17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
When you think of God what comes to mind? When you reflect on who He is and what He does, what is your impression of Him? Do images of a loving Father with open arms prevail in your thinking? Or does the concept of a harsh taskmaster eagerly awaiting to punish you for your failures dominate your view of God?
If your perception of God is that of a loving Father, then you have received the Love of God in its fullness. You have tasted and seen that the Lord is Good. You have partaken of His great Grace and know He is for you and never against you.
If your impression of God is that of the harsh taskmaster then you have not received the Love of God in its fullness. You have not fully understood His Grace. You haven't fully received of the Gift of Righteousness. You still see Him charging you and accounting your sins against you.
What happens when we haven't received this Love in its fullness? The Word is clear. We will have a fearful expectation of judgment. We still fear punishment for our sins and missteps.
There are many reasons why some have not received His Love in its fullness, producing this fearful expectation of bad, and payback and punishment. All of them are rooted in religious tradition. Traditions of men apart from the Word and the Gospel of Grace, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Let's uncover and expose and answer these traditions so people can come to the truth and receive His Love in its fullness. The first reason people aren't receiving His Love is that tradition teaches all the blessings and Goodness of God are rewards. Rewards are granted because of achievements and good works. They are earned, they are not gifts.
God is a rewarder, Hebrews 11 tells us this. This passage though doesn't teach that His Love, His Goodness, His blessings, and healing power are rewards. When we see the hand of God in blessings as only rewarding good work, then we move into a performance-based faith. We won't trust God to help us or heal us, but work to achieve His help and healing.
God is a Good Father. He blesses us because He is Good not because we are Good. He blesses us because He is a Loving Father who wants our best. He doesn't bless us because we have achieved enough, or performed well enough. The blessing was bestowed because Christ purchased it for us in the Finished Work, not because of our works.
Another reason for not receiving His Love in its fullness is the tradition of men that God has not forgiven you of all your sins, past present, and future. That He is remembering your sins. Religious tradition concerning sin sounds something like this:
God has forgiven you once for all time at the Cross. These statements and sentiments simply are untrue. Jesus has forgiven all our sins past and present and future. Because of Jesus, God has said He would not remember our sins. The Blood washed us and cleanses us from our sins once for all time. Let's honor Jesus' work and not our work or performance.
who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins Colossians 1:14 TLB
Clearly, we are forgiven of all our sins. This includes future sins. This is Good News.
then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 10:17 NKJV
If God is not remembering our sins then why are we? We are forgiven and our sins are forgotten.
God has forgiven us eternally, once for all time. God isn't holding our sins against us. God has said He will remember our sins no more. If we are forgiven and made Righteous we then never need fear judgment or punishment. We can walk in and fully receive His great Love for us. His Love received casts out all fear, fear of punishment, payback, and retaliation.
In summation, we can walk in confidence with God when we receive His great Love. We can walk free of torment when we know how much He Loves us. We can trample on fear and cast down wrong images of God the more we know and understand His Love for us. We will continue uprooting these wrong concepts as we discover more and more just how much He Loves us and is for us and not against us.