Rejoice in the strange paradox that the gospel both frees us from sinful fear and leads us to godly fear.
Fear is one of the strongest human emotions, and it is one that often baffles Christians.
When they turn to the Bible, the picture seems equally confusing: Is fear a good thing or a bad thing? While God commands his people to fear him, they are also told to fight fear.
Michael Reeves brings clarity where there is confusion as he encourages readers to rejoice in the strange paradox that the gospel both frees them from sinful fear and leads them to godly fear. This book argues from Scripture that godly fear is the opposite of being afraid of God or his punishment, as if he were a tyrant. Instead, it is the intensity of the saints’ love for, delight in, and enjoyment of all that God is.
Rejoice and Tremble examines what it looks like when a believer is filled with a right and healthy fear of God, and how this fear is the means by which the people of God exhibit to the world the divine qualities of holiness, blessedness, happiness, wholeness, and beauty as they point to Christ Jesus.
Chapter 1: Do Not Be Afraid!
Chapter 2: Sinful Fear
Chapter 3: Right Fear
Chapter 4: Overwhelmed by the Creator
Chapter 5: Overwhelmed by the Father
Chapter 6: How to Grow in This Fear
Chapter 7: The Awesome Church
Chapter 8: Eternal Ecstasy
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Modern people often view the fear of God with disdainful suspicion, but Michael Reeves shows us that godly fear is really nothing other than love for God as God. Reeves also helps us to see that the greatest factor in promoting the fear of God is knowing his grace in Christ. As John Bunyan said, ‘There is nothing in heaven or earth that can so awe the heart as the grace of God.’ This wonderful book not only teaches but sings, leading us to ‘rejoice with trembling’ (Ps. 2:11).
We used to sing a hymn that said, ‘O how I fear Thee, living God! With deepest, tenderest fears.’ No longer. But the hymn’s first lines remind us of what we are missing: ‘My God, how wonderful Thou art, Thy majesty, how bright.’ Only those who find God to be ‘wonderful’ and his majesty ‘bright’ experience the ‘tenderest’ fear. So we have a problem; but thankfully help is at hand in Rejoice and Tremble. Like an elder brother, Michael Reeves guides us into a fresh understanding of the fear of the Lord. On the way, he introduces us to some of his friends—masters in the school of discipleship—who have walked the path before us. Join him on the journey. You will soon discover why ‘the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him’ (Ps. 147:11).
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, the Bible says, and reading this book will make you wise—wise to who God is and what God requires of us by way of loving, responsive discipleship. Packed full of historical nuggets, Rejoice and Tremble deserves to be widely read. ‘Walking in the fear of the Lord’ is language that has largely disappeared from the contemporary church. The result is the insipid quality of a great deal of current Christianity. Recapturing the sense of God’s incomprehensible greatness and holiness is the needed antidote this book provides. An absolute gem of a book.
I have enjoyed several of Michael Reeves' books, and this one was no disappointment! Michael Reeves shows how the fear of the Lord is a desirable thing; a true, affectionate, loving and active appreciation of all that God is. It leaves me recognising my lack in this area but wanting to know more. I am glad to have read it, and it is one of those books that I will most likely regularly re-read.