Sermon Outline

Sermon Outline

The Fear of God

Key Passage: Deuteronomy 13:4

Supporting Scriptures: Joshua 1:9 | Psalm 33:8 | Psalm 34:7 | Psalm 37:4 | Psalm 91:1-16 | Psalm 119:120 | Psalm 145:19 | Psalm 147:11 | Proverbs 1:7 | Proverbs 3:7-8 | Proverbs 9:10 | Proverbs 10:27 | Proverbs 14:26-27 | Proverbs 16:6 | Proverbs 19:23 | Ezekiel 18:4 | John 3:16 | Romans 1:21-32 | Romans 2:5 | Romans 3:10-18 | Romans 6:23 | Galatians 5:22-23 | Philippians 2:9-11 | Hebrews 9:27

Summary

What does it mean to fear the Lord? Should we be terrified of Him, or does it mean something else?

If we are lost and living in sin, we have a good reason to be afraid of God because we are not right with Him and are destined for judgment and condemnation. But if we are His redeemed people, there is no reason to be terrified of Him. However, we have every reason to show Him reverence and honor Him.

SERMON POINTS

For those of us who know Jesus Christ as our Savior, fearing God means to revere, honor, exalt, hold in high regard and esteem, worship, obey, acknowledge as worthy, and honor Him as our Creator and Judge.

What does Scripture say about fearing the Lord?

  • In Deuteronomy 13:4, God commands His people to follow Him, fear Him, keep His commandments, listen to Him, serve Him, and cling to Him. All these action are the result of honoring and exalting Him in our lives. Psalm 147:11 says, “The Lord favors those who fear Him.”
  • We receive His grace and blessings when our attitude toward God is one of reverence and high esteem.
  • According to Psalm 33:8, God desires everyone to fear Him: “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.”
  • However, Romans 3:18 reveals the world’s current attitude toward God: “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Instead of honoring Him, they see the Lord as a problem. His commands are contrary to their desires, and His conviction of their sin makes them uncomfortable.
  • Although the world presently ignores or rejects God, one day every knee will bow to Christ, and every mouth will confess Him as Lord (Phil. 2:9-11). Those who don’t fear God now will miss heaven and find themselves being forced to bow to Christ as their Judge.

Why should believers fear God?

  • The Lord requires it of us. “You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him” (Deut. 13:4).
  • Fearing God gives knowledge. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov. 1:7). Many people are smart, well-educated, and knowledgeable on many subjects, yet they are totally ignorant about what matters most because they don’t know or fear God.
  • It makes us wise. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10). Wisdom doesn’t come from education but from God. He’s the one who gives us insight regarding what to do, when to act, how to respond, what to believe, and what to reject. The only source of true wisdom is almighty God, and He’ll give it to us when we ask and are willing to surrender our lives to Him.
  • It keeps us from evil. “By the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil” (Prov. 16:6). A deep reverence for God produces a desire for righteousness and a hatred of sin. We’ll be quick to repent and deal with any sin in our lives.
  • It’s healing to our body. “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones” (Prov. 3:7-8). As believers, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit who indwells us, and we should treat them as such. When we hold God in high esteem, we’ll seek to please Him by doing what’s right and abstaining from evil. This doesn’t mean that living a lifestyle of obedience to God will guarantee us a long, healthy life, but it will keep us from the ailments that result from indulging in sinful practices.
  • It gives confidence. “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence” (Prov. 14:26). Boldness comes as a result of living in dependence upon God. As He lives His life in and through us, He produces godliness and the assurance of His continual presence and help in every situation we face.
  • It’s a fountain of life. “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life” (Prov. 14:27). When we reverence and exalt God, we’ll understand that He’s in control of our lives, watching over us and guiding our path. And as Christ’s life flows through us, His Spirit produces the attitudes He desires us to have—“love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, selfcontrol” (Gal. 5:22-23).
  • God will fulfill our desire. “He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him” (Ps. 145:19). If we are following the Lord in obedience and living as He wants, He will give us the desire of our heart and hear our prayers. However, this doesn’t guarantee we’ll receive everything we request. Fearing God means we will want what pleases Him. As we first delight in the Lord, He responds by giving us those desires that align with His will (Ps. 37:4).
  • The fear of the Lord gives divine protection. “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them” (Ps. 34:7). We should never underestimate the mighty power of God and His willingness to protect us. Psalm 91 speaks of His awesome protection for those who live in His shelter.
  • It leads to life. “The fear of the Lord leads to life” (Prov. 19:23). This verse isn’t speaking merely of our physical life but our spiritual life. Many people are looking for happiness, peace, and joy but are continually turning away from God—the only One who can provide these things. The fear of the Lord brings every blessing imaginable because we’re honoring, obeying, and surrendering to Him.
  • It prolongs life. “The fear of the Lord prolongs life” (Prov. 10:27). People who have lived 40 years fearing and obeying God have lived more life than a 70-yearold without Him. Furthermore, none of us can be saved and receive eternal life without fearing the Lord and surrendering our lives to Him.

The wisest decision we can ever make is to fear the living God by honoring, obeying, exalting, worshipping, and trusting Him for our salvation. He alone should have first place in our minds and hearts throughout our days.

RESPONSE

  • How would you reconcile the fact that God is love, yet we are also commanded to fear Him? How does an illustration of a parent/child relationship help you understand this divine concept?
  • As you examine your own life, what would the fear of the Lord look like in practical terms? In other words, could anyone tell by how you live and what you do whether you fear God or not?
  • Do you tend to think that the fear of God is displayed more by what you avoid or what you do? Why are both required?
Bible

Bible

4 You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.

7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.

4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say to the LORD, ``My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!"

3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day;

6 Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.

7 A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you.

8 You will only look on with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked.

9 For you have made the LORD, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place.

10 No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent.

11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways.

12 They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

14 Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.

15 He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.

16 With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation."

120 My flesh trembles for fear of You, And I am afraid of Your judgments.

19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.

11 The LORD favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

27 The fear of the LORD prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.

26 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge.

27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death.

6 By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.

23 The fear of the LORD leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.

4 Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die.

16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,

27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,

30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;

32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

10 as it is written, ``THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;

11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;

12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE."

13 THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING," ``THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS";

14 WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS";

15 THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,

16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,

17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN."

18 THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES."

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,

10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,