1 PET 2:17
INTRO: From the earliest years I can remember I recall hearing preachers, elders and others referring to certain individuals with this expression: he was a God fearing man. And as a boy, fear had a very limited meaning for me. As I have grown older and as I have devoted myself to reading and studying the word of God, this expression has come to mean more than it ever could to a preteen boy. Still, there may be a great many people who have not been able to get much beyond that youthful understanding. I was reading a book just recently which gave a scripture reference of Deut 10:12,13. The author suggested that these verses give us an excellent understanding of what it means to fear God. So, I turned in my Bible to this reference. And, sure enough, there is a wonderful capsule explanation of this important topic ... on fearing God.
1. The things mentioned here are required of Gods people
a. Moses asks the question in order to give the answer
b. but the word require must not escape our attention
c. require puts the context in terms of the essential - not optional!
d. 1 Pet 2:17 - here is an imperative ... a requirement
2. Gods people must fear Him
a. can fright be involved here?
b. Heb 10:26,27,31 - It is a fearful thing ...
c. there may be good reasons why people fear (as fright) God
d. but surely the Father does not want His children to be scared of Him! is there more to fearing God?
3. Gods people must walk in all His ways
a. here is one of the very first conditions of fearing God
b. His ways versus the ways of the world must be our thought process
c. notice Ps 23:3 - he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness...
d. but notice, too, Ps 25:9 - walking in all His ways necessitates a proper spirit from one who would so walk ... one filled with pride is not likely to be happy within the constraints of Gods ways!
4. Gods people must love Him
a. this is the vital difference Godly fear and slavish fear (fright as motivation)
b. consider Deut 10:14,15 - ...he chose...you above all people...
c. put that with 1 Jno 4:19 - ...because he first loved us
d. Gods claim on us is the claim of love ... He loved us and provided for us before we were even born! He has a right to the reasonable expectation of being loved in return
e. so, Deut 6:5 (quoted by Jesus in Mt 22:37,38)
f. fearing God, then, has this element of love within it which makes it so palatable, so good, so enjoyable
g. I think of this as of my relationship with my earthly father ... did I ever have reason to be frightened? yes, when I had broken his law - did I live every day in that fright? no, I lived every day loving Dad because he had demonstrated his love to me for so long and in so many way
5. Gods people must serve Him
a. 1 Sam 7:3 - ...and serve him only...
b. the temptation in life is to serve to many masters - divided devotions
c. Samuels admonition to divided loyalties is ...put away...serve him only...
d. of the ways in which our service might be offered I would remind of but one ... Mt 25:38-40 - serving God from day to day will be in so many practical ways
6. Gods people must keep His commandments
a. now notice fear, walk, love, serve ... obey!
b. especially, I want us to notice the joining of fear and love with obedience
c. the joining of love and obedience is consistently found in scripture - 1 Jno 5:3
d. if we do not keep His commandments (in every realm of revelation), we do not love Him
e. fact: you cannot be God fearing and be disobedient
CLOSE: Interestingly, Moses words to conclude this particular admonition are these: for thy good. God requires nothing of us that is not for our good. Here is another proof of His love for us ... its all for our good. May I ask sincerely, Are you a God fearing person?
Cecil A. Hutson
24 October 2004
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “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) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)