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Quotes by John MacArthur


The Bible is the most offensive book ever written. It damns the whole human race. No one escapes.


The truth of God is the most important thing in the world. It’s more important than anything else, and it’s more important than everything else combined. The truth reveals God… It must be spoken and it must be written no matter what the effects may be and the effects are predictable. On the one hand, some people believe and all heaven breaks loose. On the other hand, some people do not believe and all hell breaks loose.


Jesus didn’t escalate the conflict by being insensitive. He didn’t escalate the conflict by being ungracious. The conflict escalated of itself because He spoke the truth… it’s the truth matters more than anything else and if you always say the truth in every situation, the truth will have the effect of exposing everything else as error and people who are in that error aren’t happy about that. That’s the bottom line. And Jesus was compelled by the truth. 


A true seeker has come under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit by virtue of a true understanding of the law of God. A true seeker has been broken and contrite in heart by being measured against the law of God and found guilty before God. A true seeker knows that there is no way to earn salvation by works. And a true seeker is so desperate for eternal life as to gladly abandon everything in this life for that greatest of all gifts and willingly submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Those are the tests that separate the false seeker from the true seeker. The true seeker can be saved because God alone produces that kind of repentance and submission. The false seeker cannot be saved because it’s impossible if you’re just coming on your own.


If the Bible doesn’t mean exactly what it says, if we say it doesn’t mean what it says, then to what authority do we turn to find out what it does mean?


Even the good deeds unbelievers perform are not truly a fulfillment of God’s law, because they are produced by the flesh, for selfish reasons, and from a heart that is in rebellion.


If the Spirit of God is at work in your life, nothing will stop you from making this commitment. You have nothing to fear in telling someone that. You have nothing to fear in saying to someone, “I want you to think about this, I want you to consider the cost carefully.” You have nothing to fear. What you’re doing is stopping people from superficial, non-saving delusion. You’re backing them off and saying, let’s find out whether this is really the work of the Spirit of God and what is happening in your life is not a momentary, emotional thing, but what is happening in your life is the true, regenerating work of the Holy Spirit producing an unrelenting repentance and an undying faith that will go through every barrier. You do all the important things in life by calculating carefully. This is the most important thing you’ll ever do.


Jesus is not offering a makeover. He’s calling for a takeover, very different from the easy kind of Christianity light that we’re so familiar with. 


The glory of God is the goal of redemption and the salvation of the sinner is the means to that… Only the people who understand that are the ones that understand what worship is really about.  


What is a false religion? A false religion is any religion by any name that is not consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ, whether it’s Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism or some aberrant kind of Christianity. All false religions agree on being anti-gospel. This is the greatest attack always on the truth.


All false religions have their own diversities, but all false religions agree in taking a position opposite the gospel of Jesus Christ.


[Jesus] is not under anyone but God, and He is in perfect agreement with God, as God. He has authority… He has absolute unilateral authority to do whatever He will, whenever He wills, with whomever or whatever He wills… Jesus never in His earthly life asked permission to do anything. Never. He never sought it from any normal channels in His ministry… No matter what it was, there was no authority to whom Jesus went. He quoted no rabbi. He had permission from no Sanhedrin. He had no rabbinical council to which He was answerable. He was not ordained in the appropriate way that all teachers and rabbis were ordained. And nor was His theology checked and signed off on by the Sanhedrin. And He teaches without any connection to any prior mentor or rabbi, and without credentials, and without ordination, which could only be given by the Sanhedrin. Jesus was His own authority. He spoke prophetically. He spoke truly. He rightly interpreted the Old Testament Scripture. He spoke the true Word of God. They even admitted that. He forgave sin. He healed sick people. He raised the dead. He cast out demons. And He did it without ever seeking permission from anyone.


Don’t ever think for one split second that Jesus came into the world to offer a kingdom to Israel without a cross and that somehow when the Jews rejected Him as King, He had to go and die on the cross.  He never offered a kingdom without a cross.  He was the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. 


