If they fear God, they are more likely to keep their word and treat others with kindness. God said, “…for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” They fear the loss of a relationship because they turned their spouse into an idol…So, to fear God alone drives out our fear of other things and other people and other places. What does that mean?” and other questions can be found in our Questions Answered section. Scripture is full of examples of how fearing God is a positive rather than a negative thing. It’s that kind of dreadful anxiety in which someone is frightened by the clear and present danger that is represented by another person. Abraham raised the knife by which he would have slain Isaac, and that is when God told Abraham to stop. Every Christian is to fear the Lord, which doesn’t mean to be afraid of the Lord, but to be in awe of God’s glory and power. The Mosaic Law cites fear of God as a reason to treat the disabled and elderly well (Leviticus 19:14, 32). For somebody who's not a believer in Christ, to fear the Lord, I think it really means you're supposed to be afraid of the Lord, that there's a reality that he is our maker and that because he's a good God, because he's a holy God, because he's a just God, there's a day coming that Jesus tells us that, every idle world, that we're going to be given account for, and I don't know about you but that's … The wicked refuses to fear God. In the Bible we get a few glimpses into heaven, and we see the heavenly creatures worship Him around His throne continually, crying out “Holy, holy, holy!” and covering their faces. But he also demonstrated love beyond human understanding when he lived out his words, "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends (John 15:13)." Luther distinguished between that and what he called filial fear, drawing from the Latin concept from which we get the idea of family. I often hear people explain the fear of the Lord as a mere respect or reverence. For example in Genesis 42:18, Joseph wins his brothers' trust when he declares he is a God-fearing man. About a month ago I had a lady e-mail me, and express that her boyfriend had a hard time acceptng the phrase "Fear the Lord." Questions in this Episode. 94 Bible Verses about What Does It Mean To Fear God. Fearing God means respecting, obeying, submitting to God’s discipline, and worshiping Him in awe. What exactly is the fear of God? Jesus said the most important commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, your soul and your strength. To “fear him” means to stand in awe of him: “Let all the earth FEAR the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world STAND IN AWE OF HIM!” . Click here for reprint information. So to fear God is a radically different experience than fearing anything else. It’s odd how little we talk about the fear … As sinful people, we have every reason to fear God’s judgment; it is part of our motivation to be reconciled with God. The fear of danger is not the type of fear that is referred to in Ecclesiastes 12:13. Fearing God does not mean we should be scared of Him necessarily, scared in a way that we should not want a relationship with Him. To fear God means to dwell upon his beautiful, glorious holiness which is the very opposite of sin and evil, and to revere God and know that he loves us so much that he desires us to hate and turn away from sin. When Luther struggled with that, he made this distinction, which has since become somewhat famous: He distinguished between what he called a servile fear and a filial fear. As sinful people, we have every reason to fear God’s judgment; it is part of our motivation to be reconciled with God. A Humble Fear Of God. In the blog post on How to overcome fear in life, we looked at worldly fears, in this post we look at the fear of God. Some people fear loss of income. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. Answer: For the unbeliever, the fear of God is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death, which is eternal separation from God (Luke 12:5; Hebrews 10:31). Pharaoh brought disaster on his nation because he did not fear God (Exodus 9:29-31). In the New Testament, ‘fearing God’ comes up a couple of times too. in all its fullness to as many people as possible. To him the word "Fear" was a bad or negative word. You… Sproul It was because the midwives feared God that they obeyed him instead of the authorities by sparing the Hebrew babies (Exodus 1:17). William D. Eisenhower puts it this way in his article 'Fearing God" in Christianity Today: And, of course, the ultimate example of fear and perfect love working together is Jesus Christ. Moses chose leaders to help him on the basis that they feared God and wouldn't take bribes (Exodus 18:21) and told the Hebrews that God met with them in a terrifying display of his power so that they wouldn't sin (Exodus 20:20). The words of God in Gen. 22:12 are spoken after Abraham was about to sacrifice his Son Isaac on the altar. So it's clear from these passages, that fearing God is good because it saves us from caving into our own sinful nature. “It is a frightening thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. And lest you think this is only an Old Testament idea, note that Jesus states this stronger than anyone when he says, "Don't be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. If God is a loving and caring God then why should we fear him? Yet, the scriptures tell us time and again to fear the Lord; the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The type of fear we should have for the Lord is not a fear of being scared for our safety or our lives. They fear loss of their job. What Does It Mean To Fear God? Category: Articles. A little fear is a good thing because that makes us cautious when climbing ladders, using power tools, or driving a car. He warned us at every turn to fear God, not men—and he confirmed that in everything about his life and death. People subscribing to popular monotheistic religions might fear divine judgment, hell or God's omnipotence. