Study Guide: No Fear

Sunday March 23, 2008 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

Time is ticking away. Being alive in this world means that we are moving toward death, and to some degree that makes most of us afraid. That fear can drive us to many different sources of worldly security, but the good news (the Easter news!) is that no one needs to live in fear.

Extended Summary:

Being alive in this world means that we are moving toward death. Time is ticking away. It is like sand slipping through fingers and it can’t be slowed down, even for a second. We want to freeze a moment but can’t. It’s relentless. We are dying physically and in other ways. Every moment is irretrievably gone; we die to it. Every day opportunities are irretrievably lost; we die to them. We try to go back and relive the past, to experience the “glory days” but find it futile because they are gone, dead.

This dying process results in “fear.” In a variety of ways, we experience a sense of dread, anxiety, and empty uneasiness. Philosophers call this angst. We all respond differently to this angst, the fear of death and the dying process. Some medicate angst with distractions like TV, booze, sex, or sports. Some medicate with work, achievements and other things to try to make life significant. Some medicate by tenaciously hanging onto youth, yet they know it’s a losing battle. Others are simply paralyzed by their angst, trying to hang on to sand.

In this fallen world, all will die, and the process of living is going to be a kind of death. Until the Kingdom fully comes, this is a reality. BUT THE GOOD NEWS – THE EASTER NEWS – IS THAT NO ONE NEEDS TO LIVE IN FEAR. To understand why this is true we should consider three things.

  1. The Devil holds power of death.
  2. Jesus came to break the power of him who holds the power of death.
  3. We are set free because Jesus’ resurrection is the sign that the Devil has been defeated.

When we surrender to Christ, God’s life resides in us. In fact, God himself resides in you. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is in us. This is how the death and resurrection of Jesus sets us free from the fear of death and free from the dying process. In setting us free from fear, he sets us free from the Devil, for our fear was the main way Satan kept us in bondage.

Reflection Questions:

  1. In what ways is the passing of time impacting you at this point of your life?
  2. How has the fear of death impacted your life?
  3. How do typically react to the sense of angst?
  4. How does the resurrection address the fear of death or give you the ability to combat the angst?
  5. How do you need to appropriate the reality of the resurrection in your life today?