“Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”
The third command of this verse is that Christians are to allow the fear of God to come upon them. The Greek indicates that we cannot make God’s fear come upon us; we allow God to impact us.
“Fear” here is not the fear of terror but the fear of awe.
Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
“Beginning” means the principal part – it is the very foundation of wisdom. When we give God the principal place in our lives, all other things will take their proper place.
Malachi 3:16, “Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another,
And the Lord listened and heard them;
So a book of remembrance was written before Him
For those who fear the Lord
And who meditate on His name.”
Matt 10:28, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” That is God.
To fear God is to walk in such a way as to have his smile upon you, to look down on you, and be proud of you and be proud to own you. You wonder how God feels about some of us.
Acts 9:31, “Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.”
2 Cor 7:1, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
Living under the awe of God will produce holiness.
To fear God means to live in such a way that you would be afraid to insult God with your life. To fear God is for a Christian to live in such a way as to demonstrate incredible respect for the integrity and the holiness of God. He has too much respect for him to live a shabby life. That is the way the bridegroom feels about his bride. He loves her so much and has so much respect for her that he would not do anything that would offend her or make her cry.
The child of God does not want to grieve the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we insult him by the things that we do. Our conduct is an affront to God, who cannot tolerate sin to the slightest degree.