Fear and the Gospel

Posted on · Posted in Gospel

The opening words of Proverbs state that the fear of God is where to begin to understand how life works. Then, just to strengthen the point, Solomon says the people who think they have no need of God despise the fear of God.  You might be thinking that you don’t remember the verse exactly in this way.  Here is the verse:


The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,

but fools despise wisdom and instruction.


The verse is saying that the fear of the Lord is the foundation of knowledge.  But fools, those who say there is no God, despise this foundation, i.e., the fear of the Lord. This brings us to an intimate connection with the gospel.


Fear and the gospel are not often connected. But I believe this verse is teaching that without understanding the fear of the Lord the gospel will have little, if any, meaning.  


Psalm 130:3-4 says this:



If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
    O Lord, who could stand?


But with you there is forgiveness,
    that you may be feared.


There is a God who must be reckoned with.  Our sins condemn us. Yet, because of the work and sacrifice of Christ, he does not hold our sins against us.  Therefore, he is to be feared, for his not like us. He is holy.



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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.