There are two main types of fear in life: Fear of God and Fear of man.

  • Fear of GodProverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding
  • Fear of manProverbs 29:25 (NIV) Fear of man will prove to be a smart, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe

Who/what we truly fear will determine the way we live our lives.


  1. Characteristics of Fear

Fear is of spiritual origin and first appeared after relationship with God was broken

  • The first act of fear is recorded in Gen 3:10 [Adam] answered [God], “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
  • Fear, as a spiritual origin, needs a spiritual solution (it is not just an emotional issue)
  • Fear is sin – what we inherited from Adam, but the world has lost the meaning of sin

Fear is ultimately an issue of having control

  • Satan is a master of understanding what will make us react – Satan knows how to tempt us
    • First temptation – You will be like God (the need to be in control)
    • Satan tempts in Genesis 3:5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
  • How to know I want control ?
    • Desire to want to know good solution to problems
    • Upset when prayer is not answered
    • Want to be in control of what someone thinks of me
    • Want to control how this relationship is going
  • Fear makes us want to hide from each other and hide from God
    • Genesis 3:7-8 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife hear the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day and they hid from the LORD

Fear is about “Who will I listen to (obey)?”

  • Obeying the order in God’s design for relationship
    • Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
    • If we break this order, our lives will fall apart
    • When we quarrel with our family or neighbour, the first person we hurt is God
  • 5:23 NIV For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is Saviour
    • When God put man as the head of the wife, we need to do what Jesus did in 1 Cor. 15:28 Jesus put himself under God, even when everything has been put under Jesus


  1. Key Issues of Fear
  • Fear is linked to Control – what is inside of me – we have an inner need for control
    • g. David tried to control the outcomes of his sin with Bathsheba (2 Sam 11:7-15)
  • Fear is linked to Approval of man – what is outside of me? We want people to like us
    • g. David fears disapproval of men, thus he hide his true intention (2 Sam 11:19-25)
    • John 12:43 for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God
    • Paul understand the pressure of this problem in Gal 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
  • Fear is linked to worship – what is above me. The fear of God
    • g. David was confronted regarding his sin à sin first against God and then against Bathsheba’s husband à went to house of God and worshiped (2 Sam 12:13, 19-20)
    • Matthew 4:10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”
    • Deut 6:13 Fear the LORD your God serve Him only and take your oaths in His name

We often try to control, to get approval of man, but ultimately, we must come to God and worship


  1. How can we Overcome Fear?
  • Give up control – we cannot overcome with our will power
    • Mat 26:39, 42 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” … Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”
  • Don’t hide but expose our sin to God
    • Don’t hide in darkness – this is how Satan operates and shackles us with our habits
    • Self condemnation strengthens sin – strength of sin is the law (1 Cor. 15:56)
      • Knowing that it is of the law that what we did is sin, it strengths it.
      • People who sin in darkness suffer self condemnation
    • Talking to God even when we are sinning
      • Rom 7:7 – 8:1 No condemnation as we struggle with sin
      • Jonah was talking to God even he was sinning (Jonah 4:1, 3, 6-9)
      • This destroys self condemnation as you trust in God’s compassion
      • God already know all our secrets, but the action of telling may free you
      • When we bring God in whenever we sin, the exposure will free us
    • Trust in God’s compassion for sinners
      • See the way God sees you and God’s valuation of you
    • Fear and obey God more than man (Acts 5:17-42)
      • Mat 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell

Give up the desire for control and expose our sins to God. Fear and obey God, for it will set us free.