DOES GOD WANT CHRISTIANS TO FEAR HIM?

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Dec 11, 2017
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We know that God wants us to love Him, but does He also want us to fear Him? The answer, if we examine the Scriptures, is clearly, YES. The fear of the Lord is not a relic of the Old Covenant; Christians are instructed and reminded to fear God in the New Testament also.

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... (Philippians 2:12 ESV)


But why? If God is love, and if we are saved, why would God want us to fear Him?


The answer is, because the fear of God protects us from sin and its consequences, which is what our loving God wants.


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)


Contrary to popular belief and teaching, it is not merely gratitude and feelings of love for God that keeps Christians from sinning and leads them to obey Him---at least it shouldn't be, according to the Bible---but also rightful fear. The fear comes from knowing that if we choose to despise Him, God has the power to chasten (discipline) us, and even to take away our eternal life, if we stubbornly persist in willful sin after coming to be in Christ, by refusing to do what we know He wants us to do and what He commands us. (See Hebrews 10:26-31)


For Christians, the fear of God should be a holy fear---not a guilty terror, as the unsaved have. We know that God loves us, and that we are saved because of His love and His mercy---forgiven of our sins and assured of eternity with Him when we die, through our faith in Jesus Christ---for which reason we have joy, confidence, and peace. But we should also bear in mind that this promise is not unconditionally guaranteed to us, and that if we choose to despise the Lord and refuse to repent, He is able to take away what He gave us. (See John 15:5,6,9-11; Romans 11:19-22)


That knowledge is wisdom, and it helps to keep us from doing evil things that we would otherwise consider or take lightly---even preserving our physical lives at the cost of disobeying the Lord.


The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. (Proverbs 14:27 ESV)


(Of course, if you have been following my threads, you can see the relevance of this exhortation and reminder: If you don't fear God so as to obey Him in the easy times, much less will you be faithful to Him in the worst of times, when your physical life is on the line. Don't fool yourself.)


This is what Jesus said, speaking to His own disciples:


"I tell you, My friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear Him who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!" (Luke 12:4,5 ESV)


The fear of the Lord produces good things: It leads us to turn away from evil, helps us to deny the strongest temptations of sin, and produces in us a rightful reverence for God that we won't have without it.


"A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is My fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise My name?" (Malachi 1:6 ESV)


(Where indeed, O people of God?)


The faith of those Old Testament saints that we so admire was coupled with the fear of the Lord, and it was their strength to withstand temptation and their motivation to obey God, for which He blessed and rewarded them.


The God of the Old Testament and the God of the New are the very same God. He has not changed His attributes or His attitudes. If we believe that He has, we deceive ourselves. God still wants His people to fear Him, just as He wants us to love Him. The love of God is to keep His commandments, and the fear of Him helps us to obey Him, which we would be more lax about if we did not---potentially to our own spiritual peril.


Yes, God is love, and part of that love is to protect His sheep. This is why He wants and commands us to fear Him; because He knows that mere gratitude to Him and the desire to do what pleases Him because we love Him is not enough to turn us away from strong temptation. We need to fear Him also, just as we would fear a parent who we know loves us, but also has the ability to punish us for doing what we know we know we ought not to.


God says that He is love because that is the attribute by which He desires to be known by man, not because He doesn't have other attributes in equal measure: It is not a matter of what He is, but of what He chooses to show.


God has the potential for as much wrath as He has for love (the evidence being that the unsaved will suffer His wrath for all eternity just as the saved will enjoy His peace and joy for all eternity); but He desires to show more mercy and love to man than He does justified wrath.


Like a jewel with equal facets, the one that faces the light is the one that shines; but that doesn't mean that the jewel has only one facet. The man-ward facet of God is love; but it's quite obvious from the Scriptures that that is not His only attribute, and that God's mercy and patience toward man are not infinite. There will be an end to His patience with impenitent men, and there will also be wrath for those who choose not to continue in His kindness after receiving His mercy.


