’m speaking directly to Christians because first you need to become a Christian. You need the Holy Spirit in you to be able to even love God. Now, let’s keep going. Verse 19. We love him because he first loved us. We are capable of love. In other words, because of his love.

That’s what I was just getting to. We cannot love other people or even ourselves without first loving God, and we cannot love God until we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, and how do we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us being born again? It’s kind of a cycle that just keeps going and going. Right.

It’s a wonderful, beautiful cycle. The more that we know God, the more we love God, the more we love God. We continue to know God and it’s just beautiful, and you do that by leading his word and praying to him, verses 20 and 21. If someone says, I love God and hates his brother, he is a liar. For he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

It’s a legitimate question, isn’t it? Verse 21, and this commandment we have from him, that’s God, that he who loves God, must love his brother. Also, does that sound familiar? Because we can look at Matthew 2237 through 40. Jesus is speaking and he says, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. These two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Did you catch the order of that? We first love God and we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. And the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Love, love, love. That is the answer. As you know God and you abide in God and he abides in you, beloved, your fear will be diminished and it’s really not even a choice because if we go back to verse 18 in verse John four, there is no fear in love. The fear will go away as you learn to love God. As you learn to love yourself and your neighbors as yourself, fear goes away.

’cause it says perfect love casts out fear. That’s amazing, and that should give you great hope if you still have fear in your life. The answer is knowing God. I wanna end this series of fear by reading Psalm 34, verses four through nine, and this is David. It reads, I sought the Lord and he heard me and delivered me from all my fears.

They looked to him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. Verse seven, the angel of the Lord in camps all around those who fear him. There’s that reverend fear and delivers them, oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.

Blessed is the man who trusts in him, him being God. Verse nine Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints. There is no want to those who fear him. So verse four, I sought the Lord. David said There’s that action. You need to seek the Lord beloved if you’re born again but have not been reading God’s word, your salvation is secure.

Yes, but you need to seek the Lord. David says, I sought the Lord and he heard me and delivered me from all my fears. That’s a drop the mic moment. Isn’t that awesome? You want to get rid of your fears in life? Seek the Lord and he will hear you and he will deliver you from all your fears. Beloved, I am so far from perfect.

I’m not going to lift myself up in what I’m going to share with you. I lift the Lord up. May this glorify my Heavenly Father’s name, because there was a time I feared so much. I feared people not liking me. I feared people mocking me. I feared being a nobody in this world. I feared not being loved. I feared being lost.

I feared being sick. I. I feared, seems like everything, but when I turned to God and I did seek him, it didn’t happen right away when he told me, Bruce, read my word and only my word and listen to me. I did it. And that was about 19 years ago. And it didn’t happen all at once, but over time my fears kept dropping away from me.

I. I can honestly say there is nothing and no one. I fear in this world, I have a healthy fear for God, my father, but I don’t fear losing my life. I don’t fear getting sick. I don’t fear that others might not like me. I don’t fear losing a reputation because my life isn’t mine. I love God. I have an audience of one that should bring you hope and I pray it does.

’cause God loves you so much. He loves you so much. Thank you so much for listening this week, and this ends the series on fear. So God willing, we’ll meet again next week. And if you can support this ministry, please do so. Go to my website, brmaul.com. That’s brmaul.com. Click on donate, and there’s three different ways that you can give.

Anything at all is absolutely wonderful. $5, $10, whatever you can give. But I also ask for your prayers. Pray for me. Pray the Lord continues to protect me. Of course, the enemy is always out to get those who are trying to do God’s work. Pray for my family and pray for everyone else who hears my voice. The message that the Lord delivers, that their heart no longer be hardened, and that they allow the message into their heart and that they respond to that, they respond to the Holy Spirit.

I thank you in advance. Until next time,

God bless.