[Jesus was] led to slaughter in the greatest act of injustice from a human standpoint ever enacted to achieve the greatest act of justice from a divine point ever accomplished.


No human being…is ever conceived outside God’s will or ever conceived apart from God’s image. Life is a gift from God created in His own image.


Love’s question is never who to love – because we are to love everyone – but only how to love most helpfully. We are not to love merely in terms of feeling but in terms of service. God’s love embraces the entire world (John 3:16), and He loved each of us even while we were still sinners and His enemies (Rom. 5:8-10). Those who refuse to trust in God are His enemies; be He is not theirs. In the same way, we are not to be enemies of those who may be enemies to us. From their perspective, we are their enemies; but from our perspective, they should be our neighbors.


Mothers, don’t let anyone ever dupe you into thinking there’s anything ignoble or disgraceful about remaining at home and raising your family. Don’t buy the lie that you’re repressed if you’re a worker in the home instead of in the world’s workplace. Devoting yourself fully to your role as wife and mother is not repression; it is true liberation. Multitudes of women have bought the world’s lie, put on a suit, picked up a briefcase, dropped their children off for someone else to raise, and gone into the workplace, only to realize after fifteen years that they and their children have a hollow void in their hearts. Many such career women now say they wish they had devoted themselves to motherhood and the home instead.


The question in salvation is not whether Jesus is Lord, but whether we are submissive to His lordship.


Mary’s virginity protected a great deal more than her own moral character, reputation, and the legitimacy of Jesus’ birth. It protected the nature of the divine Son of God… Jesus had to have one human parent or He could not have been human, and thereby a partaker of our flesh. But He also had to have divine parentage of He could not have made a sinless and perfect sacrifice on our behalf.


The source of most of the problems people have in their Christian lives relates to two things: either they are not worshiping six days a week with their life, or they are not worshiping one day a week with the assembly of the saints. We need both.


The preacher must put himself out of the way and let God’s Word speak through him unhindered.  No matter what his training, experience, or personal abilities, he has spiritual authority only to the extent that what he says conforms to God’s Word.  But as with Jesus’ own teaching, when a minister of God does faithfully proclaim that Word, those who reject his teaching reject God’s truth and are as much accountable for their rejection as if the Lord had spoken the truth with His own lips.  It is in that way, and only in that way, that a pastor is able to speak with spiritual authority.  It is also in that way that he is commanded to speak with spiritual authority.


It has been estimated that from the first “good morning” to the last “good night,” the average person engages in 30 conversations a day; some of you average more than that, some of you, less. Statisticians have estimated that each of us will spend 13 years of our life talking, and every day, our words could write a book of 50-60 pages. In a year, if we are just average, we could author 264 books of over 200 pages, just with our words. You can do more than that if you can speak in excess of 300 words per minute, as some of us are able to do, or if you talk incessantly at any speed.


The history of persecution of God’s people shows that the chief persecutor has been false religion. It is the purveyors of error who are the aggressive enemies of truth, and it is therefore inevitable that, as God’s Word predicts, the final world system of the antichrist will be religious, not secular.


Worship cannot be isolated or relegated to just one place, time, or segment of our lives. We cannot verbally thank and praise God while living lives of selfishness and carnality. That kind of effort at worship is a perversion. Real acts of worship must be the overflow of a worshiping life… As God warms the heart with righteousness and love, the resulting life of praise that boils over is the truest expression of worship.


Another guarantee of our inheritance is our persevering faith. Peter said we are protected by God’s power through faith (1 Pet. 1:5). Faith is God’s gift to us; we don’t generate it on our own (Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 1:29). Faith is aroused by grace, upheld by grace, and energized by grace. Grace reaches into the soul of the believer, generating and maintaining faith. By God’s grace alone we trust Christ, and by grace we continue to believe.


