By admin at 2018-11-07 • 0 collector • 261 pageviews

Spirit of Reverence

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire   (Hebrews 12:28, 29, KJV throughout).

 Scripture Reading: Psalm 34

Objective: to understand and embrace the fear of the Lord.

Introduction: ln Romans 3:10-19, Paul proves from Scripture that everyone is guilty before God. “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (w. 10, 11). Verse 18 summarizes the character of those who are far from God: “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

In contrast, Scripture speaks of those close to God as those who fear Him: “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him” (Psalm 103:11). “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 Corinthians 7:1). There are many more scriptures, including the Psalm 34 Scripture Reading.

We can easily be confused by this. After all, it's the wicked who should fear the wrath of a holy God (John 3:36; Romans 2:5; Revelation 6:16, 17). Those in Christ are rescued from God’s wrath (Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:8-10). So why does the Bible say the righteous, not the wicked, fear God?

Well, think about it. D0 you fear a consuming fire when you’re far from it or when you’re close to it? From a great distance, a fire looks tiny. It isn't intimidating to imagine plucking a coal from a fireplace.

But when you feel the intense heat of the molten volcano, would you trust a fire suit to protect you as you retrieve a lava sample? Likewise, fear is the proper relationship of a sinner in the presence of a holy God, even when safely clothed in Christ's righteousness. –

We distance ourselves from God when we domesticate that awe-inspiring fear as being nothing more than respect. From a safe space, we feel OK remaining in our sins. Consequently, our worship has little life. ls that really what we want?

Or do we want the life-transforming experience of dwelling near the refining fire that purifies and protects us from presumptuous attitudes and acts? We might wonder if this fear of God means that we’re not trusting in Jesus’ sacrifice to save us.

 Not at all. Scripture couples fear and trust: “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him” (Psalms 34:8, 9; cf. 31:19; 147:11). The fear of the Lord is reverential trust in Him.

Only by fully trusting in Christ's protection do we have the courage to boldly — not brazenly — approach God's throne of grace and draw near to the consuming fire (Hebrews 4:16; 12:29). This is the spirit of reverence and godly fear. Imagine the exhilaration of an entire congregation entering into the Holy of Holies to worship, people filled with this spirit of reverence and awe, knowing they stand in the presence of the Creator of heaven and earth, our Father, and are clothed in the righteousness of His Son. Does this describe your worship? Would such a service transform those who come to our churches, including the children? Our worship becomes transforming when it is an environment that reveres our heavenly Father.

Questions for Study and Discussion

 1 How important is godly fear in our personal and corporate life? ls it more than respect? How does Hebrews 4:16 and 12:29 describe God's nature and what we need to approach Him? 23 a 


2 Explain why the wicked don't fear the Lord but the righteous do. Romans 3:9-19; Psalm 14.

3 List and discuss the acts of God that David praises in Psalm 34, and the acts in response that humans owe God in return.

 4 How is trusting and fearing the Lord connected, and why does a forgiving God induce our fearing God? Psalms 34:8, 9; 130:3, 4.

5 Discuss ways that we can better cultivate and perfect the spirit of holiness and godly fear in our churches. Psalm 103:11; 2 Corinthians7:1.

Conclusion: We can't teach others to fear God, but we can fear Him ourselves. Trust in Christ transforms fear from abject terror to intense exhilaration over God’s amazing grace. As the great hymn says, “Twas grace that taught my heart to fear.”

 David knew well: “lf thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?’But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared” (Psalm 130:3, 4). How awesome to be in the presence of our holy and forgiving Father!

 Apply This Week Reflect on your worship habits, both private and corporate. Do they display a casual approach to God or a healthy degree of reverence and fear that the Bible speaks of? 

2 Replies | Last update 2018-11-09
2018-11-07   #1

You can download the offline copy of the sabbath school lesson below


2018-11-09   #2

Reply to #1 @admin :

Thanks so much for this initiative. God bless you Sir!

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