Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fear of the Lord

Acts 9:31 Then the churches … had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

I know that I just wrote a week or so ago about the fear of the Lord, but in reading and research on certain Christian topics, I run into more material with different perspectives and insights on the subject. I have found that as I’m growing in years of experience, that the realization of the fact that we never stop learning has become apparent. Just the other day, I ran into John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”, and we see that in Christ, we have peace; not fear with God. There is something of a paradox in this requirement to “fear the Lord.” On the one hand, we “have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear” but have received “the Spirit of adoption” – Romans 8:15. On the other hand, we are told to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” – 2 Corinthians 7:1.

The writer points out that our text insists that we are to be “walking in the fear of the Lord.” Obviously, the context illustrates a lifestyle of godly behavior that is produced by our attitude toward God’s sovereign majesty and unique holiness as the Creator and Sustainer of all things. We should “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth” – Psalm 96:9. It is clear that the “beginning of knowledge” – Proverbs 1:7, the “beginning of wisdom” – Proverbs 9:10, and the “instruction of wisdom” – Proverbs 15:33 are founded in the fear of the Lord. It is also clear that the fear of the Lord is that which mimics God’s hatred of “evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward [perverse] mouth” – Proverbs 8:13. But the one who fears the Lord also knows “strong confidence” – Proverbs 14:26 and has an unwavering satisfaction in his or her life – Proverbs 19:23. Indeed, such godly fear promises to prolong our days – Proverbs 10:27 and to be a “fountain of life” that keeps us from the “snares of death” – Proverbs 14:27.

Knowledge of God should produce a “godly fear” – Hebrews 12:28 as we serve in the Kingdom – reverential fear of His power and holiness and omniscience - yet also provide a steadfast rest in the knowledge that we are His workmanship – Ephesians 2:10, gifted not with timidity, but with a spirit of “power, and of love, and of a sound mind” – 2 Timothy 1:7. We have the “good news” of Jesus Christ and nothing to fear. Sure, we live in an evil fallen world, but Dietrich Bonhoeffer said: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” God-fearing Christian, fear not, speak the truth in love.

Revelation 14:7 “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”

In Christ, Brian

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