Oh, So Many Four-Letter Words!

The Voice of Elijah®, July 1992

Excerpt From Newsletter

You can’t understand the True Believer’s love for God unless you first understand how a fear of God motivates one to seek a relationship to God in the first place. Pretenders will vehemently deny it, but fear of God’s wrath is the only thing that will move sinners to genuine repentance. People are too selfish to respond to God on any basis other than the selfish desire for self-preservation.

Only after repentance and reception of the Holy Spirit can anyone respond to God with selfless love. That’s because the Holy Spirit produces true love (Gal. 5:22). So fear of God is just the beginning of a process that can ultimately result in the higher and better relationship of love in which there is no fear. But that is possible only if the Believer strives to cultivate that relationship.

Admittedly, John does say, “perfect love casts out fear.” But it should be noted that there must be fear of God in the first place before perfect love can cast it out. The author of the Book of Proverbs said it well:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
(Proverbs 1:7)

The “knowledge,” “wisdom,” and “instruction” in this verse are allusions to The Teaching of Moses—the Old Testament Gospel message concerning Jesus Christ. “The beginning of knowledge” of that Truth “is fear of the Lord.”

It is impossible for anyone to accept The Teaching without a deep-seated fear of God. So Pretenders, not having that fear of God themselves, consider it ridiculous that anyone would believe The Teaching ever existed. Paul had their aversion to the Truth of The Teaching in mind when he wrote:

For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.”

Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not {come to} know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
(1 Corinthians 1:18–21)

“Oh, So Many Four-Letter Words!” The Voice of Elijah®, July 1992, pp. 8–9

Newsletter Details

Contribution of $6.00
Pages 22
Author Larry Dee Harper
Language English

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