Saturday, January 4, 2014

Whence Cometh the Fear of God?

In his Treatise on the Fear of God, John Bunyan speaks of the grace of the fear of God in the fourth section of the book. In what follows, I'll provide his eleven headings from the section where he describes that from which this godly fear flows, along with some of the texts cited.

1. This fear, this grace of fear, this son-like fear of God, it flows from the distinguishing love of God to his elect (Jer. 32:38-40).
2. This fear flows from a new heart (Jer. 32:39; Ezek. 11:19; 36:26).
3. This fear of God flows from an impression, a sound impression, that the Word of God maketh on our souls; for without an impress of the Word, there is no fear of God (Deut. 6:1-2; 31:12).
4. This godly fear floweth from faith; for where the Word maketh a sound impression on the soul, by that impression is faith begotten, whence also this fear doth flow (Gal. 3:2; Heb. 11:7).
5. This godly fear also floweth from sound repentance for and from sin; godly sorrow worketh repentance, and godly repentance produceth this fear (2 Cor. 7:10-11).
6. This godly fear also flows from a sense of the love and kindness of God to the soul (Ps. 130:3-4).
7. This fear of God flows from a due consideration of the judgments of God that are to be executed in the world; yea, upon professors too (Ps. 119:120; 1 Chron. 13:12; Deut. 13:11; 17:13; 19:20; 21:21).
8. This godly fear also flows from a godly remembrance of our former distresses, when we were distressed with our first fears (Deut. 4:9-11).
9. This godly fear flows from our receiving of an answer of prayer, when we supplicated for mercy at the hand of God (1 Kgs. 8:37-40; Lk. 16:15).
10. This grace of fear also flows from a blessed conviction of the all-seeing eye of God (1 Kgs. 8:39-40).
11. This grace of fear also flows from a sense of the impartial judgment of God upon men according to their works (1 Pet. 1:17).

—John Bunyan, A Treatise on the Fear of God (The Apologetics Group), 56-61.

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