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How can a Christian stop fearing God’s wrath and punishment?

stop fearing God’s wrath

The Bible confirms that all people are guilty in God’s sight and deserve His wrath and punishment for sin (Psalm 51:3–5; Romans 3:9–26). However, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, God provides the means of removing our guilt and fear of punishment (Isaiah 53:10–12; Hebrews 9:14; John 1:29). Jesus’ death and resurrection opened the way for believers to experience the blessings and freedom of being in a right relationship God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christians can stop fearing God’s wrath and punishment because the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, cleanses them from all sin (Hebrews 10:11–14; 1 John 1:7).

Satan is “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). He is “the accuser of our brothers” who “accuses them day and night before our God” (Revelation 12:10, ESV). Our adversary, the devil, attempts to separate us from God with baseless fears about wrath, judgment, and punishment. But fear is one of Satan’s traps to keep us ineffective and useless in God’s kingdom (1 Peter 5:8–9).

Believers can stop fearing God’s wrath and living under the weight of guilt because “now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, NLT). Jesus gave His life to silence the voice of our accuser. Satan can no longer incriminate us (Romans 8:33–34). The apostle Paul writes, “For God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. . . . Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from . . . the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35–39).

Once a person repents and is saved, he must still contend with temptation and evil (1 John 1:8). But Scripture says, “If we confess our sins [to God], he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 John 1:8–9, NLT; see also Proverbs 28:13). A Christian no longer must live with a guilty conscience (Hebrews 10:22). Nevertheless, believers must be prepared for an ongoing, lifelong battle with temptation and sin (Romans 7:14–25; see also 1 John 1:8).

Thankfully, Jesus understands our weaknesses, and He and the Holy Spirit act as our heavenly attorneys, interceding continuously on our behalf before God (Romans 8:26–27, 34; Hebrews 4:15; 7:27; 1 John 2:1–2). We are also given God’s armor to wear (Ephesians 6:11–20; Romans 13:12) as we “fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). When we fall short of the mark, we confess our sins and receive God’s forgiveness. Christ’s blood has already paid the price for all our offenses, past, present, and future (1 Peter 1:18–19; 2 Corinthians 5:19; 1 John 2:2).

Sanctification is not instantaneous but a work in progress (2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). The Christian life is meant to be “a living and holy sacrifice” (Romans 12:1–3) by which God transforms us a little at a time into the image of His Son (Philippians 3:12–14; Ephesians 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:3–7; Hebrews 12:14; 2 Peter 3:18).

It is appropriate for Christians to have a healthy, respectful, and reverential fear of God and His holiness (1 Samuel 12:24; Proverbs 1:7; Hebrews 12:28–29; Revelation 14:7). But we don’t have to fear His divine wrath and punishment, which are reserved for the godless, disobedient, and wicked who refuse God’s offer of salvation in Jesus Christ (Romans 1:18–20; Matthew 25:31–33, 41–45; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6; 2 Peter 2:4–9).

Christians can stop fearing God’s wrath and punishment because His perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). The Lord’s forgiveness, compassion, and mercy are infinite and eternal for those who put their faith and trust in Him (Exodus 34:5–7; Nehemiah 9:16–17; Isaiah 43:25; Micah 7:18–20; Philippians 3:13–14). Believers can rejoice and rest in Christ’s comforting promise: “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life” (John 5:24, NLT).

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How can a Christian stop fearing God’s wrath and punishment?
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This page last updated: June 7, 2023