. Sermon - The Fear of God

The Fear of God
Psalm 33:8 - 34:9 -67:7 - 85:9 - 103:17 -
111:10 -115:15 - Prov. 1:7 - 9:10 - 14:27
by Cooper Abrams

           Introduction:    The Bible uses the word "fear" 400 times in 385 verses. As we can see from these verses the fear of God is vital in salvation and in living for the Lord. A man who does not fear God will not believe in Him and thus not be saved. Salvation is believing in Jesus Christ and accepting who He is A professing Christian who does not fear God will not live a godly life. It refers to one's attitude or disposition toward something, one's state of mind. One's attitude toward something will determine how one acts. The will make choices in line with their disposition. Their natural inclination will be to live their lives as their disposition.

          One's disposition or attitude will be based on what the believe and accept as true. If you believed that something was healthy and good for you, you would eat that food. If you thought it was poisoned you would not. You belief would guide your action.

          Further a professing Christian who does not have a proper fear of God will not truly live for the Lord or be used of Him. A godly fear of the Lord as the Lord explains is the beginning of wisdom. As Psalm 111:10 states a fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

          "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." (Psalms 90:12) A wise man will accept the frailty and uncertainly of life. He will accept that he is God's creations and as such God has a purpose for giving him life and that each man is responsible to God. He will accept God's word as true and pattern his life after God's instructions realizing the life is short and that eternity is before him. A wise man will not waste the time God has given him. Most of all a wise will believe in God and by faith accept God's grace know that he is a sinner and to go to heaven his sin's must be forgiven. He will accept God's word and His plan of salvation and reject the false religions of the world.

    I. To understand what biblical fear is let's look at the various words that are translated in our English Bibles "fear."

      A. Mowra (*mo-raw) [noun] - a fearful thing, something dreaded. God in Genesis 9 charges Noah and his sons to replenish the earth. He further says speaking of the animals, "And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered." (Genesis 9:2) Clearly, we see this fear demonstrated in all wild beasts and birds as they flee from man.

      B. Yirah (yir-aw) - [noun] (dreadful or exceeding fear "And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake." (Genesis 20:11) Abraham was speaking of the Ahimelech a pagan Philistine king. He meant that the Philistines were immoral and sinful people. Because they did not fear God, or know Him they had no regard of what was morally right. They were therefore a wicked people with no regard for others. This is the nature result when men, a nation, or society rejects God.

      C. Pachad (pakh'-ad) [verb] - (also translated Ďafraid') refers to a sudden alarm, an emotion fearful reaction to something dreadful, terror, sudden panic. "My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments." (Psalms 119:120) This is a fear that comes from recognizing who God is and His righteousness in judging sin. God hates sin and judges it severely.

                   Note "For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:30-31) The Greek word is phorberos and means to be frighten and fearful. This would be a parallel word in Greek.

                  Psalm 36:1 "The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear [Pachad ]of God before his eyes." (Psalms 36:1)

      D. Yare' (*yaw-ray) -[verb] afraid, frightened, dreadful, to stand in awe. "Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him." (Psalms 33:8) This word is used 330 times throughout the Bible. It refers to a psychological reaction to of being fearful of something. When God appeared before Abram it was a terrifying thing, thus God told him not to be fearful.

                  This is the Hebrew word most used to describe a biblical fear of God.

                  Psalm 36:1 "To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD. The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear [Pachad ]of God before his eyes." (Psalms 36:1)

      E. The most used word in the New Testament for "fear" is phobeo a verb. It means to have a reverential fear of God. The reverential fear of God comes from understanding who God truly is which means recognizing Him as Almighty, omnipotent God, who is all powerful.

    II. What does this mean in the life of an unsaved man?

      A. Speaking of the condition of the unsaved or lost man who does not believe God Paul said, "There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Romans 3:18)

                  Speaking to His disciples when He send them into all Israel to preach the Gospel Jesus told them not to fear men. He said rather "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28)

                  The unsaved man, the unbeliever does not accept that God can and will judge Him and they he is responsible for his sins.