David was a man who loved God with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength, a man who delighted in the Lord, and who was a man after God's own heart---not because he was perfect, but because he was sincere. And David, who knew God very well, feared God, and wrote much about the fear of the Lord and its benefits.


The Christian who loves God, as David loved God---who is keeping His commandments to the best of his or her ability and who is doing what he or she knows to be His will and pleasing to Him to the best of his or her ability, and desires to do the same, will not have guilty fear, for perfect love casts out the fear of rightful punishment for willful sin. A Christian with a good conscience toward God for the aforementioned reasons will not have this kind of fear; but we should all walk in the fear of our awesome God, who has the power both to chasten us and to condemn us. As long as we have our sinful nature, the fear of God is both essential and relevant.


"I tell you, My friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear Him who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!"
(Luke 12:4,5 ESV)


Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it know to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." (Daniel 3:16-18 ESV)


And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of His anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name."

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
(Revelation 14:9-12 ESV)




 

BillG

Senior Member
Feb 15, 2017
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#2
Can you clarify as to what you think 'fear' means in the context of the above
 

dcontroversal

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2013
30,510
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#3
Let us come BOLDLY before the throne of God to obtain grace and mercy in time of need.........

Reverence is the word......
 
Nov 19, 2016
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#4
Fear as in respect? So hold God in high respect?
 
Mar 23, 2016
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#6
Let us come BOLDLY before the throne of God to obtain grace and mercy in time of need.........

Reverence is the word......
The word "fear" in Phil 2:12 and Acts 9:31 is the Greek word phobos.


From HELPS Word-studies:

"Fear is commonly used in Scripture - sometimes positively (in relation to God), but more often negatively of withdrawing from the Lord (His will).

Fundamentally, 5401 /phobos (“fear”) means withdraw (separate from), i.e. flee (remove oneself) and hence to avoid because of dread (fright)."


Thayer's defines phobos as used in Acts 9:31 as reverence, respect (for authority, rank, dignity).


We also know from 1 John 4 that perfect love casteth out fear (Greek phobos) because fear hath torment.


I love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. And because I love God I keep His commandments (i.e. I withdraw (phobos) from anything that would bring displeasure to God). Having an intact, close relationship with my loving, Heavenly Father is more important to me than whatever sin or folly this world has to offer. To turn from Him to follow some deceitful lust which ends up in empty vanity is not worth it.
 
Dec 11, 2017
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#7
The word "fear" in Phil 2:12 and Acts 9:31 is the Greek word phobos.


From HELPS Word-studies:

"Fear is commonly used in Scripture - sometimes positively (in relation to God), but more often negatively of withdrawing from the Lord (His will).

Fundamentally, 5401 /phobos (“fear”) means withdraw (separate from), i.e. flee (remove oneself) and hence to avoid because of dread (fright)."


Thayer's defines phobos as used in Acts 9:31 as reverence, respect (for authority, rank, dignity).


We also know from 1 John 4 that perfect love casteth out fear (Greek phobos) because fear hath torment.


I love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. And because I love God I keep His commandments (i.e. I withdraw (phobos) from anything that would bring displeasure to God). Having an intact, close relationship with my loving, Heavenly Father is more important to me than whatever sin or folly this world has to offer. To turn from Him to follow some deceitful lust which ends up in empty vanity is not worth it.

The tormenting guilt and fear of knowing that one is sinning (willfully sinning), and that one does not have a good conscience toward God on account of something that one is doing, is the kind of fear that 1 John 18 is referring to: Knowing that one is doing something wrong, but not being penitent about it (not having the godly sorrow that leads to repentance). It is the kind of fear a child has when he or she is doing something their parent has told them not to do---or that of a person who is knowingly breaking the law: Fear of deserved punishment.


