Faithlife
Faithlife

Fear Not: The Fear of the Lord

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Notes & Transcripts
Acts 9:26–31 ESV
26 And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 And he spoke and disputed against the Hellenists. But they were seeking to kill him. 30 And when the brothers learned this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. 31 So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.
PRAYER
The concept of the fear of the lord is threaded with great significance throughout the Bible.
OK so if we have a warped or limited version of the fear of God, this text makes very little sense.
we have bold preaching, we have death threats, escapes, and then at the end of the text we have a description go the church at the time.
It had peace......was being built up (probably in number and in spiritual maturity it was being made stronger) it was living in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
And nestled int he middle is the statement that they were “walking in the fear of the Lord”.
Taken at face value “walking in the fear of the lord” seems like it would be a kind of cowering with your hands over your eyes. Grovelling and dodging lightening bolts!
And if you were to talk about the gods of Greece, or Rome, or Sumerian, or the Babylonian, that is what you would understand walking in the fear of god to mean.
But the revelation of YHWH paints a different picture.
NOT a picture of a weak God; quite the opposite. All-powerful, holy, expectant of us to worship him,
but not lobbing lightning bolts from Olympus throwing tantrums,
YHWH came close, engaged with his creation in an intimacy unheard of elsewhere,
to the point where the psalmist say in psalm 139
Psalm 139:13–14 ESV
13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
There is an awe attached to this fear that has a warmth and reassurance to it.
and it is multi-faceted.
Psalm 19:9 ESV
9 the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
And there is a sweeping, I would say more than a peppering ..a saturation of the fear of the Lord throughout scripture ,moving the story forward with its complexity and wonder.
Psalm 111:10 ESV
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!
Psalm 128:1–6 ESV
1 Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! 2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. 4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. 5 The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! 6 May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!
So there is a sweeping, I would say more than a peppering ..a saturation of the fear of the Lord throughout scripture.
It is not an afterthought it is a kind of foundation for our lives.
I. The Characteristics of the “Fear of the Lord”
a. There is a purity to it. ()
Psalm 19:9 ESV
9 the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
that word in the Hebrew for clean is “taHOR” - it means stability, a ritual cleanliness before God.
There is a foundational, ongoing solidity to fearing the Lord.
There a foundational, ongoing solidity to fearing the Lord.
It is connected with obedience, trusting the truth of his word and his promises.
So in the reason the church in the middle of changing tides and danger and dispute can preach boldly and be in peace is because of the solidity that the fear of the Lord brings.
The church throughout history has seen laws change, acceptance change, nations rise and fall around them is because the fear of the lord places trust in that which does not shift and change!!
when
b. It is foundational to wisdom. (; )
Psalm 111:10 ESV
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!
It is where wisdom begins.
Proverbs 9:10 ESV
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Without it scripture says there is an innate blindness.
2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV
4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
II Cor. 4:
1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
2 Corinthians 2:14 ESV
14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
There is a blindness, a lack of wisdom that comes from refusing to fear the Lord.
I never understood this as a young Christian. Now it is difficult to miss for anyone who observed our culture.
So for example- One of the things that I find difficult as a pastor and Christian to watch is the deconstruction of the God-ordained structure of marriage and family; and really just commitment and covenant to something more than the self.
The loosening of God-ordained sexual boundaries which God lovingly revealed to us so that we can live in safety in relationship not simply as objects of passion.
And so we see ripple effects of children growing up without a parent in the house. The stress on the single parent. A loosening of God-ordained sexual boundaries lovingly revealed to us so that we can live in safety in relationship not simply as objects of passion.
And we see story upon story of relational brokenness which we could be protected from if we lived in the fear of the Lord; rather than the fear of the crowd.
which the covenant of marriage was meant to protect one from.
Ill.
Ill. So let me give you an example of spiritual blindness. and this can be picked up on daily in the news.
And so the
I have a few different news feeds I receive daily, kind of compiling the headlines, so I know what is going on in the world.
About a month ago, just a few days after the story of Harvey Weinstein sex scandal accusations had hit, the top two news stories on my news feed were these:
Now I would like to say I actually have time to read them all, but I don’t. On good days I will be able to take in
“How could this Happen” with a picture for Harvey Weinstein.
Positing the question, how could such a culture exist in America, in Hollywood that would allow this kind of thing to exist. What are the kinds of things in place that make someone think that sexuality is such a casual thing, and how could he treat women like objects!
PAUSE
Just underneath (I kid you not)----was an article on the upcoming 3rd instalment of the 50 Shades of Grey Movie franchise: 50 Shades Freed, praising the artistic representation of sexual freedom without borders.
And the irony seemed to be lost on the editors!!
If you are wondering where a depraved view of sexuality comes from that tells men that women are objects, and that they will actually like it if you treat them in a degrading manner, look no further!
It is not the entire problem, but it is showing a blindness to ask what is causing this fire to burn only to turn your head and add wood to the fire.
The Fear of the Lord, gives clarity/ wisdom, it clarifies truth and sheds light on darkness.
And related to this is the fact that it...
c. It brings blessing ()
it is protective because it laces our path in a protective framework.
