In this sermon, Pastor Babij examines the apostle Peter’s teaching on how fearing God as Father and Judge should lead to holy living.
1 Peter 1:17-21:
If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Let us pray:
Lord, I thank You for another opportunity to be in the Word of God. To have it in our hands, read it, and hear it preached. To be able to worship freely, so I pray, Lord, that we never take for granted the peace that we have in our country to be able to do this. For we know it’s very precious and could leave us in moments. I pray we would always cease this time. We know the days are evil, as Ephesians tells us. Let us always be prepared to receive what the Word of God has for us. I know, Lord, for myself to your people, we all need what the Word of God says for our own spiritual growth, edification of the body, rebuke of sin, and for the advancement of the Glory of God. I pray, Lord, that You would teach us what it says, and I pray this, in Christ’s name, Amen.
In 1 Peter, Christ makes a difference. When we become believers, we are to live a different way, not the way we used to live. The exhortations that Scripture has already presented to us are designed for the believer’s preparation to be equipped for what lies ahead. We live in a hostile world, and we are going to face hostilities and sufferings. As the bible has been saying, Christians are living as aliens in this world.
Of the four exhortations, we have looked at two. First, we are exhorted to have a fixed hope. 1 Peter 1:13:
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
We are to do this for two reasons: purpose of prayer and resisting the enemy. Second, we are exhorted to live a holy life. 1 Peter 1:14-16:
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
An obedient Christian is someone we assume has listened, received, and believed in the Word of God. Also, we assume they understand what the Lord requires in the Word of God. Because they are now believers, they are willingly to do what the Lord says to live holy lives. Jerry Bridges said, “the only safe evidence that we are in Christ is a holy life.” If you know nothing of holiness, you shouldn’t flatter yourselves that you are a Christian. Bottom line, it is not those who profess to know Christ that will enter heaven, but those who live holy lives, which is the result and fruit of real conversion to Christ. Hebrews 12:14:
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.
Without holiness, no one will even enter the presence of God. Meaning, set-apart or holy Christians are to reflect attitudes and behaviors consistent with our new relationship with God, in Christ. Apostle Peter’s concern is that the way Christians live should testify to their faith in God, show the character of God in their life, and then witness the Gospel. Therefore, a correct understanding of God’s holiness should change us.
Somebody going around saying, “I believe in Jesus,” but does not have fruit of holiness in their life, then something has gone wrong in their understanding of real conversion. When we are captured by the awe of God’s holiness, we don’t, at first, rejoice since God’s holiness exposes our guilty conscious and mountain of sins, which clearly lays bare our extreme unholiness.
Immediately, we realize that we are not like God, and sense that we will never be able to escape the punishment that is due us because of how we have offended God in our sin. After seeing the Lord God in His holiness, Isaiah concludes that he is done and that there is no way for him to go. In Isaiah 6, his view of God was heightened and clarified. As a result, he understood God in His holiness, which led to understanding himself and his need for repentance, which then led to an understanding of God’s forgiveness, cleansing, and need for restoration. Then, it led to an understanding of a willingness and desire to serve the living God, and then, ultimately, an understanding of what true worship is that brings man in touch with the living God.
When we begin to grasp God’s holiness, we begin to understand like Isaiah. All this talk of holiness includes the thought of approaching God. In the Old Testament, when someone approached God in the temple, they had to bring their sacrifice, have the sacrifice slaughtered, and the blood of the perfect lamb shed so that they may have their sins forgiven and approach God properly. Without that sacrifice, the judgement of God was upon them.
God is holy, and He must be approached in holy fear. The heavenly Father is not only a good and loving parent, but He is a judge who demands our obedience. Many people have the idea that the Old Testament prophets preached the fear of God, and the New Testament is nothing but the love of God. However, there are many places in the New Testament that will change one’s thinking on that matter. In fact, Jesus, and the entire New Testament, bids us to fear God, which brings me to our third exhortation in our passage.
The exhortation to have a fixed hope and a life of holiness flow together very nicely into this next exhortation, which is the exhortation to fear God. In 1 Peter 1:17, we are preparing to live for God, and part of that preparation is to understand that not only are we to live holy lives in our conduct, but our conduct before God needs to be a conduct of fear. Of course, this is one of the most misunderstood things in the Bible.
