Freedom from Fear
The world lives in fear and bondage to Satan. They fear the unknown future. They fear loss, including the loss of control over their own lives. They fear death. That’s why they turn to religion and superstition and astrology. Man is incurably religious.
Freedom from the fear of death
Hebrews 2:14-15 explains to us that Jesus came into this world to identify with us and then offer His shed blood as a sacrifice for our sins so that He could deliver us from the power of Satan and free us from the fear of death that holds each of us in bondage all our lives. Deny it if you wish, but there’s not a person on this earth in his natural, unconverted state who does not fear facing death. What a wonderful thing it is to know Christ as our Lord and Saviour and experience freedom from the fear of death! What a joy it is to be able to look forward with glad anticipation to leaving these sin-cursed bodies one day and living forever in new glorified, sinless bodies with Christ!
It’s not that death has become our friend. Death is still our enemy. But Christ, through His own death and resurrection, has conquered death for us. We can scorn death with Paul in I Corinthians 15:55-57 “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Throughout the Bible fear is expressed as a negative emotion or cloud that Christians need not live under. Over and over again the Bible encourages us to “Fear not!” On the other hand, the fear of God is a positive emotion to be chosen and sought after. The greater our fear of God, the less we will fear men and circumstances. In fact Proverbs 1:7 teaches, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and understanding.”
The natural unconverted man has no fear of God. Romans 3:10-18 describes such a person and concludes with “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Every man in his saner moments knows there is a God. He knows he must live somewhere forever. He knows God exists and that someday he will have to answer to Him. Only a fool would ignore God and reject the salvation He offers freely to every sinner. Psalm 14:1 “The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. (or No God for me!}”
For the Christian, the fear of God is not a dread of God. Through faith in Christ, we enter God’s family and He becomes our loving Heavenly Father. John 1:12 The fear we have of God is like the respectful fear a child has for his father or mother. Because he knows they love him and he loves them, he does not want to disobey or dishonor them; but please them.
Fear is a sin
The reason we sin and dishonor God is because we do not fear Him Because we do not fear Him, we live in fear. Fear is a sin. Revelation 21:8 describes those who will one day be cast into the Lake of Fire and among them are the fearful.
Fear paralyzes us from doing what we ought to do.
Those who live in fear, live in torment. I John 4:18
Fear brings bondage. Romans 8:15
The fear of man snares us. Proverbs 29:25
When we fear the future, we show a lack of faith in God.
Over and over again the Bible commands us to fear not. So when we fear we show our disobedience to God.
The choice we must make
The fear of God is a choice we must make. Proverbs 29:1 It involves turning away from known sin in our lives. The one who claims to be a Christian, but continues to live in direct disobedience to God is only deceiving himself. Such a person is not aware that God is angry with him. Psalm 7:11 “God is angry with the wicked every day.”
Jonathan Edwards, the famous Puritan preacher described the perilous position of a sinner as being caught in a spider web hanging over the fires of Hell. Our only hope is Christ. God is watching and waiting to save those who recognizing their lost condition, tremble at His Word. Isaiah 66:1-2
The moment we receive Christ, we are immediately delivered from tormenting fear. John says in I John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not make perfect in love.” Although the Christian continues to have a reverential fear of God, his life is not governed by fear. Instead, we have a loving relationship with God. We know He loves us and we live for Him and serve Him because we love Him.
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