Moonbi Christian Fellowship.
( A Presbyterian Church )
Meets at 9 am every Sunday at the Coach House,
Churchill Drive, Moonbi.
Rev David Seaman 0422 089 746
Gordon 6761 2979 Alex 6766 6334
You are most welcome to attend.
PASTORAL LETTER No. 28
STOP PRESS! OUR COACH HOUSE WILL BE OPEN FOR WORSHIP THIS SUNDAY.
DETAILS SOON, BUT LIMITED TO 18 PEOPLE
21st September, 2020.
We often come across the phrase, “ the fear of the Lord,” particularly in the Old Testament. What does it mean? Are we to be afraid, very afraid ? Well, it depends very much in what context it is used. If we are living a life in disobedience to God, then we ought to be afraid. If we reject God for who he says he is, then we should be very afraid. But if we are Christians trying to live a life which has been redeemed by the salvation and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord, then “ the fear of the Lord “ becomes a very different thing. Let me quote from the New Bible Dictionary, edited by various theologians. “ The Bible uses numerous words to denote fear. The most common of these are (the hebrew or Greek words for ) “reverence”, “dread”, and “fear, or terror.”
a “ Holy fear” - is God-given, enabling men to reverence God’s authority, obey his commandments, and hate and shun all form of evil...In the Old Testament, largely because of the law’s legal sanctions, true religion is often regarded as synonymous with the fear of God. In New Testament times the term “walking in the fear of the Lord was used in connection with the early Christians, and Gentile adherents of the synagogue were called “ God-fearers.” In the New Testament generally however emphasis is laid on God as loving and forgiving, the One who through Christ gives to men the spirit of sonship (Romans 8:15) and enables them boldly to face up to life ( 2 Timothy 1:6-7) and death (Hebrew 2:15) without fear. Never-the-less, a reverent fear remains; for the awesomeness of God has not changed, and there is a day of judgement to be met (2 Corinthians 5:10ff) Godly fear stimulates the believer to seek holiness ( 2 Cor. 7:1), and is reflected in his attitude towards his fellow-Christians ( Ephesians 5:21).
b. “slavish fear”. This is strictly a natural consequence of sin ( Genesis 3:10; Proverbs 28:1), and can come as a punishment ( Deuteronomy 28:28)....it is felt by Christ-rejecters, for whom remains only “ a fearful expectation of judgement” ( Hebrews 10:26-31).”
Then, how do we, as believers, approach God in worship, and in prayer. Certainly it must be done in reverential awe and wonder. Awe, in respect to his immense wisdom and power. In wonder, because why would such a mighty and majestic God look on us, who are but dust. Yet, he loves us, his own chosen people. Psalm 19 verses 7-11 informs us that “ the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever..Proverbs 8:13 says, “ the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 14:2 says, “ He that walks in his uprightness fears the Lord: but he that is perverse in his ways despises him.” So we learn that a godly fear of the Lord is wise and everlasting, and we need to be upright in our walk with God, for to be otherwise shows contempt for God and all he requires of us. If we are walking in reverence and awe of God, it is because he has given us this respect, and it is for our benefit - Isaiah 11: 1-5 says of Jesus, (whom we are to imitate, and all that he has is ours), “ the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord....and righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” So, as we walk with Christ, all these attributes will be ours.
There are many verses in Proverbs which talk of fear as the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. Some of these we need to take note of:-
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Proverbs 1:7. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 16:6 by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.
In Malachi 1: 6-8, God asks the wayward Israelites, “If I be a master, where is my fear?” After all, will he not send all who are disobedient to the lake of everlasting fire? We owe to God a holy, reverential fear, for he is our God and Creator. And yet as it says in Proverbs 14: 26-27 “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life...” This is taken up in Hebrews 4:14 -16. “ Seeing then that we have a great high priest....Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” This is confirmed in Hebrews 10: 14-24 -again, Having therefore brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus... hold fast to the profession of our faith...” And so we are enabled Hebrews 13:5-6 “....that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
God’s love for us, and his welcoming of us into his family, whilst we feel right in being in his presence, it is only because of what Christ has done for us. So we need to approach the throne of God in a humble and reverential awe, filled with wonder and joy, yet confident in the knowledge that he will never leave us or forsake us, that he is ours and we are his.
Amazing love! How can it be, that Thou, my God, shoulds’t die for me?
No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head, and clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ my own.
- Charles Wesley.
May God bless and encourage you in your walk with him.
Pray boldly, yet humbly. Bold, because we are invited to. Humbly, because we see the wonder of our salvation, that our eyes might be opened to behold the glory and majesty of the Most High God.