The Degrees of Estimation

January 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments
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Christians have clear instructions from the Word of God on how to relate to the authorities the Lord has ordained to govern us. These instructions can be found in numerous passages of Scripture, but I Peter 2:17 is a good summation: “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”

Notice that Christians are generally to esteem others better than themselves (Philippians 2:3), but to different degrees, and with different types of deference. All men who are worthy of honor should be honored (Psalm 8:4-5). Other Christians (“the brotherhood”) are to be loved (Ephesians 1:15). Christian love is an active love, a giving love, and a love which carries a sacrifice of self, and a true desire that the recipient of love will grow in Christ-likeness (Hebrews 6:10). The king, or, in modern terms, the high-ranking government official, is to be honored in his office, regardless of personal politics (I Samuel 24:6-8).

The highest esteem – fear – is reserved for God (Matthew 10:28). This encompasses all the other forms of esteem – honor, love, reverence, etc. – and speaks of a very real desire to please a loving Father who wants to give good gifts to His children, but is not overly hesitant to chasten in love. Biblical fear of God is an often misunderstood and unpopular concept in today’s culture, but it is a great comfort for the true believer and lover of the Living Word. After all, the fear of God is both the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10), and the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7).

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  1. […] the race. Rolling on the ground, leaving the race-route, running backwards, stopping for a nap, feuding with other runners, or scarfing down heavy snacks along the way, would, I think we can all agree, greatly hinder […]

  2. […] witnesses have a fear not only for your future, but also a fear of their God. That fear is a blessed fear. It is the fear of a son’s fervent desire to please his […]

  3. […] today are influenced by Satan or the world, but God’s command to submit to our rulers is clear, as long as we’re not required to break a clear command from God’s […]

  4. […] we fear the unknown. Knowing God brings light and security when we trust Him. If you know and fear God, you need not fear anything else. If you do not know and fear God, you should fear everything else. […]

  5. […] seated on his throne. The king was considered “sovereign.” The job of the subjects was to esteem him. When it’s time to give advice, we had better not leave this factor out of the equation: Is […]

  6. […] comes when we become so addicted to ministry that we give up our “right” to be first, and esteem others better than […]

  7. […] was held, at least part of the time, by at least a certain segment of the populace, in varying levels of esteem. There were even those who loved Him and honored Him to a degree. Some even worshiped and adored […]

  8. […] Lord Jesus is a caring Shepherd and Friend, but the Triune God is not to be trifled with. A healthy fear and respect of His omniscience and power over life and death will remind us that our outward actions are never […]

  9. […] more because it is forbidden. Fear is another example. We should have an awe of God, and a reverent fear of Him that helps us. Instead, we make fear our excuse for not moving in faith, for not boldly […]

  10. […] Certainly, we place a high importance on what we wear to “special occasions” or to meet earthly dignitaries, so it only makes sense when we are going to formally “meet with God,” or, better to […]

  11. […] the children that God has entrusted to my care to have self-esteem; I want them to have “God esteem.” I do not want them to have self-worth; I want them to recognize God’s worth. Children […]

  12. […] is not building up their self-esteem. The hard thing is replacing it (not tearing it down) with esteem for God. Our job as parents, or as children’s Bible teachers, is to utterly convince them […]


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