As believers address the Father, as children, they should never forget that He is an impartial judge towards His own children, and the holy one is without respect of persons, judging each one according to their deeds. After we become believers, God is evaluating our service to Him, our holiness in our life, and He is making proper and clear judgements on those things. Remember, the heavenly Father does not cease to be a judge once He becomes our Father, in Christ Jesus.
Christians are not able to say, “it doesn’t matter how I live because I believed in Jesus, and in the end, everything will be forgiven.” That is presumption, and we should never think in that way. Therefore, the Father treats every child equally based on what they have done. Again, God judges without favoritism or partiality of any kind. The Father knows the sum and substance of each person’s life either of doing the will of God or of rejecting the will of God.
In saying that, this is not horrifying fear such as the fear we had under sin and a father who lied to us, who is Satan that kept us under the extremities of death. 2 Corinthians 4:4:
in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
This passage helps us to discern that Satan takes a leadership role in the world to impose his influence upon humanity. As a direct resource, he is taking you down the course he is dictating. When you become a believer, you are off that course and on a new course. The course you are on now is a course led by God.
As human beings, we have many phobias. When I did a search of how many fears that could be found in the human population, I was surprised by the enormity of the list, a list of fifteen pages, front and back. Sometimes fear can grip us so tightly, we even lose a sense of reality. There is a kind of fear to be so horrible that it almost completely cripples a person from functioning normally in society. Fear is powerful and enslaving to many. As believers, if we are not careful of how we interpret things, fear will enslave us too.
In the list, I found a couple of fears. Acrophobia is the fear of heights, autophobia is the fear of being alone, aviophobia is the fear of flying, batophobia is the fear of being close to high buildings, and dentophobia is the fear of dentists. In addition, there is ecclesiophobia, which is the fear of the church. Hamartophobia is the fear of sinning, which we should all have as a phobia. Homilophobia is the fear of sermons, and hopefully, you don’t have that one. Theophobia, an uncommon phobia, is the fear of gods or religion, and zeusophobia is the fear of God or gods. The list went on and on.
With much proof supporting me, human beings are creatures that can be diagnosed with polyphobia, the fear of many things, and we all have those fears. There is a right kind and wrong kind of fear. In fact, our passage is pointing us to a healthy fear, a fear of the true and living God, in which we all ought to have. The fear here is not a fear of a slave nor merely a fear of the creature to the creator, but a reverential fear of an obedient child to a loving Father. At the same time, that child is not taking the Father with lightness or with indifference, and it is very important for a believer to make sure they have that kind of attitude toward their God.
Christian reverence rests upon the knowledge of God’s holy character and God’s plan of redemption, and both are important to understand fear. Fear and holiness is linked together in 2 Corinthians 7:1:
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Leading to Christians being exhorted to fear God. More importantly, the fear of the Lord must be taught. You are not born with the ability to fear God, and it is not inherited nor given to you. Psalm 34:11:
Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
In that passage, there are two things: they are calling the younger children to come, so that the older people may teach the children to fear the Lord properly. The wise parent is to teach their children the fear of the Lord. Make no mistake, the fear of the Lord needs to be taught and modeled. This is not something that comes to us naturally, so it needs to be taught when the human being is a child and a new babe in Christ. No matter how old you are biologically, you are a baby spiritually. If you just became a Christian and are forty-years-old, you just became a babe in Christ.
Therefore, parents and the disciples of the church should teach this fear of the Lord. They can direct, mold, and shape a person to understand what that is, and then to live in that sphere. Romans 3:18 explains why mankind is so degenerate:
“THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”
Therefore, there is so much sin in the world. People have thrown God out, reinterpreted God, substituted God for their own idol, and their own philosophy of worship, so this doesn’t produce holiness or godliness rather the opposite, which is more sin and the proliferation of sin. With false teaching and understanding, this always happens, especially since there is no God, no standard, and no one to judge what you think or are doing in your life. Yet, the Bible teaches that there is a God, He has a standard, and He will judge you for what you do.
In the Old Testament, the children of God were reminded, Deuteronomy 4:10:
Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when the LORD said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’
Specifically, they are to teach their children how to fear God. Each generation must teach the fear of the Lord, which assumes that we know what the fear of the Lord is ourselves before we can teach it and model it to someone else. Does the fear of God mean physical fear where we stand and tremble in the presence of the Almighty God? For a believer, it doesn’t mean that. However, it doesn’t necessarily exclude that either.
