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1 John 4:17–18 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as he is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
The judgment seat of Christ received brief mention in 2:28 and now reappears briefly to assure us we can face Christ on that day with confidence. Such confidence comes because we live in love toward God and one another. The person who does not live in love toward his brother may experience shame (2:28). However, if we live in love toward our brothers, we will have confidence when we face Jesus because in this world we are like him. No one who was like Jesus in this world can fear approaching Jesus’ judgment seat. Fear expects punishment. One who loves expects to receive love.
Why? Because mature love has no fear. A Christian who fears the judgment seat of Christ shows that God’s love has not yet reached maturity (been made perfect) in him. A person who lives in love toward God has nothing to fear on the day of judgment.
By David Walls and Max Anders