Burnings in the Soul Recap

“But His Word was in my heart
        like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back,
And I could not.”
– Jeremiah 20:9

We kicked off the “Fear of God” conference today with the “Burnings in the Soul” men’s luncheon. It was such a blessing to gather together and listen to various men share what God has set ablaze in their souls as they have wrestled with the Word of God for months in preparation for this conference; not only considering the Fear of God in general, but also many specific areas of our lives that it affects, such as (to name a few): evangelism, the mortification of sin, salvation, and many others.

As we approach the time of the conference, we ought to be asking ourselves, “Has the fear of God affected my own life and thinking?” We will be seeking to explain some of the evidences that the fear of God has taken hold of our hearts on a far deeper level as the conference progresses.

If you were unable to attend the conference this year for any reason, you can tune into the conference livestream and listen to the main sessions.

May God give us people whose hearts have a burning passion to advance His Kingdom!

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Fear of the Lord Definition

What is the fear of the Lord?  Here is Dr. Carlton McLeod’s personal three-fold definition:

  1. The fear of the Lord is the love, reverence, awe and passion that prompts the believer to obey God.  It is that state of mental and emotional sanctification where the believer sees God as holy and a reverent trembling results.  It is the necessary characteristic of Christian discipleship where total obedience to the commands of Christ is seen as a loving response to a loving God.
  2. It is a behavioral restraining element even in the heart of those who do not follow Christ.  In other words, it is a cultural acknowledgment within man’s conscience of the Law of God (Ro 2:15).  It is a necessary component of any Godly and moral society.
  3. It is the understanding that God will one day judge the earth and all who ever lived.

 

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Can’t Make it to This Year’s Conference?

Join us live online for free by visiting the Fear of God Live Stream Page! Each of our main sessions will be broadcast live and recorded for future playback. By registering for the live feed, you will also gain access to the saved videos which will be made available for 30 days following the conference.

Learn More and Register to Attend

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What Love Looks Like, Part 1


1 Corinthians 13 contains fifteen distinctive marks of love.  In this message Scott Brown identifies the first six of these marks. There are two critical matters to grasp. First, notice that in each one of these marks of love, you can see the greatness of the mercy of God toward sinners. These marks of love are marks of the power of Jesus Christ and His love. Second, It is very important to personalize this chapter. Here is one way you can do so: as you read it, replace your name with love. Then, since you are a member of the body of Christ, replace the name of our church with love.  Here are the six marks of love identified in this message,

1. Love Suffers long when a wrong is done
2. Love is kind when an unknindness is committed
3. Love does not envy when someone else prospers
4. Love does not parade itself when someone
5. Love is not puffed up when wanting to be somebody
6. Love does not behave rudely when responding to others

We deserve the wrath of God for our impatience, lack of kindness, our envy, our parading ourselves our puffed up, our rudeness… We have all done these things.

What should we do? Turn to the only One who always loved perfectly in our place, for “if anyone sins we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.” He manifested each of these ways of love perfectly to save those who have mangled each one of them through sin.

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Fear of God Devotional: What Can Modern Christians Learn from the Life of Noah?



Ken Ham explains that Noah was a man of great faith who feared God, as evidenced by the fact that Hebrews 11 lists him in the “Hall of Faith.”

Though the whole world had rebelled against God, Noah feared God and obeyed everything that God told him to. Even when perhaps he did not understand why he was building an ark and even though he and his family suffered from scoffing friends and relatives, he remained faithful to what God commanded him to do.

As fathers and leaders of our own family, we ought to follow Noah’s example and lead our family in the ways of the Lord, no matter how difficult it may be or what people might say. Psalms 18:21 says, “For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.” When we fear truly God, we think less of ourselves and more on pleasing God and remaining obedient to His commands.

Hebrews 13:6 (NKJV) – “So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’”

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Do you Love All Christians?

William Grimshaw was one of the preachers of the English revival during the times of John Newton, George Whitefield, John Wesley and William Wilberforce. Grimshaw was a large hearted Christian who loved all those who had embraced Christ, even though their views might be different from his. This is documented in Faith Cook’s biography of Grimshaw,

“Grimshaw stood out to a marked degree against much of the contention which involved many of his contemporaries in sharp altercations. He had a genuine love for all true Christians, whatever their denominational label, declaring, 

‘I love them and will love them and none shall make me do otherwise, and my house shall always be open. To them all.’

Like his friend, Whitefield, he could say,

‘Do not tell me you are a Baptist, an Independent, a Presbyterian, a Dissenter; tell me you are a Christian, that is all I want; this is the religion of heaven, and must be ours upon earth.

