Fear God so that you may not sin (29 Dec 2019)

A. New Year resolution for Bethesda Chapel

Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin” (Exodus 20:20).

The people had received the Ten Commandments with fear and trembling at the foot of Mount Sinai. They saw the flashes of lighting, the trumpet sound and the smoking mountain. They had heard God speaking to Moses in thunder. They felt the mountain trembled greatly. They were afraid to die. They needed Moses as an intermediary.

The Ten Commandments and other laws were given to restrain sin. No one can meet the just requirements of God’s laws. Christ met all the legal requirements of the Law. By faith in Christ’s work on the Cross, we are made right before God. By faith and grace we can die to sin and live for Christ. To follow the Spirit is life. To obey the letter of the Law is death.

An underlying root of sin and disobedience is a lack of a healthy fear of God. A fear of punishment.

A healthy fear of God is to hate sin. God is holy and hates sin. Fear God because of His holiness. Approach the throne of grace boldly, so that we can get right with God quickly. Thank God that Christ Jesus is our Meditator and Advocate. His blood cleanses us from sins, as we confess.

B. Personal plans and resolutions

The world begins to do the countdown on 31 December 2019 and to usher in 1 January 2020.

As Christians, we ought to make plans and resolutions based on the truths in the Bible. We ask the Spirit of God to lead us in our personal choices. Self-centered goals will eventually be futile (James 4:13-17). We are also warned not to make vows before God (Ecc 5:4-5).

Instead we ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:15).

At your age, what would be your plans and resolutions that would be glorifying to the Lord Jesus Christ?

A simple step to discern God’s will and personal motive is to read the Bible and study it regularly under the instruction of the Holy Spirit.

Praying is certainly in the will of God. Some bible texts on resolutions to pray are: 1 Samuel 12:23; Isaiah 40:30; Matthew 19:14; Ephesians 1:16; Colossians 1:9; 1 Timothy 1:1-4.

As for other possible plans and resolutions weigh them against God’s Word and ask for the grace of God to accomplish significant ones.

God has answered many our prayers in 2019. Our risen Lord Jesus Christ hears us. We ought to ask the indwelling Holy Spirit to cleanse us from secret sins so that our prayers not be hindered.

Trust in the bountiful grace of God so as to press on to grow in the knowledge of Christ.

Blessed New Year 2020, with God to guide your walk of faith with Him. To Him be the glory!


Elder Yoong Yuen Soo