                  Jesus said to the Jews and the religious leaders who rejected Him and would not believe even in the face of the great miracles He did. "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 12:46-48)

      B. Do you understand why salvation comes to those who believe....and why God tells the sinner to believe in Him?

                  "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil." (Proverbs 16:6)

                   All the cults have watered down or rejected hell. Why? They do not believe God will judge the sinner. The Protestant dominations do not preach on hell. Like Billy Graham, they do not tell people they are going to hell.(http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0506/16/lkl.01.html)

      C. What is the greatest sin a man can commit? The answer is simple....the sin of unbelief.

        1. Ephesians 2:8-9 plainly states a man is saved by God grace through faith. John 3:16 tells us to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and we will not perish. Two things are clear. One is belief saves, the other is that unbelief condemns and the unbeliever perishes.

                  Jesus said "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36)

                  It is a foolish man who ignores the fact that he is on earth because God gave him life and put him here. One is foolish who refuses to accept that and understand that he is a sinner and that heaven is a perfect place without sin. God tells us the Lord Jesus, God incarnate in man, came to earth and paid for the sins of man, because man was condemned by his sins and cannot save himself. It is a foolish man who does not recognize also that he will one day die and that he will continue to live in heaven because he believed and accepted God's grace, or in hell because he died rejecting God's wonderful offer.

                   "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." (Psalms 14:1)

      D. God has not left us in ignorance concerning the future. He has lovingly warned the unbeliever of the consequences of unbelief.

                   Revelation 20:11-15 makes is crystal clear what will be the end of the unbeliever. The eternal and everlasting Lake of Fire will be the final abode of those who refuse to fear God and not believe Him and reject His offer of love.

    III. What does it mean in the life of one who professes to be saved and a child of God?

      A. There are two kinds of unbelief.

        1. In Mark 9 a father came to Jesus seeking Him to cast the demon out of his son. "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." (Mark 9:23-24)

        2. The man admitted he had doubts, but he did believe in Jesus and this was why he came to the Lord. His belief showed itself in His action. He came to the Lord seeking help. I do not think that every person who comes to Christ does not have any doubts. But because they believe that they are sinners and needing His forgiveness they come in repentance. They may not have a perfect understanding of salvation, but they know they need forgiveness and that only Jesus can forgive.

      B. The Second kind of belief is one that rejects the Lord.

                  Hebrews 3:1-12. Warns of the sin of Israel in seeing the miracles of God and yet not believing.

                   "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." (Hebrews 3:12)

                   God in the book of Hebrews was addressing professing Jews who said they believed God and had received Jesus Christ as their Savior.

        However, several decades has passed and Jesus had not returned. Further they were under great persecutions and some of them were waning in their faith. They were thinking about returning to Judaism and rejecting Jesus Christ.

                  John says, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (1 John 5:4)

                   Those who are truly saved have overcome the world and thus they are to live like the overcomer they are.

      3. Many have misunderstood Revelation 2:26 "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations"

        (1 John 5:5)

                   "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)

                   "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." (Romans 1:17)

                   (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

                   "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." (James 2:17-19)

Conclusion: A godly fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. It is the beginning of knowing God and understanding who He is and what is His plan for us personally.

              A godly fear will believe God and both His offers of blessings and warning of judgment of sin.

              Without the true fear of God, one is left knowing nothing (as in 1 Timothy 6:4), because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). A person does not even begin to have knowledge if they do not fear God, as it is written, "fools hate knowledge" (Proverbs 1:22). Without the true fear of God, a person is a fool, because the true fear of God is also the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10).

               A person does not even begin to have wisdom if they do not fear God, as it is written, "fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7). The sad reality of all of this is, such is the miserable state of mankind. They are fools. (Psalm 14:1-3). (copied)

      1. The question the message address is simple....Do you truly fear God? Do you understand He is our Creator who spoke the universe into being. Do you understand that He is all powerful. Do you see yourself as responsible to Him and accept and believe in the consequences of rejecting Him and of sin?

      2. Do you understand that God is a love and also just and will give you grace or judgment based on your belief and acceptance of His will for you life?

      3. Do you truly believe there is a heaven and a hell as well and you will spend eternity in one or the other?

      4. Do you believe that if you live your life as God wills you will live the best life possible and that you will be rewarded in heaven? Do you believe also that if you do not what the consequences will be for you?

      5. Will you believe God and let God redeem you and give you forgiveness, heaven, peace, and joy in your life? God gives you that choice....because He respects your will. Do you respect His?

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