Gospel-Fear or the Heart Trembling at the Word of God by Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646)
Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646), was a brilliant Reformed preacher of the Gospel, and an astute theologian. He ministered with pastoral sensitivity and a zealous desire to glorify God in his preaching and writing.
The fear of God is a primary spiritual grace deposited in the redeemed and pardoned soul. Scripture is filled with directives in obedience before God based on godly fear because it is a principal grace; it is part of the beginning of grace. Why are not more Christian books taken up with the fear of the Lord? It is because at the outset, such seems to be very offensive to modern Christian sensibilities. And yet, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding,” (Prov. 9:10).
Many Christians look to Christ like they look to a boyfriend or girlfriend, rather than as the holy God who deals with sin through infinite wrath on the cross. Christ directed his disciples to a holy fear of God (Matt. 10:28). Jesus is the loving Savior, but this is bound up in the astonishment and amazement and respect of God’s being and character in relation to sin and salvation. He is to be feared.
What is godly fear? Jeremiah Burroughs will answer this more than adequately. He uses his primary text in Isaiah 66:2, “But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” Knowledge of the word of God produces and cultivates the fear of God in Spirit-endowed believers. It produces a trembling and contrite Christian. As a result, he will show that Scripture informs the pardoned soul to understand God in the light of holy fear and trembling, in turn that becoming a tender heart to follow the word and will of God, as he demonstrates further from 2 Kings 22:14, “Because thine heart was tender….” Holy dread and tenderness of heart are inseparably linked together as Gospel-Fear.
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Table of Contents
Holy Dread by C. Matthew McMahon
Meet Jeremiah Burroughs
To the Reader
SERMON 1 on Isaiah 66:2
SERMON 4 on 2 Kings 22:14