Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Two Types of Fear

Pastor Leithart commenting on I John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love”

“John is not contradicting the rest of Scripture when he says that perfect love dispels fear.  He assumes, with the rest of Scripture, that here are different sorts of fear.  We have a right fear of God if we are awed by his power and majesty.  We have a right fear of God if our fear of God draws us close to him. We have a right fear of God when we honor him as our Maker, Lord, and Savior.  John is talking about a cowering fear, the fear that God is out to get us, the anxious worry that we will not stand in judgment.  Johns is talking about the fear of Adam, the fear that came from a bad conscience and drove Adam to hide in the garden. This kind of fear is driven out by the love that God has shown us…fear moves us, and the difference between right and wrong fear is the direction it moves us. Adam feared God, and hid in the garden. Wrong fear drives us away from God’s presence.  Right fear draws us closer, in awed fascination and quaking love toward the God who is a consuming fire.” (From Beyond the Veil, p. 157-158)

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Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8