Living in the Fear of the Lord – Acts 9:31


“Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.” (Acts 9:31)

Scripture from Genesis to Revelation speaks about the fear of the Lord. “‘Do you not fear Me?’ declares the Lord. Do you not tremble in My presence?” (Jeremiah 5:22) Here Scripture describes the fear and terror sinners should have of God. Even the demons fear God and tremble (James 2:19) but like the unrepentant sinners they will not submit to Him. For a natural finite human not to fear the supernatural, infinite, all-powerful God is spiritual ignorance and hardheartedness which is used to describe the wickedness of all unsaved people. “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (See Romans 3:9-18 where Paul quotes portions of Psalm 14, 36 and 53 about lost people.)  But we also see that even believers in both the Old and New Testament feared God and lived in the fear of the Lord. “Who understands the power of Your anger and Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?” (Psalm 90:11) The Lord can overwhelm believers with His Majesty to get our attention. God got Job’s attention by appearing in a storm (possibly a tornado) which is a picture of being totally out of control (at the mercy of the tornado but really at the mercy of God Who sent the whirlwind). God’s supernatural power should cause our knees to knock as it did the people of God: “On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder.” (Exodus 19:16-19) When Moses is recounting this incident he said he was afraid and trembled. (Deuteronomy 9:19; cf. Hebrews 12:21) Godly Isaiah cried out in his creature-ness and sinfulness when he saw the Lord’s glory. (Isaiah 6) And the apostle John who had a special love relationship with Jesus fell at His feet as dead when Jesus appeared to him in His glorified resurrected Being. (See Revelation 1:12-18)

A primary Hebrew word for fear is yir’ah, and, depending on the context, can mean fear, terror, awesome or terrifying thing (object causing fear), fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety, or revered. A primary New Testament Greek word for fear is phobos and, depending on the context, can mean fear, dread, terror,  reverential fear of God, as a controlling motive of the life, in matters spiritual and moral, not a mere “fear” of His power and righteous retribution, but a wholesome dread of displeasing Him. In 1 John 4:18 God’s word tells us “perfect love casts out fear because fear has to do with punishment (kolasis – correction, punishment, penalty).” This means believers do not have to fear eternal damnation because we know God’s love is unconditional and eternal but we are still to fear God out of a wholesome dread of displeasing Him. We are to fear Him in the sense of wholehearted love, worship, trust, submission and obedience out of a holy desire to please Him. Even Jesus, as a Man, lived in the fear of the Lord. (Hebrews 5:7–9) Isaiah foretells of the Messiah Whom the Holy Spirit would anoint with the “fear of the Lord” and “shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:1-3, KJV) or “He is made to breathe in the fear of Jehovah” (v.3, Interlinear Bible). This describes the spiritual sensitivity, wisdom and obedience of Jesus Who said, “I always do things that are pleasing to Him.” (John 8:29)

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning (primary purpose) of knowledge.” (Proverbs 1:7)  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10) The fear of the Lord is the primary purpose of all knowledge, and the foundation of all knowledge, i.e., how to use knowledge to the glory of God and the spiritual good of people. Biblical wisdom is the right (righteous) and wise application of knowledge. Knowledge, wisdom, and understanding all come from walking in the fear of the Lord and we are exhorted to seek the fear of the Lord earnestly and diligently and to cry out for it more than for silver (money) and to seek it as hidden treasures. “Then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (See Proverbs 2:1-6) “The Christian life is in vain without the fear of the Lord.” (Pastor William Payne –                                                          

Wise King Solomon who wrote Proverbs and other wise sayings, began well but finished poorly. His sad story is seen in the book of Ecclesiastes where he says all of life is vanity under the sun (living for temporal blessings only). And thus in the last chapter of Ecclesiastes he gives us this warning: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; also see Hebrews 4:12-13)

Even though we have greatly accumulated knowledge in the sciences, etc., the world is increasingly evil and dangerous (nuclear power, genetic engineering, etc.) because fallen man does not fear the Lord and man has not used knowledge wisely according to God’s purposes. This means that knowledge without the fear of the Lord actually makes the world a more evil place. (2 Timothy 3:13) On a personal note, it occurred to me that I have accumulated 72 years of knowledge and 34 years of spiritual knowledge since I became a Christian and yet if I don’t fear the Lord I still won’t know how to use it to the glory of God and the spiritual good of others. This certainly applies to my use of the time, talents, treasures (money), and truths that God has given me. (See Psalm 90:12) In this context the fear of the Lord would mean a righteous fear of our accountability before the Lord at the judgment seat of Christ for believers. “So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others (for salvation and spiritual growth).” (2 Corinthians 5:9–11)

The following are five outcomes and blessings of walking in the fear of the Lord as believers.

