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The Daily Word of Righteousness
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7)
The term fear is sometimes translated "reverence." However honorable the motives of the translators may be, there is mischief in adopting reverence, or piety, in place of fear. Fear and reverence are not at all the same thing. We may reverence the memory of George Washington but we do not fear his memory.
Every individual who has walked with the Lord for a number of years probably has experienced at one time or another the fear of the Lord. Paul knew the terror of the Lord. Jesus directed us to fear Him who has the power to cast our body and soul into the fiery Gehenna.
The fear of God to a great extent has left the people of America. We have become arrogant, and some of the artists whose works are generally accepted, and protected by law have created nauseating blasphemies. They may be protected by the Constitution of the United States. But what court will protect them when they stand before almighty God?
To not have a wholesome fear of God is to be living in ignorance of spiritual realities.
It is time for the Lord to restore His fear to the churches. The man or woman of faith both fears and loves God. Noah was moved by the fear of the flood. God advised Noah to save himself and his family by building an ark. Noah was afraid to disobey God. He was afraid of the consequences. It is as simple as that.
Notice that the righteous Noah was moved by fear to do something : "Prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." Noah's faith caused him to prepare an ark.
The root of the current error is the view of faith as an alternative to righteous behavior. This one misunderstanding has opened the door for humanism to enter the thinking of God's leaders.
Paul contrasted faith and works.
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16)
There are several passages in Romans that present the same concept—the concept that faith in the Lord Jesus is an alternative to works.
It is understandable that Gentiles would begin to teach that we go to Heaven by believing in Jesus, not by living righteously.
Let us be as simple and clear as we can. Paul's meaning in Romans and Galatians is that we cannot save ourselves by works of the Law of Moses but by placing our faith in the Lord Jesus. No human can please God by ignoring the provision God has made on the cross and attempting to perform the works of the Law of Moses, or the righteous deeds of any moral code. God will not accept man's attempt to be righteous as an alternative to placing his faith in the Lord Jesus.
Would you agree we have explained Paul's position correctly? Paul is stating that it is not by works of righteousness we have performed (particularly circumcision and other statutes of the Law of Moses) but by God's grace operating through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that we are saved. Are we correct?
To be continued.