Christians can have this kind of fear if they choose to do something they know God does not want them to do; and they should. The right response to that tormenting fear would be for them to repent of whatever it is they are doing, to avoid the potential consequences of persisting in it. (1 John 1:9)


But Christians do not always choose to do this. Sometimes, they persist in doing what they want to do, even though they know what God says about it, and what He wants of them. And if this is the attitude they have, and what they are choosing to do, then they should rightfully have that kind of tormenting fear, which is their guilty conscience's and God's way of letting them know that He is not pleased and that all is not well between Him and them---that the Christian needs to repent of whatever it is that he or she is doing. (1 John 3:19-22)


If a Christian ignores this, God will use other, more severe means of correcting him or her (discipline of some kind). And if they still refuse to obey Him, they put themselves at risk of even forfeiting their salvation---the very worst punishment.


This serious warning is written to true Christians:


For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?


For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge His people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:26-31 ESV)


(That "fear" is a whole lot more than respect.)

 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
5,753
1,039
113
#8
We know that God wants us to love Him, but does He also want us to fear Him? The answer, if we examine the Scriptures, is clearly, YES. The fear of the Lord is not a relic of the Old Covenant; Christians are instructed and reminded to fear God in the New Testament also.
...

The Christian who loves God, as David loved God---who is keeping His commandments to the best of his or her ability and who is doing what he or she knows to be His will and pleasing to Him to the best of his or her ability, and desires to do the same, will not have guilty fear, for perfect love casts out the fear of rightful punishment for willful sin. A Christian with a good conscience toward God for the aforementioned reasons will not have this kind of fear; but we should all walk in the fear of our awesome God, who has the power both to chasten us and to condemn us. As long as we have our sinful nature, the fear of God is both essential and relevant.
In general, I think your post is a good effort at a summary of the issue. I have two criticisms though: a minor one first, you overlooked Proverbs 3:5, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". This verse is a key to understanding fear as you have discussed it. Second, you paraphrased 1 John 4:18 (bolded above), but added words and thereby altered its meaning and application. Related to that, you did not address its immediate and very relevant context, which includes, "the one who fears is not perfected in love". I would suggest some additional consideration of these passages. Thanks for sharing your study. :)
 
Mar 23, 2016
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#9
LightShinesInTheDarkness,

I understand what you are saying about fear of God.

I just commented that I have found that it is my love for God which keeps me from sin.

You have read that those who love God keep His commandments, yes?
 
Dec 11, 2017
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#10
In general, I think your post is a good effort at a summary of the issue. I have two criticisms though: a minor one first, you overlooked Proverbs 3:5, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". This verse is a key to understanding fear as you have discussed it. Second, you paraphrased 1 John 4:18 (bolded above), but added words and thereby altered its meaning and application. Related to that, you did not address its immediate and very relevant context, which includes, "the one who fears is not perfected in love". I would suggest some additional consideration of these passages. Thanks for sharing your study. :)
'The one who fears is not perfected in love' is just another way of saying the same thing: 'Perfect love casts out fear'. In other words, if you love God perfectly (which does not mean that you never sin, as I think my original post explains), you have no fear of punishment (for sinning). 1 John 4:18 is self-explanatory: Fear has torment/to do with punishment. A Christian who is willfully sinning will not have peace with God about it, unless he or she is deceived; (but that's not genuine peace from God). That Christian will have a guilty conscience and a fearful heart because he or she knows that he or she is sinning against God---just like someone who knows they are breaking the law, and that there are consequences for doing so. That is the kind of fear that does not exist where there is perfect love for God.

Related to this is 1 John 3:19-22: By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before Him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do what pleases Him.

It is Proverbs 1:7 that says: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 3:5 says: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.) A man who does not fear God is not wise. A wise man fears God, for the rightful reason I mentioned in my original post. Proverbs 1:7, while true, doesn't have anything to do with clarifying what the fear of the Lord is, which I believe my original post does.

The fear of the Lord that the Proverbs and Psalms speak of is the very same fear I wrote about in my original post, which is the kind of fear that turns one away from evil. This is the kind of fear that God wants Christians to have, not the guilty fear described in 1 John 4:18, which is a product of being in sin and not having a good conscience toward God. They are not the same kind of fear---even if the same word for fear is used in both contexts; so using 1 John 4:18 to prove that Christians shouldn't fear God righteously is faulty. That's not what it is referring to.
 
