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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.

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The fear of God

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We all know that we are to fear to God - we have verses like Ps 111:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" and yet how often do we water 'fear' down, making is 'reverence' or 'awe'! I fully understand why we do that - to us fear is a very negative experience (it is a bad thing) and we don't want to associate that with our relationship with God, so we try to make it positive by redefining it. The problem is that doesn't work with Scripture - as Christians we are the only people who know  'the terror' of the Lord (2 Cor 5:11).  Interestingly is Gen 31:53 we see 'the Fear'  used as a name of God. Genesis 31:53 "And Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac." 

 

John Bunyan had a very different of 'fear' - he saw basically two types of fear. There is a type of fear that drives us away from something, and a type of fear that draws us towards something. One is from the Devil, and one is an act of grace. Satan likes nothing more then for us to fear God in a way that drives us away from him, that is what he achieved in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve 'hid' when they heard God in Garden (Gen 3:10) and many will know that same type of fear at the return of Jesus Christ (Rev 6:16). However, the fear that comes from grace has the opposite effect, it does not drive us to hide away from God, it draws us to him. In Ps 2:11 we read: "Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling." notice here how the fear is a joyful thing. This is a positive emotion, not a negative one. 

 

Maybe an illustration will help, I love coffee, and I love my wife - but my love of coffee is not comparable to the love I have for my wife - why is that? It is because the emotion is shaped by the object it is directed to - that is why my love of coffee does not compete with my love of my wife (and as an aside, why our love of family does not compete with our love for God, unless we are making idols of our family) and here is the thing, our fear of God is dependent on who God is to us. If he is the one who is supremely attractive to us then that is a godly fear that draws us close to him, that is the fear of God which is the beginning of all wisdom (Ps 111:10). That is a fear that causes us to delight in the Lord, Ps 2:11. That is fear that purifies, a fear that makes us large hearted. a fear that keeps us humble, and a fear that gives us strength to pursue a righteous but unpopular path. 

 

We don't need to redefine 'the fear of God'  we need to better understand it - I would recommend reading, "The Fear of God' by John Bunyan (It is available from the Banner of Truth). Whilst the language is old fashioned Bunyan was a very gifted man and isn't as hard to read as many of the other puritans where.   

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Fastfredy0

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CDF47
12 hours ago, reformed baptist said:

We all know that we are to fear to God - we have verses like Ps 111:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" and yet how often do we water 'fear' down, making is 'reverence' or 'awe'! I fully understand why we do that - to us fear is a very negative experience (it is a bad thing) and we don't want to associate that with our relationship with God, so we try to make it positive by redefining it. The problem is that doesn't work with Scripture - as Christians we are the only people who know  'the terror' of the Lord (2 Cor 5:11).  Interestingly is Gen 31:53 we see 'the Fear'  used as a name of God. Genesis 31:53 "And Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac." 

 

John Bunyan had a very different of 'fear' - he saw basically two types of fear. There is a type of fear that drives us away from something, and a type of fear that draws us towards something. One is from the Devil, and one is an act of grace. Satan likes nothing more then for us to fear God in a way that drives us away from him, that is what he achieved in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve 'hid' when they heard God in Garden (Gen 3:10) and many will know that same type of fear at the return of Jesus Christ (Rev 6:16). However, the fear that comes from grace has the opposite effect, it does not drive us to hide away from God, it draws us to him. In Ps 2:11 we read: "Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling." notice here how the fear is a joyful thing. This is a positive emotion, not a negative one. 

 

Maybe an illustration will help, I love coffee, and I love my wife - but my love of coffee is not comparable to the love I have for my wife - why is that? It is because the emotion is shaped by the object it is directed to - that is why my love of coffee does not compete with my love of my wife (and as an aside, why our love of family does not compete with our love for God, unless we are making idols of our family) and here is the thing, our fear of God is dependent on who God is to us. If he is the one who is supremely attractive to us then that is a godly fear that draws us close to him, that is the fear of God which is the beginning of all wisdom (Ps 111:10). That is a fear that causes us to delight in the Lord, Ps 2:11. That is fear that purifies, a fear that makes us large hearted. a fear that keeps us humble, and a fear that gives us strength to pursue a righteous but unpopular path. 

 

We don't need to redefine 'the fear of God'  we need to better understand it - I would recommend reading, "The Fear of God' by John Bunyan (It is available from the Banner of Truth). Whilst the language is old fashioned Bunyan was a very gifted man and isn't as hard to read as many of the other puritans where.   

Good information.  Fear, trust, and love are really good attributes of any good leader.  

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