1999 James A. Fowler
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I. Some New Testament verses referring to "fear."
A. Greek word phobos, from
which we get English word "phobia."
- "everyone kept feeling a sense of awe"
-"great fear came upon the whole church"
- "you have not receive a spirit of slavery leading to fear"
2:3 - "I was with you in weakness and in fear"
7:5 - "conflicts without, fears within"
B. Greek word deilas referring
to "fright" or "dread"
"Why are you timid, you men of little faith?"
- "Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful"
1:7 - "God has not given us a spirit of timidity"
C. Greek word eulabeia referring
- "offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and
II. English word "fear" has great range of meaning.
A. Reflex - abrupt and acute sense
of alarm or surprise
B. Thrill - sensation of daring; roller-coaster,
bungee jumping, gambling
C. Wariness - healthy awareness of the
D. Cowardice - timidity, afraid to venture,
E. Apprehension - fret, worry
F. Anxiety - chronic sense of panic and
terror, phobias, dread
G. Awe - honor, respect, reverence
III. What do we fear? (a few examples)
unfamiliar, lack, want, loss, unemployment, economic instability,
loss of support,
isolation, loss of health, cancer, incomprehensible, future,
death, end times,
war, nuclear warfare, bodily harm, social decay, governmental
decline, lack of
being dependent, exposure, darkness, guns, air travel, closed
places, mice, spiders,
fire, storms, earthquakes, catastrophe, heights, work, world,
love, broken relationships, disapproval, what others think, what
others might do,
sexual desirability, what will happen to our family (spouse,
desertion, people, pagans, other races, crowds, the world, opponent,
or embarrassed, loneliness, having nothing to say, offending
inadequacy, inability, responsibility, success, our capability
to hurt, being out of
security, being dependent, being fearful, being exposed, cracking
IV. What does fear do to us? Consequences of fear.
tension, diarrhea, sleeplessness, indigestion, hyperactivity,
problems, increased sexual desire
debilitating, disorganized, distorts reality, warps perception,
our relationship with God, doubts of salvation, question God's
love, His ways, His
question our ability to live as Christian.
V. Why do we fear?
A. Psychological causes?
threatened, perceived danger, feel powerless, inadequate, inferior,
genuine guilt, false
S - insignificance, incompletion
E - isolation, uninvolved
L - instability, insincerity
F - ignorance, impropriety
B. Spiritual causes?
Satan cause us to fear? - II Tim. 1:7; Gen. 3:10
Is fear always wrong? an evil to be overcome? Rev. 21:8
Fear not - Matt. 14:27; 17:7; Mk 5:36; 6:50; Lk. 1:13; 5:10;
8:50; Jn. 12:15; Acts
27:24; Rev. 1:17
Is fear part of being human? Job 41:35
Is fear a deterrent to crime?
Is fear a choice we make to sin? a failure to have faith?
God want us to fear?
Fear God - Acts 9:31; II Cor. 7:1; Col. 3:22; Eph. 5:21; I Pt
Fear the devil - Matt. 10:26-28; Lk. 12:4
Fear judgment - Heb. 10:31
VI. How do we respond to fear?
A. Natural responses
suppress, avoid, insulate, self-protection, rationalize, manipulate,
B. God's intended response
of God - the end of all other fears, the essence of faith
Presence of God - Gen. 15:1; Ps. 23:4; 34:4; 118:6; Isa. 41:10;
43:1,5; Matt. 14:27; 17:6;
Love of God - Ps. 118:4; Lk. 12:32; Rom. 8:15; I John 4:18
Activity of God - Ps. 56:3; Isa. 12:2; Matt. 8:26; John 14:1;
I Pet. 5:7