Should we obey God out of love or fear

Should we obey God out of love or fear? This is what listener Neal Cook would like to know. Neal asked about the contrast between Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, which says:

“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”

Ecclesiastes 12:13–14 (ESV)

And John 14:15, which says:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

John 14:15 (ESV)

Neal says, “In the first passage, we are told to ‘fear’ and obey. In the second, we are told to ‘love’ and obey. So, the question I’d like for you to address: Should we obey out of fear or out of love? I think the former, but I’d like to hear your thoughts. As an aside, as an earthly father, I much preferred my children obey me out of love, but, even if they didn’t, I still would have desired that they do the things I taught them. If it took fear of me to motivate them to do right, I think that’s still better than disobedience.”

Wes McAdams and Travis Pauley discuss this very important question of obeying out of love or fear, getting to the heart of what should motivate the obedience of Christians.

Bible Passages Discussed in this Bible Study:

  • Deuteronomy 7:21–22
  • Psalm 68:34–35
  • Deuteronomy 6:4–5
  • 1 John 4:16–18

Links and Resources:

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