Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 091111
Fear will torment you and punish you.
ROM 9:17-19, For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?”
And then the apostle Paul mentions or gives the answer to:
ROM 9:20-24, On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
This is a verse that teaches that God is not a respecter of persons and that salvation in time and in eternity is available to all members of the human race. In time, salvation actually refers to deliverance. In eternity, it refers to eternal life. Why do we need salvation or deliverance in time? Well, there is one verse that the writer of the book of Hebrews tells us the main reason why we need deliverance.
HEB 2:14-15, Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
All of this has to do with subject of fear. A subject we all have to deal with from time to time. So let’s stop for a moment and look at the doctrine of Fear.
I will begin this subject with my final point.
Point 10. Summary.
1) Fear is met and destroyed with courage.
2) When you face your fear, most of the time you will discover that it was not really such a big threat after all.
3) Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.
4) Most of our problems would be totally solved if, instead of fearing to face them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.
5) Whenever we’re afraid, it’s because we don’t know enough. If we understood enough, we would never be afraid.
6) Whenever we fear something, we give that which we fear power over us.
7) You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
8) Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear–not absence of fear.
So, we begin this subject by noting that fear is used two ways in the Bible.
Fear is used for a mental attitude sin, characterized by panic when in a dangerous situation as well as intimidation. Fear is a painful emotional distress aroused by impending pain, danger and disaster, evil or by illusions regarding the same. It can be fear of something that is real or imaginable.
But the point is fear will torment you and punish you. Fear is self-induced misery.
This is why John said in 1JO 4:18, There is no fear in virtue-love; but mature love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not matured in love.
Fear is worry, apprehension, consternation, or horror. Consternation is when a person becomes paralyzed toward their problems. Usually they run away from the problem like a frightened horse or they close their doors and hide from society. In fact, it’s not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. That’s what fear will do it will paralyze you.
Fear is also an active feeling of dread, of which fright and terror are the more intense degrees.
Fear is also used in the Bible for reverence, respect, or awe. It is a reverence manifesting itself in obedience. In this respect, fear is a Christian virtue, 1PE 2:17, Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
So the meaning of the word “fear” in the Bible is determined by the context in which it is used. Neglect or rejection of the mystery doctrine of the Church-age and failure to utilize its fantastic problem-solving devices result in many problems, including fear. Fear is also lack of thinking under pressure. It is a general problem in life.
We are designed by God to be rational creatures but fear makes us irrational. Fear is an irrational and emotional sin. In fact, many believers have discovered that when you face your fear, most of the time you will discover that it was not really such a big threat after all. For the believer, fear is failure to learn and apply Bible doctrine to the problems of life, and failure to learn and utilize the problem-solving devices.
Fear is also a part of the emotional complex of sins. Fear is made up of a whole system of sins that include worry, anxiety, insecurity, incapability of doctrinal application, and therefore inability to use the problem-solving devices. The word worry comes from the word to choke, to strangle, and it is an extension of fear.
By the way, we always have to throw this in, if you have fear, worry, anxiety or insecurity in your life, you are sinning in those areas.
ROM 14:23b, whatever is not from faith is sin.
Fear includes all the problems of emotionalism, for fear is an emotional sin. Many sins involve only thinking but fear involves emotion and no thinking. The Christian loser is bogged down and hindered from his advance by various categories of sins and arrogance related to fear. Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.
The only thing we have to fear is HEB 4:1-4, Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to really live.
Look at HEB 13:6, so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?”
And this is a quotation of PSA 56:4, “In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?”
To face your fears and not be afraid is the final test of maturity. Fear is crippling, it shackles those who could do great things and keeps them from even attempting that which they could possibly achieve. Fear chokes and kills dreams and creativity and the most interesting thing about fear is that it is a learned behavior. A subject we all have to deal with from time to time.
Then there is what we call the snowballing principle of fear. The more things you surrender to fear, the more things you fear. Today you may be worried about only one thing; tomorrow about two things, etc. And soon you become so emotionally involved in fear that you have no identity. Irrationality means loss of identity, which means the accumulation of fear until you are afraid of life. And fear is something that, if not controlled, continues to develop in your life until you have no capacity to enjoy life and as a believer you become a loser.
Speaking of the ungodly David said in PSA 53:5, “There they were in great fear where no fear had been;”
You see fear is irrational thinking, there was no reason to fear. One of the motivations for becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol is fear of life, anxiety, worry, and tension. So the extent to which you surrender to fear, the greater is your capacity for fear. To the extent to which you surrender to fear, to that extent fear controls more and more of your life. And increasing fear means increasing insecurity, which destroys your capacity for love, life, happiness, and blessing. And no set of circumstances in life will ever make you happy. No matter how much wealth you have, success, prosperity, you’ll have all kinds of fears.
