Fear God 1 Peter 2: 17 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
There are a number of very practical things about the fear of the Lord that are found all through the Bible. For instance, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction,” (Prov. 1:7). “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 9:10). Knowledge and wisdom don’t even begin until there is a fear of God. Like Bob Jones, Sr. said, “Education without salvation is damnation.”
According to 1 Pet 2:17, we are commanded to “Fear God.” That’s a command to Christians!! In the New Testament, we find specific references to the fear of God that show precisely why God wants Christians to fear him. The fear of God accomplishes some vital things in our lives.
From the following verses we see that the fear of God yields:
Understanding – hear the words with fear and you get the wisdom of them. For instance, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction,” (Prov. 1:7). The fear of God is a fear that causes you to want to know God’s words rather than your opinion of them. You would never change his words and you would fear to get them wrong.
Obedience – “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure,” (Phil 2:12-13). See Heb 12:18-26. We are constantly in the sight of God and need to consistently obey his words. When you consistently obey speed limits because of the fear of God’s ministers [Rom 13:1-7, fear to whom fear], there is no fear at the sight of enforcement. The fear of God leads to obedience always and at all times, not just when you know your are being seen. When your children see the fear of God yielding obedience in you at all times, they are inclined to fear you [Lev 19:3], and thus to fear God as they grow.
Service – “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear,” (Heb 12:27-29, 28). See Eph 6:5. When we fear God, we’ll do exactly what God wants us to do; what he has made us to do [Eph 2:8-10]. Furthermore, we know we must give an account of everything we do as Christians at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10-11). That judgment includes not only the good things but also the bad.
Humility – Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God,” (Eph 5:21). See Is 66:2 We need all the help in this category we can get since we are naturally so proud. We would rather have others submit themselves to us. However, even Jesus, when he humbled himself unto the death of the cross, prayed to his Father in fear and was heard (Heb. 5:7). His was the ultimate act of humility. Let this mind be in you [Phil 2:5-9]. 1 Pet 5:5-6 God resists the proud.
Holiness – “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God,” (2 Cor 7:1). Holiness is one attribute of Christians that keeps us separate from the world and consistently turning from sin in our lives. A Christian who does not fear God will not live a holy life.
Conclusion: Now, all of these things are desirable. They are clearly the result of fearing God. There is no other way to accomplish them. Since most Christians are not taught to fear God these days, Christians rarely demonstrate these qualities. There are no “Christian bookstores,” “share groups,” or “Christian conferences” that are going to fix these things in you. You are going to have to simply do what God commanded you to do, “Fear God.”