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What does the church of Christ teach about the Fear of God?
What does the Bible say about the Fear of God?
Read Matthew 10:28 - And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
What does fearing God really mean? It is defined this way in Psalms 119:120, "My flesh trembles for fear of you. I am afraid of your judgments."
Moses warned the Israelites about what would happen if they stopped fearing God.
Deuteronomy 6:10-15 - 10 "And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you-with great and good cities that you did not build,
11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant-and when you eat and are full,
12 then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
13 It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.
14 You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you-
15 for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God-lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.
So fear includes both a deep reverence and respect as well as being afraid and frightened at times.
I. Examples of Fearing God
Adam and Eve feared God after they sinned. Genesis 3:10 - And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself."
Ananias and Sapphira's actions brought great fear to the congregation. Acts 5:1-11 - 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.
Rebuke publicly so that others may fear. I Timothy 5:19-20 - 19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses.
20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.
Fear is found throughout Revelation.
Revelation. 11:15-18 - 15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever."
16 And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God,
17 saying, "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.
18 The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth."
There was fear in every soul after Pentecost. Acts 2:42
II. Where a Lack of Fear Leads
People live an evil life. There is no righteousness because they have no fear of God. Romans 3:9-18 - 9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin,
10 as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."
13 "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."
14 "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."
15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they have not known."
18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
Those who live an ungodly life will not control their actions.
II Timothy 3:1-5 - 1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,
4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
III. What Proper Fear Produces
Fear produces a turning away from evil. Without fear, we won't turn away. Proverbs 16:6 -By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.
"The fear of the Lord is clean." This produces a clean heart. It is a source of motivation to make us what we ought to be. Psalms 19:9
The fear of God will lead to holiness. II Corinthians 7:1 - 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.
Fear is a motivation to teach the lost. II Corinthians 5:10-11 - 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.
Maybe if we had more fear of God, we would have more saved. Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
Fear God and keep His commandments. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Serve the Lord with fear and trembling. Psalms 2:10
Work out your salvation with fear and trembling Philippian 2:12
Let us take to heart the words of Hebrews 12:25-29. Serve God with reverence and fear. If you want to enter the kingdom, be born of water and the spirit. Tell the truth and then the hearer decides whether to obey. The fear of the Lord persuades men.
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