Dec 11, 2017
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#11
LightShinesInTheDarkness,

I understand what you are saying about fear of God.

I just commented that I have found that it is my love for God which keeps me from sin.

You have read that those who love God keep His commandments, yes?
I have. I think I explained in my original post that God desires both love and fear, for the reasons I explained in my original post. I obey God because I love Him. I also obey Him because I fear Him.
 

Johnny_B

Senior Member
Mar 18, 2017
1,954
61
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#12
The tormenting guilt and fear of knowing that one is sinning (willfully sinning), and that one does not have a good conscience toward God on account of something that one is doing, is the kind of fear that 1 John 18 is referring to: Knowing that one is doing something wrong, but not being penitent about it (not having the godly sorrow that leads to repentance). It is the kind of fear a child has when he or she is doing something their parent has told them not to do---or that of a person who is knowingly breaking the law: Fear of deserved punishment.


Christians can have this kind of fear if they choose to do something they know God does not want them to do; and they should. The right response to that tormenting fear would be for them to repent of whatever it is they are doing, to avoid the potential consequences of persisting in it. (1 John 1:9)


But Christians do not always choose to do this. Sometimes, they persist in doing what they want to do, even though they know what God says about it, and what He wants of them. And if this is the attitude they have, and what they are choosing to do, then they should rightfully have that kind of tormenting fear, which is their guilty conscience's and God's way of letting them know that He is not pleased and that all is not well between Him and them---that the Christian needs to repent of whatever it is that he or she is doing. (1 John 3:19-22)


If a Christian ignores this, God will use other, more severe means of correcting him or her (discipline of some kind). And if they still refuse to obey Him, they put themselves at risk of even forfeiting their salvation---the very worst punishment.


This serious warning is written to true Christians:


For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?


For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge His people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:26-31 ESV)


(That "fear" is a whole lot more than respect.)


Remember the letter to the Hebrews was written to Jews that were or wanting to return to Temple worship with animal sacrifical offerings. That is what the warning was about in chapter 6:1-2
Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.3 And this we will do if God permits.

The washing were about how they prepared the animal sacrifices, the writter did not want to go through how they were a foreshadow of Chirst, but he would if God permitted.

Dino already brought up that you misquote Scripture, you have done it again with I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

It says confess, it does not say repent, they are two completely different things, repent is to turn from sin, confess is to agree that you have sin. We repent once when we become believers and when the Spirit reveals sin to us we agree with Him and when we agree that it is sin Him is faitful and just to forgive us our sins.

You've used I John 3:19-22 out of context and tryied to make it say something that it does not say, it's about loving your brothers and sisters in the Lord. I John 3:16-23
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?


18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.”

This protion of Scripture is clearly talking about love in the household of faith, no warning of salvation being taken away, at all. Also look at the context of Hebrews 10:26-3, look at 19-25


19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Now let's look at verse 32-39 32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings,33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

37 For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay;38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”

Remember this letter is addressed to Jews that wanted to return to the Temple worship of animal sacrifices to cover their sins, this is why they are being warned that once you have been enlightened to Christ's sacrifice there is no sacrifice for sins and what they would be doing to Jesus and the Holy Spirit in verse 29


“How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?”
 
Jun 1, 2016
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#13
liked the post thanks for sharing !! Go bless you.


something regarding godly fear that i have noticed about the Lord, when we rightly fear Him, he in turn always seems to reply " Fear not" or do not be afraid"

Being afraid of God, and Having a reverant fear of God, are different in my belief. When a child has a good Father, they will understand " Dad Loves you He would lay his life down for you", at the same time a good dad, will discipline, teach, rebuke and train thier child in the right things, and reprimand them for the wrong things. people miss that Love, is not always warm and fuzzy feelings and being extra nice, But as God has saoid clearly, those who are Loved by God are disciplined and rebuked By God. Im so glad Our Father doesnt allow us to continue on the path to torment and suffering, but made the way, and taught us the way, and then wiped our debts to God out, and then rose up giving us victory over death and hell, and then went to be seated in Heaven and sent us His spirit to give us the enabelment to simply do the right thing.


