I was trimming my message on the fly on Sunday (listen here!), but there were a couple of things more I really wanted to say regarding the fear of the Lord in light of Christ. . . . so I thought I would post them here. . . .
Look again at Proverbs 16:6. . . . look at the second half of the verse. . . . .
That second half of the verse is as curious as the first. . . . . here’s why. . . . Do you remember how Pastor Ken defined the fear of the Lord?
I think that’s a great and a right definition. . . .. but I think the coming of Jesus, enlightens and transforms it. Jesus is the image of the invisible God. . . His final and fullest revelation. . . . .. so now we can, we should, we must say this. . . .
The fear of the Lord is now the fear of the Christ. . . . Now look again at Proverbs 16:6. . . . .
The first half tells how our past sins are dealt with, but the second half tells us how to deal with our future temptations to sin. . . . So let’s take the second half of the verse and tweak it just a bit. . . . what I want to do is just swap the “fear of the Lord” with how we defined it. . . . like this. . .
How do you get forgiveness of past sins? By believing the Gospel.
By believing the Gospel. . . . Not first and foremost by trying harder. . . . not by only trying harder. . . . . .not by beating yourself up or by running off to the monastery. . .. you will take your sins with you. . . .. but by the fear of the Lord. . . . by an active, awareness of, dependence on and humble submission to Jesus Christ . . . . one keeps away from evil.
You need to see His love. . . . you need to take His love and bury it in your own heart. . . .. you need to do whatever it takes so that all that He has done for you, becomes real to you and alive for you. . . . .meditate on it. .. .memorize verses like Proverbs 16:6 and 1 John 4:9-10. . . .. You need others in your life who will remind you and tell you of only the love of Christ can constrain us. . . . only the grace of God and teach us to say no to ungodliness.
What happens if you’ve got a radio and a television on in the same room? Which wins the battle for your attention? Audio or video?
So many of us have the love of Christ, the Gospel, on audio. . . its playing in the background of our lives somewhere, assumed. . . . . sectioned off. . . .we tune in a bit on Sundays.
But the temptations we face come to us in living color video. . . ..
And its video that wins the battle for our attention all the time. . . . Somehow we’ve got to get Christ and His love on video. The Lord's Table is just one way do that.
What we're talking about here is Gospel-driven sanctification. More on that tomorrow. . .
Love to hear your thoughts.