Summary: In Christ, we can have no fear!
• One summer night during a severe thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small son into bed. She was about to turn the light off when he asked in a trembling voice, "Mommy, will you stay with me all night?" Smiling, the mother gave him a warm, reassuring hug and said tenderly, "I can’t dear. I have to sleep in Daddy’s room." A long silence followed. At last it was broken by a shaky voice saying, "The big sissy!" http://www.christianglobe.com/Illustrations/
• 5-year old Johnny was in the kitchen as his mother made supper. She asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomato soup, but he didn’t want to go in alone. "It’s dark in there and I’m scared." She asked again, and he persisted. Finally she said, "It’s OK--Jesus will be in there with you." Johnny walked hesitantly to the door and slowly opened it. He peeked inside, saw it was dark, and started to leave when all at once an idea came, and he said: "Jesus, if you’re in there, would you hand me that can of tomato soup?" http://www.christianglobe.com/Illustrations/
• In life we have a lot of things we fear. When we were little, we may have feared things like the dark, storms or the neighborhood bully. When we get older, we may fear the same things but we may also fear for our jobs, finances, marriage, children, retirement, and the list goes on.
• We have a word for every kind fear; I found words for the fear of going bald and a fear of bald people. There is a word for the fear of hairy people too. You name the fear; there is a word for it. I saw a program once where people were afraid of frogs, they were even afraid to touch a stamp with a frog picture on it!
• On the surface the program was funny, but for the people suffering from the various fears, it is not funny. Fear to the extreme will freeze us in our tracks, it will keep us from doing things we should and need to do.
• One a different level, I believe we can get to the point where we fear what God thinks of us because of what has happened with other people or what has happened in our past. Maybe we think that bad times are a sign of God’s judgment towards us?
• Over the past few weeks, we have been spending time looking at the freedoms we have in Christ. Today we are going to look at Christ offering us freedom from fear.
• Two explorers were on a jungle safari when suddenly a ferocious lion jumped in front of them. "Keep calm" the first explorer whispered. "Remember what we read in that book on wild animals? If you stand perfectly still and look the lion in the eye, he will turn and run." "Sure," replied his companion. "You’ve read the book, and I’ve read the book. But has the lion read the book?"
• Today we are going to read the book. Are you being burdened with fear in your life? Maybe it is relational, financial, health, or circumstances. Today we are going to see we need not fear people, bad circumstance, or any potential problems!
• Jesus wants you to be free! Romans 8:15 (GWT) says, “You haven’t received the spirit of slaves that leads you into fear again.”
• When you belong to Jesus, you no longer have to be ruled by fear!
I. WE NEED NOT FEAR PEOPLE (31-34) READ
• In the previous three chapters Paul has been trying to show us the depth of God’s love for us by showing us the many blessings we have by belonging to Him.
• In verse 31 it tells us, WHAT THEN SHALL WE SAY TO THESE THINGS? Because of all the blessings that have been mentioned in the previous chapters, how can we doubt the love God has for us, or that God is really in our corner?
• In life we face many different types of people, some will like us and others will not like us and will do whatever they can to make life miserable for us.
• In the context of the letter, there were many who were persecuting Christians and in the midst of that, it would seem to some that God had forsaken those who were being mistreated at the hand of another.
• In this verse 31 we are asked IF God is for us, then who can be against us?
• In the original text, the “IF” is not a doubting “if” as to question whether God is for us or not, but we would translate it “SINCE” God is for us, who can stand against us.