The Goodness of God
Luke 12:5 "But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him."
2 Timothy 1:7 says, "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." These scriptures may look like they are contradictions to Jesus' statement here; however, they are not.
There are two kinds of fear. The American Heritage Dictionary defines fear as "a feeling of alarm or disquiet caused by the expectation of danger, pain, disaster, or the like; terror; dread; apprehension." It also defines fear as "extreme reverence or awe, as toward a supreme power."
It is this reverence or awe that God's Word teaches saints to have toward God. Hebrews 12:28 says that there is a godly fear with which we are supposed to serve God and thereby implies that there is an ungodly fear that is not acceptable in serving God.
Satan has always used this ungodly dread or terror to torment godly people. Those who have been born again should have no dread or terror of God unless they are planning to renounce their faith in Jesus as their Savior. We have a covenant that guarantees us acceptance with God (Ephesians 1:6), as long as we hold fast to our profession of faith in the atoning blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
For an unbeliever, the fear of the Lord is a great deterrent from sin. However, for those of us who have received the grace of God, it is His goodness that causes us to fear him and depart from sin. His goodness is awesome!
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