  1. “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs 3:7) We must reject self-confidence or being wise in our own eyes. Unbelievers and carnal Christians do not earnestly seek the Scriptures or seek wise counsel from God’s people. Even some Christian leaders have presumed that they are the only ones who hear from the Lord and are unwilling to take rebukes and correction from elders and other Christians. We have seen the fall of too many Christian leaders because of this and it has brought reproach on Christianity.
  2. “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.” (Proverbs 8:13) “By the fear of the Lord one keeps away (departs) from evil.” (Proverbs 16:6) We are to hate the evil we see in the world and the evil in people (not the people but their sin/evil acts) and we are to hate it in ourselves and depart from it and repent of it. We are to hate evil and depart from it because God hates evil and we are also to depart from it because of the fear of God’s loving discipline (child-training) for His born-again children according to Hebrews 12:5-11 and Proverbs 3:11-12. Our response to God’s love that brings gratitude and loving obedience is a high motivation for obedience but the fear of displeasing the Lord and receiving His discipline is also a motivation for obedience, until we are taken home. Peter, who obviously knew at a deep level the Lord’s forgiveness, love and restoration exhorts us to do this: “If you address as Father the One Who impartially judges according to each one’s work (the judgment seat of Christ for believers) conduct yourself in fear during the time of your stay on earth (i.e., until we die).” (1 Peter 1:17) This means we never reach a level of sanctification and spiritual maturity that lessens our need to walk in the fear of the Lord. (Acts 9:31) We are not to only negatively hate evil but positively love righteousness as seen in our Lord Jesus Christ who “loved righteousness and hated lawlessness (evil)” and therefore “had more joy than all of His companions.” (Hebrews 1:9) Jesus’ supreme joy came from pleasing His Father and He exhorts us to not only hate evil but to “hunger and thirst for righteousness.” (Matthew 5:6) Hating evil and loving and hungering and thirsting for righteousness are strong words and express the intense emotional reaction and desire we are to have as believers.
  3. “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the Lord always. Surely there is a future (eternal and lasting rewards for temporal obedience in our brief sojourn) and your hope will not be cut off.” (Proverbs 23:17) It is a sin to envy the temporal “blessings” of Christ-rejecting unbelievers. “That which is highly esteemed among men (position, popularity, power, possessions, sinful pleasures, etc.) is detestable in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15) We can learn a good lesson from the psalmist about why we should not envy the wicked from Psalm 73.
  4. “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence and his children will have refuge.” (Proverbs 14:26) “God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea.” (Psalm 46:1-2) The fear of the Lord gives us confidence (in Him) in difficult times. We know that our all-powerful God and our all-loving God overrules everything in our life for our ultimate spiritual and eternal good. (See Romans 8:28)
  5. “The fear of the Lord leads to life and he who has it will abide in satisfaction.” (Proverbs 19:23) The fear of the Lord gives us an abiding satisfaction, contentment and peace even in the midst of an evil world and in the midst of our trials and suffering. Fallen man looks for love/satisfaction in all the wrong places -alcohol, drugs, illicit sex, fame, fortune, etc., but like Solomon said in the book of Ecclesiastes and the Rolling Stones sang- “I can’t get no satisfaction.” God rebuked His people Israel through His prophet Jeremiah for doing this very thing: “My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters and hewn themselves cisterns – broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13) The world values hedonism, materialism and egotism (1 John 2:15-16), but they are “broken cisterns” and can never bring us abiding satisfaction. 