Psalm 128:1–6 ESV
1 Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! 2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. 4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. 5 The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! 6 May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!
Now, does this mean that the one who fears the Lord will have no problems.thats not what the text is saying.
What it is saying is the same thing that God said to Israel, that if you follow my ways; live in the fear of the Lord, it will go well with you.
We live in a culture a society that says if it does not have immediate dividends, it doesn’t work; it is not worth my time.
Like....oh, I don’t know....(this just came to me now) its like a 14 year old who is finding studying difficult!! They are frustrated, because they are studying what and how their teacher said, and it is not the way they want to do it, it is uncomfortable and it is not immediate.
The benefit doesn’t come in the moment it comes over time.
Never in history have we put such a value on the here and now; that my investment needs immediate response.
Aristotle believed that the good life could not be judged until you are dead.
No on in the moment could say whether their life was good or bad, they had to take it in its entirety.
That is what this psalm is saying; the natural results of living in the fear of the Lord are a happy life.
A healthy relationship with your wife, your kids:
I cannot tell you the amount of times, I’ve walked into my house after work and said to my family---let us eat together the fruit of my labour;
just me my fruitful vine and my little olive shoots!!
I’ve never worded it that way… but if not daily.....weekly…my wife and I look at each other and say we are blessed.
And it comes down to the fear of the lord as described in scripture. Whether we label it that way or even recognize it.
It has been hard at times. We have walked through difficult times, but part of what keeps us protected and blessed is the clarity, the longevity, the solidity and the wisdom of the fear of the Lord; that says we are in for the long haul.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
we have bold preaching, we have death threats, escapes, and then at the end of the text we have a description go the church at the time.
It had peace......was being built up (probably in number and in spiritual maturity it was being made stronger) it was living in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
And nestled int he middle is the statement that they were “walking in the fear of the Lord”.
Taken at face value “walking in the fear of the lord” seems like it would be a kind of cowering with your hands over your eyes. Grovelling and dodging lightening bolts!
And if you were to talk about the gods of Greece, or Rome, or Sumerian, or the Babylonian, that is what you would understand walking in the fear of god to mean.
But the revelation of YHWH paints a different picture.
nderstand
NOT a picture of a weak God; quite the opposite. All-powerful, holy, expectant of us to worship him,
but not lobbing lightning bolts from Olympus throwing tantrums,
YHWH came close, engaged with his creation in an intimacy unheard of elsewhere,
to the point where the psalmist say
Psalm 139:13–14 ESV
13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:14 ESV
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
There is an awe attached to this fear that has a warmth and reassurance to it.
I. What does it mean to Fear the Lord?
Three things:
a. to be in awe of God
Ill.
See many people think of the fear of the lord being like a cop following you while you drive down the street.
Watching you as you turn and making sure you use your signal, you aren’t breaking the rules, texting, and if you are caught there will be trouble.
There is fear that is impersonal and based on solely on the power of object causing fear.
Now scripture refers to God as the law-giver, just, even wrathful- that he is the final arbiter of right and wrong.
BUT to leave it there is to simplify things and belittle all that God has done and continues to do.
PAUSE
Has anyone here ever visited the Grand Canyon?
There is something about the grand canyon that causes, and instills awe in us.
It is beautiful, it is massive, it displays power and majesty, and gives us a sense of something bigger than ourselves.
Especially if we step out on to the observatory platform.
That is one aspect of the Grand Canyon.
But there is another aspect to the Grand Canyon.
Mixed in with its beauty is danger.
on average 12 people die annually at the Grand Canyon- many of which are looking for the ultimate facebook pic or climb down to grab a hat that the wind knocked off
There are signs saying be careful as you approach; in essence....respect the Canyon, but still people push too close to the edge and some fall .
to be intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and physically overwhelmed by his holiness, the power, the purity, the righteousness, the justice, the greatness, the glory of God
PAUSE
There is a form of Christianity that is content to call God beautiful but not awesome!
To take the comfort and the mercy but forget the holiness and power.
what makes the Grand Canyon scary is also what adds to its beauty and our response of awe to it
Do you want Wisdom? Fear the Lord
Do you want to lengthen your life? Fear the Lord
"Are you thirsty?" asked the lion. "I'm dying of thirst," said Jill. "Then drink," said the lion. "May I…could I…Would you mind going away while I do?" asked Jill. The lion answered this with only a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at his motionless bulk she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move away for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic. "Will you promise not, not, not to do anything to me" Jill asked," if I come?" "I make no promises," said the lion. Jill was so thirsty that by now without noticing it she'd come a step nearer. "Do you…do you eat little girls?" "I have swallowed up girls and boys, women, men, kings, emperors, cities, and realms," said the lion. And he didn't say this as if it were boasting nor as if it were sorry nor as if it were angry; he just said it. "I dare not come and drink," said Jill. "Then you will die of thirst," said the lion. "Oh dear, said Jill," coming another step nearer. I suppose I must go and look for another stream then." "There is no other stream," said the lion.
Do you want blessing?
Do you want to know the love of God?
Do you want to cultivate and learn to fear no one and nothing else? Fear the Lord
Part of what scripture means when it says to fear the Lord is to step closer with awe and respect for the power, perfection, and holiness of God, all the while understand that he has and offers all that you truly need.
