… There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The man who fears is not made perfect in love. … – 1 John 4:13-19 (NIV)
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Jesus repeatedly counseled, “Fear not,” with the sole exception of fearing the Lord – that is, being vigilant to keep that relationship first in our lives. The matter of fear, in fact, offers us a long, long range of investigation and confession.
This epistle, however, is keeping its focus on Holy Love and urging each of us to live and walk more fully with that.
When I argue for a faith that is expressed in metaphor, in contrast to one that sees Scripture along the lines of law, I advocate a relationship that is its own reward. Punishment, on the other hand, is a consequence of failing some detail of the…
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