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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The DEEP

Love Perfected

for the purpose of confidence!

1 John 4:12–17 (ESV)

No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.

The point is in the purpose construction at the end of this passage. By this is love perfected with us, for the purpose that we may have confidence for the day of judgment.

Okay, but why is it so important that we have this confidence?

Because as he is so also are we in this world.

As it was with yesterday’s passage, this one is all about love, love, love. But this time the message gets refined. It’s all about love being perfected in us.

This is the result of God abiding in us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

This sets up the three-step process of the final sentence. Love is perfected with us, for the purpose that we may have confidence, and this is because as he is so also are we in this world.

This is about making us better ambassadors. We are Christ’s representatives in this world. He wants us to be confident about our position in His kingdom.

Otherwise, we won’t be good ambassadors.


Be careful with this confidence. It’s only confidence for the day of judgment. It is not confidence about our understanding, our doctrines, or our methods. Overconfidence is worse than under-confidence. Our witness is ruined by anything that interferes with our being dependent of Christ.

The beautiful thing about our confidence is that it isn’t confidence in ourselves; it’s confidence in Him. We’re confident only in our relationship with Him and in what He can do through us.

Though we don’t know what it is He’s going to do through us.

No confidence there.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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