THE FEAR OF GOD is proper sense of awe, respect and wonder is known as 'to fear the Living God', obeisance, to reverence His character and His activity. God expects people to respond to His great majesty with awe and compliance.

Awe is reverential fear that brings holiness, an apprehension of evil and is a controlling factor in both spiritual and moral living. It is a wholesome dread of displeasing God, a holy fear that allows the trusting of God and not of terror to shrink from His presence.

The awesomeness of God brings about worship and gratitude. Reverential awe is inspired by the grandeur of God. Those who fear The Lord God Almighty bring honour to His Name.

God's revelation of Himself to mankind calls for right living, respecting His Name, respect for His presence, His Word, His character and an appreciation for His goodness. People should fear His holiness, His intervention in the lives of mankind and to be in awe of His mercy, His compassion and His willingness always to forgive.

All believers are to revere God for all His deeds, especially His creative deeds. This fear is exclusively for God. God is to be revered for His eternal existence. All the angels of heaven revere and hold God in awe.

The fear of God is also encouraged by His power and His justice. Knowing God increases reverent fear for who He is. To fear The Lord is to recognise Him as holy, righteous, pure, all- knowing, all-powerful and all-wise.

Reverence for God brings about sincere homage, adherence, loyalty and sincere love. It is easy to obey whom you love. God does awaken a fear through mankind's conscience, by revealing the results of sin. This is used by God to drive His people to seek His pardon so they can continue to fellowship with Him.

Friendship with God is offered to those who revere Him, who hold Him in the highest honour. When God produces His power, He is not trying to frighten anyone, but is shown so that people might obey. The fear of God does not allow presumption. All people are to fear God's Word and God's Judgement. Reverent fear of God is not alarm but includes trust in His abilities. His presence dispels evil.

Awe for God brings favour to believers, their families and communities. God's blessing is conditional, whether or not people have a fear of God. God responds to those who fear Him, meets their needs, and rewards those who are in awe of His Greatness. Those who honour God avoid His Wrath. The fear of God brings about His protection and deliverance. God's blessing is conditional, whether or not people have a fear of God he allows them to enjoy His creation and His seasons for the production of both food and human necessities.

Respect and reverence for God is expressed by people's actions, worship and words. This attribute leads to devotion and the following of the example shown by Christ. Having a healthy fear of God motivates people to avoid wrongdoing. It is noticeable to others when a person is a Godfearing believer. A person who is Godfearing does not hold grudges or have hostility towards others. Not all who sound religious are really godly people; the decisive question being whether they obey God The Father.

Being aware of respect towards God leads to respect for others, and right relationships. Not having this reverence leads to wrong attitudes and wrong social behaviour, both of which lead to judgement from God. Those who fear God honour Him by holy living, showing kindness to others. As well as having respect for His Name, they proclaim His deeds and obey His Word which explain and show His Will.

The fear of the Lord is a godly fear, a righteous fear, and a motivator for holiness and faithfulness. Holiness means to be sincerely dedicated and devoted to God, to be committed to live distinct and separate from evil. This is helped by The Holy Spirit, because of the Work on the Cross of Christ and The Benefits of this remarkable love shown by Christ.

Reverential awe is the human response to the presence of God. Most often the sense of fear comes as individuals encounter the divine in the context of revelation. When God appears to a person, the person experiences the reality of divine holiness that cause an individual to become overwhelmed with a sense of awe and fear, usually responding by falling down or kneeling in reverence and worship, confessing sin, and seeking God's will. Personal contact with God is awe-inspiring. God is a believer's Heavenly Father, but He is also their righteous sovereign King, and they approach a holy God who is an all-consuming fire.

God is a consuming fire of Holiness who destroys all temporal things, and those things which are unchanging, that are eternal and permanent will remain. God is a consuming fire to those who refuse to listen, to the triumph of His love. His Holiness is so great and righteous it produces the most profound homage.

God cannot be worshipped unless He is worshipped with godly reverence and fear, for He is a God of strict justice, and in being so, His divine display of justice made way for mankind's salvation. A holy fear, mingled with love, which is also combined with influences for carefulness, is the piety of man towards God, and whose circumstances are guarded by The Holy Spirit.

To fear the Lord is to worship Him in spirit and in truth, and serve Him acceptably. Godly fear brings joy. God is a great and mighty God, the source of all creation, who holds the power of life and death; it is natural to have a healthy fear of Him, which helps keep in perspective a covenant relationship with Him.

It is wisdom to fear The Lord. It is better to fear God than to fear man. His perfect love controls a believer's holy fear. Wholesome fear brings deliverance and freedom, spiritually and physically. Throughout The Bible people had been frightened by God's magnificent presence, but have always been reassured.

Biblical examples of circumstances where people feared God and have been honourable toward Him. Noah when he was commissioned to build the ark, Abraham when he was tested, Job when under trial from Satan, Jacob when he dreamed of the ladder, the midwives who refused to obey Pharaoh's order by killing the Hebrew children, the people of Egypt during the plagues, Moses and Phineas, King David, King Jehoshaphat of Judah, King Hezekiah of Judah, Jonah when drowning in the sea, Cornelius and his household, Paul, John and Luke.

Biblical examples of guilt where people have feared the distinguished and exclusive God The Creator. Adam and Eve when they doubted and disobeyed God, the guards at Jesus' tomb, Judas and all demons. All spiritual powers of the Kingdom of darkness fear The Lord God Almighty.

God's authority and sovereignty is to be respected and awed. All people are accountable to Him. Every person will experience awe before Christ. God always acts with purpose because He is aware of all the possible implications of His actions, and He warns that it is wise to turn from all evil and maintain reverent awe for Him.

God is an awe-producing God because of His majesty, His power, His excellence, His transcendence, His purity and His fairness in doing wonders. The fear of God also comes as people experience God in a visible manifestation, in dreams, in visible form as well His work of salvation. God's works demand acknowledgment. The fear of God comes out of recognition and submission to the divine. It is the revelation of God's will to which the believer submits in obedience. Those who are faithful to God and obey His commandments are called Godfearing. Those who fear God are blessed, they enjoy God's goodness and God's provision.

Paul admonished believers to work out their salvation "with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12). The early church grew in number as they lived "in the fear of the Lord" (Acts 9:31). The fear of God is related to the love of God. The revelation of God to people in the New Testament contains the element for devout service to His will. The Body of Christ is to stand in awe and fear in the presence of a holy God.

Psalm 33: 6 "Let all the earth fear the Lord, let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him".

Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom".

Hebrews 12: 28,29. "Let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire".

Christians have a greater revelation of God than non-believers do, which indicates that there should be more Godfearing people in The Body of Christ.
Those who know that their God is a consuming fire are to be envied.

SCRIPTURES Deuteronomy 6:13,14, 1 Samuel 12:24, Psalms 33:6, Proverbs 1:7.
QUESTIONS 1] What is the beginning of wisdom? 2] What is the fear of God? 3] Why is God to be respected?

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