And it is no good negotiating his character away.
We come on his terms or we go thirsty.
John 6:68 ESV
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,
"Are you thirsty?" asked the lion. "I'm dying of thirst," said Jill. "Then drink," said the lion. "May I…could I…Would you mind going away while I do?" asked Jill. The lion answered this with only a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at his motionless bulk she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move away for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic. "Will you promise not, not, not to do anything to me" Jill asked," if I come?" "I make no promises," said the lion. Jill was so thirsty that by now without noticing it she'd come a step nearer. "Do you…do you eat little girls?" "I have swallowed up girls and boys, women, men, kings, emperors, cities, and realms," said the lion. And he didn't say this as if it were boasting nor as if it were sorry nor as if it were angry; he just said it. "I dare not come and drink," said Jill. "Then you will die of thirst," said the lion. "Oh dear, said Jill," coming another step nearer. I suppose I must go and look for another stream then." "There is no other stream," said the lion.
Three things:
a. to be in awe of God
b. to have reverence for God
Moses, Isaiah, john
You leave changed. that comes from reverence. That God is something other yet relational.
To have fear of God is to stand in awe.To be afraid id to run.
Amazed by his power, all that he posseses, but because of his mercy, unable to walk away.
The story of Jill and the Silver Chair is a good example of his portrayal of the fear of God. Jill, this little girl who's the central person, develops a relationship with Aslan, the lion of Narnia who is the Lord. And the most tender, precious, close relationship of love that you could imagine develops between this little girl and Aslan. And yet, Jill first had to learn to fear the lion. So, she encounters him first in the story at a stream where he's standing. He's huge and menacing and awesome.
"Are you thirsty?" asked the lion. "I'm dying of thirst," said Jill. "Then drink," said the lion. "May I…could I…Would you mind going away while I do?" asked Jill. The lion answered this with only a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at his motionless bulk she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move away for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic. "Will you promise not, not, not to do anything to me" Jill asked," if I come?" "I make no promises," said the lion. Jill was so thirsty that by now without noticing it she'd come a step nearer. "Do you…do you eat little girls?" "I have swallowed up girls and boys, women, men, kings, emperors, cities, and realms," said the lion. And he didn't say this as if it were boasting nor as if it were sorry nor as if it were angry; he just said it. "I dare not come and drink," said Jill. "Then you will die of thirst," said the lion. "Oh dear, said Jill," coming another step nearer. I suppose I must go and look for another stream then." "There is no other stream," said the lion.
Part of what scripture means when it says to fear the Lord is to step closer with awe and respect for the power, perfection, and holiness of God, all the while understand that he has and offers all that you truly need.
And it is no good negotiating his character away.
We come on his terms or we go thirsty.
John 6:68 ESV
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,
Romans 8 ESV
1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:
Rom 8:
I John 4:
c. to respond to God
Bill Moyers, the television journalist, tells the story of a man's personal response to witnessing the launch of one of the Apollo shuttles in one of his books.
I was an observer at the launch of Apollo XVII in 1975. It was a night launch. There were hundreds of cynical reporters all over the town drinking beer, wisecracking, waiting for this thirty-five-story-high rocket. The countdown came and then the launch. The first thing you see is this extraordinary orange light, which is just about the limit of what you can bear to look at. Everything is illuminated with this light. Then comes this thing, slowly rising up in total silence because it takes a few seconds for the sound to come across, and then you hear this whoosh-mmmp. It enters right into you. You can practically hear jaws dropping. The sense of wonder fills everyone in the whole place as this thing goes up and up. The first stage ignites this beautiful blue flame. It becomes like a star, but you realize there are humans in it. And then there's total silence.
[And then this observation] People just get up quietly helping each other. They're kind. They open doors. They look at one another speaking quietly and interestedly. These were suddenly moral people because the sense of wonder, the experience of wonder had made them moral.
That's what the wonder of God does in a person's life. The fear of God has the same effect on people. It's awe and reverence which cause us to tremble before him and to wonder at him and to walk in obedience, to be moral, to want to be pure and pleasing to almighty God.
Psalm 147 ESV
1 Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. 2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 4 He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. 5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. 6 The Lord lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground. 7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre! 8 He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. 9 He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. 10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, 11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. 12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! 13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you. 14 He makes peace in your borders; he fills you with the finest of the wheat. 15 He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. 16 He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes. 17 He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold? 18 He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow. 19 He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and rules to Israel. 20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules. Praise the Lord!
What does that look like in relationship with God?
Romans 8:14–16 ESV
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
1 John 4:17 ESV
17 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.
So there is a connection between the fear of the lord and love!!
Psalm 147:11 ESV
11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.
(come back to this later---that which makes the cross scary is also what adds to its beauty)

