What is God's Plan of Salvation?

Hear: Romans 10:17 (KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Believe: John 8:24 (KJV) I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Repent:  Matthew 9:13 (KJV) But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Luke 13:3 (KJV) I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Luke 5:32 (KJV) I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Confess: Matthew 10:32 (KJV) Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

Baptism: Acts 2:38 (KJV) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Remain Faithful: Revelation 2:10 (KJV) Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.


The Sin of "Fear"


I noticed while reading Revelation 21:8 the other day that the first sinners mentioned in that verse were “the fearful”.  Wow.  If someone were to ask me to name sins listed in the Bible, I’m not sure I would remember to mention “fear”.  This sin is rarely the main topic of Bible class or sermons, but that doesn’t make it any less important, so I decided to research what the Bible says about fear.

The sources used were 1) The Holy Bible (King James Version), 2) the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (“Strong’s”), and 3) the Interlinear Bible published by Sovereign Grace Publishing, which is in original Hebrew and Greek with literal English translation.  Each word or phrase has a number reference corresponding to word definitions found in Strong’s. At the end of each scripture quoted here I listed the relative number referencing the word “fear” in that scripture, as found in the Interlinear Bible.

First I looked in Strong’s for all references to the word “fear”.  There were many instances of the imperative “Fear not”, such as in Luke 1:30 (5399) when the angel Gabriel, being sent by God, was telling Mary that she was to give birth to Jesus.

I researched several scriptures that contained the word “fear”, looking up the definition from the original language using Strong’s.  Here are numbers and their corresponding definitions:

Here are the scriptures I researched:

Revelation 21:8 (KJV) But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (1169)

Matthew 25:25 (KJV) And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. (5399, from 5401)

 Luke 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. (Mary speaking of God) (5399)

Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. (5401)

I Corinthians 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.( 5401)

II Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (5401)

Philippians 1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. (870 aphobos  - neg particle + 5401)

Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (5401)

II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  (1167 (“cowardice” in Interlinear Bible) “from 1169”)

Revelation 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Spoken by an angel in the Revelation to John)(5399, from 5401)

Revelation 19:5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. (5399, from 5401)

Deuteronomy 6:13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. (3372)

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (3372)


There are different types of fear.  Fear can be a common and involuntary human emotion triggered by an impending threat or danger, or it can also mean “to have a reverential  awe of <fear God> (Mirriam-Webster online)”.

In reading Revelation 21:8 we see that the fearful “shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”  However, in Ecclesiastes 12:13 we are told to “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”   These scriptures are not contradictory – they are referring to two different types of fear.  The fear that we are to have of God is the reverential awe that he deserves as the creator and Lord, the great “I Am” (Exodus 3:14).

The fear that is sinful is the sin of cowardice that keeps us from doing what is right, and from being productive as Christians.  For example, in the parable of the talents, the man given the one talent told the master upon his return “… I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth…” (Matthew 25:25) He knew that the master was a “hard man” (vs. 24), and was so afraid of losing that one talent that he chose to bury it in the earth.  If the master had not been certain that he had the capability of being a good steward he would not have entrusted him with the talent in the first place.  We all have the capability of being good stewards –  no matter how little or how much we are capable of, the Lord requires us to be productive in his service!

It is the fear of “timidity” that implies “faithless”, found in II Timothy 1:7, that we are to avoid. 

II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

This is the fear that, if we allow it, will keep us from spreading the gospel in the face of persecution, or at the risk of being made fun of.  This is the fear that caused Peter to deny Christ not once, but three times.  This is the fear that will keep us from ministering to others when it puts us outside our comfort zone.  And, I dare say, this is the fear that keeps some from studying the scriptures daily, in case they might find something that disagrees with the doctrines of their denomination.  This is the sinful fear that is referred to in Revelation 21:8.

Fear can be overcome.  When we read about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, we realize that he was in such agony that “his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).  He prayed fervently “…Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me…” (vs. 42). What was the cause of this agony?  Why would he want this cup removed?  At this point Jesus was in his human body.  It would be easy to understand his physical and mental dread or fear of what was about to take place – he already knew everything that was going to happen.  He knew the torture his fleshly body was going to endure.  He knew that his beloved Peter was going to deny him and his own chosen one, Judas, would betray him.  But worse yet, he knew that he would soon be bearing the weight of all mankind’s sin -  past, present, and future - and that his own Father would turn his face away from him in that moment on the cross.  But Jesus did not succumb to his own fear and dread of what was to come.  He did not let it lead him to sin, but being sinless, prayed to his Father “…nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”(vs. 42)  Jesus submitted to his Father’s will, just as we are to do.  We should pray to have the confidence that David had when he approached Goliath…the knowledge that when God is on our side, no one can stand against us (Romans 8:31).

“Stand up, stand up for Jesus ye soldiers of the cross…”! (George Duffield, 1858, George J. Webb, 1837)