God is so Good, which is why he does not allow sin into the eternal Kingdom, we already know what happens when sin is allowed to exist.....
 
Dec 11, 2017
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#14

Remember the letter to the Hebrews was written to Jews that were or wanting to return to Temple worship with animal sacrifical offerings. That is what the warning was about in chapter 6:1-2
Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.3 And this we will do if God permits.

The washing were about how they prepared the animal sacrifices, the writter did not want to go through how they were a foreshadow of Chirst, but he would if God permitted.

Dino already brought up that you misquote Scripture, you have done it again with I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

It says confess, it does not say repent, they are two completely different things, repent is to turn from sin, confess is to agree that you have sin. We repent once when we become believers and when the Spirit reveals sin to us we agree with Him and when we agree that it is sin Him is faitful and just to forgive us our sins.

You've used I John 3:19-22 out of context and tryied to make it say something that it does not say, it's about loving your brothers and sisters in the Lord. I John 3:16-23
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?


18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.”

This protion of Scripture is clearly talking about love in the household of faith, no warning of salvation being taken away, at all. Also look at the context of Hebrews 10:26-3, look at 19-25


19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Now let's look at verse 32-39 32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings,33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

37 For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay;38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”

Remember this letter is addressed to Jews that wanted to return to the Temple worship of animal sacrifices to cover their sins, this is why they are being warned that once you have been enlightened to Christ's sacrifice there is no sacrifice for sins and what they would be doing to Jesus and the Holy Spirit in verse 29


“How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?”
While it is true that the book of Hebrews is addressing a formerly Jewish audience about specific issues, as the other epistles also address various audiences regarding specific issues, reading the entire epistle, in consideration of the rest of the New Testament scriptures which speak about the matter of salvation, it is clear that there is more than one way for a Christian to fall away from Christ, besides just going back to works of the Law of Moses (in the case of Christians who were formerly Jewish).

There are no unconditional guarantees of salvation in the New Testament, and whatever promises and assurances are given are not independent of the conditions for remaining in Christ. Likewise, "faith" and "belief" are never independent of works. Whenever we read about "belief" or "faith", we can be sure that God does not mean mental assent and words alone. (This fact is made very clear by reading the New Testament in its entirety and comparing Scripture with Scripture.)

Any Christian who is deliberately sinning, whether it be by keeping Jewish Law or doing anything else that he or she knows God forbids and is contrary to the doctrine of the New Testament, and is refusing to obey what He commands (including loving his or her brother or sister in Christ as the NT teaches us to love one another), is receiving the grace of God in vain. God's grace is available to us for the purpose of obeying Him in all things. That grace is the desire and power to obey Him. (And if you don't think it's that serious not to do what you know you've been commanded, and what you know to be God's will, you can read the Lord's warning to the church at Ephesus in the Revelation, or His rebuke to King Saul through the prophet Samuel. God's attitude about rebellion has not changed.)

Don't deceive yourself: Persistence in willful sin of any kind is potentially deadly; and that warning in Hebrews 10 applies to all forms of this, and to all Christians.

If you believe otherwise, God will have to show you that you are in error. It's humanly impossible to reach people who believe in the false doctrine of OSAS (once-saved-always-saved)---even with all the scriptures in the Bible. If God doesn't show a Christian the truth about this, he or she will not see it or believe it.

Lastly, that 1 John 1:9 is speaking about repentance is obvious, as God doesn't forgive people who merely confess their sins. Even though the word repentance is not used, taken in the greater context of the other epistles that speak of repentance and confessing sins, the meaning of 1 John 1:9 is clear.
 
