June 22, 2021 – Tuesday
1 John 4:18 NIV
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18 NET
18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love.
1 John 4:18 TLV
18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and the one who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Take a look at the versions above and you will find the primary difference is that the New English Translation (NET) has the word punishment in it a second time. The interesting thing about the NET is how the translators have copious notes and will tell you what they were thinking when a verse, phrase, or word was translated in a particular way. And here they write concerning the ‘second’ punishment in this verse that it is not repeated in the Greek text but is implied. Fair enough, I can see that. I should also mention the notes to the NET are extensive and often exegetical in nature.
If you look at the Tree of Life Version (TLV) above it appears to be very much like the NIV, so why is it included? Because of verse seventeen, In this way, love is made perfect among us, so that we should have boldness on the Day of Judgment. For just as He is, so also are we in this world. The other two versions have should have confidence instead of should have boldness. If you go here at biblegateway.com you will find the versions equally divided between confidence and boldness in their translations. And Strong’s G3954 gives both confidence and boldness as definitions. Oddly, synonyms for confidence do not include boldness, but synonyms for boldness does include confidence.
Most commentaries use translations with boldness as they consider boldness to the opposite or absence of fear. Of course, the same might be said of confidence as well, but boldness is stronger in effect. So, what is the love that drives out fear in our verse of the day, effectively telling us we should have no fear of punishment if we understand we have received perfect love. And indeed, we have received perfect love from Jesus in the forgiveness of our sins when we repent, believe He paid the price for our sins and rose on the third day, and now we call upon Him as our Lord and Savior. Through Him, we have salvation. Because of our salvation through Christ, we need not fear when we stand with Jesus before Almighty God. We can be confident, even bold when standing before God on the Day of Judgement with Christ at our side.
To be clear, I do no believe John means we should be so confident or bold as to be feeling or acting cocky at all. Instead, we can approach God with deep assurances (confidence/boldness) of our salvation and humility because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. The deeper our understanding and appreciation of what Christ did on the cross, the more we understand how great God’s love is for us that He can be so forgiving. When that love is fully appreciated, fully understood, and fully accepted then all the fear we would have had on the Day of Judgment will be gone, driven out.
We are incredibly blessed that God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him John 3:16-17.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your love. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.