PSA 55:1-5, (For the choir director; on stringed instruments. A Maskil of David [a Maskil is a song or poem of instruction]). Give ear to my prayer, O God; And do not hide Thyself from my supplication. Give heed to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted, Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the pressure of the wicked; For they bring down trouble upon me, And in anger they bear a grudge against me. My heart is in anguish within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me; And horror has overwhelmed me. That is what fear will do!
Fear destroys happiness. Where the fear is, happiness is not. And that’s because there is no way you can have true love or true happiness apart from a healthy mental attitude. And fear destroys the mental attitude. So the greater your capacity for fear, the more you increase the power of fear in your life. And the more you increase the power of fear in your life, the greater your mind set as a loser believer and the greater your chances of failure to execute the PPOG through the mechanics of the spiritual life under equal opportunity.
The greater your chances of failure to execute the PPOG of God, the sooner you cancel your equal opportunity to glorify God. The sooner you cancel your equal opportunity to glorify God, the sooner you live a life of total misery through the law of volitional responsibility. So the more things that acquire the power of fear in your life, the greater your capacity for fear.
Most of our problems and obstacles would melt away if, instead of shrinking in fear before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them. This is what happen to the children of Israel in when Moses told them to “stand still” and stop being afraid.
EXO 14:10, And as Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them,
The verb to look is qal imperfect of the Hebrew word nasa which means that they kept staring and concentrated on Pharaoh’s army, the oncoming problem. And by concentrating on Pharaoh’s army, the problem, they were overwhelmed by fear and they completely forgot the grace of God and the power of God and the marvelous deliverance that they had experienced just a week or so before.
They concentrated on the wrong thing! They concentrated on the problem! And they not only panicked but they began to do something which all of us have been guilty of at some time “they began to whine and complain.”
Whining and complaining Christians are not going to solve their problems! If you’re complaining, you’re concentrating on the wrong thing! We have all done this at some time in our lives! We concentrate on the circumstances of pressure rather than the principles of doctrine. We concentrate on the disaster rather than the solution. The point is that you have to know what to concentrate on in times of pressure. And one of the main distractions in time of pressure is mentioned in verse 10, emotion which is described by the word frightened.
Notice the next part of the verse, EXO 14:10…and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord.
The reaction of fear and panic removed any possibility of applying doctrine. They had seen the power of God in their deliverance from Egypt, but they made no application from that doctrine to this disaster.
Because they failed to concentrate on what they had learned and allowed fear and panic to control the soul. And they expressed their fear rather than their faith. And so they screamed in panic to the Lord!
EXO 14:11-14, Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”
Notice that first they had to be stabilized in their mentality or else some of them would have turned back to the Egyptians“begging to be slaves”! And you’ll live like a slave unless you learn to become stabilized under pressure! The Jews faced extermination from the pursuing chariot army of Pharaoh…they were not trained in war…they were in a hopeless situation!
So Moses told the Jews “do not fear!” When you’re in a hopeless situation that’s when you need to think! And here is a hopeless situation. The Lord will fight for you while you will keep your mouth shut!
It’s the same thing as David said in 1SA 17:47, “And that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.”
And in the Church-age, it’s the same thing, ROM 8:31, What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
You see that’s the whole concept of the faith rest drill. In grace, the Lord fights our battles! Now, when you are afraid of a thing, you give that thing power over you. When you’re afraid of a person, you give that person power over you. And so fear is proof of a degenerate mind. In fact, what was the first thing Adam did after he sinned. He hid himself, right?
GEN 3:10, “I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”
The greater your capacity for fear, the greater your capacity for arrogance and becoming a loser. For fear causes you to become totally preoccupied with yourself. And once in the arrogance complex, all the rest of the mental attitude sins come quickly. The combination of fear and arrogance causes many people to become mentally ill, psychotic and neurotic. The more things that acquire the power to promote fear in your life, the more punitive suffering and self‑induced misery you bring on yourself.
The more things that acquire the power of fear in your life, the greater your capacity for fragmentation and becoming a loser in the Christian life. And as a loser, your capacity for life, love, and happiness is completely destroyed. The greater your mindset as a loser-believer while living, the greater the intensification of your fear when dying.
You will be afraid of death! So remember that fear is an emotional sin. And emotions cannot think! Emotion has no true courage. It has a pseudo courage. Arrogance and emotional domination of the soul produce cowardice. And fear is irrational and irresponsible. It creates three things: the arrogance skills, the arrogance complex of sins, and the emotional complex of sins.