Dec 11, 2017
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#15
liked the post thanks for sharing !! Go bless you.


something regarding godly fear that i have noticed about the Lord, when we rightly fear Him, he in turn always seems to reply " Fear not" or do not be afraid"

Being afraid of God, and Having a reverant fear of God, are different in my belief. When a child has a good Father, they will understand " Dad Loves you He would lay his life down for you", at the same time a good dad, will discipline, teach, rebuke and train thier child in the right things, and reprimand them for the wrong things. people miss that Love, is not always warm and fuzzy feelings and being extra nice, But as God has saoid clearly, those who are Loved by God are disciplined and rebuked By God. Im so glad Our Father doesnt allow us to continue on the path to torment and suffering, but made the way, and taught us the way, and then wiped our debts to God out, and then rose up giving us victory over death and hell, and then went to be seated in Heaven and sent us His spirit to give us the enabelment to simply do the right thing.


God is so Good, which is why he does not allow sin into the eternal Kingdom, we already know what happens when sin is allowed to exist.....

I'm glad you appreciated the post. It is unfortunate that many Christians seem to want to dissect God into pieces and take what they want of Him and disregard what they don't, instead of accepting all of Him as He is. God loves us very, very much, but His love is not always pleasant, just as the love of a parent is not always pleasant. The love of God and the righteous fear of God are not mutually exclusive; they go hand in hand. I obey God both because I love Him and desire to do what is pleasing to Him, and because I know He can punish me for disobeying Him.

Unfortunately for many, they fail to realize that it doesn't matter how much God loves you if you don't love Him. Hell is full of people who God loved.
 
F

finaldesire

Guest
#16
We know that God wants us to love Him, but does He also want us to fear Him? The answer, if we examine the Scriptures, is clearly, YES. The fear of the Lord is not a relic of the Old Covenant; Christians are instructed and reminded to fear God in the New Testament also.

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... (Philippians 2:12 ESV)


But why? If God is love, and if we are saved, why would God want us to fear Him?


The answer is, because the fear of God protects us from sin and its consequences, which is what our loving God wants.


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)


Contrary to popular belief and teaching, it is not merely gratitude and feelings of love for God that keeps Christians from sinning and leads them to obey Him---at least it shouldn't be, according to the Bible---but also rightful fear. The fear comes from knowing that if we choose to despise Him, God has the power to chasten (discipline) us, and even to take away our eternal life, if we stubbornly persist in willful sin after coming to be in Christ, by refusing to do what we know He wants us to do and what He commands us. (See Hebrews 10:26-31)


For Christians, the fear of God should be a holy fear---not a guilty terror, as the unsaved have. We know that God loves us, and that we are saved because of His love and His mercy---forgiven of our sins and assured of eternity with Him when we die, through our faith in Jesus Christ---for which reason we have joy, confidence, and peace. But we should also bear in mind that this promise is not unconditionally guaranteed to us, and that if we choose to despise the Lord and refuse to repent, He is able to take away what He gave us. (See John 15:5,6,9-11; Romans 11:19-22)


That knowledge is wisdom, and it helps to keep us from doing evil things that we would otherwise consider or take lightly---even preserving our physical lives at the cost of disobeying the Lord.


The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. (Proverbs 14:27 ESV)


(Of course, if you have been following my threads, you can see the relevance of this exhortation and reminder: If you don't fear God so as to obey Him in the easy times, much less will you be faithful to Him in the worst of times, when your physical life is on the line. Don't fool yourself.)


This is what Jesus said, speaking to His own disciples:


"I tell you, My friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear Him who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!" (Luke 12:4,5 ESV)


The fear of the Lord produces good things: It leads us to turn away from evil, helps us to deny the strongest temptations of sin, and produces in us a rightful reverence for God that we won't have without it.


"A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is My fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise My name?" (Malachi 1:6 ESV)


(Where indeed, O people of God?)


The faith of those Old Testament saints that we so admire was coupled with the fear of the Lord, and it was their strength to withstand temptation and their motivation to obey God, for which He blessed and rewarded them.


