Gifts of the Spirit: Fear of the Lord

We are discussing the gifts of the spirit. We have discussed teachers and pastors, speaking in tongues and words of wisdom.  Today, we are going to discuss fear of the Lord and piety.

 

Fear of the Lord—Isaiah 11:2-2 says, “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him… and he

Are you strong in the Lord?

will delight in the fear of the LORD.”  Scripture often discusses the fear of the Lord.  This means to have wonder and awe at who He is and what He is capable of.  Some may think of this as fear, in that he will be a threat to us.   However, our God is a loving God.  We all have to fear Him as a threat, when we side with the deceiver.

Over 30 verses in the Bible discuss fearing the Lord.  Here is just a small sampling:

  • “Praise the LORD! How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who greatly delights in His commandments.” Psalm 112:1
  • “He will bless those who fear the LORD, The small together with the great.” Psalm 115:13
  • “The fear of the LORD prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.” Proverbs 10:27
  • “He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.” Psalm 145:19
  • “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD Than great treasure and turmoil with it.” Proverbs 15:16

Our catechism says,   “With the gift of fear of the Lord/wonder and awe, we are aware of

The Lord hears our prayers

the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love. This gift is described by Aquinas as a fear of separating oneself from God. He describes the gift as a “filial fear,” like a child’s fear of offending his father, rather than a “servile fear,” that is, a fear of punishment. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It is the perfection of the theological virtue of hope.”

Distinguish between Spirits— 1 Corinthians 12:10 says, “and to another discerning of spirits.”

Barnes Notes on the New Testament says, “refer to some power of searching into the

It is important to distinguish between the spirits and test them that they are from God

secrets of the heart; of knowing what were a man’s purposes, views, and feelings. It may relate either to the power of determining by what spirit a man spoke who pretended to be inspired, whether he was truly inspired or whether he was an impostor, or it may refer to the power of seeing whether a man was sincere or not in his Christian profession. That the apostles had this power, is apparent from the case of Ananias and Sapphira {Acts 5:1-10}.”
The catechism says,   “The capacity to discern, distinguish, or to discriminate the source of a spiritual manifestation—whether it emanates from a good or evil spirit. It seemed to have been particularly associated with prophecy as it would be necessary to know whether a prophetic utterance was truly inspired by God.”

Today, it is easy to be deceived by the voice of the deceiver.  Whether he is speaking to our soul or using another person as his vessel.  We can seek God for the truth behind the voice speaking to us and ask God to reveal the truth to us.

Piety—Piety is defined as being religious or reverent.   Isaiah 11:2 says, “The Spirit of the

Do you enjoy being where the spirit of the Lord is? Do you fear the Lord and revere His name?

LORD will rest on him.”   This reverence is known as piety.

Our catechism says,    “With the gift of piety/reverence, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love. According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, it is the perfection of the virtue  of religion. Piety is the gift whereby, at the Holy Spirit’s instigation, we pay worship and duty to God as our Father.”

 

In The Life of Christ, Saint Thomas Aquinas is said to say that “four of these gifts (wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and counsel) direct the intellect, while the other three gifts (fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord) direct the will toward God.”

On Wikipedia, it is explained this way:

“Thomas Aquinas asserts the following correspondences between the seven capital virtues and the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit:

What gifts do you possess? How can you use them for the glory of God?

  1. The gift of wisdom corresponds to the virtue of charity.
  2. The gifts of understanding and knowledge correspond to the virtue of faith.
  3. The gift of counsel (right judgment) corresponds to the virtue of prudence.
  4. The gift of fortitude corresponds to the virtue of courage.
  5. The gift of fear of the Lord corresponds to the virtue of hope.
  6. The gift of Reverence corresponds to the virtue of justice.
  7. To the virtue of temperance, no Gift is directly assigned; but the gift of fear can be taken as such, since fear drives somebody to restrict himself from forbidden pleasures.”

Today, we’ve discussed revering the Lord and distinguishing His spirit over that of the deceiver.  Even if these are not our gifts, these are traits we should all strive to improve in our spiritual walk.

Do any of these spiritual gifts relate to you?

 

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