Reading: “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
Fear is a very powerful emotion. It is often thought of as a negative emotion—a terrifying fear, a dread, or horror. When we speak of “the fear of God” or godly fear, we mean reverence and respect. But this reverent fear is attached to the dread or horror of sin, a fear of hurting, grieving, and dishonoring God. John Wesley once said, “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God…. Such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.” Jeremiah said, “I will put my fear within them, that they shall not depart from me (32:40).” Godly fear is implanted in us by regeneration and as our knowledge of God increases, so do our reverence of God and dread of sin.
When God is rightly apprehended as a holy God we will not only fear God but we will fear and flee sin. The man who fears God will fear sin! Do I have a reverential fear for God and does grieving Him fill me with horror?’