Let’s start off by acknowledging that there are 27 occurrences in the 27 books of the New Testament that admonish us to “fear not”, and 17 of those occurrences come directly from Jesus Himself. Before we examine a few of these verses, I want to introduce you to this word “fear” in the original Greek of the New Testament.
Fear= phobeō G5399: to fear, be afraid, to be struck with fear, to be seized with alarm, it’s where we derive the modern word “phobia”.
Heb 2:15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
1John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love.
Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Mat 10:31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Mat 14:27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; fear not.
Mat 17:7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and fear not.
Mat 28:10 Then said Jesus unto them, Fear not: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
Mar 5:36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Fear not, only believe.
Luke 5:10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
Luke 8:50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.
Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Act 18:9 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Fear not, but speak, and hold not thy peace:
To understand what it means to “fear not” we must first understand what fear is and what the absence of fear means. The absence of fear as the Bible teaches us, is faith, the manifestation of what we believe. The word “believe” is used 248 times in the New Testament and 86 times by Jesus Himself. The extension of this word is “faith” and it’s used 244 times and 20 times by Jesus.
Believe= pisteuō G4100: to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in. Used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul, to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith.
Faith= pistis G4102: conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it, the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ, belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same.
Mat 8:13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
Mat 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Mat 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
Mar 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Mar 5:36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
Mar 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believes.
Luke 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
So as you can see by these verses provided, “believing” is essential in our walk with Christ and is the very essence of our union with Him. Faith is belief in action, belief manifested.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
Mat 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Mat 9:21-22 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
Mat 9:29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Mar 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
Mar 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Luke 5:20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
The “even we” that Paul is referring to in this passage above is, himself and the other apostles chosen by God. So faith is required of us all, no one is exempt from having to walk in it.
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Let’s stop right here and acknowledge this statement, that faith, which is the active form of belief comes about by hearing the Word of God.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Rom 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery that returns you to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.
2Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Psalm 56:4 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
All of these verses from the Word of God that have been displayed for you are to build your faith. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Faith is not a feeling, it is a decision. We have to decide what we will choose to believe. When we waiver from what we believe, that is when a spirit of fear creeps in. Far too much attention is given to the judgments of God, which invoke a sense of self preservation. It spurs a desire to “do” in order to save ourselves, not because we are moved by love or compassion, or even agreement with God’s Word, but to save ourselves from hell and damnation. The Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about reconciliation, love and forgiveness. This is where we derive our faith. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. He will keep us in constant remembrance of our past sins, but it is the shield of our FAITH that extinguishes those fiery darts of accusation. It’s when we look at the circumstances around us and decide to sink into that sea of uncertainty, rather than keep our eyes fixed on Jesus that fear gets the best of us. Just look at the example of Peter. Peter was actually walking on water, and as long as he trusted Jesus’ command to come to Him, he was fine, but the minute he took his eyes off of Jesus, and saw the wind and the waves, fear seized his heart and he began to sink. Jesus didn’t become angered with him, but rather reached out His hand and rescued him saying ” “You of little faith,” “Why did you doubt?” Mat 14:28-31
Let’s strive together to feed our faith and our fears will starve to death. Remember faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Acquaint yourself today with what God has to say to YOU. Open your Bible, come sit at His table and dine with Him.
God Bless you! Be Free and Set Free in Jesus Name!