Bible


Fear the Lord

continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (Philippians 2:12)

God the Father and the Sinner. Ladislav Záborský, 2007.

God the Father and the Sinner. Ladislav Záborský, 2007.

The Bible uses the word fear at least 300 times in reference to God. Today, fear usually refers to an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. And it is used this way in the Bible as well.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

But there are two sides of fear in the Bible. Yes, there is fear displayed as cowering in dread and terror in anticipation of displeasure. But there is also fear based on awe, reverence, and obedience.

Dr. David Jones in his audio lecture on Christian ethics describes fear of the Lord as reverent submission motivated by love. Love is key. It is love as it might be offered to a parent by a child because the little one knows that all needs will be met and life is safe from harm.

Eugene Merrill, a distinguished professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, assures us that “fear of God lies at the heart of successful living in the world. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, a fear equated with the ‘knowledge of the Holy One’”.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. (Psalm 111:10)

“To fear God,” continues Professor Merrill, “is to know him and to know him is to fear him. Such healthy fear enables one to praise God.”

He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:7)

Reverent submission that motivates us to obey him — fear of the Lord — allows us to enjoy his benefits and blessings.

But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children — with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. (Psalm 103:17-18)

Steadfast obedience that is motivated by love — fear of the Lord — is to rest in peace and security.

They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.  Their hearts are secure; they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. (Psalm 112:7-8)

Fear that allows us to warm ourselves in his peace and security, offers, in the long run, a satisfying life.

The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. (Proverbs 10:27).

Praise our Lord, and fear him as a child towards a loving parent.

 

 


Baptists: A History of Discipleship

“teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).

Anabaptists of Philadelphia witness a full immersion baptism.

Anabaptists of Philadelphia witness a full immersion baptism. …

Missions and discipleship are an important part of what we do at Bent Creek Baptist Church. The roots of this calling goes back to the Anabaptists who came on the heels Martin Luther’s reformation.

Baptist, like other reform movements in the 16th century believed in four principles.

First, a person saved not by works but by faith alone.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8)

Second, religious authority is found in the Bible in the Word of God (not church authorities).

Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16)

Third, the church is defined as the whole community of Christian believers, since all are priests before God.

Thus, all Christians are of that holy priesthood and can offer spiritual sacrifices to God. All have the right to go directly to God through Jesus Christ, our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Finally, the essence of Christian living is found in serving God in any useful calling, whether ordained or lay.

Encourage younger men likewise to be self-controlled, showing yourself to be an example of good works in every way. In your teaching show integrity, dignity, and a sound message that cannot be criticized, so that any opponent will be at a loss, because he has nothing evil to say about us. (Titus 2:6-8)

To this day any classical description of Protestantism echoes those central truths.

The source of Baptist Protestantism, as told by Bruce Shelley in his book, Church History in Plain Language goes back to 1525 in Zurich, Switzerland. On a wintry night, like-minded individuals met and defined what it means to be baptized. Only four days before this meeting, the church warned all parents to have their babies baptized within eight days of birth or face banishment from the territory. This tradition, played out on a little baby, lacked meaning. For Anabaptists, baptism should be reserved as an informed statement of commitment to Christ—something impossible to expect from a baby.

and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 3:21)

After discussion and calling on God to do his will, these brave men arose from prayer and took one of the most decisive action in Christian history. George Blaurock, a former priest, asked Conrad Grebel for baptism in the apostolic fashion—upon confession of personal faith in Jesus Christ. There he was baptized and proceeded to baptize the others. Thus, Anabaptism the forerunner of today’s Baptists and an important expression of the Protestant Reformation, was born.

In life, Baptists strive to demonstrate that those who live most devoutly for the world to come are often in the best position to change the world of the present. Accordingly, at Bent Creek Baptist Church, we are a family of disciples who do our best to live out faith as a model of God’s grace.

Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 28:19)

Join us each Sunday at 10:30 am for coffee and fellowship and stay with your neighbors for church service at 11 am.


Meditate on Scripture

"God Provides" (Genesis 22). Abraham’s relief of God's provision and the benefit of trusting God even when circumstances seem tragic.

“God Provides” (Genesis 22). Abraham’s relief of God’s provision and the benefit of trusting God even when circumstances seem tragic.

Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. (2 Timothy 2:7)

It’s easy to read the Bible too quickly, especially if you’ve read the story before. After all, you know the ending. But reading quickly not only risks missing deeper knowledge but also underlying emotions.

Can you imagine Abraham’s mental contortion when he learned his son would not be sacrificed?

"The grief of God: A new beginning" (Genesis 7:1-24). Imagine the moments after God shut the door to the ark. Fists banging and voices yelling for the only way that leads to life to be reopened. The way we live our life matters.

“The grief of God: A new beginning” (Genesis 7:1-24). Imagine the moments after God shut the door to the ark. Fists banging and voices yelling for the only way that leads to life to be reopened. The way we live our life matters.

Have you considered the agony of Noah and his family when the rains came, and they heard clawing and anguish on the other side of the arc. Too late.

Some believe that Jesus might have been two years old when the wise men finally made their way to his house. What is the emotion of a young boy or a young God-man when foreigners arrive at the door?

"The Terrible Lie" (Genesis 3:1-24). Distraught and distant from God, Adam and Eve wonder what will happen next. Emotionally separated from each other, having to leave the garden must have been so scary.

“The Terrible Lie” (Genesis 3:1-24). Distraught and distant from God, Adam and Eve wonder what will happen next. Emotionally separated from each other, having to leave the garden must have been so scary.

Were Adam and Eve capable of understanding the full consequences of their actions?

"Beholding God With Us" (Matthew 2). Siting at Joseph and Mary's front door, Jesus watches the Magi arrive. At two years old (or even as an infant), did Jesus know the Magi would come? Psalm 139 tells us God's eyes saw us when we were formless, and all our days were written and planned before a single one of them began.

“Beholding God With Us” (Matthew 2). Siting at Joseph and Mary’s front door, Jesus watches the Magi arrive. At two years old (or even as an infant), did Jesus know the Magi would come? Psalm 139 tells us God’s eyes saw us when we were formless, and all our days were written and planned before a single one of them began.

Craig Hawkins has thought about such things, and using charcoal, put his thoughts to paper. Ponder his work. Perhaps he has uncovered a new dimension of Biblical insight for you.

We’re here for you. Share your thoughts with us every Sunday at Bent Creek Baptist Church.