Sep 25, 2016
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The Wonderful Results of Saving Faith, pt.3

“Let There Be Light” - The Wonderful Results of Saving Faith Pt.3

*This series was taught at North Christian Church, leading up to a marvelous series on "The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification".  www.nccdighton.org

 

Let's first review some points the Spirit gave us last time.

We know that those who have trusted in The Lord Jesus Christ are granted eternal salvation, and are now the "light of the world", according to Jesus. (Mat 5)

Believers are analagous to the stars above, and by His divine presence in us, they are now able to shine light on the earth, on the darkness below.  Gen 1, 1Co 15

And yet, our free will is still involved, on how we use God's gracious gifts and power.

By relying on the Holy Spirit in us, we can be used by God for His good works, which He predestined for us to walk in. EPH 2:10

How much light will you shine on the earth for others still living in darkness (deception)?  OR, how much will you hide the light by living for yourself?  That is ultimately our daily choice.  He’s already given us His power, if we choose to use it.

Life is short!  There's not a lot of time, and you only come this way once.  We are called to live for Christ, and that means living for others, as HE did in His life on earth.

And it doesn’t depend upon your ability or talent, but upon your volition and humility; upon your willingness to simply be used by God one day at a time, however He desires for you.

If you have trusted Christ with your eternal life, your life is no longer your own, you are now God's own possession! EPH 1:13-14

EPH 1:13-14 "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory."

 

God has graciously granted us the opportunity to shine His light in this world.  First, His Light (His Love and Truth) shines in our souls, and then it pours out of us as a ray of hope in this dark world, IF we are willing.

 

We also talked about Reconciliation as one of the wonderful invisible results of saving faith, and this point came up...

Reconciliation was initiated by the innocent party (God).  He reached out to us in mercy.  And now we can act like Christ and reach out to others, without waiting for others to "apologize" first. 

Now we too can live in the power of His love.  We can transcend (rise above) it all because we are now in the Light!

COL 1:19-23 "For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach —  23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister."

 

Peace was initiated by God.  He loved us FIRST, even though we didn't deserve peace with Him.

1 John 4:10 "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

 

True love does not depend upon the worthiness of others. True love loves anyway. That's God's love.

We know what love is because of His example.

Because God is fully satisfied by His Son’s sacrifice, true believers now have peace with God forever! They have been reconciled!

 

We also saw that the believer has been Justified...

Acts 13:38-39 "Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.

NIV

Whoever believes in Him is justified, declared innocent by God!

 

And we saw that Redemption is another invisible result of saving faith.

First of all, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law; which was that a man was required to keep the WHOLE law if he were to satisfy God.  GAL 3:10-14

GAL 3:10-14 "For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM." 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." 12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM." 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us — for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE" —  14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

NASU

Christ also came to redeem us from lawlessness, not only from the curse of the Law.  TIT 2:11-14

Titus 2:11-14 "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds."

 

And we left off with this wonderful truth...  

The Invisible Results of Saving Faith: The believer is said to be “in Christ”.  ROM 8:1-4; ROM 12:3-5; ROM 16:3-10, 1CO 1:2,30,12:12-13, 2CO 5:17, EPH 2:4-10, Phil 1:1-2, COL 1:1-2, 1PE 5:14

Christ INDWELLS the true believer, and therefore he has an eternal position "in Christ".

He was placed in union with Christ at the moment of saving faith.

ROM 8:1-4 "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 

 

By operating in His love, by the Spirit, we can supernaturally fulfill the requirement of the Law in our lives, bringing glory to God without even knowing all the particulars of the Law.  This is because "love never fails". 1CO 13:1-8,13

Sin has been taken out of the way, having been nailed to the cross. 

And we believers were placed in union with Christ, forever as His possession, and we now have the power and light to overcome the world by His love.

The Spirit has shown us that in a couple different ways. 

It all starts with a proper perspective of ourselves as believers; that we have been made into a new creation, and we DO have His power IN US, and we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.

We CAN transcend it all by faith because we know we are "in Christ Jesus".

 

ROM 16:3-4,7,10 "Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles;

 7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

10 Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ.   

 

Placed “in Christ”: We see the baptism of the Spirit in 1CO 12:13, which placed believers in Christ, in His body.

1 Cor 12:12-13 "For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."

 

At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit placed the believer in union with Christ forever, and that is the position of strength the believer now lives from!  He's been given a brand new life “in Christ”.

And he is called to keep on following Christ, LIVING in this new wonderful position.  "The righteous man shall live by faith", ROM 1:17.

