Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Thefear of God makes us love Him more

1 TIM 2:1-7 Dear Father and Lord Jesus Christ, This is for all people everywhere. We plead for all people because they all need You! We pray for all people because many never talk to You! We intercede for all people because most do not know what to ask! We give thanks for all people for few express gratitude! We thank You for their lives, and we give thanks to You for all that You give them, even though they do not acknowledge You or give thanks to You! We pray for national, regional, and local leaders and all who are in high positions. May they exercise wisdom and justice so that we who follow You may live quiet and peaceable lives, godly and respectful in every way! We know that such prayer is good and acceptable in Your sight, because we know that You want everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth! In the Name of Jesus Christ, the One Mediator between God and man, Who gave His life for us, we pray. AMEN

The Fear of the Lord real conviction

REV 14:7 Acts 24:22-26

We don’t hear much talk about “the fear of God” these days, and I have to admit it’s not a “feel good” topic. I saw a program on a church service and the church was full it seemed and the people were singing and dancing. It seemed to me that they were all happy. The Bible commands Christians to be governed by a reverent fear of the Lord. Solomon said the fear of God is the “whole duty of man” ECC 12:13. Coming from the word’s wisest man, it seems sensible for you and me to place an emphasis on it regardless of how others treat it. There is blessing awaiting those living under its influence and peril for those ignoring it.

I. How is the Fear of God Defined?

We can look at fear in two ways. Fear is commended or condemned. Fear is either our friend or foe. On one hand, friendly fear equips us with a natural alarm system that instructs us when to resist, run, or relax. For example, a friendly fear tells us to run from the swarm of bees or stay away from the edge of the cliff. Friendly fear tells us to relax because the lions are caged. The fear that brings condemnation is one that lacks trust in God. It is worrying. It doesn’t believe God’s grace is enough for us when we are weighed down. Fear is awakened when we are met by anything that frightens us. It is natural to fear when a tornado is a hundred yards away or we are swimming in unknown waters. We fear things that can overpower us. We need to fear God who is much more powerful than anything in this world. As we think about the greatness of God, we know that He created every part of the universe. He knows everything that can possibly be known. His very presence fills every square foot of creation. God didn’t create the world, wind it like a clock, and then leisurely sit back and let it tick out its destiny. God is not heartless toward what He created. That should help us know why we should fear Him. There are two theological terms that help us understand why we should fear God. First is TRANSCENDENCE, which tells us God is altogether different from man. There is nothing in the universe by which you can compare Him with. He is omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal, perfect, and holy that’s God’s transcendence. Second, is IMMANENCE, which means that God is here, and walks among us. We don’t see His physical appearance but the omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal, perfect, and holy God is here with us now! “The LORD your God in the midst of you is mighty”. That is His immanence.

God calls us to order our lives in such a way that we will “present us faultless in His presence.” We assume that we serve God because we love Him. That is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible says “the fear of God” is the primary reason we serve God. PS 85:9 “Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him.” Phil 2:12 “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” A child may deeply love his parents, but in most cases, his eagerness to obey them is fixed deeper in fear than in love.

Fear is the primary reason Christians obey their Heavenly Father. If we do not have a proper fear of God we will our lives with low standards and not be holy like God commands us to be. Solomon said, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” PS 7:11-13 “God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day. If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready. He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons; He makes His arrows fiery shafts.” The Bible says, ‘God is loving, merciful, and kind,’” but He does not let wickedness to go on unchecked. Listen again, to how PS 7 says God performs His wrath, “If a man does not repent.” And that’s the grace of God speaking. God isn’t talking to everybody here. He is speaking to those that continually ignore His voice and refuse to repent, those that continually reject His counsel. “If a man does not repent God will “sharpen His sword.” The words, “sharpen His sword,” form a picture phrase that indicates yet another merciful pause from God. It’s His final pause of sharpening His sword before He strikes. Have you ever strayed from God and during that time of disobedience, God warned you by giving you a “close call”? That was God showing you He was “sharpening His sword” before striking the blow. “If a man does not repent God will “bend his bow.” This represents a finished act. It’s too late, you have become the target, and He has to release the arrow. God is a God of wrath; but His wrath is never issued without warning, patience, grace, and space for repentance. But despite the warning of Scripture, some people live like they’re exempt from being judged. It only takes only one word from God to take away His protective hedge around you and nothing would ever be the same? There is story I have heard about a couple that came to a pastor they were contemplating marriage. They were living together! His advice couldn’t have been more direct: “You need to find separate living quarters and prepare for marriage in accordance with Scripture!” This was a 45-year-old man who attended church so he said, “I know we’re sinning. But we will eventually marry and then ask God for forgiveness!” The Bible says, “If you sow to the wind, you will reap the whirlwind”! Nobody can outsmart God! Nobody can escape that obvious law of sowing and reaping! God said in EZ 7:9: “I will repay you in accordance with your conduct and the wicked practices among you. Then you will know that it is I the LORD who strikes the blow.” Galatians 6:7-10 “Don't be misled. Remember that you can't ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters.”

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