|Posted on September 12, 2009 at 4:03 PM|
The Gift of the Fear of God
Pastor Dan Carpenter, 11-03
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
The New American Standard version reads: 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.
The gift of the fear of God has been our topic of meditation and study for a while now. And, Lord willing, we shall continue today. Praying that God by His Spirit would give us yet another message, another help in our understanding of this important Christian duty - - or may I say, Christian delight!
So, we have just read in Ecclesiastes that God says that the conclusion of all - - to put it in as few words as possible - - is that we must fear God and keep His commandments. This is what our lives are all about! But we have been emphasizing that fearing God correctly is a gift from God! Our responsibility and God's gift! Isn't that just like God?! He reveals our duty to Him and also makes it His gift to us to simply be exercised! Now that's mercy! Praise the Lord!
Jeremiah 32:38-41 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.
Ezekiel 36: 25-27 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Here, God emphasizes not only a new heart but a new spirit will be given to His people. No mention of the gift of the fear of God here. Just like there was no mention of the new spirit in Jeremiah 32. Conclusion: the gift of His fear only comes with the gift of His new spirit. Or with the gift of the Holy Spirit there comes the gift of the fear of God. Praise God!! We not only have the promise of the gift of the fear of God - - the true, godly fear of God - - but also the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable us to use this wonderful and gracious gift!
Now look at Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The promise of Messiah Jesus prophesied as a rod or a shoot - - a green shoot that will sprout from Jesse's stump or from the all-but-dead family tree of Jesse - - a budding branch will come from his roots: Jesus Christ, Messiah!
Isaiah 11:2 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. The Spirit of the Lord, the life-giving Spirit of God, shall rest on Him!
He will have the Holy Spirit without measure. John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. And, with that life-giving Spirit of God resting upon Him, He will have the Spirit of knowledge and (the Spirit) of the fear of the Lord. And that Spirit without measure, or possessing the fullness of the Godhead (Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.), He will be endowed with the fullness of the Spirit of the fear of God.
No wonder our Lord Jesus Christ was always making reference to His Father! He had the Spirit of His Father God without measure and therefore the fear of God without measure. No wonder that He could hardly keep His Father's Name from His lips. In John alone, He refers to His Father over 100 times and says My Father nearly ½ of those times. He possessed that Holy Spirit gift of the fear of God! That internal attitude, careful respect for, that conscientiousness for, that respect, honor, and deep reverence for God His Father that came from His love by the Hoy Spirit, which produced His Holy desire to please Him in all ways, always! Oh, who can really describe in human terms that love that He had/has for God His Father shed abroad not by the spirit of adoption, but shared in the Godhead! And revealed by the fullness of the Holy Spirit while here on earth!
Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Job 2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil - - and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
Jesus Christ, excelling the excellent! Fearing God without fault, in utmost perfection - - without an equal - - the greater Job!
Isaiah 33:6 And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.
Oh, see this jewel, this RARE treasure, indeed, among our fellow human beings. But look again! This is the treasure, the rare treasure that the Son of God had by the fullness of the Holy Spirit without measure! He needed no push, no enablement, no terror, no backup plan to love God - - He was His Beloved, His Only Begotten Son. He was not His slave. He had no dread of His equal! Therefore, He humbled Himself; He made Himself of no reputation and was obedient even to death by crucifixion. Because He eternally loved His Father, and because He had the Holy Spirit without measure, His entire attitude was one of submission, devotion, conscientiousness of His honor and glory, and that revealed itself in His perfect submission and obedience, holy trust, and genuine worship! O look unto Jesus and see the rare treasure of the fear of God in all of its splendor! My soul, bow down here! Do you see the glory?!
Further, see in our Lord Jesus Christ wisdom and knowledge. Their heart, their root, their foundation is in the gift of the fear of God.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.
Who brought our Lord's knowledge and wisdom to school? Their heart lies in the fear of God, and our Lord was endowed with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the fear of the Lord without measure! He is the actualization of pure knowledge and pure wisdom. He is in union with the Godhead! With what kind of a dipper can we dip here? It's too deep, and we have nothing to dip with. So, again we honor our Lord by believing, for our eyes, ears, and minds have no capacity but to believe that He is - - His Father's Well-Beloved One!
Further yet: Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. Oh, it is no wonder that the devil could find nothing in Him with which to catch Him in His temptations. It's no wonder that our Lord Jesus Christ wept over Jerusalem's sin and exposed the Pharisees and chief rulers for who they were. It's no wonder that He sweat as it were great drops of blood in the garden as He surrendered to the will of His Father. It's no wonder that He gave His life - - to the last drip for His own - - paying the redemption price of that which He was so opposite to - - evil, my sin and yours, if you are trusting Him as your Lord and Savior. It is no wonder death, hell, and the grave had nothing with which to grab onto in Him, and it is no wonder that He is now exalted, reigning over evil, and interceding for every chosen sheep because, because by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil. It keeps those who fear the Lord away from sin! And Oh, our Lord Jesus Christ, being filled with the Holy Spirit without measure, was full of genuine love for His Father and therefore was full and abounding in reverence, conscientiousness, respect, and honor for His Father. The fullness of the Godhead bodily! Hallelujah! What surpassing glory! Jesus Christ has it all!
Then, dear one, refuse Him not! He is all you need! He is all I need! He has God's Spirit without measure. He therefore possesses all of the right kind of the fear of the Lord. Thus, He is without equal among men. He is in possession of that rare treasure. He has the heartbeat of knowledge and wisdom. He has the pure hatred and loathing of sin. Take Him, dear soul, and He will be in you a well of living water, springing up unto eternal life.
And in Him, the gift of the fear of God will be yours. And with Him, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit/the Spirit of the fear of the Lord, the godly fear of God, the gift promised to His people in the everlasting covenant, the rare treasure - - for all men do not fear God, the heartbeat of true knowledge and wisdom, and the wonderful gift of departing from evil by the enablement of the Holy Spirit!
Refuse Him? O dear one, where does that leave you? Without Christ, without His fullness, without true life, without His Spirit, without God's treasure, and without defense against evil! Dear brother and sister, draw near to Jesus. Sit at His feet, and learn from Him the true fear of God! Cultivate your gift! Spend time in His Word, in prayers - - for yourselves and for the rest of us!
Remember 2 Peter 3:12-14 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.