A believer has a whole different relationship with the Father because of Jesus Christ. The fear of God could be looked at with two facts. First, the fear in the sense of terror, especially since He is God. Second, the sense along with the first, which is of awe and reverence. In that awe and reverence, I mean also love for God. When you awe something, you hold that as something you cherish. When we think about God, we think of Him in awe as if He is awesome and that there is no one like Him.
A good working definition of the fear of God is to be afraid enough to care what He has to say, and to be humble enough to submit to His authority. Fearing God and loving God are opposite sides of the same coin. The fear of God has to do with worship. The one who fears God, in the Old Testament, is a true worshipper. In Scripture, you will find people who feared God, but what it’s saying is that the person is a true worshipper of the one true God. To be a servant of God, is to be at God’s beck and call. A God-fearing servant is not necessarily someone under the Mosaic Covenant or the Abrahamic Covenant. For example, Job wasn’t under neither since he was a gentile. Job 1:1:
There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.
In Scripture, fearing God and turning away from evil always go together, so they are connected. Meaning, when we fear God, we turn away from evil, especially since we know that evil doesn’t please God. If you are growing in holiness, you don’t want to do what you used to do, go where you used to go anymore, or think the way you used to think. Job 1:8:
The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”
Wouldn’t you like God to say that about you? Near the end of the book of Job, Scripture concludes, Job 28:28:
“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’”
The element of fear, in the usual sense, is not absent of true worship. Worship is to set on God, His importance, honor, and to give Him the weight that is due His name, who is creator, has supreme dignity, and is the redeemer of repented, Christ-trusting sinners. Leading to another definition that encompasses fear, trembling, awe, and reverence, which is found in Proverbs 1:7:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
How blessed is the man who fears always, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
The fear of God will keep one from a hardened heart. Proverbs 14:2:
He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD, But he who is devious in his ways despises Him.
The fear of God will keep one on the straight path from despising God. Proverbs 19:23:
The fear of the LORD leads to life,
So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.
Fearing God brings one to have a pleasant night sleep because you are not in control rather God is in control. We cannot spin all the plates. Personally, I cannot spin one plate before it starts tottering and falling apart. By understanding the fear of God, God is bringing us to understand that we don’t have to control everything. In fact, we cannot control everything, so why do we try to control everything?
Satan always promises greener grass on the other side of the fence, and he always makes sin look good and pleasurable. Don’t forget, children, the Word of God exposes him for what he is, which is a liar, deceiver, and he will never lead you down the path to fear the Lord God. Satan will always present God in an unbalanced way, and that is either as a tyrant or a lenient Father, who is absent, uninvolved, or uncaring of what is going on in His children’s lives.
We cannot go by these things and must have a balanced view as we look at the Word of God, which means that obedient children should never assume that our Father shuts His eyes to the sins of His children. We know the Father never judges based on social status, rank, external appearance, natural abilities, or talents. Of course, this is how everybody judges. In this world, if you don’t have those things, you don’t rank. None of those things matter to the Lord when it comes to the fear of God and walking a holy life. Meaning, we must choose to fear God. Now, a Christian can choose to fear God.
Knowing the Father is an impartial judge is paramount to how you will choose to act or will. You will choose either the high road or the low road, or the worthy way or the unworthy way. You are the one who determines what you will do and put into effect. Determining how you will act each day proceeds under the influence of various considerations. Everyday we are influenced by things and our bodily appetites. When things aren’t going so good in our body, sometimes were dull, lethargic, and no interested.
Affectional desires are going to affect how we choose. Rational judgements are going to affect how we choose. Spiritual convictions and level of maturity you are, as a Christian, will affect how you choose. If your conscious is convicting you, especially since it is being developed by the Word of God, you should not go against conscious, especially since your conscious is developing in you deep, Biblical convictions.
Also, examples and influences of others will affect your decision. In addition, the Holy Spirit’s promptings and the teaching of the Word of God, where the truth of Scripture is transforming your mind and soul in the right direction, is the very thing that ought to influence your decision. This will bring you to the place where you have a true view of life and a clear understanding of your own character needs.
