ROMANS 3:18 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (June 5-12)

Posted by Nathan Warner on

The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:

“There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18).

We're continuing to explore God's Word concerning "The Fear of the Lord." This week, we're looking at why the fear of God is of great practical importance for a healthy society.

Scripture decries people who have no fear of God. Often, in that connotation, it is illustrating how people who have no fear of God act wickedly and harm everyone around them. This leads to the wise recommendation that everyone should "fear the Lord and turn away from evil” (Proverbs 3:7b). Here, we see a juxtaposition. Those who fear God, turn away from evil. The reverse is also true - those that do not fear God, do not turn away from evil. We used to know this as a culture, but we have tossed it out like the proverbial baby in the bathwater.

Many people today argue that no person should ever have to fear harm. But this is not true. There is such a thing as a "healthy" fear - those that commit evil should fear judgment and punishment for their actions. This is justice. Good government is tasked with protecting the innocent and harming the harmful. This healthy fear is a deterrent to evil behavior. Paul says as much in Romans when he explains the proper role of earthly government is to instill fear of judgement in the wicked. “Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil” (Romans 13:2-4).

No true justice can be delivered here on earth. God is the ultimate avenger: “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). Ultimately, the ultimate fear of judgement is the judgement from God Himself. This is the proper fear of God that the evil should experience.

However, the growing cultural ignorance of God's nature and the emerging agnostic and atheist attitudes of our culture certainly don't inspire a healthy fear of God. And after all, if you don't acknowledge God, why should you care what He says to do and not to do? From a practical standpoint, the "Fear of God" is the foundation of a free society. It is the idea of an ultimate, objective authority that every individual is accountable to - one which can't be avoided, bought, or done away with - which sees and knows all and exists out of our reach while we are all within His reach and will have to give an account of our behavior to Him one day when the accounts are called in. No one can change His mind, and what He says is as it is. It is etched in unalterable stone. Many of our early lawmakers understood this and held the Ten Commandments as God's objective, unalterable law. Eliminate that ultimate authority from the minds and hearts of people, and there is no ultimate justice. There is no objective standard that all people are measured by. Now, "important" people are given different justice than "unimportant" people. With no ultimate justice, one needs only to pay the right people, gain power or authority, or be sneaky in order to commit evil and get away with it. That is remarkably easy to do, and so corruption rises as freedom subsides.

The injustice of the world is why Scripture often states that the evil "do not fear God." Because if you go unpunished for the evil that you do, why should you fear justice? Or if the earthly punishment is light for the evil you have practiced, why should you fear continuing in your wickedness? They mistake the world's lack of justice as a birthright to commit evil. They mistake the patience of God for a lack of interest, as if God is shrugging His shoulders at the harm they cause. God is patient and merciful, but He is storing up wrath for the evil for a day of judgment when they will be held accountable.

As a society today, we have entirely lost the fear of God, the fear of justice. There is an undercurrent in our society that disrespects the civil authorities that maintain justice. They feel entitled to do evil, and actively try to get away with it. For without a fear of God or a respect for law-abiding man, every man becomes a law unto themselves and will justify their evil deeds, even calling them "good." As this rises, our free society crumbles into tyranny and anarchy - the fear of man, rather than the fear of God.

May we preach the Gospel of Christ and clearly teach men about the holy nature of God. May we instill the "fear of the Lord" in our neighbors by not taking part in evil and upholding justice and righteousness in all our interactions. Even so, Amen.

 

Other verses to consider:

FEAR OF RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT

“Abraham said, ‘Because I thought, surely there is no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife’” (Genesis 20:11).

“But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people and took from them bread and wine besides forty shekels of silver; even their servants domineered the people. But I did not do so because of the fear of God” (Nehemiah 5:15).

“Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart; There is no fear of God before his eyes” (Psalm 36:1).

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil” (Proverbs 3:7).

“Do not let your heart envy sinners, But live in the fear of the Lord always” (Proverbs 23:17).

“You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it” (Deuteronomy 1:17).

“‘Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 3:5).

“Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil” (Romans 13:2-4).

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love” (1 John 4:18).

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

“Moses said to him, “As soon as I go out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease and there will be hail no longer, that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear the Lord God.” (Now the flax and the barley were ruined, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud” (Exodus 9:29-31).

“You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it” (Deuteronomy 1:17).

“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God” (John 3:19-21).

“Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged before You. Put them in fear, O Lord; Let the nations know that they are but men. Selah” (Psalm 9:19-20).

“They devise injustices, saying, ‘We are ready with a well-conceived plot’; For the inward thought and the heart of a man are deep. But God will shoot at them with an arrow; Suddenly they will be wounded. So they will make him stumble; Their own tongue is against them; All who see them will shake the head. Then all men will fear, and they will declare the work of God, and will consider what He has done. The righteous man will be glad in the Lord and will take refuge in Him; And all the upright in heart will glory” (Psalm 64:6-10).

“You, even You, are to be feared; And who may stand in Your presence when once You are angry? You caused judgment to be heard from heaven; The earth feared and was still” (Psalm 76:7-8).

“He will cut off the spirit of princes; He is feared by the kings of the earth” (Psalm 76:12).

“As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away. Who understands the power of Your anger and Your fury, according to the fear that is due You? So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:10-12).

“You have removed all the wicked of the earth like dross; Therefore I love Your testimonies. My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments” (Psalm 119:119-120).

“Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart; There is no fear of God before his eyes” (Psalm 36:1).

“But it will not be well for the evil man and he will not lengthen his days like a shadow, because he does not fear God” (Ecclesiastes 8:13).

“Saying, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man’” (Luke 18:2).

Tags: holiness, god, evil, righteousness, justice, fear, government, law, judgement, ten commandments, wicked, objective, measure, harm

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