Little Faith—the immature believer~“But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, ‘O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? — but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees’” (Matthew 16:8-11a).
Eugene Peterson has paraphrased this passage this way, “Jesus knew what they were doing and said, ‘Why all these worried whispers about forgetting the bread? Runt believers! Haven't you caught on yet? Don't you remember the five loaves of bread and the five thousand people, and how many baskets of fragments you picked up?’” (Matthew 16:8-10 The Message).
Growing Faith—the healthy Christian~“To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith” (2 Thessalonians 1:1a-5a).
Great Faith—the trusting Christian ~“Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord, help me!’ But He answered and said, ‘It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs.’ And she said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour” (Matthew 15:25-28).
Strong Faith—the fully established Christian~“He [Abraham] did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore ‘it was accounted to him for righteousness’” (Romans 4:20-22).
Full of Faith—the mature / fearless Christian~“Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. And Stephen, full of faithand power, did great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:7-8).
(Acts 6:5) They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit;
My, such a nice post. One spoiler for me under “Full of Faith”, the one I would rather chose and shall we say the one “without measure” (John 3:34).
May I ask therefore what Christian can inwardly attest while even under the Holy Spirit’s leading ‘I will do so - fearlessly!’
If our connectedness to the Father who baptizes with “fire” (Matthew 3:11), and by the “Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15) remains in place with it as mixed; why is the thought resisted by some to come under the co-existence of both the love and fear of God? At what point does that cease to be a part of our worship?
”If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth” (I Pet 1:17) NASB
Being full of faith from our perspective should indeed perceive both, while those witnessing such activity won’t necessarily be privy. To God be the glory for all He wills to reveal what ends of His works meet up with consciences.
PRYZ,....Lets consider 1Jn 4:18 – “There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” In fact it says He wants us free from fear! There are 365 Fear Not's in the Word. To be free of fear we need to grow in a revelation of how much He loves us.
I believe Gods wrath was poured out at Calvary on His Son. It was a finished work, We are no longer to be fearful.. Altho I do know there are many that see the finished work differently.
To me, Fear, for a born-again believer is an awe and holy reverence for who He is and what He has done for us. We are to come boldly to the throne of grace and mercy. Halleluiah!
We come to Christ’s finished work, having taken the tormenting hell of fear from the devil, this emphatic encouragement from the Father is now in hyper-status along with having the Spirit. For when fearful problems arise, He can be found looking into the matters of His children:
5For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within. 6But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us, , 2 Corinthians 7:5, 6)
This is as close as fear should ever get to overrunning a child of the King of kings for his time of warfare in this life, for the one who does is the one you mentioned in I John when he is “not perfected in love.”
Now this brings me to the point of my remarks to Bob as first with the “Fearless Christian” point. Yes, it could be a lack of verbal handling. But the handling could be perceived by some geared to pride rather than an accompanying faith, especially before the un-regenerated minds out there who haven’t a clue what fears are, and what are not to be.
Qt: “To me, Fear, for a born-again believer is an awe and holy reverence”
Sorry for the mincing of words here, but to me, that word “awe” covers quite a bit of ground; from awe-amazed to awe-petrified. Whichever the Lord gives understanding for its use, He did clarify it for me.
"But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!" (Luke 12:5)
It would be foolish to think he was stressing this for only the lost. Or maybe you could show me in the word why He would use this to call the lost sheep only. “Some save with fear” won’t because we would have to separate them from new converts.
Let me ask you for the best possibility, if you stood before the Lord for a moment, and He asked you the question, ‘What do you now wish to apply your love of God to, 1. Not fearing God at all, or 2. Are absolutely fearful of Him?’Which would you feel as safe as possible with? Or, which poses the greater danger?
Qt: “There are 365 Fear Not's in the Word.”
If the following were the only verse to go with (God forbid), I still don’t think I would find reasons enough to abandon the Love/Fear mix.
"6And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; 7and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.” (Revelation 14:6, 7)
Ok Michael, You raised some good points and I do think I understand some of what you are trying to say with the love/fear mix...
I have a picture in my head of the Wizard of Oz...lol...The old one, I've not seen the new....The wizard was All Powerful, All Mighty, All Knowing, and they trembled with fear...to stand in his presence....(please dont think I am comparing our God with a wizard tho!)..but to me this would be an awe/petrified state...not knowing Love,mercy,forgiveness,acceptance, Correct?..
I went to Luke 12 and read the whole chapter...you mentioned verse 5..."But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him.... but on in verse 7 He tells them "Do not fear"
Yes, He was talking to His disciples "first of all". (Chapter 1) But I can't help but feel that He was warning them about what happens to one who kills. For in verse 4 He is saying "My friends", do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that, have no more they can do. So yes, I believe He was talking about one who does not know Him, NOT "a friend per say."
He tells us DO Not Fear...for I am with you... If we believe this is true(and I do) then why should we fear entering in? Im sure we will tremble at the meer existance of His Being, because of Who He is and the awe/amazement. But we should no longer be in an awe/petrified state, If we KNOW who we have living on the inside of us. For Gods wrath was poured out and on to the very one taking us in...and He says..Peace be still...we are to be at peace in who He says we are IN Him. Not in arrogance...but assurance. Blessed Assurance Jesus is mine!
So, I believe this is what Robert means by "the mature/fearless Christian"...