How to Have a Healthy Fear of God

The Gospel Coalition | 7/23/2019 | Erik Thoennes,Jeremy Treat
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Erik Thoennes: Fear of the Lord is something the Bible talks about from beginning to end as absolutely central to having a right relationship with God and having a life that represents that. We’re told the beginning of wisdom is found in the fear of the Lord, that the Lord encamps around those who fear him. Even the way we treat each other in the body of Christ, we’re told, is out of fear of Christ, submission to him as a result of fearing Jesus in the appropriate way.

So when we start with the right view of the holiness of God and recognize him for who he is, we’ll say with Isaiah, “Woe is me. I am undone. I’m a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips” (Isa. 6:5), or Peter when he sees the glory of Christ and his power says, “Depart from me. I’m a sinful man” (Luke 5:8).

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I don’t think you can have a true biblical understanding of our own sin until you see God in his holiness, otherwise it’s “Oh, I’m just a terrible person,” or “I didn’t do that well.” But when you see God for who he is, you would never think of trying to solve your sin problem yourself. And so the fear of the Lord is one of the great needs in the church today, I believe, and something that we have a tough time with because we think of fearing an abusive father and an unhealthy fear that even thinks of running away from him.

But a true fear of the Lord realizes you can’t run from God, and the only option is to run to him. When you do, you find the embracing arms of a loving Father.

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Jeremy Treat: Yeah, and what I love about...
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