Fear of God?

Should we talk about the fear of God? Isn’t the love of God all that we need? I’m convinced just as Paul taught the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), we must too. If we are to be balanced in Christian living we need to understand what the fear of God does for us. And yes, when we talk about “fear,” we are also talking about reverence. But we must not forget that when talking about God we are talking about one who is other than us and greater, far greater, than us. Here’s a list of the positives that come from the fear of God.

Wisdom and Understanding
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” (Proverbs 9:10 ESV) cf. Psalm 1:7

Avoidance of Evil
“By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.” (Proverbs 16:6 ESV)

Prolongs Life
“The fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short.” (Proverbs 10:27 ESV) cf. Proverbs 14:27, 19:23

“The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4 ESV)

Perfecting Holiness
“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.” (2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV)

Motive for Evangelism
“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. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.” (2 Corinthians 5:10–11a, ESV)

Built Up, Comforted, Growing
“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.” (Acts 9:31 ESV)

Acceptable Worship/Service
“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28–29 ESV)

— Russ Holden

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