Yes, the Word of God teaches us to better understand our self, and sometimes we are very confused, in our world, about our identity. In Christ, our identity is clear, and it will bring us to the place where our decisions are affected by our worthy conception of God in Christ. How we think of God, in our mind, should affect everything that we do. The Holy Spirit makes Christ evermore, truly known to us, and He constantly calls out new faith and new love toward God and man in Christ. In addition, He is constantly showing us new hope for the future and the blessings that come because we are in Christ, and He shows us the progress that we are making because we are living in a manner that is in the direction, not perfection, to serve God. Therefore, He turns the various events of life to their sanctifying use.
In other words, the Father is going to teach us certain lessons that parents cannot teach their kids, or that anyone can teach except for God. God will teach us lessons that no one else can teach us, and He is going to do that, and the Holy Spirit of God is going to awaken us to those things and to a desire to pray, which gets directed to conform to the will of God, not to our own selfishness. Ultimately, all these things come because we learn to fear and respect God. Proverbs 14:26:
In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge.
Also, the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life that one may avoid the snares of death. So, what are some things that we ought not to fear? First, we ought not to fear idols or other gods. Scripture tells us, 2 Kings 17:38-39:
“The covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. 39“But the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”
Because we know that idols are nothing, we don’t have to fear other gods. We know that behind idols are demonic powers, so we should not fear them. When you do look at cultures steeped in idolatry, you see all kinds of wacky stuff, sinful behavior, and fear of not bringing the right sacrifices to the idols. Christians know that there is nothing to idols. Also, we are not to fear man. Proverbs 29:25:
The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.
Because we know man is nothing but dust, we don’t have to fear man. Thirdly, we are not to fear earthly calamities. Luke 21:25-28:
“There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27“Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory. 28“But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
We don’t have to fear earthly calamities because we know, from the Word of God, that they are just birth pains for the coming of Christ, which He has in His control. Just last week, I was looking through the news, and there’s a volcano going off in the Philippines, an earthquake off the west coast of California, and I’m getting upset because my daughter is in the British Columbia and they’re supposed to have tsunami. Then, there’s another earthquake and volcano going off somewhere else, fire’s in California, and this is all in the same day.
There are crazy stuff going on in the world, and it seems as if this stuff is becoming more available for us to know quickly. However, these things should never cause us fear because it is going to happen, especially since God says it is going to happen. Those are birth pains, like when the woman has birth pains, the child is going to come, so we know Christ is coming. This doesn’t mean we don’t get prepared for anything, but we are getting ready for the coming of the Lord.
Next, true believers do not fear future judgement. Hebrews 10:26-27:
For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.
Because we know that our Father sent Jesus Christ to redeem us at a great cost to His son, by dying in our place, we don’t have to fear that terrifying judgement, especially since Jesus Christ has taken the judgement for us. This gives us great comfort.
There are several things that can motivate us to cause us to fear God. First, the holiness of God can cause us to fear Him. Revelation 15:4:
“Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU, FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS HAVE BEEN REVEALED.”
Secondly, the greatness of God causes us to fear the Lord. Deuteronomy 10:17-21:
“For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. 18“He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. 19“So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. 20“You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. 21“He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen.
In fearing the Lord, the motivation we can have is that God has done great and awesome things for us, and He continues to do that. In fact, there is no greater miracle than a conversion of a soul to Christ. Sometimes, this is minimized, but that is the greatest miracle. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, someone gets redeemed forever.
Thirdly, the goodness of God causes us to fear. When we taste the goodness of God, it motivates us to do something. Can we truly say that God has not been good to us? No, God is good. The more you grow, walk in holiness, and fear God, the more you understand how good He is and how much He has done for you, and what He is doing for you in your life right now.
Fourthly, the forgiveness of God causes us to fear Him. Psalm 130:4:
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.
Next, the works of God causes us to fear, and lastly, the coming judgements causes us to fear Him. Revelation 14:7:
and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”
There are two things every believer ought to fear always. First, it’s God’s discipline. If we decide not to walk in holiness, God will discipline us. If we are policing ourselves on a regular basis when we hear the word of God, most likely, the Lord will not have to discipline as much as He may have to discipline you if you don’t.