Grimshaw was aware of the damage which can be wrought within a church or body of believers by an insistence on party labels about commonly held fundamental beliefs, and he wrote in his ‘Experiences’:

“By these means Satan stirs up disputes, contentions, and controversies about opinions and doctrines; and then divides the church of Christ into sects and parties… They [would] have it believed that if men hold not so, they are not to be saved; as if the right and hop of salvation depended rather upon opinion or what we hold, than with what we are in Christ Jesus.?”1

Notice also how Grimshaw protected his flock by avoiding controversy he deemed unprofitable,

“[Grimshaw] kept nothing back from his people that he thought profitable; but he did not think it to their profit to insist upon subjects of controversy, which as they are usually managed, rather alienate the minds of religious professors from each other than promote love, peace or holiness. He zeal was too ardent, his time too precious…The sense he had of the evil of sin, the worth of souls, the nearness of eternity, and the love of the Savior filled his heart and raised him far above a systematical accuracy.”2

1. Cook, Faith. William Grimshaw of Haworth. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1997. Print. p. 244
2. Cook, Faith. William Grimshaw of Haworth. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1997. Print. p. 229-130

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Fear of God Devotional: What Can Modern Christians Learn from the Life of Noah?



Ken Ham explains that Noah was a man of great faith who feared God, as evidenced by the fact that Hebrews 11 lists him in the “Hall of Faith.”

Though the whole world had rebelled against God, Noah feared God and obeyed everything that God told him to. Even when perhaps he did not understand why he was building an ark and even though he and his family suffered from scoffing friends and relatives, he remained faithful to what God commanded him to do.

As fathers and leaders of our own family, we ought to follow Noah’s example and lead our family in the ways of the Lord, no matter how difficult it may be or what people might say. Psalms 18:21 says, “For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.” When we fear truly God, we think less of ourselves and more on pleasing God and remaining obedient to His commands.

Hebrews 13:6 (NKJV) – “So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’”

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The Kind of Churches The NCFIC is Praying For

The mission of the NCFIC is to proclaim the sufficiency of Scripture for church and family life.  We believe that the a progressive returning to Biblical order in both of these spheres is critical for the health of both church and family. We pray for Biblically ordered churches with the following characteristics: 

I. Biblical purpose
Churches where the first purpose is to glorify God by obeying His Word and spreading the gospel until Christ comes again.

II. Sufficiency of Scripture
Churches where Scripture is the sole guide for church and family life.

III. Biblical preaching 
Churches which embrace that God leads His church through the faithful preaching the Word.      

IV. Prayer
Churches where everything is by prayer and supplication.

V. Regenerate church membership
Churches composed of the regenerate who have entered into covenant with one another.

VI. Biblically ordered church life
Churches embracing that only God is qualified to order church life and all activities must be regulated by His express commands.

VII. The Great Commission
Churches which evangelize and plant churches throughout the world.

VIII. Confessional foundations
Churches of doctrinal soundness according to historic confessions.

IX. Family reformation
Churches where Biblical family life, fatherhood and motherhood promoted and preserved.

X. Church as a body and family
Churches which are relational communities of brothers and sisters.

XI. Church discipline
Churches which maintain perseverance in the constant work of purification, fear and excommunication according to Biblical standards.

XII. Biblical Church Leadership – Elders and Deacons
Churches devoted to the appointing of Biblically qualified Elders and Deacons.

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Laboratory of Infallible medicines

Here is a quote from Thomas Guthrie on the relevancy of the Bible:

“The Bible is an armory of heavenly weapons, a laboratory of infallible medicines, a mine of exhaustless wealth. It is a guidebook for every road, a chart for every sea, a medicine for every malady, and a balm for every wound. Rob us of our Bible and our sky has lost its sun.”

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Fear of God Devotional: A Wrong View of the Fear of God



Paul Washer shows how we often misunderstand the fear of God. The fear of God is different compared to fear of man. We don’t fear a wrathful man the way we fear God. God is different, so our fear is different… Godly fear is mingled with love and joy and awe. This is why the fear of God is a healthy thing, while fear of a wrathful man is very different. God is good and that makes Him worthy of our fear. 

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Fear of God Devotional: The Fear of God in the Church



How is the fear of God manifested within the church?

Paul Washer explains in this video that as a church grows in the fear of the Lord, many things happen. For one, a church will begin to see the seriousness of worship in the sense that we don’t worship God according to how we like, but we worship Him according to what He has commanded. The fear of God also leads to a natural exaltation of the Word of God and a realization that we need to conform our lives to it.

One of the greatest manifestations of the fear of God in the body of Christ is a love for one another. We will look at a fellow Christian that we dislike or struggle to get along with and realize that God sent His Son to shed His blood on Calvary for this person. To mistreat, ignore, or gossip about them is a sin against God and would hurt an individual that Christ died for.

The fear of God doesn’t result in a rigid, strict following of His commandments, but rather an outpouring of love. If there is no love, we become almost like monsters. But that isn’t true Christianity. Instead, the fear of the Lord is manifested in love, humility, and sacrificial service towards others.

