God is one, and yet mysteriously, He is three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The second person of the Trinity, Christ the Son, has come into this world to redeem lost souls. It is well known that Christ assumed a human body and personality to become both God and man in order to be a Saviour for lost mankind. He lived a perfect life, and then allowed Himself to be arrested and executed on a cross, where He paid an incomprehensible price for our salvation. God the Father laid upon Him all the guilt of all those who would trust in Him, and punished Him in their place. He suffered an indescribable, eternal punishment, somehow compressed into the space of a few hours, making an atonement for lost and sinful people.
Should we not ‘stand in awe’ at such a Saviour! We need to see God’s plan of salvation so clearly that we become amazed at His lovingkindness, and overwhelmed with awe.
But to have God’s forgiveness we also need to ‘stand in awe’ in another sense. We need to see our sinful and condemned condition in the sight of a holy God, and to be subdued and even scared about it. We need to realise that we are marked men and women, because God knows all about our sins and the state of our hearts. We have offended Him, broken His laws, and lived for ourselves, despising Him and setting Him aside. Therefore we are condemned by Him so that we cannot be helped by Him in this present life, and we mustforfeit eternal happiness in the next. If only we could be awed by these things, so that we feel our desperate need of forgiveness, then we would sincerely ask Him for blessing.
‘Stand in awe,’ said David, adding, ‘and be still!’ Don’t go on the run from God, offended at being called a condemned sinner, but be amazed that Christ should die on the cross to take the punishment for your rebellion, lies, pride, greed, unbelief, selfishness, and all your other sins. Forgiveness and new life are offered freely to all who turn to Christ repenting of their past lives, and trusting in what He has done to atone for sin.
So, we must stand in awe at ourselves, and how we are made. Most of all, we must stand in awe of God, thinking of Who He is, and of what Christ has done for us. And we must be awed in the sense of being subdued and scared at the realisation of our sin and its consequences.
No one has ever been converted without this kind of ‘awe’ causing them to turn to the Lord. Then, when God hears our prayer, we feel a new kind of awe, the awe of surprise and amazement, because we find a new life, new attitudes, new happiness, and a new experience of communion with God. When we know Him and His answer to our prayer, we become over-awed at the reality of conversion.
[Editor’s Note: Article Written by Dr. Peter Masters, “The Awesome God” published by the Metropolitan Tabernacle. Used by Permission. British English retained. Title changed photo added by Pulpit and Pen]