Fear: is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”1
Salvation is being rescued from danger.
Faith is knowing the truth, accepting it as true, and acting with trust in the truth.
Notice the definition of fear refers to what a person believes. If we believe there is danger, we have fear. If we believe there is no danger, we have no fear.
Most, if not all fears, are in some way associated with the ultimate danger that every person faces, death. By nature, all people since Adam enter the world separated from God (spiritual death), and spend their lives trying to avoid physical death. Our attempts to avoid physical death are often seen in our selfishness (sin).
We know that:
- Jesus came to give us eternal life.
- in salvation we are given eternal life.
- someday we will overcome physical death through bodily resurrection.
- salvation is eternal life that come through the grace of God by personal faith in Jesus.
However, we sometimes overlook that this salvation/eternal life also sets us free from fear from the greatest of danger and all lesser dangers. Setting us free from death, and the fear of death, is specifically why Jesus became a man and died for our sins.
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Hebrews 2:14-15
Fear enslaves. Our natural fear of death makes a slave of sin. We fear death because death is a real and ever present danger we face. However, Jesus came to save us from death and to set us free from the slavery that comes from the fear of death. To overcome the fear of death we must embrace the truth that we have eternal life now and that our salvation includes physical life as will in the resurrection.
God wants us to experience the abundant life which is the result the freedom from the fear of death we have in Jesus. Jesus said it this way.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10:10-11
The abundant life is living in faith that we have eternal life that we are freed from fear. Freedom from fear is what liberates us to serve one another in love. Love is doing what is good for others which is the opposite of the selfishness that fear produces.
In this time when many are fearful, let us live by faith and serve another in love. Freedom from fear is not a foolish or reckless abandon. No, it is thinking more highly of others than ourselves and sacrificially serving others. Let's love, not fear.
Serving with joy,