The Fear of God in Worship

We would all do well to listen to John Owen as he addresses the significance of worshiping “with reverence and godly fear.” He writes:

The sense of these words may best be learned from what they are opposed unto. Such as, 1. Want [lack] of a due sense of the majesty and glory of God with whom we have to do. 2. Want of a due sense of our own vileness. 3. Carnal boldness in a customary performance of sacred duties, which God abhors. Wherefore reverence is a holy abasement of soul in divine worship, in a sense of the majesty of God and our own vileness. And godly fear is a religious awe in the soul in holy duties, from a consideration of the greate danger there is in sinful miscarriages in the worship of God.

– Al Martin – The Forgotten Fear, 172-73
– John Owen, Epistle to the Hebrews, 267