By   •   October 14, 2007   •   Topics: ,


How can we fear God and also love Him at the same time? Isn't that a contradiction? I suppose I mainly fear God and try to do things that I think will please Him, but I know the Bible also tells us to love Him, and I have a hard time doing that.


Yes, the Bible’s command to fear God and yet also love Him may seem like a contradiction at first—but once you understand what the Bible actually means, the contradiction goes away.

Let me explain. It’s true that the Bible repeatedly tells us to fear God: “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him” (Psalm 33:8). But what does it mean by “fear”? We usually fear something (such as a vicious dog or a violent storm) when we expect it to harm us. In other words, we fear something that has no concern for us, and is a source of constant danger to us.

But that isn’t what God is like! God created us, and He also loves us—and the proof is that He sent His only Son into the world to die for our sins. Would He have done this if He hated us? No, of course not. The Bible says, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Stop right now and thank God for loving you and sending His Son to die for you.

To fear God is not to shrink back from Him in terror. To fear God is to have a deep reverence for Him, and to stand in awe at His holiness and majesty and power and love. Only then will we love and serve and worship Him as we should.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published but you will receive our next BGEA ministry update. You can opt out of future emails at any time.


  1. Nancy Lee says:

    It explains fear and love very clearly.

  2. Ronnie K says:

    Me again, I think what John was getting across here was we can never have 100% perfect love, so in some degree we will still have fear. The closer we get to perfect love the less fear we have. I’m not a teacher or a preacher just a poor sinner that still searches for that 100% love.

  3. Paul says:

    Forgive me, but i still don’t understand.
    My thinking is this; Love God, but fear his wrath.
    Is this laymen terms for your last paragraph?

  4. Tina says:

    I thank u for sharing so many inspiring things. It helps me understand questions I have. GOD BLESS YOU

  5. Yosef Sheikh says:

    It has not been clear to me before how The Lord has asked me to fear him yet love him. It has only been now that I have understood and found his love. Thank you.

  6. Susan Frances Christie says:

    I use the word Awesome only for GOD and JESUS the CHRIST !!!! I tell people this too. I also believe that GOD gave me my last name Christie (missing the n and m) for it is CHRIST in me , the hope of glory! Col. 1: 27. Amen.and Amen .

  7. alfred nyangoya says:

    so nice indeed

  8. diane says:

    Great lesson

  9. Mark says:

    Thank you for helping me fall in love with Psalm 34

  10. Ethielyn E. Taqued says:

    Thank you I am enlightened.