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Monday, April 22, 2013

Fear and Love

2 Corinthians 5:14 – 21 is another passage to which I return.  It is one of the passages I use when talking about our responsibility to share our faith.  I have focused most often on verse 14 in the sense that it is Christ’s love for us and our love for Him that drives us to share with others.  In reading through the book again this morning in preparation for a summary of the book I noticed I had missed something.
Why do we obey God?  Because we love Him or because we fear Him?
The section starts in verse 11.  The first phrase of that verse is, “Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade…”  There are two drivers, love and fear.  Many times when the word “fear” appears in the Word, especially when associated with the Lord, folks seem to want to translate it “reverence.”  That is a little weak.  While the word can mean “reverence” and is translated that way in 1 Peter 3:15, the word is φόβος (phobos) the word from which we derive our word phobia.

We obey a sovereign Lord whom we love and fear and therefore beg people to be reconciled to Him.

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