Walking in the Spirit

I came across Acts 9:31 and read this segment from the last half of the verse, “walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost.” It is describing the early church after the first round of persecution ended after the conversion of Saul.

They had rest, they were edified and they multiplied because all their people were walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

At first glance, these two things don’t seem to go together. Fear and comfort?

You fear God because He’s your Creator and Judge, He is holy, He is just and righteous. That requires fear, admiration, awe, etc. At the same time, as a believer you don’t just walk in trembling anxiety that at any moment God will smite you.

We’ve been given not the spirit of fear but of power.

So the believer also has comfort in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. The Holy Spirit makes intercession constantly before God on the believer’s behalf. Thus, the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-righteous God is also a source of comfort.

One does not eliminate the other, they are both God, and fear and comfort are due to His character. Most churches have the Comfort part down, some churches have the Fear part down.

Wonder what would happen if we had both fear and comfort? Probably the results Acts 9:31 says the early church had–they were edified and multiplied.

2 thoughts on “Walking in the Spirit”

  1. “God is a river of goodness streaming down to men through the person of Jesus Christ.” -C. Spurgeon
    The more I realize God’s grace in my life, the less pull sin has on my flesh. If by “fear” you mean to be in awe, I totally agree. Fear of God will never cause a person to repent, but knowing His goodness will. “It is the goodness of the cross that leads men to repentance.”

  2. “Walking in the fear of the Lord”

    It must also be seen in the understanding of the times they lived in. To the believers, to “fear the Lord” meant to believe that He had sent His Son Jesus to the earth, that this Son was the true Messiah, the Promised One, and that the teachings and warnings of Jesus were the truth for that time.

    This was very contrary to the practice of the majority of the Jews, and accepted religion of the day. They did not fear the words of Jesus, nor did they regard them. To them, He was a fanatic, a messenger of Satan, someone who misapplied scripture, a false prophet. His words were not feared but despised and trampled underfoot.

    “in the comfort of the Holy Ghost”
    In the face of this opposition, God gave them the comfort of the Holy Ghost. They received the promises of the New Covenant and experienced them. The very things that the Jews were supposed to have had to equip them for the work of the Lord, but in spite of all their efforts they never obtained, were given to the members of the church freely, both Jews and Gentiles. These believers received victory over sin, and found peace by deliverance from it’s tyrannical power. This gave them also peace with each other, and there was a sweet union between them that could not be obtained or experienced by any other human organization, because it sprang from their common union of spiritual life, and not from mere mental or physical similarities.

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