Should Christians Fear the Lord?

from May 04, 2018 Category: Ligonier Resources

In this brief clip from our 2015 Fall Conference, R.C. Sproul describes the distinction between servile fear and filial fear.

Transcript

We are told again and again to fear the Lord, in the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms, but in the New Testament it is hardly ever mentioned. In Luke 17:4, Zechariah predicts we will serve Him without fear, should I fear the Lord now in light of all the mercy He has shown?”

[Martin] Luther made the distinction in answering that same question centuries ago that when the Bible speaks of the fear of the Lord, it speaks not of the fear that a prisoner who’s being tortured by his tormentor or what Luther called a servile fear, but rather he speaks of a filial fear, the fear we have of failing to honor and glorify God. It’s not that dreadful concept but rather it’s the sense of reverence and awe that you have to have—which is the beginning of wisdom. And that doesn’t change from the Old Testament to the New Testament. The fear of God is not without trembling. The New Testament does tell us that as we grow, we grow in fear and trembling as we’re working out our salvation so that there’s always that sense of awe and trembling before the magnificent glory and majesty of God.