The God of the Old Testament and the God of the New are the very same God. He has not changed His attributes or His attitudes. If we believe that He has, we deceive ourselves. God still wants His people to fear Him, just as He wants us to love Him. The love of God is to keep His commandments, and the fear of Him helps us to obey Him, which we would be more lax about if we did not---potentially to our own spiritual peril.


Yes, God is love, and part of that love is to protect His sheep. This is why He wants and commands us to fear Him; because He knows that mere gratitude to Him and the desire to do what pleases Him because we love Him is not enough to turn us away from strong temptation. We need to fear Him also, just as we would fear a parent who we know loves us, but also has the ability to punish us for doing what we know we know we ought not to.


God says that He is love because that is the attribute by which He desires to be known by man, not because He doesn't have other attributes in equal measure: It is not a matter of what He is, but of what He chooses to show.


God has the potential for as much wrath as He has for love (the evidence being that the unsaved will suffer His wrath for all eternity just as the saved will enjoy His peace and joy for all eternity); but He desires to show more mercy and love to man than He does justified wrath.


Like a jewel with equal facets, the one that faces the light is the one that shines; but that doesn't mean that the jewel has only one facet. The man-ward facet of God is love; but it's quite obvious from the Scriptures that that is not His only attribute, and that God's mercy and patience toward man are not infinite. There will be an end to His patience with impenitent men, and there will also be wrath for those who choose not to continue in His kindness after receiving His mercy.


David was a man who loved God with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength, a man who delighted in the Lord, and who was a man after God's own heart---not because he was perfect, but because he was sincere. And David, who knew God very well, feared God, and wrote much about the fear of the Lord and its benefits.


The Christian who loves God, as David loved God---who is keeping His commandments to the best of his or her ability and who is doing what he or she knows to be His will and pleasing to Him to the best of his or her ability, and desires to do the same, will not have guilty fear, for perfect love casts out the fear of rightful punishment for willful sin. A Christian with a good conscience toward God for the aforementioned reasons will not have this kind of fear; but we should all walk in the fear of our awesome God, who has the power both to chasten us and to condemn us. As long as we have our sinful nature, the fear of God is both essential and relevant.


"I tell you, My friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear Him who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!"
(Luke 12:4,5 ESV)


Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it know to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." (Daniel 3:16-18 ESV)


And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of His anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name."

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
(Revelation 14:9-12 ESV)




Fear is the beginning of wisdom not the end.
 
Dec 11, 2017
192
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#18
Great walls of text (such as your OP) generally do not go over well on discussion boards.
Generally, nothing I post goes over very well on ChristianChat, regardless of length.

The length of my posts is determined by what I believe is necessary to include to be thorough in making a point, and to avoid unnecessary confusion about what is meant---not because I enjoy writing lengthy posts.

Christians with whom my posts resonate don't seem to have any problem with the length of them---the purpose of which I believe is obvious to them. And those with whom they do not resonate dislike them regardless of their length: If I write more, they say that it is too long, and if I write less, they want me to elaborate (but it does them no good when I do).
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
23,391
1,355
113
#19
Generally, nothing I post goes over very well on ChristianChat, regardless of length.

The length of my posts is determined by what I believe is necessary to include to be thorough in making a point, and to avoid unnecessary confusion about what is meant---not because I enjoy writing lengthy posts.

Christians with whom my posts resonate don't seem to have any problem with the length of them---the purpose of which I believe is obvious to them. And those with whom they do not resonate dislike them regardless of their length: If I write more, they say that it is too long, and if I write less, they want me to elaborate (but it does them no good when I do).
Being asked to elaborate constitutes discussion ;) Better to build up to your point while engaging others than to post a wall of text right off the bat that others are going to ignore for whatever reason.
 

Johnny_B

Senior Member
Mar 18, 2017
1,954
61
48
#20
While it is true that the book of Hebrews is addressing a formerly Jewish audience about specific issues, as the other epistles also address various audiences regarding specific issues, reading the entire epistle, in consideration of the rest of the New Testament scriptures which speak about the matter of salvation, it is clear that there is more than one way for a Christian to fall away from Christ, besides just going back to works of the Law of Moses (in the case of Christians who were formerly Jewish).