In Ephesians 2, this phrase "in Christ" is used several times to describe the position of the believer, and even the purpose for his creation.

EPH 2:4-10 "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

 

Back to the point about the invisible results of saving faith are intertwining, into one spiritual reality…

Notice “saints” is mentioned regarding those “in Christ”.

Saints is from the same Greek root as the word sanctified; which means the believer in Christ is also made holy, set apart for Christ, as His own possession.

 

The Invisible Results of Saving Faith: The believer in Christ has been Sanctified.  Acts 26:12-18, 1CO 1:2,30,6:9-11, HEB 10:10

Having believed in Christ from the heart, he has been once and for all sanctified, or "set apart" for God.

Acts 26:12-18 "While so engaged as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, 13 at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me. 14 "And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'  15 "And I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.  16 'But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;  17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you,  18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.'

The person who turns from the darkness to the light by trusting in Christ for forgiveness of sins receives the invisible result of being sanctified!

1 Cor 6:9-11 "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

 

Sanctified!  As a believer in Christ, you are no longer what you were!  You are a new creature in Christ, and your sins were washed away, removed from you, and you were "set apart" for God as His own possession!

You are no longer what you were.  Accept that fully, by faith.

EPH 1:13-14 "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory."

 

When God sees believers, He sees the perfection and purity of His Son; because you have been SANCTIFIED!

If you are a believer, you can no longer "die in your sins", as will happen to the unbelievers because they will remain unrighteous without Christ.

And this is why we must continue to spread the Good News.

John 8:23-24 "And He was saying to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.  (remember the imagery of the light shining down on the dark earth)  24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

 

When a person rejects Christ’s payment for their sins, they will have to stand before God on their own merits, and that will not go well for anyone.

As someone who has trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, you are no longer trapped in sin and its judgment.  You have been set apart as holy, or sanctified.

HEB 10:10 "By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

 

We also see a good example of this in 1Corinthians which gives us a glimpse into the true believer and the false believer.

This is where we will start seeing the VISIBLE results of saving faith, and if those results aren’t there, there may not have been saving faith to begin with.

 

First, let's notice in 1Cor 1 the description of the sanctified believer, not just that he is sanctified…

1 Cor 1:1-9 "Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."

 

The sanctification of the believer shows up in his life somehow. Why? Because it is a work of God. 

 

After Paul reminds the Corinthians that they have been sanctified, he then gets into their flaws and how they argue over foolish things.

Then Paul ends chapter 1 with a reminder of how God accomplished their sanctification, among other wonderful results of saving faith…

1 Cor 1:30-31 "But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."

Christ gave us all these things by grace!

The believer can only boast in the Lord because it is the Lord who has accomplished all these wonderful results for the believer. 

They are totally and solely from Him, by grace.

And let me remind you that Paul boldly says all of this about the Corinthian believers who often fell into various types of carnality!

In 1Cor 3, Paul starts instructing and admonishing the Corinthians for acting fleshly.  Notice that "being sanctified" "in Christ" does not mean believers cannot act fleshly, and at times fall into loose living, or self-righteousness, or both.

We all sin and fail after salvation, but our heart has been changed, and so it is our ATTITUDE towards sin that has changed.  Romans 7

But we will still sin at times, giving in to the flesh.

As believers, our overall desire is for God and His ways, and when we sin we have a repentant heart, motivated by the good conscience we've been given in Christ Jesus. 1TI 1:5,19

Paul is trying to help the Corinthians grow up in Christ, and to walk like spiritual men, and he reminds them along the way about their position in Christ as their Anchor.

But then we get to 1Cor 5 where sin turns into evil.

It’s one thing to sin after salvation; we all do that and will do that, giving in to the flesh at times. We see that battle in Galatians 5. But it’s another thing to compound sin into evil, not repenting from it, but even boasting in it.

The “believer” who revels in his sin and does not repent should examine his own heart and his own faith even.

In ch. 5, we see the man that has his father’s wife.  And Paul calls him a “so-called brother”, which many Bible scholars see as Paul questioning the genuineness of that man’s faith.

1 Cor 5:1 "It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife. 2 You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.

3 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

(There’s our first sign that Paul is questioning this man’s salvation. He's not saying he lost his salvation (which cannot happen to a true believer), but Paul is questioning if he ever had saving faith in the first place, even though this man is in the church.)