Some Christians think that the fear of the Lord and God’s wrath is more of an Old Testament view of God’s dealing with man, but they are actually more clearly seen in the New Testament than in the Old Testament. The cross was the greatest display of God’s wrath (even more so than Exodus 19 seen above); the thick darkness, the earthquake, the graves opening up, the veil of the temple torn, but mainly the righteous Son of God being crushed so all of us can see the seriousness of sin.  Also we see in the book of Revelation that in the Tribulation 58% of the people on earth die (3 + billion), the earth and sky are torn asunder, and then Jesus returns and slaughters all unbelievers and casts them into the lake of fire. And as we read above, believers are exhorted throughout the New Testament to live in the fear of the Lord. Church growth gurus could learn much from the early church in terms of living in the fear of the Lord as seen in Acts 9:31: “Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.” Even after God’s severe discipline of Ananias and Sapphira (instant death for lying and hypocrisy) the church grew as seen in this text: “And immediately she (Sapphira) fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband (Ananias). And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things. At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. But none of the rest dared to associate with them (i.e., join the church); however, the people (unbelievers) held them (believers) in high esteem. And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number.” (See Acts 5:1-14) Evidently this means that no unbeliever would join the church for any wrong reasons (hidden sins, hypocrisy, social club, business contacts, etc.) because of the fear of God’s discipline of Ananias and Sapphira, but true believers “were constantly” added to the church.

To fully understand what it means to live in the fear of the Lord we must have a proper understanding of the judgment (bema) seat of Christ. As believers, all of our sins are forgiven the moment we come to salvation but every sin, even after salvation, is a loss for us because all sin is wood, hay and straw, instead of gold, silver and precious stones, and has no eternal value. (See 1 Corinthians 3:10-15) Paul says we “suffer loss” at the bema because of sin (both sins of omission and sins of commission). No one wants to lose or suffer so when we choose to sin in light of the bema it is spiritual “shortsightedness” (2 Peter 1:9). Although God’s loving discipline can be painful it is better to judged/disciplined now (see Hebrews 12: 5 -11) rather than later at the bema when it is too late to change. So in view of the bema, the fear of the Lord was a significant motivation to Paul for evangelism and discipleship. “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.  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. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men.” (2Corinthians 5:9–11)

Believers can fear the Lord in a wrong way. “Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid (i.e., of God). God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” (Exodus 20:20) In essence, Moses said do not fear God wrongly but do fear Him rightly. We are not to fear God by ascribing to Him unbiblical, distorted attributes that are derived from our experience with fallen, sinful and imperfect authority figures. God, as Father and the ultimate authority figure, is perfect both in love and mercy, and in holiness and righteousness. His love for us is a holy love, not a sentimental love that spoils us and tries to curry our affection. He knows that true happiness only comes from living holy lives and He fathers us with love and discipline relentlessly toward that end.

In John 21:15-17 Jesus asked Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me” three different times in order to restore Peter from his three denials of Jesus in the courtyard. The first two times Jesus used the Greek word agapao for love meaning total commitment, and Peter replied “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You” but Peter used the Greek word phileo for love which means tender affections. The third time Jesus said, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me” He also used phileo meaning Peter do you even have tender affections for Me? This grieved Peter and he said, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Peter seemed to say, “I think I have tender affections for You Lord but only You know the real truth about my heart.” In the great commandment the Lord commands us to love Him and other people with agape love, total commitment to Him and to the highest spiritual and eternal good of our neighbor.  Like Peter in the courtyard I have seen my affectionate love for God and people fall short of what the Lord wants me to give them. Thus we all need the fear of the Lord with the promise of reward and the fear of discipline for additional motivation to please our Lord and especially in the way we treat people, even our enemies. (See Luke 6:27-36)

In summary I see three main aspects of living in the fear of the Lord that can motivate us toward increasing Christlikeness:

  1. A wholesome (holy) dread of displeasing God; positively stated, this means hearing our Lord say well done my good and faithful servant. We want to hear this when we stand before Him on that Day but we also want to “hear it” day by day as we trust and obey Him in loving and serving the people He calls us to serve. (See Ephesians 5:21 KJV)
  2. A righteous desire to receive eternal rewards (crowns, gold, silver and precious stones) at the judgment seat of Christ. This to me translates into our spiritual capacity and ability to serve and glorify the Lord throughout all eternity based on our faithful obedience now in this life. When we see Him face to face our overwhelming desire will be to serve and glorify Him and we will be disappointed if we have forfeited our capacity to do that by worldly living in this brief sojourn. Thus we live each day in light of that Day in dependence and submission to our Lord even as Jesus did as a Man. (John 8:29)
  3. “Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs 3:7) Even as children need the fear of spankings to motivate obedience, we as spiritual children need to fear our Father’s “spankings” (Hebrews 12:5-11) to motivate us to resist temptation to sin. God only disciplines us out of His love and His love is perfect. But our love for God is not always perfect and thus may not motivate us to obey Him. We may not make the connection between our sin and God’s discipline, but according to His Word and character we never get away with it. If He winked His eye at our sin He would be unloving because He knows un-repented sin leads to increasing bondage. (John 8:34)