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). In this regard, Luther is thinking of a child who has tremendous respect and love for his father or mother and who dearly wants to please them. The fear that the Bible tells us to avoid is concern mixed with anxiety or dread; it is the feeling of alarm we have when we expect trouble or danger. In his book The Joy of Fearing God, Jerry Bridges says: We cannot separate trust of God from the fear of God. Followers of Christ are not to live in a state of anxiety. The Fear Of The Lord Brings Great Reward. The only ones who are to "fear" God in the sense of "being afraid" are those who have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ. And, of course, the ultimate example of fear and perfect love working together is Jesus Christ. In 2 Corinthians 7:1 it says: “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” Here fearing God is connected to holiness. “It is a frightening thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. Or it’s the kind of fear that a slave would have at the hands of a malicious master who would come with the whip and torment the slave. Psalm 66:16 It is written, “Come and hear, ALL YOU THAT FEAR GOD.” Acts 13:16 “Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and you that FEAR GOD, give audience.”; Acts 13:26 “Men and brethren, children of the ‘stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you FEARS GOD, to you is the word of this salvation sent.” Fix that problem! What type of fear is it speaking about? The Ligonier Ministries site requires Javascript, but you’ve got Javascript disabled. The Next 500 Years: 2017 National Conference, God in Our Midst: The Tabernacle and Our Relationship with God, Naming Ligonier the Beneficiary of a Bank or Investment Account, Gifts That Provide Income and Tax Benefits. Perhaps it’s the word “fear” that confuses people. I think the problem is fear gets a bad rap in our culture. The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries is to proclaim the holiness of God What does God mean when he asks us to be holy as he is holy. He is a loving, merciful, longsuffering, compassionate God. One last point: If we really have a healthy adoration for God, we still should have an element of the knowledge that God can be frightening. The believer’s fear is reverence of God. Sign Up For Our Newsletter from R.C. “It is a frightening thing to fall into the hands of the living God” . What does it mean to fear God? But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”Then, in verse 20, Moses says something seemingly contradictory to the people, but really it’s not contradicting at all: Do not be afraid. Fearing God means to honor God. Okay, that might be possible if it weren't for the "flip side." It is not a fear that we should feel as though will hinder our life in any way. So, in what sense are we to fear God? In this book, Michael Reeves explains that the fear of God is not a gloomy fear marked by anxiety but a heartfelt and happy enjoyment of God as Creator and Redeemer. We need to make some important distinctions about the biblical meaning of “fearing” God. —Michael Horton. What Is the Fear of the Lord? In fact, Romans 3, a classic chapter on sin, says that our chief sin is that we "have no fear of God at all" (Romans 3:18). “Throughout the Bible we are told to fear God. “ Throughout the Bible we are told to fear God. He spoke lovingly but frankly to all and didn't mince words when people needed to face their sin and repent. And Paul says to work toward complete holiness because we fear God (2 Corinthians 7:1). It refers to the fear that a child has for his father. Anxiety, discouragement, worry, and panic can result from fear. We get very flippant and cavalier with God, as if we had a casual relationship with the Father. Christianity Today strengthens the church by richly communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel. I know I have. For the believer, the fear of God is something much different. His praise endures forever! God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning. That’s often lacking in contemporary evangelical Christianity. Quite the contrary. As we learn more about the surprising good news of the fear of the Lord, we will discover the vital role we play in displaying to the world the awesomeness of our God. We have higher expectations than simply anticipating trouble. Question: "What does it mean to have the fear of God?" Whatever you fear, ultimately is your God. The believer's fear is reverence of God. