1 John 4:17 – “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.” NASU
What a powerful concept that here in this present world, in the flesh, we can be and should be like Jesus IS. There is something very essential to this discussion and that is the first two words of verse 17 – “By this….” By what? It is necessary that we go back to verse 15 and consider the passage.
1 John 4:15-16 – “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” NASU
Notice the flow of these two verses leading up to verse 17. When we “confess” that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in us and, we in Him. God enters our hearts and becomes intertwined with our lives like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich blended together. We become ONE! Then John follows that by saying that we have “come to know” [a process] and “have believed” [the development of faith] God’s Love for us. It is difficult for humans to comprehend the Agape of God because it is Unconditional Love and we, for the most part, Love Conditionally! When we fully realize and grasp the truth that God Is Love, and when we abide in love we abide in God and God in us, it changes our entire outlook on life. We are no longer humans trying to please God. We are humans, in whom, God has indwelt our spirits and we are “one with God”. Then John says that “… By this,” love is Perfected in us and the end result is that “as He is, so are we in this world.”
At least one translation renders Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I, who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” NASU I believe that is an acceptable translation because if John is correct and we can be as Jesus is in the here and now, then truly the faith that is produced in our lives by which we live is Jesus’ faith. We are One with Him. He is in us and we are in Him.
The remainder of the passage in 1 John 4 gives us an even bigger picture of the life we can and do have as a believer. It is a life of the absence of fear because we are abiding in Perfect Love which GOD Is! We are now capable of not only enjoying His “unconditional love” but “giving it.” We are now able to walk in the “fullness and abundance of life” that Jesus promised. We are able to walk in “perfect peace” as described in Isaiah 26:3 – “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” NKJV Our lives will become steadfast as Isaiah spoke of in 22:23, “…like a nail in a sure place…” We will become as Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 15:58 – “…steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” NKJV
So instead of saying, “Well, I’m only human,” and making excuses for our failures in being Like Christ let’s accept this truth and allow the Holy Spirit to “transform” us into His image and refuse to be “conformed” to this world. We can live above the power of the flesh and walk in the fullness of Christ’s love, mercy, and faith Now! That is the kind of life that I am convinced that the apostles lived, the early church believed in, and the faith heroes of Hebrews 11 looked for.
May God grant you the power of His grace to walk in the fullness of His love and enjoy the abundance of the life that affords! May you know the fullness of the peace, power, and presence of the Lord in your life on a daily basis! May God’s blessings be upon you in all that you do as you begin your work week and enter into His rest and renewal!