Website owner: James Miller
The term "fear of God". It is often used in the Bible. What does it mean? I would say it has the following meaning: A man who fears God is a man who takes God seriously; who takes his words and commandments seriously; who listens to what he has to say with seriousness and respect. He is a man who believes God's commandments are supposed to be kept and that breaking them is dangerous. He is a man who is afraid to go against God, afraid to disobey him, afraid to disregard any of his commandments or take them lightly. He is a man who is afraid of God in this sense. It is all like a young boy who has a righteous, good father for whom he has the greatest respect. The father demands obedience and the boy is afraid to disobey. The boy knows that his father expects to be taken seriously. And he is afraid not to do so. Thus he fears his father in this sense. However, although he fears his father, he also loves him. He knows that his father is righteous, just, and good and that what his father says is true and for his own benefit. He knows that although his father requires respect and obedience his father loves him; and, indeed, it is just because his father does love him so much that he requires this respect and obedience. Thus we see that fear does not prevent love. Because we fear God, that doesn't mean we can't love him. In fact, the respect for God and reverence for his commandments that constitutes our fear of him are the very basis for our love. Respect must come before love. We love him for his goodness, for what he is, we love him because we can respect him. We love him because we love Goodness and Righteousness. Note this too: The man who fears God also "believes" in him; he also "has faith"; and he also obeys and follows his commandments. So is the man who fears God saved by virtue of his belief? Or by virtue of his faith? Or by virtue of his works (i.e. by virtue of his righteousness, goodness, etc.)? It is a useless, academic, sophistical question from a practical standpoint. In one place the Bible says one is saved by belief, in another that he is saved by faith, and in another that he is saved "by doing the will of the Father". So by which of these is he saved? Why worry about it? Why not just believe and do and forget it? Yet it is the question that has produced great division, strife, anger, and prejudice for centuries among denominations and religious people. Nov 1977 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
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