Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world. There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:15-19, emphasis added)
In this passage we find that the love has been perfected and is perfect. In other words, love is completed as to its mission amongst the redeemed; nothing needs to be added to love – the will of God has been accomplished. What has perfect love accomplished? What does this look like in the life of the believer?
Love is perfected with us (or among us in other translations). Because love is perfected through our Savior we are His. This is a love shared amongst community. We are saved from wrath individually, but we experience this love within community. This is love perfected with us. Love is only experienced in relationship and God’s will is that we experience love with Him and with one another in community.
Perfect love drives out fear. The believer stands redeemed, his or her ransom being paid. As such there is no fear of punishment for his or her sin. Love accomplished that. Love keeps us there. From our standpoint this is perfect love – a redeeming love. From God’s perspective this is also perfect love – a restoration of His perfect will, an intimate relationship with His creation. When the believer realizes this love from all views, the perfect love of God is more fully understood and experienced.
Why? How? There is perfection in love because He first loved us. Everything good comes from the love of the Father. Only He can love perfectly. Only He can perfect/complete love in us.