Secondly, we are to fear God’s displeasure, especially when we choose to live selfishly instead of for God. We are told, in our passage, where God the Father does judge His children. After our salvation, we will be judged by our deeds and works. How you live as a disciple of Jesus Christ will be evaluated. How faithful you run the Christian life will be judged, so Christians should live, in this world, with reverence for God in the face of coming judgement. Real disciples will be rewarded for their services or their reward will be taken away from them. 2 Corinthians 5:10:
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
This passage gives us a sense that judgement is definite, and every Christian will face a time of judgement, which is called the judgement seat of Christ. It is at that place that Christians will give an account before God, which is serious. Every day we live considering that, but this is not a judgement for sin. Sin will not be the issues at the judgement seat of Christ, especially since the believer has already been settled for keeps. The moment you repented of your sin and turned to receive Christ as your Lord and Savior, the judgment due you, because of your sin, was placed on Christ, as He hung on the cross of crucifixion.
There on that cross, Jesus satisfied the justice of the Father, and bore the penalty for all your sin. Your account is now marked, “paid in full by Christ’s death.” Your sins have been transferred to the cross, and Christ’s righteousness has been transferred to your account. Romans 8:1:
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
There is no fearful condemnation to the believer if they are in Christ, and how great is that truth. However, if that truth is stressed without bouncing that truth out with knowing we are saved for good works, then we’d have to take this into consideration: the reason for the judgement seat of Christ maybe obscured if we think that we are saved, and we can live the way we want. In fact, when we are saved, we are saved for good works and for God’s plan for us now.
Meaning, this accountant is not for the judgement of sin, but for the judgment of service and works. 1 Corinthians 3:8:
Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
We are not laying a foundation, but we are building upon that foundation. Therefore, the purpose of the judgement seat of Christ is not to determine whether people will enter heaven or hell. When that person believed in Christ as their own savior from sin, this issue had already been decided. The purpose of the judgement seat of Christ is to review our lives, services, thoughts, words, and motives after we became a Christian.
In other words, the Christian life became a very serious and sober thing. This is not a, “Oh, I believe and Christ and will do what I want.” Being Christian changes everything we do. After His perfect evaluation, Christ will either give or withhold reward.
Therefore, the Scripture is very serious and impresses upon us two things. First, the necessity of practical holiness and the fear of God, and secondly, faithful and sacrificial service to Christ. Even with all the certainty we are given with Scripture, concerning the security of Salvation and the Holy Spirit’s efficient, divine work within us, human responsibility still applies. As said in Philippians 2:12:
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
For it is God who is at work in you both to will and to do His good pleasure. Then, the standard of His judgement is our faithfulness. Therefore, this passage of Scripture is bringing into light what it means to fear God. This brings me to the last point, which is that Christian reverence rests upon the knowledge of redemption, focused in on one person.
There are four things that become very clear, in 1 Peter 1:18-21, and fearing God comes about by realizing the depth of God’s love for us, which is realized in the Cross. If the Cross is not the biggest motivator of fearing God, reverencing God, and living a holy life, nothing is. First, to understand redemption and what redemption has done, we are ransomed from a lifestyle of bondage inherited from our forefathers, and some would think the inheritance of their forefathers is good. However, the Bible says it is not good.
If you didn’t have Christian parents, a way of life that you were given was dedicated by evil desires, selfishness, ignorance of God, and ignorance of God’s will. Though, what could our parents hand down to us except what they knew? If they didn’t know Christ, all they could hand down was what they knew. If they did not know Christ as their savior and master, then all they could pass down was their own version of how to live life on this earth.
According to the bible, this is a life of bondage, especially since it never delivered you from sin, which is the problem. A lifestyle that was pointless and senseless since it had no lasting value, and completely devoid of hope. You lived in ignorance, in bondage, and died in bondage, which brings no hope in death.
Christ purchased His children and freed them from that futile way of life. This gives a picture of a prisoner, who needs to be set free from something he could not escape himself. Remember, ransom is the picture of God buying you from the slave market of sin, and that purchase was of very high cost.
Secondly, in 1 Peter 1:19, we’re ransomed by the highest cost possible, which is precious blood. Christ’s blood is an inestimable greater value than any earthly, temporary commodity like silver and gold. Christ purchased us with His own blood, not any temporal, human payment, which was an eternal sacrifice. His blood washed away our sin forever. We were rescued out of the slave market with a high price, and that’s the cost of the blood of Christ.
Thirdly, we’re ransomed by an extraordinary death. In 1 Peter 1:19, the translators must have had a hard time translating that passage. They were trying to avoid saying that Jesus Christ was like all the other lambs of the Old Testament, so it does not say in the Scripture that Christ is a lamb in a class with all the other top quality and spotless lambs. Rather, Christ stands alone as such a lamb, being no other like Him.
