The Fear of God

The Fear of God I. Our God is love (1JO 4:8) but also a consuming fire (HEB 12:28-29) Who “...ought to be feared” (PSA 76:11). A. The fear of God was implied before sin entered the world. GEN 2:17. B. Adam was afraid of God after sin entered (GEN 3:10) but this fear could not prevent judgment. 1. Had Adam's love of God been perfect, this latter fear would not have come. 1JO 4:18; 3:21. 2. Such is the consequence of not loving God above all as we should. MAT 22:37. C. Adam chose to not fear God when he chose to sin. 1. This is the pattern of our failures. 2. In that moment when we choose to sin, we stifle the fear of God by convincing ourselves of the superior seasonal value of the sin (HEB 11:25) and/or that God is blind, forgetful, or doesn't mean what He says. We believe a lie rather than God. II. fear: The emotion of pain or uneasiness caused by the sense of impending danger, or by the prospect of some possible evil. A. See ISA 8:13. 1. dread: Extreme fear; deep awe or reverence; apprehension or anxiety as to future events. 2. This apprehension of the future should extend beyond temporal judgment. LUK 12:5. B. God does truly represent an impending danger or prospect of evil. 1. His wrath is revealed from heaven against ALL ungodliness and unrighteousness. ROM 1:18. 2. The “evil” (per fear's definition) is trouble or judgment for sin viewed as evil from man’s perspective. 2KI 22:20; JON 3:10. C. The love of God is a powerful incentive to live righteously. 2CO 5:14-15; GAL 2:20. D. The fear of God is also a powerful incentive to live righteously. HEB 10:26-31. E. We are to behold both “...the goodness AND severity of God...” (ROM 11:22). 1. The goodness of God may persuade men to repentance. ROM 2:4. 2. The terror of God may persuade men to repentance. 2CO 5:10-11. 3. Some are saved by compassion, others by fear. JUDE 1:22-23. 4. The God of election and grace is also the God of holiness. ROM 6:1-2; 2TI 2:19. F. A neglect of the fearful aspect of God leads to an unbalanced Christianity and worldview. G. Consider the nature and works of God and fear. 1. He plunged the creation under judgment because of one man’s single sin. ROM 5:12. 2. He destroyed the world with a flood because of wickedness. GEN 6-7. 3. He visits the iniquity of the fathers unto subsequent generations. EXO 20:5. 4. He will by no means acquit the wicked. EXO 34:7. 5. His eyes see all. PRO 15:3. 6. He shall judge and punish His people in time. HEB 10:30. 7. He shall judge and punish the wicked in time and eternity. ACT 17:31. III. The fear of God presupposes an acknowledgment of God. A. Where God’s existence is denied, there will be no fear of God. B. The hellish doctrine of “goo-to-you” evolution is nothing but a denial of God. The Fear of God 8-28-16 Page 1 of 2 C. If there is no God to be feared, there is no absolute law to answer to. D. Without an absolute standard of right and wrong, morals become relative. E. Relative morals change according to societal whim, trend or bias. F. Utopian schemers envision a perfect society without God. This is a fool’s paradise. PSA 14:1. G. The “perfect” God-free society eventually degenerates to chaos which invites tyranny to restore order. 1. “When liberty destroys order, the hunger for order will destroy liberty.” (Will Durant) 2. Beware of any who promote unlimited liberty. 2PE 2:19. H. In the place of the fear of God, the fear of the State comes. The State becomes a pseudo- God. I. In times like these, the godly must make tough choices. EXO 1:17-21. IV. The lack of the fear of God is at the basis of all sin and crime. PSA 36:1; MAL 3:5. A. Abraham feared for his life because of a perceived absence of the fear of God in Gerar. GEN 20:11. B. The fear of God is the ultimate restraint of evil. C. The belief that there is a Supreme, all-seeing Judge from Whose eyes iniquity cannot be hid, Whose justice cannot be escaped, and Who has power to cast into hell is the best deterrent to evil. 1TI 5:24-25; HEB 4:13; JOH 5:28-29. 1. Job feared God AND eschewed evil. JOB 1:1. 2. Joseph’s fear of God made him do likewise. GEN 39:9; 42:18. D. The fear of God properly regulates all human relationships. LEV 19:14; 25:17, 36, 43; 2SAM 23:3; 2CH 19:6-7; NEH 5:15. E. The brazenness of sinners is proportionate to their lack of fear of God. ISA 3:9; JUDE 1:12-13. 1. The deferral of their judgment encourages their sin. PSA 55:19; ECC 8:11. 2. God's payday is not every Friday, but it shall certainly come. 3. In the long run, he that fears God always wins out. ECC 8:12-13. V. The fear of God is alien to depraved man under sin. ROM 3:18. A. The fear of God must be taught. B. It is taught inwardly by grace, as with Cornelius. ACT 10:2. C. It is taught outwardly by Scripture. PRO 2:1-5; DEU 17:19. D. It is characterized by the hatred of evil, pride, arrogancy, etc. PRO 8:13. VI. Consider the importance of the fear of God to the believer. A. It is the beginning of knowledge. PRO 1:7. B. It is the beginning of wisdom. PRO 9:10. C. It prolongs days. PRO 10:27. D. It is the basis of personal repentance and holy living. 2CO 7:1. E. It is the basis of our mutual submission in the church. EPH 5:21. F. God's mercy is on them that fear Him. LUK 1:50; MAL 3:16. G. The fear of man brings a snare; the fear of God delivers from it. PRO 29:25; 14:27. VII. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (ECC 12:13-14). The Fear of God 8-28-16 Page 2 of 2
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