Refrain
Perfect love casts out fear, fear brings only torment;
Perfect love makes us bold in the day of judgment.

1. Trials, losses, pains and death:
    These are fears that steal mens breath.
But with Christ all fears remove,
    Swept away by the pow’r of love.
Refrain

2. Fear holds men as slaves within,
    Slaves to fashion, slaves to sin;
True religion breaks these bands,
    Puts our lives into safer Hands.
Refrain

3. Love makes bold against all foes,
    Persecutions, threats and blows;
Hosts of demons fill the land—
    Fearless still, on God’s word we stand.
Refrain


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Choir – from Germany

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The third verse of this song was inspired by Luther’s bold statement on his way to the Diet of Worms, “Even should there be as many devils in Worms as tiles on the housetops, still I would enter it.”

In the modern religious atmosphere, the word “perfect” is a dangerous word. Perfection of character or works in God’s sight is deemed to be heresy, impossible, leading to legalism and pride, and finally ending in Phariseeism.

The problem with this is that the Bible teaches perfection often, and since Christians are supposed to be “His workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10), and God does nothing in a faulty or slipshod way, there really should be no problem with the idea. But there is.

The main difficulty springs from a lack of faith. What is commonly called “faith” today is merely a hope that God will do what He has not promised to do, namely, to give us the reward of an overcomer without overcoming! This is presumption, and it is a very popular substitute for real faith. But faith is built on the word of God, and claims just what God promises.

So, what does God promise? He continually promises us perfection. Here are just a few of the statements:

  • God instructed Abraham to be perfect:

    Genesis 17
    1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

    Fortunately, Abraham believed God, and did not say, “But that’s impossible!”

  • God’s way is perfect:

    Psalm 18
    30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

    Having established that God’s way is perfect, the Psalmist immediately goes on to add:

    Psalm 18
    32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

    God’s perfection is a guarantee of ours.

  • The Psalmist expected perfection:

    Psalm 101
    2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

    Not only does the Psalmist endeavor to perfection, but he will have no other kinds of friends with him:

    Psalm 101
    6 Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.

  • David asked for a “perfect heart” for Solomon:

    1 Chronicles 29
    19 And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.

    Solomon then went on to ask the people to be perfect also:

    1 Kings 8
    61 Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.

    And in fact, the Lord is looking for just those kinds of people:

    2 Chronicles 16
    9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.

  • It was spoken against Amaziah that he did the right thing, but not with a perfect heart:

    2 Chronicles 25
    2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart.

  • God called Job (and many other of the faithful) perfect:

    Job 1
    1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

  • Do you want to inherit and dwell in the new earth? You will need perfection:

    Proverbs 2
    21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.

  • Do you know the “peace of God”? It is a perfect peace:

    Isaiah 26
    3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

    If your kind of “peace” is not perfect, then it is not from God.

  • Then we come to the New Testament. Jesus instructed His followers to be as perfect as God the Father:

    Matthew 5
    48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    Some have thought to excuse themselves from this high standard by pleading that there is a parallel verse in Luke 6:36 where the word “merciful” is used. By this excuse, they wish to avoid perfection, thinking that it is easier to be merciful than perfect. Is it so? Let me ask you, is it merciful to steal?…to kill?…to commit adultery?…to covet? NO, it is not merciful; sin is never merciful! Therefore, to be merciful as God is merciful means to be perfect and sinless. There is no difference.

  • Do you think you are too weak to be perfect? Think again. God especially promises perfection to the weak ones:

    2 Corinthians 12
    9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

  • Paul wanted everyone to be perfect:

    Colossians 1
    28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

  • The Bible was given specifically to make you perfect now (not just in heaven):

    2 Timothy 3
    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    “But wait!” you say. “Perfection is a process, it takes time. We grow to perfection, but we will not reach it in our lifetime.”

    Actually, although it is true that we grow into perfection, it is also true that God makes us perfect at each step of the way. The simple proof of this is Jesus, who was a perfect man every step of the way, yet who also grew to perfection through His sufferings:

    Hebrews 2
    10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

  • And of course, there are the verses that this song is based on:

    1 John 4
    17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
    18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

The crucial point is to see that God’s work is perfect, and when He works in man, He does a perfect work. He does not cast out the old stony heart, or a particular sin, bit by bit. It is wholly removed.

2 Corinthians 5
17 Old things are passed away, all things are become new.

Love takes the place of hatred, peace takes the place of anger, humility takes the place of pride. It is an instantaneous, and creative act by the Word of God. This is the power that is in the cleansing blood of the Lamb.

We do not “try to love” our enemies; we either have the love of God in us towards them, or we don’t. If you have to suppress your hate, then you don’t know the love of God yet. At best, you have an Ishmael (a child of the flesh). Reach the hand of your faith higher, and claim what Christ has bought for us, and is longing to give to us: perfect love.

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