God is Love

God is Love

In the Old Testament of the Bible we read the command to “fear God.” In the New Testament we read “God is Love” (1 John 4:8 and 16).

How can we fear someone who is loving? Is it even possible to do?

Is there a difference between fearing God in the Old Testament and a God of love in the New Testament? Although it’s the same God in both, one who doesn’t change, the difference is Jesus. Jesus alters the way we understand and perceive God.

True, God is to be feared and God is love. This is a spiritual paradox we need to accept.

In the Old Testament, the focus is on the law (rules) and the result is fear because we fall short. In the New Testament, Jesus fulfills the law (overcomes or replaces rules) with love. The result is that love trumps fear.

God is to be feared and God is love. Click To Tweet

This doesn’t mean we should completely disregard a healthy fear of God, but instead to temper our fear with his love.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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