Fear of God (True Religion)
Fear of God:
Fear of God is a conventional phrase equivalent to “True Religion.” The Bible teaches us in various places about that fact. The Preacher put it thus: “Let us hear the conclusion of the matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). The Book of proverbs also stated that the fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom. (Proverbs 1:7).
The dictionary defines fear as an unpleasant and usually strong feeling caused by the presence or expectation of danger. That is to be afraid of, consider, or expect with feelings of fear. But “FEAR,” as it is used about God, implies reverential trust in God, including Commitment to His WORD. The dictionary defines God as the being who, in the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religions, is worshipped as the maker and ruler of the world. But the Christian God is God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the Substance, for there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.
The Creed of Saint Athanasius says it clearly and like this:
That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the Substance; For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit is all one, the Glory equal, the majesty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.
The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Spirit uncreate. The Father is incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet they are not three Eternals, but one eternal. Also, there are not three incomprehensible, not three uncreated, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible. So likewise, the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Spirit Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise, the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord. And yet no three Lords, but one Lord. The Christian verity compels us to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord. So are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, There be three Gods or three Lords? The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made, not created, but begotten.
The Holy Spirit is of the Father and the Son, neither made, created, begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity, none is afore, or after other, none is greater, or less than another; But the three persons are co-eternal and co-equal. In all things, as is aforesaid, the unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped. He, therefore, that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity. Furthermore, it is necessary for everlasting Salvation that he also believes in the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ rightly. For the right Faith, we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man. God of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds, and Man of the Substance of his mother, born in the world; Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable Soul and human flesh subsisting; equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching his Manhood. Although he is God and Man, he is not two, but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the Manhood into God; One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man are one Christ; who suffered for our Salvation, descended into hell, and rose again on the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven; he sits on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming, all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. That is the Catholic Faith, which cannot be saved, except a man believes faithfully.
God is the creator of heaven and earth and all that is in it. And God is also the sustainer of the universe and our LORD. Therefore LORDSHIP is giving back to God the control of our life so that He may use us to accomplish and fulfill His Will.
Fear of God is synonymous with reverence for God based on these principles:
- Fear of God makes one shun evil (dread evil) – Prov. 3: 7b; 16: 6b
- Fear of God gives Wisdom – Ex. 1:17
- Fear of God multiplies and gives blessings to one – Ex.1:21
- Fear of God brings obedience to God’s Word – Ex. 1:17-21; Acts 4:18-20; Est. 3:2, Est. 4:13-16 (Esther and Modecai)
- Fear of God enables full dedication to God and His Words
The simple statement that God created the heavens and the earth is one of the most challenging concepts confronting the modern mind and makes one revere & fear the creator of all things. The awesome LORD can do all things; nothing is impossible for Him.
Qualities/Characters of Those That Fear God
The fear of God develops and brings out some upbeat personality in man.
- Wisdom – When a man fears God, he is said to be wise, knowledgeable, and understanding. Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Prov. 1:7, 9:10
- Love – Only the fear of God develops in a man the principle of true Love. Psalm 103:11
- Faith – To Fear God is putting your whole being on Him alone, who can do and undo. Ps 85:9; Luke 12:4; Ps 27:1; 2 Cor. 9:10; Eccl. 12:13
- Reverential Trust in God – A man who trusts God reverently is a man of worship. Proverbs 29:25. We are made only for one thing to worship God our Creator.
- Dread of Evil – When we see a man who ensures evil, such a man fears God. Proverbs 3:7
- Humility (shuns Pride, Arrogance & evil behavior) – Knowing all you have and what you have come from God. To be fully aware that without God, you can do nothing and will be nobody.
- Respects God – To respect God is to do things that are not contrary to His injunctions. Rev.19: 5; Jer. 5:22
- Total devotion & Worship of God – To be aware of God’s presence at all times and places. Rev. 14:7; Rev. 15:4
A psalm of David written to celebrate God’s ultimate rule in Ps 2:11 says, “Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.” There are joy, happiness, and numerous benefits when one fears the LORD.
The Benefits & Privileges :
- Disciplined, Long & Prosperous Life – Deut.5: 29; Deut. 6:2
- Favour with God and People – Psalm 34:9
- Protection of God – Isaiah 49:15
- Reputation for good judgment – Ex. 18:21
- Spiritual Growth – Heb. 12:28; Ps 119:120;
- Righteousness – Proverbs 11:6; 21:3; John 1: 12-13; Heb 10:22-25;
- Understanding & Knowledge
- Abundant Blessing & Fulfilled Multiplication – Exodus 1:21
- Success & Salvation – 1 John 5:11-13
The Perils Of Not Fearing God Include But Are Not Limited To:
- Sinful Life
- Lack of Peace – Isaiah 48:22
- Faithless Life
- Loss of Eternal Life
If a man does not fear God, such a man is living a Sinful Life; he will never have peace; he is programmed for self-destruction. Such a man lives a faithless life and has already lost eternity. The Fear of God is as essential as the value of God’s Love. To know the depth of God’s Love for us, one must know the tremendous amount of Grace He has chosen to lay upon us. The depth of understanding His Love depends on the fullness of our understanding of the fear of God. His Love came down like rain over us to give us strength and be our tower.
Fear of God is an integral part of His plan for our Salvation. Some of the Biblical verses indicating true fear of God are in Jos. 4:24; Ps 34:11; Ex. 18:21; 20:20; Isa. 66:2; Luke 12:4-5. If we fear God, Wisdom will pull us to the knowledge of Christ. Jonah’s approach in Jonah 3:4- 6 teaches us a true fear of God when he finally warns Nineveh.
The Fear of the LORD makes us keep our sinful nature in check. As we realize the incredible depth of God’s Love & Grace, we fear Him and eagerly please Him in all our ways. Our Love for God will make us keep His commandments (John 14:23-24). When God’s Glory was partly revealed to Isaiah, Moses, John, etc., they became highly fearful, expecting immediate death from what they saw; but God was merciful to them. The simplest definition of Sin is ‘No Fear of GOD.’
The Fear of God subsequently causes a pursuit of righteousness as we love Him more for the ever-expanding volume of the Grace He has bestowed upon us. The submission of Isaiah 8: 11-17 concludes with the Fear of God.
”The Lord spoke to me with his strong hand, warning one not to follow the way of this people. He said; Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The LORD Almighty is the one you regard as holy; God is the one you are to fear. God is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary, but for both houses of Israel, he will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem, he will be a trap and a snare. Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken; they will be snared and captured. Bind up the testimony and seal up the law among my disciples. I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in him.”