Summary: The missing element in our Christian circles, and the cause of loose living and worldliness in the church the Lord purchased with His own blood


Dr. Russell K. Tardo

I. Why Should Believers Fear God?

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is whole duty of man. [Eccl. 12:13]

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. [Ps. 34:7]

Believers should have a wholesome fear of displeasing God. The scriptures say that all of life is vanity; life is empty, meaningless. The entire duty of man is to fear God and keep His commandments. The angel of the Lord referred to in the above passage in Psalms is the pre-incarnate Christ.

II. Assurances to the Believer

There are three things of which the believer who fears God can be assured:

A. Deliverance.

B. Provision.

C. God’s Presence.

III. Self-Examination

A. A Heart that Fears God.

Let’s examine some Scriptures that tell believers ways to know if they have hearts that fear God.

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. [Prov. 8:13]

1. What is your personal attitude toward sin?

He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the Lord; but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him. [Prov. 14:2]

2. What is your personal attitude toward error?

Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. [Ps. 119:4]

Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts. [Jer. 2:19]

There is no fear of God before their eyes. [Rom. 3:18]

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. [2 Cor. 7:1]

B. To Know God.

Those who know God fear Him. Those who have no fear of Him don’t know the God of the Bible. One of the reasons so many Christians today are backslidden is they do not know they should fear God. Some of the blame is to be put upon the ministry because they fail to stress to their congregations that man should fear God. While they teach the love aspect, and that is a very important consideration, it leaves the people with a soft view of God. That is one of the chief reasons there is so much immorality within Christian circles. It is the reason why so many are indifferent, shallow, critical, etc. People are left without a true picture, having heard only half and that is God’s love. They have not been taught of His righteousness, His mercy, His justice, His wrath or His power.

20Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity: but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shall be cut off. [Rom. 11:20-22]

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. [Prov. 8:13]

C. To Avoid Sin.

If a man fears God, he avoids sin. He will not entertain sinful thoughts. If one truly fears God, then he will feel the same way about sin that God does. He will flee from sin, not run toward it.

12Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. [Heb. 3:12-13]

O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! [Deut. 5:29]

Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. [Ps. 33:8]

In this latter scripture, the word awe in Hebrew means to tremble, to be in great dread, to the point of being in terror or having a horror. The fear of God is that sense of awe and unworthiness that believers feel in the presence of Almighty God.

Don’t fear the one who can kill the body, but fear the one who has power to cast your soul into hell.

5I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. 6Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. [Job 42:5-6]

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