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but love from the Lord is its completion. He has a fear or an anxiety of offending the one he loves, not because he’s afraid of torture or even of punishment, but rather because he’s afraid of displeasing the one who is, in that child’s world, the source of security and love. What does it mean to “fear” God? That's why hearing someone is God-fearing actually makes us trust that person more. I mean at first glance that seems kind of counter-intuitive doesn’t it? To trust him and to abhor wickedness amounts to the fear of the Lord. But the Bible uses the word fear at least 300 times in reference to God, so we make a mistake when we downplay it. So how does fear of God, who is perfect love, take away fear? This Bible study helps us define this universal emotion. Fear is what keeps us alive and as long as it isn’t immobilizing, it’s not a problem. I mean…why should we fear a loving God, right? Fearing God in the New Testament. We’re always to maintain a healthy respect and adoration for Him. It’s natural to fear that we might mess up our lives, but our union wi ... Just because we all experience fear doesn't mean we have to live with it. To see God in all his glory and then respond to … Servile refers to a posture of servitude toward a malevolent owner. These distinctions can be helpful, but they can also be a little dangerous. In Matthew 10, Jesus said not to "fear those who can… We trust Him only to the extent that we genuinely stand in awe of Him. One last point: If we really have a healthy adoration for God, we still should have an element of the knowledge that God can be frightening. Q. The servile fear is a kind of fear that a prisoner in a torture chamber has for his tormentor, the jailer, or the executioner. For those individuals, the future holds judgment (Hebrews 10:31). That is, to fear God is to believe that we are subject to Him and that He may exercise power over us. As sinful people, we have every reason to fear God’s judgment; it is part of our motivation to be reconciled with God. Have you ever asked yourself these questions? The subject becomes even more mysterious when we read something like 1 John 4:18 that says that "perfect love expels all fear." Each issue highlights new, ready-to-download Bible studies at ChristianBibleStudies.com, and other tools to help you become a dynamic teacher of God2019s Word. With love like that, what is left to fear but God? King Solomon, the author of those words, wrote “Fear God.” Here he is not referring to being afraid of God. Matthew 10:28 ESV / 6 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful. I think this distinction is helpful because the basic meaning of fearing the Lord that we read about in Deuteronomy is also in the Wisdom Literature, where we’re told that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” The focus here is on a sense of awe and respect for the majesty of God. 10:31). W hat does it mean to fear God or fear the Lord? Jan 12, 2018 What does that mean?” and other questions can be found in our Questions Answered section. It can negatively impact our health. What does it mean to fear God? Fearing the Lord means to be in awe of his holiness, to give him complete reverence and to honor him as the God of great glory, majesty, purity and power. Many Christians like to soften this up by taking away the fear God can instill by casting people into hell and replacing this with fear meaning “respect”. For the believer, the fear of God is something much different. My friend was surprised to find out that in the Bible ‘the fear of the Lord’ and ‘the love of God’ stand side by side. Psalm 111:10 ESV / 9 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful. Why does the Bible and GOD ask us to fear Him? The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Rather than causing someone to be afraid of God, a proper “fear of the Lord” leads one to love Him. Do the words “fear + God” spark a bit of…discomfort in your bones? Fear of God refers to fear or a specific sense of respect, awe, and submission to a deity. The “fear” that brings God pleasure is not our being afraid of him, but our having a high and exalted, reverential view of him. “The fear of God isn’t fear of Him, it’s fear of being without Him.” -John Bevere Have you ever wondered what does it mean to fear the Lord? The fear of the Lord is a pervasive and important topic, and I think it is needed today, because we are so quick, I think, to solve the problem of God’s fearsomeness with the gospel that we may not give people a chance to really let them sink in how deeply sinful they are or how fearful God really is. 1. Do we need to fear Him because God is angry and mean? Fear can also be a good thing. 10:31). Answer: For the unbeliever, the fear of God is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death, which is eternal separation from God (Luke 12:5; Hebrews 10:31). When the Bible refers to the “fear of the Lord,” it means having a deep respect, reverence and awe for God’s power and authority. Your gift enables our worldwide outreach. Jesus taught, "But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. The Hebrew word for fear (yare'), in verses such as Deuteronomy 6:24, means "reverence" or “awe.” In a sense, … JoHannah Reardon is a former managing editor of ChristianBibleStudies.com. There's been something that's been eating away at me about our relationship with God. Human Fear. Copyright © 2013 by Christianity Today International/ChristianBibleStudies.com. So how do we marry this dichotomy? How can we fear God while he expels all fear? It makes us aware of danger, but it can be harmful, too. 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