There are no unconditional guarantees of salvation in the New Testament, and whatever promises and assurances are given are not independent of the conditions for remaining in Christ. Likewise, "faith" and "belief" are never independent of works. Whenever we read about "belief" or "faith", we can be sure that God does not mean mental assent and words alone. (This fact is made very clear by reading the New Testament in its entirety and comparing Scripture with Scripture.)

Any Christian who is deliberately sinning, whether it be by keeping Jewish Law or doing anything else that he or she knows God forbids and is contrary to the doctrine of the New Testament, and is refusing to obey what He commands (including loving his or her brother or sister in Christ as the NT teaches us to love one another), is receiving the grace of God in vain. God's grace is available to us for the purpose of obeying Him in all things. That grace is the desire and power to obey Him. (And if you don't think it's that serious not to do what you know you've been commanded, and what you know to be God's will, you can read the Lord's warning to the church at Ephesus in the Revelation, or His rebuke to King Saul through the prophet Samuel. God's attitude about rebellion has not changed.)

Don't deceive yourself: Persistence in willful sin of any kind is potentially deadly; and that warning in Hebrews 10 applies to all forms of this, and to all Christians.

If you believe otherwise, God will have to show you that you are in error. It's humanly impossible to reach people who believe in the false doctrine of OSAS (once-saved-always-saved)---even with all the scriptures in the Bible. If God doesn't show a Christian the truth about this, he or she will not see it or believe it.

Lastly, that 1 John 1:9 is speaking about repentance is obvious, as God doesn't forgive people who merely confess their sins. Even though the word repentance is not used, taken in the greater context of the other epistles that speak of repentance and confessing sins, the meaning of 1 John 1:9 is clear.
All what Scripture, for eternal security or for works salvation?

Myself I do not believe in once saved always saved, I believe in once justifed always justified. Once God has called you justified from your sins you can never be tried or judged for them again. If the Lord was to do that He would be an unjust judge and guility of double jeopardy, are you saying that human courts of law are more merciful then the Lord God?

Romans 8:31-39
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

You really need to consentrate on verse 32 of chapter 8 here and verse 39 as well.
Nothing can seperate us from the love of God, no created thing, are we not created? Not even ourselves can seperate us from the love of God. Why?

Philippians 1:6
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

The Lord God chose us to be saved, why would He chose us then take it away because of a sin down the road, are you saying that the Lord God could not see that I was going to sin at some point before making it to be with Him? Remember what Jesus said in John 6:63 and 65?
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life……65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.

Now lets look at the rest of Philippians 1:29
For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,” Look at that the Father granted to us to believe in Him (Jesus) and also to suffer with Him, hallelujah. This is the love with which He has loved us, why would the God of love, grant us the ability to believe in Jesus then take it away when we sin, is not the atonement of Jesus enough to forgive all of my sins past, present and future?

The Scriptures clearly show that the Father is in control of it all and that He has known from before time began all the sins I would commit and He made sure that they were all forgiven, to the point that when I would sin that He would show me that sin and all I had to do is agree with Him that it was sin and He if faithful and just to forgive that sin. Why? Because He knows that we all have sin even you and if you say you have no sin the truth is not in you and who is that truth? He is Jesus. If we say we have not sinned we make Him a liar, so we can't be saved if having sin causes you to be disqualified, because we always have sin and if we say we did not have sin, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. With that being the case according to your doctrine no one can be saved, because we all sin and have sin, what in the world do we do?

I John 1:8-10
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.[SUB]10 [/SUB]If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

According to your doctrine no one can be saved not even you, but according to the Scriptures if someone goes out from us, they were never part of us.

I John 2:19
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”

So what do we do with this Scripture? If they leave us they were never of us, meaning that they were never saved so they did not lose their salvation they just exposed themselves as posers, they were never sheep, they were goats all the time, it does not matter how long they were posing in the church, they were straight poseres.