– Woodrow Kroll
The Beginning of Wisdom
Christians know that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov 1:7), and this is taught throughout the Bible, but what kind of fear is it? It’s not a fear from being struck dead by God, but rather a fear that He is holy and we must reverence and respect Him and His name. We fear getting speeding tickets so we slow down, so in a similar fashion, we fear God because we reap what we sow, even if it’s much later than we sow, but we need fear only God and nothing else in this world (Rom 8:38-39).
Freedom from Fear
When we have trusted in Christ, the wrath of God has been removed, and now we have no fear of punishment. That’s why the Apostle John wrote, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1st John 4:18). We need not fear God’s punishment because it was placed on Christ on our behalf. We now have freedom from fear.
Greater is He
Read how confident the Apostle John was about us who believe in Christ. He writes, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1st John 4:4). We no longer need to fear the Devil or his demons because God is greater than they are. In fact, they are no match for God. The images I’ve seen where Jesus is arm wrestling with Satan are false. He’s been defeated. Satan is no match for Jesus! Eventually, Satan and his demons will be banished to hell, forever. When we have God’s Spirit in us, we have God’s power in us, and there is no greater power at all.
It is accurate to say “With the power of God within us, we need never fear the powers around us,” as Woodrow Kroll said. First of all, we need to fear God and be brought to repentance and faith. That’s the beginning of wisdom. Then we can be free from fear because we have no punishment coming and we need not fear that anymore. Finally, we understand that God is greater than anything He created, including the demons and the Devil. Even these are subject to Christ and to God’s Spirit, “for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1st John 4:4).