6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?  (by the way, were they boasting in sin or in legalism?  Sin.  Boasting in sin also leavens the whole lump, making it unclean.  Boasting allowed sin to spread to the whole church.) 

7 Clean out the old leaven (sin in context) so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. (You, true believers, are unleavened!  You are without sin, because Christ has been sacrificed!)  8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  (let’s live in our position in Christ, let’s live in the righteousness he gave us, the new man, etc…)

9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler — not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?  13 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES."

 

Here we see an UNREPENTANT LIFESTYLE of sin which makes Paul question this man's salvation. This agrees with what John and James say in their letters.  If someone lives in a LIFESTYLE of sin and is NOT REPENTANT, what does that say about their heart towards God?

Hasn't the heart of a true believer been changed by God?  If sin doesn't bother one's conscience, then maybe his heart was never changed to begin with, thus the phrase a "so-called brother".

 

So Paul called out this man, not because he sinned, but because he was unrepentant and boastful.

Now we know throughout the Bible that believers will sin at times.

We know that David is a man after God’s own heart, and yet he sinned horribly at times, including adultery and murder!

But what revealed David was a man after God’s own heart, Acts 13:22?  That he repented.  That he lamented and admitted his sin and turned back to God, as in Psa 32 and 51.

Granted, for a time David remained silent in his sin, having to be put on the spot by the prophet Nathan, 2Sam 12. But David never boasted in his sin, as someone with an unchanged heart can do.

Ultimately David did repent, and that is a sign of a true believer.  He knows in his heart that he answers to the Lord.

We will all sin, but the heart of a believer is seen in his repentant attitude, and his overall desire for the things of God.  Romans 7

The same apostle Paul who judged the "so-called brother" in 1Cor 5 is the same man who struggled with his own sin in Romans 7.  But Paul's genuine faith in the Lord is revealed in his DESIRE to do the things of God, even though he failed at times.

His heart's desire was for the Lord and His ways.

 

So what might we say about a man who refuses to repent, and even boasts about his sin?  We might question whether he was truly saved in the first place, as the Apostle Paul did.

If a man has his heart changed by Christ, then his heart cannot go on boasting about sin that His Lord paid for. 

The true believer is convicted when he realizes how he has sinned against His God.  He is sorrowful and laments, as David’s heart did in the Psalms.

Sin is not something the true believer can rest in, without his conscience being affected.  If he can rest in sin, and even boast in it, it’s a sign that he may have the old heart, not a new heart from Christ.

Again, this is also because the believer now has a good conscience, which is influenced and led by the Holy Spirit who is in him.

The baptism of the Spirit occurs in the person who "with the heart believes" in Christ, resulting in righteousness, 1CO 12:13, ROM 10:9-10. He then possesses the Spirit of God, and a good conscience influenced by Him, 1PE 3:21, 1TI 1:5,19.

1 Peter 3:21 "Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you — not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience — through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,"

1 Tim 1:5 "But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."

1 Tim 1:19 "keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith."

 

There we see how a believer is CHANGED.

Again, the believer David did some horrible things in moments of weakness, but his salvation was never questioned, and he would be called a man after God’s own heart in Acts 13:22.

The salvation of a person is in question if he continually lives in sin without a clash of conscience.  1Co 5, 1 John, James

In fact, John said the difference between believer and unbeliever was "obvious" in 1Jo 3.

 

The question is, where is the boastful person's heart?  Was it ever with Christ in the first place? 

Maybe this is why Paul tells us to examine and test our own faith...

2 Cor 13:5 "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you — unless, of course, you fail the test?"

What's questioned here is that Jesus Christ may not be in you if you "fail the test"!  That’s a salvation issue, not a spiritual life issue! 

As we’ve just learned, the genuine believer is indwelled by Christ Jesus.  It is a biblical truth that He lives inside the true believer.  

But some people may find, upon honest examination of their faith, that He is missing, and they’ve been playing a religious game. And it's between each person and God.

 

Now let's transition to some of the VISIBLE results of saving faith, which includes that a LACK of them indicating a lack of saving faith.

The wonderful results of saving faith include the visible "miracles" that occur in the lives of believers; changed hearts and lives that are totally the work of God.

If God saves someone, by grace, He also promises to sanctify them. His work will be completed in the life of a believer, by grace, Phil 1:6, 2:13. Therefore, some fruits become apparent in the believer's life.

We cannot see the roots of a tree, analogous to the invisible results of saving faith, but we can see the fruit of a tree above the ground, which are the visible proofs of saving faith.

