Ephesians 4:7-16; Wisdom requires fear of the Lord, part 4.

Class Outline:

Wednesday July 21,2021

The fear of God, the lack of knowledge, human dependence upon God in Jeremiah.


JER 7:32-34

"Therefore, behold, days are coming," declares the Lord, "when it will no more be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of the Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth because there is no other place. 33 "And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky, and for the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away. 34 "Then I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land will become a ruin.


Topheth was in the valley of Kidron where the Israelites sacrificed their children to the Ammonite god Molech. God promised that the same valley would be filled with so many of their dead that there would not be enough room to bury them.


PRO 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;

Fools despise wisdom and instruction.


JER 8:7

“Even the stork in the sky

Knows her seasons;

And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush

Observe the time of their migration;

But My people do not know

The ordinance of the Lord.”


The animal kingdom obeys the laws of God, but not mankind who doesn’t fear the Lord.


Mankind does not possess self-direction.


JER 10:23-24

I know, O Lord, that a man's way is not in himself;

Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.

24 Correct me, O Lord, but with justice;

Not with Thine anger, lest Thou bring me to nothing.


We have no inherent steering mechanism. We have to be guided. We have to be told by the Lord what to do and not do, where to go and not to go, what to say and not to say. And, by the way, the Son of God in His humanity willfully followed that same obedience.


Fear of the Lord is not an OT entreaty only.


2CO 5:9-11

Therefore [we will be at home in the presence of our Lord] also we have as our ambition [literally to love honor -philtimeomai = to strive to bring something to pass], whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.


11 Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord [based on the judgment seat of Christ], we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.


Knowing the fear of the Lord is the fact of the inescapable accountability to Christ as Judge.


The ascended Christ gave us gifts and He will recompense our deeds. Fear cannot mean the fear of condemnation that all unbelievers will inevitably feel in judgment, but a reverential awe and respect, so much so that it is accompanied by the fear or dread of not living the life He gave us, and performing the good deeds that He will judge us for.


We usually use the words “reverence” and “awe” to define the fear of the Lord. The Greek words translated by the NASB as such are found together in HEB 12:28.


HEB 12:28-29

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence [eulabeia] and awe [deos]; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.


There is a fine balance that has to be struck by the believer, which this passage illudes to. God as a consuming fire sounds like someone to fear. And God who lovingly takes us to Zion and the New Jerusalem sounds like someone we have no need to fear. Both are true and they must be understood together.


In this passage, the writer draws a contrast between Mt. Sinai and Mt. Zion with the New Jerusalem.


HEB 12:18-21

For you have not come to a mountain that may be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word should be spoken to them. 20 For they could not bear the command, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned." 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, "I am full of fear and trembling."


The sight of the massive storm upon the mountain and the voice of God caused a natural reflex of fear, even in Moses. But, the writer tells us, we have not come to this mountain.


HEB 12:22-24

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.


Compared to Sinai, something like Mt. Doom, Zion is victory and eternal bliss and peace. But then we are warned.


HEB 12:25

See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they [Exodus] refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven [the scriptures are the mind of Christ, speaking to us from His glorified place].


Very often, in the Old and New Testaments, we’re told to listen to God and in faith obey what we hear.


JER 11:3-4

"Cursed is the man who does not heed the words of this covenant 4 which I commanded your forefathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, 'Listen to My voice, and do according to all which I command you; so you shall be My people, and I will be your God,'


The writer of Hebrews is referring to the same people, the Exodus, who turned away from Him who warned them on earth. Now, we are warned from heaven, meaning that the word to us is from the Son of God seated at the right hand of God. We do worse than the Exodus to refuse Him who is speaking.


Though we are saved by grace, we will not be exempt from the dire results of turning our back on God. The Exodus generation refused to pay heed to the commandments of God, failing to believe His promises, and they suffered for their disobedience.


HEB 12:26-27

And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, " Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven." 27 And this expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.


HAG 2:6

“For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land.’”


This event is in the future. The writer draws our attention to “Yet once more,” in vs. 27, showing that it is once more, meaning that it will be final. It will occur when the Messiah returns to the earth. Though His rule on earth is not the end of human history, it is an end of earth being ruled by anyone but Him in Person. There are many things that can be shaken, but there are some things that cannot be shaken.


ISA 2:21

Before the terror of the Lord and the splendor of His majesty,

When He arises to make the earth tremble.


ISA 13:13

Therefore I shall make the heavens tremble,

And the earth will be shaken from its place

At the fury of the Lord of hosts

In the day of His burning anger.


The whole material universe will be shaken to pieces, and the only things to survive will be the unshakeable.


PSA 102:25-28

"Of old Thou didst found the earth;

And the heavens are the work of Thy hands.

26 "Even they will perish, but Thou dost endure;

And all of them will wear out like a garment;

Like clothing Thou wilt change them, and they will be changed.

27 "But Thou art the same,

And Thy years will not come to an end.

28 "The children of Thy servants will continue,

And their descendants will be established before Thee."


The writer of Hebrews adds to this prophecy stating that although all the kingdoms of the world, as well as the heavens will be shaken by Christ, the kingdom of God cannot be shaken.