Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom and the foundation of religious life. The Holy Spirit‘s sanctifying gift of Fear of the Lord effects harmony and filial fear of God, and makes our standards conform to God’s. As we conform to God’s standards, fear descends and love ascends.
The following biblical citations follow the transition of fear to love:
“Ruin and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace they know not. There is no fear of God in their eyes.” (Romans 3:16-18)
“There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being.” (Luke 18:2)
“Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning.” (1 Peter 1:17)
“His mercy is from age to age for those who fear him.” (Luke 1:50)
“… Beloved, let us cleanse ourselves … making holiness perfect in the fear of the God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
Fear of the Lord saves us from caving into our sinful nature, and no fear of the God is the essence of man’s total depravity. Christ has poured out the Holy Spirit upon the church for filial reverence and love to our Almighty Father. Fear of the Lord is the desire not to offend Him, and the certainty that He will give us the Grace necessary to avoid sin.
God judges our sins, but forgives them, and the Heavenly Father sent His only son into the world to give us the ultimate proof of love — He died on a Cross to make us co-heirs of God’s Kingdom.
“No one has greater love that this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.” (John 15:13)
Hope reassures we will inherit God’s Kingdom. Our expectations are embodied in our inalienable hope that we are saved through the sacrifice of Christ, and are co-heirs of God’s Kingdom.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. As proof that you are children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.” (Galatians 4:4-7)