Luke 12:4-5 ESV
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!”
Professers of Faith
The fear of the Lord is something that is all but lost in the teachings within the gatherings of “the church” in America (and elsewhere). The grace of God has been reduced to mere forgiveness of sin based on a mere confession of faith in Jesus Christ, but absent of repentance, obedience, and submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Thus, we have many professers of faith in Jesus Christ who have established themselves in control of their own lives, living for self-indulgence and self-gratification, turning their eyes, hearts, and minds toward what is wicked and immoral, instead of toward what is righteous, pure and holy.
Some professed Christians are obstinately and boldly claiming that faith in Jesus Christ frees them from having to obey the Lord’s commands, and that a profession of faith in Jesus Christ alone saves them from their sins and assures them of eternal life with God, while they continue living in their sin.
Other professed Christians are living hypocritical lives, professing faith in the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and even verbally discounting the cheap grace gospel, while they also continue living in sin, choosing the way of wickedness over the way of righteousness.
They may give an appearance of humility and of submission to Christ and to his Lordship, but it is a sham, for show only, like the Pharisees. For truly their thinking is warped, perverse, and immoral. Thus, they can’t sustain the appearance of righteousness.
Sooner or later the righteous facade covering over their true character will fall, which will then reveal their true character and their inability to endure for the sake of righteousness. And it will reveal their cowardice in not being able to withstand temptation to sin without giving in.
So, what this reveals is that their faith is not genuine God-given faith which dies with Christ to sin and lives to Christ and to his righteousness, but that they are faking genuine faith in Jesus Christ. And, it is to cover-up their evil deeds, again, like the Pharisees. They are frauds, not genuine believers in Jesus Christ. He is just being used by them as a cover-up for evil.
The Fear of God
Again, these professers of faith in Jesus Christ, who are frauds, live like they do because they have no fear of God. They don’t really believe that God will cast them into hell. For they are deluded into thinking that their sins no longer matter to God, or that their habitual sinning will not impact their eternal life with God.
But that is either because they have convinced themselves of that so that they can continue in their sin, and/or it is because they have believed a false gospel based on Scriptures taken out of context, and they have not bothered to examine what they are being taught against the truth of Scripture. Or, some of them know the truth, but they choose the lie over the truth.
Many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ believe that how they live in this life will not impact where they end up for eternity. For, they believe they are saved, secure, and bound for heaven, and that nothing can take that away from them, for they claim they have been forgiven their sin.
So, what do the Scriptures teach on that subject? They teach that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who WALK not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, and that if we make sin our practice we will not inherit eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21).
They teach that whatever we sow we will also reap. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. And, they teach that for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury (Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8).
As well, they teach that we are slaves of the one whom we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness. And, if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live (Rom. 6:16; Rom. 8:13).
So, walk in the fear of the Lord. Submit to his Lordship over your life. Leave your sinful lifestyles behind you and follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands for us, his saints. Do not continue living in sin thinking your sins don’t matter to God. For, one day you may hear, “Depart from me. I never knew you!”
Luke 12:8-9 ESV
“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.”
Acknowledgment of Jesus Christ is not outward only. For remember that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light and his servants masquerade themselves as servants of righteousness. So, it is not enough to just verbally acknowledge Jesus before other people. Many liars and deceivers do this.
To acknowledge (confess) Jesus has a verbal form of expression but it begins first in the heart. We must agree with our Lord and with his teachings and with his gospel (the whole counsel of God). We must come to the same conclusion as Jesus about our sin and regarding the remedy for our sin.
And, Jesus’ remedy for our sin is not just to forgive us our sins, and not based on a mere profession of faith in him. His remedy is also not to ignore future sins and not to not call us to account. And, his remedy for our sin is not to forgive our sins so that we can keep on living in sin without guilt.
Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And, he died to deliver us from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin and to empower us to live godly and holy lives while we wait for his return (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15; Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14).
So, to confess Jesus before others is to agree with God in our hearts and in truth and by our lifestyles that our salvation from sin means us leaving our lives of sin behind us, being changed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ, making him Lord (owner-master) of our lives, and walking in obedience to his commands in his power.
Thus, denying our Lord before others is to speak and to do the opposite of what it means to agree with him. It is to proclaim with our words and/or by our practices (our deeds) that we don’t have to repent of our sins, that we don’t have to submit to Christ as Lord, and that we don’t have to walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands, but that we can still be saved from our sins, and we can still have eternal life with God guaranteed us.
So, we must not fear what others fear. We must walk in the fear of God and in holiness and in purity of devotion to our Lord, in his power, and he will lead us to victory in Christ our Lord over the flesh, Satan, and sin. And he will empower us to live godly and holy lives while we wait for his return.
There’s A Rainbow in The Cloud
by Alton Hardy Howard
As I journey here mid the toils and tears,
There’s a rainbow in the cloud;
He will safely lead, I must have no fear,
There’s a rainbow in the cloud.
There’s a rainbow that is shining,
There’s a rainbow in the cloud;
When life’s race is run and the victory’s won,
There’s a rainbow in the clouds.
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