We have always thought that the opposite of the opposite of love is hate but it seems that God has a different view. When John tells us that perfect love keeps driving out fear he’s on to something isn’t he?
Ultimately people want to interpret this to say that we are now mature or perfected. No one really arrives because they have God’s love. Love’s perfecting work is properly understood as an event plus the effects of that event.
As surely as the fear that love drives out is not the reverential fear of a son for a father or of an employee for the boss, the love in view is that unshakeable love that even the direst adversity does not change. God’s love not ours. It keeps driving out fear and our maturity is progressing.
The people stuck in the juvenile stage of divine instruction have lots to say about the adult stage, that is faith and the Gospel, but they keep cheering on Moses, slavery, and another gospel.
Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. Galatians 3:23-26