Introduction

I. Fear of God is necessary.

II. What it means to fear God.

III. The sweeter side of fear.

IV. How do we learn the fear of the Lord?

Conclusion

Our joy in God will be proportionate to our fear of God.
Calling the
Grand Canyon a crack in the sidewalk
I. AWE
II. WRATH
III.
Psalm 139
Robert B. Strimple says, "There is the convergence of awe, reverence, adoration, honor, worship, confidence, thankfulness, love, and, yes, fear."
Grand Canyon FEAR
approachable and beautiful, massive and difficult to take in, awe-inspiring.
on average 12 people die there annually
must be respected
Fear of the Lord is mentioned over 300 times in scripture
and finding a quick easy definition of what scripture is talking about can be difficult and misleading.
Solomon, considered the most wise of the ancient world, closes Ecclesiastes a treaties on what brings meaning and purpose to life ends by saying....
Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Eccl.
Some were labelled those who were God-fearers Cornelius in a Roman centurion - is aa man who feared the Lord.
Cornelieius
In - the ability for God to create is described a fearful and wonderful
Psalm 139:14 ESV
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Hebrews 5:7 ESV
7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
Acts
William D. Eisenhower puts it this way in his article 'Fearing God" in Christianity Today:
Unfortunately, many of us presume that the world is the ultimate threat and that God's function is to offset it. How different this is from the biblical position that God is far scarier than the world …. When we assume that the world is the ultimate threat, we give it unwarranted power, for in truth, the world's threats are temporary. When we expect God to balance the stress of the world, we reduce him to the world's equal …. As I walk with the Lord, I discover that God poses an ominous threat to my ego, but not to me. He rescues me from my delusions, so he may reveal the truth that sets me free. He casts me down, only to lift me up again. He sits in judgment of my sin, but forgives me nevertheless. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but love from the Lord is its completion.
According to Jerry Bridges, "There was a time when committed Christians were known as God-fearing people. This was a badge of honor."[4]
From a theological perspective "fear of the Lord" encompasses more than simple fear. [5] In the Magnificat () Mary declaims, "His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him." The Parable of the Unjust Judge () finds Jesus describing the judge as one who "...neither feared God nor cared for man." Some translations of the Bible, such as the New International Version, sometimes replace the word "fear" with "reverence". It can also mean fear of God's judgment.
The Fear of God is felt because one understands the "fearful expectation of judgement". Still, this is not a fear that leads one to despair, rather it must be coupled with trust, and most importantly, love. In , it is said, "If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared."
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →