Boldness on the Day of Judgment

Jerry Sittser

READ : 1 John 4:13-21

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. (v. 13)

In the early 20th century a scholar studied the progeny of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards, who lived in the 18th century. The scholar discovered that their descendants were characterized by keen intelligence, commitment to the common good, and faith in God. Obviously, the spirit of the parents had gotten into the generations that followed them.

The Holy Spirit infuses our lives with God’s love so that what is true of God becomes true of us, too. We love just as God loves. We are God’s children. We should reflect the one quality of character that describes God most perfectly—his love.

The work of the Holy Spirit makes us bold, John says. Through the Holy Spirit we know who we belong to, what we believe, and how we should live. It is all summed up in the word love. “There is no fear in love.” Love reflects the essential nature of God. Such love gives us confidence, even when facing the judgment seat of God. How could God reject his own, the ones he loves, the ones who love as he loves?


God, thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit, who fills our hearts with your love and empowers us to love others as you have loved us. Amen.