A.W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God, is a valuable teaching on living in the fear of the Lord and is exemplified by his powerful prayer of self-surrender and God exaltation in chapter 8:  “O God, be thou exalted over my possessions. Nothing of earth’s treasures shall seem dear unto me if only Thou art glorified in my life. Be Thou exalted over my friendships. I am determined that Thou shalt be above all, though I must stand deserted and alone in the midst of the earth. Be Thou exalted above my comforts. Though it mean the loss of bodily comforts and the carrying of heavy crosses I shall keep my vow made this day before Thee. Be Thou exalted over my reputation. Make me ambitious to please Thee even if as a result I must sink into obscurity and my name be forgotten as a dream. Rise, O Lord, into Thy proper place of honor, above my ambitions, above my likes and dislikes, above my family, my health and even my life itself. Let me decrease that Thou mayest increase, let me sink that Thou mayest rise above. Ride forth upon me as Thou didst ride into Jerusalem mounted upon the humble little beast, a colt, the foal of an ass, and let me hear the children cry to Thee, “Hosanna in the highest.” ”

“We have defanged the tiger of truth. We have tamed the lion. I would like to suggest that the Church become a place where our relationship with God is not a simple belief or a doctrine or theology, it is God’s burning presence in our lives. I am suggesting that the tame God of relevance be replaced by the God whose very presence shatters our egos into dust, burns our sin into ashes, and strips us naked to reveal the real person within. The Church needs to become a gloriously dangerous place where nothing is safe in God’s presence except us. Nothing–including our plans, our agendas, our priorities, our politics, our money, our security, our comfort, our possessions, our needs.”  Excerpts from a message by Mike Yaconelli

Listed below are a number of passages on the fear of the Lord from the Old and New Testament. You may find it helpful to read these and mark some of them for memorization /meditation.

Genesis 20:11 Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ Genesis 20:10-12 (in Context) Genesis 20 (Whole Chapter)

Genesis 22:12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Abraham’s radical obedience to offer Isaac as a burnt offering because of his fear of the Lord was commended by God.) Genesis 22:11-13 (in Context) Genesis 22 (Whole Chapter)

Exodus 18:21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Exodus 18:20-22 (in Context) Exodus 18 (Whole Chapter)

Leviticus 25:17 Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 25:16-18 (in Context) Leviticus 25 (Whole Chapter)

Leviticus 25:43 Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God. Leviticus 25:42-44 (in Context) Leviticus 25 (Whole Chapter)

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?

Deuteronomy 31:13 Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the LORD your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess. Deuteronomy 31:12-14 (in Context) Deuteronomy 31 (Whole Chapter)

2 Chronicles 19:7 Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.

2 Chronicles 19:6-8 (in Context) 2 Chronicles 19 (Whole Chapter)

Nehemiah 7:2 I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do. Nehemiah 7:1-3 (in Context) Nehemiah 7 (Whole Chapter)

Job 1:1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. Job 1:1-3 (in Context) Job 1 (Whole Chapter)

Job 28:28 And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.

Psalm 19:9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. Psalm 19:8-10 (in Context) Psalm 19 (Whole Chapter) (Matthew Henry commentary: The fear of the Lord (true religion and godliness prescribed in the word, reigning in the heart, and practiced in the life) is clean, clean itself, and will make us clean (Jn. 15:3); it will cleanse our way, Ps. 119:9. And it endures for ever; it is of perpetual obligation and can never be repealed. The ceremonial law is long since done away, but the law concerning the fear of God is ever the same).

Psalm 36:1 Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, He won’t call me into account? There is no fear of God before his eyes. For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.