The fruit reveals if the roots are good, or not.

The visible results of saving faith are signs that the Light is in a person. They shine forth because they have trusted in Christ as their Lord and Savior, and are therefore changed by the Spirit of God.

 

Let’s read a familiar passage with a beautiful message, and in light of our recent studies, let me know if notice anything different that stands out to you…

Ps 103:8-18 "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. 14 For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer. 17 But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children, 18 To those who keep His covenant And remember His precepts to do them."

 

What do you see, that maybe was never as clear as it is now?

I can speak for myself, that whenever I went to this wonderful passage I always rejoiced in the fact that the Lord doesn’t remember our sins anymore!

But WHO has He done all this for?  WHO is the one that will see His lovingkindness and grace?

The one who "fears" the Lord (mentioned 3 times, describing the type of persons who receive His lovingkindness, or grace).

And to the one who obeys Him and does His precepts, as in vs. 18.

Why isn't the word "believer" used? But is this not the description of the true believer?  The one who fears God, and even obeys Him?

That's just what a believer does, and we can tell in this passage the Spirit is describing a believer.

In vs. 13, as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

In other words, His children will fear Him.

This is what believers do; being saved by faith in Jesus Christ they have fear, awe, and respect for Him as Lord.

This is one of the characteristics of the life that is now "in Christ". This is one of the visible signs of saving faith.

The believer has Fear of the Lord.  Psa 103, MAL 3:16-18, ECC 12:13-14, ISA 50:10, 2Cor 7:1, EPH 5:21, Phil 2:12-13

Proper fear of the Lord goes hand in hand with the repentant heart of a believer.

MAL 3:16-18 "Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name. 17 "They will be Mine," says the Lord of hosts, "on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him." 18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him."

 

This passage directly tells us that the righteous/saved person serves God, and the wicked/unsaved do not serve Him.

Fear for God is a consistent characteristic of a believer, often stated plainly in the Word of God.

This DOESN'T mean we must earn our salvation, may it never be! We are saved by grace through faith in Christ! 

This simply means those who trust in Christ will have this type of life manifested. These are EVIDENCES of saving faith.

Even though there are growth stages in the believer’s life, notice how plainly "fear" is stated here as a sign of true believers, as in vs. 17 the Lord will spare them (the ones who fear Him) and make them His own possession.

This clearly speaks of salvation issues.

The true believer will have proper fear of the Lord, because their heart has been changed by Christ.

And then even after someone becomes saved, fear for the Lord continues.

Judgment even begins with the house of God (believers), 1PE 4:17.  Discipline from God is upon all believers at one time or another, for our own benefit, from our loving Father in heaven.  So should we not properly fear Him?

I had a pastor friend who once said to me: “I’m not doing that, the Lord will kick my butt.” :)

He had a good and true fear of His heavenly Father, who would "kick his butt" out of love, and it would hurt. Every good father disciplines his children.

Even though we know the tremendous grace of God extended to us, we should not take lightly the discipline of the Lord.  In fact, God's discipline is another sign of His grace towards believers.

Because we are under grace, that doesn't take away the need for proper fear and reverence for God.  We must have balance, and believers WILL have fear for the Lord, as the Word tells us.

 

ISA 50:10 "Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God."

Fearing the Lord is like the attitude of repentance; it's there when someone is ready to trust the Lord Jesus to be saved.

Isa 50 is largely prophecies about those who would attack the Messiah and reject Him, but the way of escape is to fear the Lord and trust in Him for the light of life.

2 Cor 7:1 "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

As the believer continues in God’s plan, the way to mature in holiness is also having fear of God.

Part of the process of our sanctification is having proper fear of God.

Here the Greek word for fear is "phobos", meaning fear, terror, reverence.

EPH 5:21 "and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ."

Here again we see "phobos", which might be translated "reverence" here.

Reverence bows down in awe, as before a mighty King.  It does not take God lightly or get too casually familiar with Him.  Reverence includes a healthy fear, which accompanied all those who ever saw God.

Think of all the OT and NT believers that "saw" God or the angel of the Lord and fell flat on their faces in fear and awe.  They could not stand in His presence. 

That's a picture of fear for the Lord. This was not just 'respect' as we know it today.

Phil 2:12-13 "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."

This is addressed to believers, and it does not mean to work FOR your salvation, but to work it out, or to participate in bringing it to completion for your life, as we saw in 2CO 7:1 “perfecting holiness in the fear of God”. 

In vs. 13 God is at work in you to complete His purpose for you, and He will.