Christ is the original of all the copies of the Old Testament. Therefore, we are talking about a man, who dies in the place of a sinner and is called to perform what the lambs performed in the Old Testament for someone to have their sins forgiven, and have approach to the holiness of God, which is given to us by Jesus Christ and the high cost of this extraordinary death.
Lastly, we’re bought from the slave market of sin by a personal plan of God. Through Christ, we are believers in the true and living God. This is the right path, delivered to us by God, but it was planned before the foundation of the world, before you were born, and before the universe was formed, which was all done for your sake.
Long before creation, God knew what would happen when He created mankind. God was not taken by surprise. He chose the only way that sin, laden mankind could be brought back to Him. He foreknew His people and He foreknew Christ’s perfect sacrifice for us. God’s plan is personal, and if you don’t see the love of Christ here, and the number one motivation for fearing God and living a holy life, then you have missed the point of the passage.
Christians can persevere through life’s trials because they are elect, for whom Christ died. They have been chosen, in Christ, before anything, and God’s whole plan was all planned out before anything took place. Therefore, God is not taken by surprise, and knows what is going to happen. In fact, He knows the future already, and we’re heading to the future.
This frees us up from any kind of fears and bondages, which gives us freedom to serve God. It gives us freedom to put our head on our pillow at night, thank God for what He has done, and whatever God has for us, we are trusting Him. Also, it gives us the knowledge that everyday we wake up, we live before the eyes of God, and we are responsible for everything such as our words, actions, and relationships. We have an impartial judge, our own Father, who is not going to tolerate bad behavior or excuses, and He will reign it in for His children.
Therefore, Christians can persevere through life’s trials. Through faith, our present salvation is realized. Through hope, our future salvation is realized. Since Christ was the first fruits, believers will share in His resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:24:
then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.
Someday the Lord is going to take everything and hand it back to the Father. That day hasn’t come yet, but it is coming. So, because God is holy, you know that you are to be holy, especially since you are one of His kids. You know that the Father is to be feared and revered in a proper way, and that means you are to love Him. Love and fear are different sides of the same coin.
Then, you know God’s purpose to redeem His people, in the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which happened long before anything was here. Meaning, it was never touched by human beings, or messed up by anyone of us. God has full control of everything, and He is sovereign over everything.
On a sad note, if someone is not rescued from this futile way of life they were born into, their life will end in condemnation from a Judge, who judges all things according to their works. I pray that this is not you, and being that you read this message, it shouldn’t be you.
Therefore, the fear of God in our life is necessary for worship, service, to keep us from sin, for good government, for the further progression of the understanding of God, the administration of justice, and the perfecting of holiness in our Christian lives. The result of fearing God is that it brings pleasure to the Lord, and it causes the Lord’s pity to be increased upon us every single day.
Also, it brings acceptance with God, mercy of God, blessing, confidence, separation from evil, fellowship, it supersedes the fear of man or world, answers to prayer, and a long life. It brings a longer life. Of course, this is in God’s control, but if you are a wise person, you can live longer, especially since you won’t do stupid things to your body. In addition, you have a sound mind too since you are understanding truth, which is cleaning you up, correcting everything, and causing you to live in a right way.
In conclusion, let’s pray that God will teach us to fear Him, and let’s be serious about it. Psalm 86:11:
Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
Better is a little with the fear of the LORD Than great treasure and turmoil with it.
Lord, I Thank You for bringing to our mind the truths found right in the Word of God, in our hands. Thank You, Lord, for the sovereignty that we see in Your whole plan of salvation. I pray, Lord, You would teach everyone of us to fear You and have reverence for You. Lord, that we would be afraid enough to care what about You say, and that we would humble ourselves into Your mighty hands so that we can submit to Your authority over our life. Lord Jesus, You are our master now, and sin is no longer our master. We’re not our master, but You are. I pray, Lord Jesus, as we do that, we would realize that fearing God and loving God are the opposite sides of the same coin. Lord, as we begin to grow in this, free us up from any other bondages that we have dragged into our Christian life, so Lord, we can learn everyday how to live in a pleasing manner before Your eyes, and give You glory and thanks for all that You have done. I pray this, in Your name, Amen.