Psalm 55:19 God, who is enthroned forever, will hear them and afflict them—  men who never change their ways and have no fear of God. Psalm 55:18-20 (in Context) Psalm 55 (Whole Chapter)

Psalm 86:11b O Lord, give us an undivided heart that we may fear your name.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:6-8 (in Context) Proverbs 1 (Whole Chapter)

Proverbs 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Proverbs 8:12-14 (in Context) Proverbs 8 (Whole Chapter)

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:9-11 (in Context) Proverbs 9 (Whole Chapter)

Proverbs 14:2 He whose walk is upright fears the LORD, but he whose ways are devious despises him. Proverbs 14:1-3 (in Context) Proverbs 14 (Whole Chapter)

Proverbs 14:26 He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge. Proverbs 14:25-27 (in Context) Proverbs 14 (Whole Chapter)

Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. Proverbs 14:26-28 (in Context) Proverbs 14 (Whole Chapter)

Proverbs 15:16 Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil. Proverbs 15:15-17 (in Context) Proverbs 15 (Whole Chapter)

Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor. Proverbs 15:32-33 (in Context) Proverbs 15 (Whole Chapter)

Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble. Proverbs 19:22-24 (in Context) Proverbs 19 (Whole Chapter)

Proverbs 23:17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. Proverbs 23:16-18 (in Context) Proverbs 23 (Whole Chapter)

Proverbs 24:21 Fear the LORD and the king, my son, and do not join with the rebellious, Proverbs 24:20-22 (in Context) Proverbs 24 (Whole Chapter)

Proverbs 28:14 Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble. Proverbs 28:13-15 (in Context) Proverbs 28 (Whole Chapter)

Proverbs 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. (Question – Why do we fear man more than God? Jesus says if we want popularity with people more than honor with God’s it will hinder our trust in Him. (See John 5:44; 12:43; Gal 1:10) Jesus said to his brothers in John 7:7: “The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil.” “And they sent their disciples to Him along with the Herodians, saying, Teacher, we know that You are sincere and what You profess to be and that You teach the way of God truthfully, regardless of consequences and being afraid of no man; for You are impartial and do not regard either the person or the position of anyone.” (Matt. 22:16) Jesus spoke the truth in love (hard truths) because truth is what we need to hear, but it cost Him His life. He was not popular even with the crowds.)

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:29-31 (in Context) Proverbs 31 (Whole Chapter)

Ecclesiastes 8:11-12 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong. Although a wicked man commits a hundred crimes and still lives a long time, I know that it will go better with God-fearing men, who are reverent before God. Ecclesiastes 8:11-13 (in Context) Ecclesiastes 8 (Whole Chapter)

Ecclesiastes  12:13-14 Now all has been heard;  here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandment for this is the whole duty of man for God will bring every deed into judgment,  including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

Isaiah 6:1-8  In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. (note: angels fear the Lord – my comments) And they were calling to one another:  “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”   At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty

Isaiah 11: 1-3 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:  And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;  And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD (“and he will delight in the fear of the LORD”  or “He is made to breathe in the fear of Jehovah” (v.3, Interlinear Bible). This describes the spiritual sensitivity, wisdom and obedience of Jesus Who said, “I always do things that are pleasing to Him.” (John 8:29) Thomas Nelson Commentary: “The fear of the Lord: The Messiah would demonstrate in all His life the correct response to God: He would honor and obey Him (Ex. 20:20). The people of God in all ages are under orders to respond to Him with reverential awe (Lev. 19:14; Prov. 19:23).

Isaiah 33:6 He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.

Isaiah 50:10 Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.

Luke 12:5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!

Luke 23:40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?  (The repentant thief repented because of the fear of the Lord. Likewise the unrepentant thief did not repent because he didn’t fear the Lord.) Luke 23:39-41 (in Context) Luke 23 (Whole Chapter)

Acts 9:31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

Acts 10:2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. Acts 10:1-3 (in Context) Acts 10 (Whole Chapter)

Romans 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.  (Thus –“there is no one who does good – not even one.” Rom. 3:12) Romans 3:17-19 (in Context) Romans 3 (Whole Chapter)

Romans 14:10-12 For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.  So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

2 Corinthians 5:9-11 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.  Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men.       

 2 Corinthians 7:1Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Ephesians 5: 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God (or “out of reverence for Christ”).

Philippians 2:12-13 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 work for His good pleasure. 

Hebrews 5:7-9 In the days of His flesh [Jesus] offered up definite, special petitions [for that which He not only wanted but needed] and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was [always] able to save Him [out] from death, and He was heard because of His reverence toward God [His godly fear, His piety, in that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father]. Although He was a Son, He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered.  And, [His completed experience] making Him perfectly [equipped], He became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him.

1 Peter 1:17 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.

1 Peter 2:17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. 1 Peter 2:16-18 (in Context) 1 Peter 2 (Whole Chapter)

Revelation 19:5  Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.

Revelation 14:7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Revelation 14:6-8 (in Context) Revelation 14 (Whole Chapter)

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