Luke 12:4 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentThe second duty which our Saviour presses upon his disciples, is that of holy courage and resolution: as if Christ had said, the preaching of the gospel will stir up many enemies against you, which will malign and oppose you, vex and persecute you; but I say unto you, fear them not who can only kill the body; but fear him who, if you fail in your duty, can cast both body and soul into hell.
1. An unwarrantable fear condemned, and that is, the sinful, servile, slavish fear of man: Fear not them that kill the body.
2. An holy, awful, and prudential fear of the omnipotent God commended: Fear him that is able to kill both body and soul.
3. The persons whom this duty of fear is recommended to and bound upon; disciples, ministers, and ambassadors, all the friends of Christ. They not only may, but ought to fear him; not only for his greatness and goodness, but upon the account of his punitive justice, as being able to cast both soul and body into hell. Such a fear is not only lawful, but laudable; not only commendable, but commanded, and not misbecoming the friends of Christ. The ministers of God may use arguments from fear of judgments, both to dissuade from sin, and to persuade to duty. It is not unsuitable to the best of saints to keep in heaven's way for fear of hell: it is good to bid a friend fear, when that fear tends to his good.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.