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Fear and Love Go Together
Instances in Which Both Concepts Are Found in the Same Passage
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In the following passages, the concepts of fear and love occur within two verses of each other
(often within the same verse), and they belong to the same context.
It is important to note that, when the fear refers to "fear of God," the fear and love are always compatible concepts, going together without conflict.
In only one verse are fear and love treated as opposites - and in that passage, the focus is on "fear of punishment," rather than on "fear of God." (The context of this passage is explained in detail, since there are many false teachers who tear the verse out of context and use it to attack the concept of "fear of God.")
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Fearing God and loving God (and his Word) go together; we have an obligation to do both.
Deuteronomy 10:12 - (What does the Lord your God ask of you?) ... to fear the Lord your God, ... to love him, etc.
Deuteronomy 13:3-4 - (God may test you...) ... to prove whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul ... him you must fear.
Psalm 119:119-120 - I love your statutes. My flesh trembles in fear of you.
Psalm 145:19-20 - He will fulfill the desires of those who fear him ... he keeps watch over all who love him.
Those who fear God are recipients of his love.
Psalm 33:18 - The Lord's eyes are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.
Psalm 60:4-5 - For those who fear you... (God comes to their aid). Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered.
Psalm 85:7, 9 - Show us your great love, O Lord; grant us your salvation. ... Surely his salvation is near those who fear him.
Psalm 86:11, 13 - Make my heart undivided, that I may fear your name. (I will praise and glorify you...) ... for great is your love toward me.
Psalm 103:11, 13 - As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love toward those who fear him. ... Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.
Psalm 103:17 - From everlasting to everlasting, the Lord's love is on those who fear him.
Psalm 118:4 - Let those who fear the Lord say: "His love endures forever."
Psalm 119:63-64 - I am a friend of all who fear you, ... your love, O Lord, fills the earth.
Psalm 147:11 - The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Fearing God and loving people - both concepts in the same context.
Deuteronomy 10:19-20 - You must love those who are aliens (foreigners in your country) ... fear the Lord your God and serve him.
1 Peter 2:17 - Love the brotherhood (other believers), fear God ...
Fear of punishment on the Day of Judgment - incompatible with the presence of God's love within us. (This is a fear that has a different focus.)
1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear is related to punishment. He who fears has not been made perfect in love.
The context of 1 John 4:18:
∙ God places his love in all who belong to him. That love, when present, will display itself in love for one's "brothers."
∙ When this visible expression of God's love is present ("perfected") in us, we know that we belong to God; and we have no need to fear that we will receive punishment at the future Day of Justice.
∙ In contrast, those who claim to belong to God, yet do not have this love from God expressing itself through them, are deceived.
Dennis Hinks © 2008; verses are summarized, rather than being fully quoted.