Text: Romans 8:15
By: Kaine, Marvis
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Today, there is no shortage of fear. Some fear the past with its haunting memories matching with spiked shoes through their mind. Others fear the present, full of insecurities. Still others fear the future with its short comings and pitfalls.
Children of God ought not to be found or mentioned among such persons living with fear. Fear is one of the devil’s favorite tool. He can cause one to be filled with fear and not remember the protection of God over us- (look at what happened to Jonah), then he is in control of our lives.
Fear (Phobos) refers to “a terror or dread at the anticipation of harm.” Fear make us to refuse to do what we know we ought to do. Some persons have been enslaved by fear that they cannot go to bed with the light turned off, Others can’t sleep alone due to past event or what they heard others say.
Satan uses this kind of fear (Phobos) to advance his purpose. He knowns that fear will destroy our boldness to act for God- Boldness to come out for evangelism. we will become like the one talent man- Matt. 25:14-18, 24-27; rather than seeing an opportunity as the other servants did, the one-talent servant sees only the prospect of failure. He is worried about being punished by his unsympathetic master, and his fear paralyzes him. He buries his talent, and when the master returns, he tries to argue that his failure is his master’s fault because his master made him afraid.
As a result of fear, some turn to idolatry to seek protection for their marriage, business and others go out seeking for miracle. Fear will cause one to keep a distance from God. Peter was afraid that he followed Christ at a distant- Mtt 26:28. Fear will cause us to act cowardly, hence we will do nothing for fear that we will do wrong.
Fear will make a person to say that a life of faith is not certain enough.
Fear comes from different sources such as
Fear of the Unknown.
The uncertain produces fear
Things we cannot control produces fear
Sin produces fear.
Sin produces fear in many ways. The sinner’s fears been known, criminals run for fear of their crime becoming known. From our text above, Paul draw a contrast between spirit of slavery leading to fear again and spirit of sonship.
He is saying we (Christians) did not receive a spirit that makes us slaves again to fear but we have received the spirit that makes us sons (children that does the will) of God (the father). If we do the will of the father (God), we will have nothing to be afraid of.
Christians are not under bondage and fear because we are Children of God. Before we were added to the LORD’s body, we were in bondage to sin. Christ said everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin (that is)- John 8: 33- 34. When one is under bondage (the state of being slaves) he or she has every reason to fear. We were once under condemnation and alienated from God. But Now in Christ we are the children of God. therefore, our response to God is not like bond slaves. It is not to be a response of fear.
This means that, as Christians we are the servants of Jesus Christ. But we do not serve simply out of fear, as a slave would serve. We do not serve Christ because we have to. We serve Him because we get to. It is a privilege to be a child of God. The bondservant who serves out of fear is always asking the wrong questions. The person who serves God out of fear as a bond slave will ask, “Do I have to attend mid-week service?” or “Do I have to give back to God?” These are the wrong questions. It is not, “You have to”; it is, “You get to.”
The child of God is one who wants to meet with the other children of God in worship. He does not come to the place of worship as a slave, but as a true child of God. He does not ask, “Do I have to partake of the Supper?”; he gets to. He does not ask, “Do I have to visit the sick; he gets to. There is a difference in attitude.
I am fearful that many may never get beyond the level of slavery and fear. They are asking, “must I attend all the programs of the church?” That is not the point. The point is that as a child of God you want to do everything you can to the glory of God. We are not under bondage and fear any longer, but we have received the spirit of Sonship. We can say with great meaning, “Our Father who art in heaven.” The sonship into the Father’s family changes our motivation for service. We serve because we want to do all that we can in the name of our Father. There is no longer room for fear (Phobos) in the Christian life. fear is quite different from reverence. The word fear when it connotes ‘reverence’ bears the meaning of respect, worshipfulness, or even divine respect- Ecclesiastes 12:13.
Solomon gave the final verdict. He wrote, the conclusion of the matter, is: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. This is certainly not the kind of fear that would cause one to run and hide. This is the same meaning that Paul had in mind with these words. So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling –Philippians 2:12.
Paul is not speaking of fear in the sense of terror, but of a respectable relationship with God. Dearly beloved, God had not given us the spirit of fear but of power and love and sound mind- II Tim 1:7. There is no fear in love- John 4:18.
The fearful (cowardly) are the first on the list of transgressors to suffer the second death (hell fire)- Rev 21: 8.