Philippians 2:3-8 (NKJV) “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

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Joel Beeke Just Published John Bunyan on the Fear of God

Here is how Joel Beeke describes this book:

“Old friends can be full of surprises. Have you ever visited with a dear friend whom you have known for years, only to discover something new about him that makes you admire him all the more? I grew up with John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, and though of course I never met Bunyan, I count him a dear friend whose writings have long nourished my soul. Yet after co-authoring a book with Paul Smalley on Bunyan and the fear of God, my admiration and gratitude for the tinker-theologian has deepened.  

As a seminary professor, I never cease to be astounded by Bunyan. He had little formal education, but he received a Ph.D. from the School of Suffering with Christ. His persecutors thought they had confined this preacher to jail, but in reality Bunyan lived in the Bible—and the word of God cannot be bound. To read Bunyan’s voluminous writings is to be immersed in the text of Holy Scripture.

That’s why I find Bunyan’s perspective on the fear of God so valuable. This topic is clouded with much confusion today. It seems that most people think that the fear of God annihilates faith in God’s grace, and vice versa. Some preachers distort the love of God in a manner that would take God off His throne and make Him our spiritual buddy. Other preachers fixate on God’s law and wrath to the neglect of the gospel so that people cower in degradation or run away from the Lord. 

Bunyan, however, discovered in the Bible that God’s grace ignites the fear of God in us. God puts His fear in those whom He loves and intends to bless forever. Many of God’s best promises are to the people who fear Him and hope in His faithful love. While it is true that some fear is bad, Bunyan teaches us how to discern between healthy and unhealthy fear toward God. We need not fear the true fear of God, for it is our best friend as we travel by grace along our pilgrimage toward His glory. In fact, God’s very grace is fearful, for it is the grace of God. Our distaste for the fear of the Lord shows how poorly we know God. 

So I commend the book to you in the hope that, by learning from Bunyan, you will learn more about God and will delight to fear His name.”

(Right now, RHB is selling John Bunyan and the Grace of Fearing God at a discounted price of only $8.00, over 45% off its retail price.)

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Fear of God Devotional: When Pastors Struggle with Fear of Man



What happens when pastors struggle with the fear of man?

Paul Thompson shares an example from his own life where, because of his obedience to God, certain things occurred that negatively impacted his reputation within the community.

Through this experience, God showed him that he was concerned more about his reputation rather than being grateful for God’s blessings. God was feeding, clothing, and providing everything he needed. God alone was sufficient. God also revealed how foolish it was to try to be a protector of his own reputation. Instead of seeking to protect his reputation, he ought to have proclaimed the truths of Scripture no matter the consequences, even if his reputation suffered as a result.

Though it was a humbling experience, he realized how futile it was to try to take it into his own hands to protect his own reputation, and was thankful for God mercifully steering him back to the truth.

Proverbs 29:25 (NKJV) – “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.”

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Utterly Worthless


In the first three verses of 1 Cor 13:1-3, Paul makes it clear that without love you are nothing. You can have the most biblical church and its worth nothing. You can embrace sound doctrine and defend it to the death and its worth nothing. You can be the most gifted person in town and its worth nothing. You can have the best missions program and its worth nothing. You can have the best outreach and its worth nothing. You can go to an abortion clinic, a rest home, and draw hundreds and even thousands and its worth nothing. You can evangelize and street preach and drive home your point and preach a true gospel, and its worth nothing.

We can think well of ourselves because of what we do, and these words in 1 Cor 13:1-3 are standing in the way to say, “wait a minute… but do you love?

Our Lord Jesus came for love – to make a father, a loving father; a worker, a loving worker; a church member a loving church member…

Here’s the problem: loving people and using people can look the same on the outside. Doing righteous things out of love, and doing them without love can look the same on the outside. Do you have love?

Here is the bottom line: ordinary love, is more important than extraordinary gifts. Giftedness without love is worthless. And, external gifts do not prove inward grace. Giftedness does not prove salvation. This is why Jonathan Edwards says good works are like a beautiful garment you put on that does not change you, but only alters your appearance.

But, love is more excellent.

Without love we are nothing.

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Fear of God Devotional: The Fear of God in Purchasing Cars



How does the fear of God apply to various aspects of everyday life?

Craig Houston explains in this video that the fear of God should influence all aspects of our life, even our vehicle purchases. When making such a purchase, one who fears God must determine how to be a wise steward of the money that God has given him.

In contrast, a person who fears man would only consider what his friends would think instead of pondering what God would have him to do. Fearing man can paralyze us. We fear men so much that whatever we wear, speak, and do, we do it all in the name of pleasing men and live in constant worry, wondering if we’re living up to their varying standards. This “fear” is misplaced – instead of wondering what your friends would say or think, prayerfully seek to always please God in all things.

Ephesians 5:15-17 (NKJV) – “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

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