This Passover [just before our Lord’s sacrifice], after 1500-plus years of Passovers, was the last divinely sanctioned and authorized Passover ever held. Any Passover ever celebrated after this one is not authorized by God. It is a remnant of a bygone economy, of an extinct dispensation, of a covenant no longer in vogue. It is vestigial. It serves no significant purpose. Jesus here celebrated the Passover as a way to bring it to its end. The bell tolled in the upper room for the old economy. Christ ended the long years of Passover and began a new memorial feast which He begins to institute in verse 26 [of Matthew 26]. And this new feast is the feast not of the old economy but the new economy, not the old covenant but the new covenant, not the Old Testament but the New Testament, not looking to a lamb in Egypt but a Lamb of God on a hill of Calvary. So, Jesus ends the old before He begins the new. And after having drawn the curtain on the Passover of the old economy, He institutes the feast of the new.


Contemporary theologians have fabricated an entire category for this type of person – the “carnal Christian.” Who knows how many unregenerate persons have been lulled into a false sense of spiritual security by the suggestion that they are merely carnal? Christians can and do behave in carnal ways, but nothing in Scripture suggests that a real Christian might pursue a life-style of unbroken indifference or antagonism toward the things of God. Christians do not masquerade as children of the devil. The very reverse is true; Satan pretends to be an angel of light, and his servants imitate the children of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).


The truth is, those who claim miracles today are not able to substantiate their claims. Unlike the miracles in the New Testament, which were usually done with crowds of unbelievers watching, modern miracles typically happen either privately or in religious meetings. The types of miracles claimed, too, are nothing like New Testament miracles. Jesus and the apostles instantly and completely healed people born blind, a paralytic, a man with a withered arm – all obvious, indisputable miracles. Even Jesus’ enemies did not challenge the reality of His miracles! Moreover, New Testament miracles were immediate, thorough, and permanent. Our Lord and His disciples never did a miracle slowly or incompletely.


Prayer is the muscle that activates the arm of omnipotence.


To be a mother is by no means second class. Men may have the authority in the home, but the women have the influence. The mother, more than the father, is the one who molds and shapes those little lives from day one.


No matter where it ends, sin always begins when an evil thought is sown in the mind and heart.


We might sum up all discipline by saying it means giving the appropriate reward for the conduct. When the conduct (including both attitudes and actions) is good, a positive reward is warranted. When the conduct is bad, a negative reward is in order. It’s really that simple.


Children have a heart problem. They are constitutionally sinful. Like their parents, and like the rest of the Adamic race, they are fallen. What they need most are regenerate hearts. This is the most fundamental issue in parenting. It’s not ultimately about behavior; it’s all about the child’s heart.


God saves believers by imputing to them the merit of Christ’s perfect righteousness – not in any sense because of their own righteousness. God accepts believers in Christ. He declares them perfectly righteous because of Christ. Their sins have been imputed to Christ, who has paid the full penalty. His righteousness is now imputed to them, and they receive the full merit for it. That is what justification by faith means.


[The Bible] presents a most plausible understanding of the universe and the existence of life. It presents a God who creates. That makes more sense than believing that everything came out of nothing – that nobody times nothing equals all things – which is essentially what the theory of evolution says. I have an easier time assuming that everything was produced by someone. And the Bible tells me who that someone is: God.


[Inaccurate assumptions of psychology include] human nature is basically good, people have the answers to their problems inside them, the key to understanding and correcting a person’s attitudes and actions lies somewhere in his past, individuals’ problems are the result of what someone else has done to them, human problems can be purely psychological in nature – unrelated to any spiritual or physical condition, deep-seated problems can be solved only by professional counselors using therapy, Scripture, prayer, and the Holy Spirit are inadequate and simplistic resources for solving certain types of problems.


A person who is not concerned about having his present sins cleansed has good reason to doubt that his past sin has been forgiven. A person who has no desire to come to the Lord for continued cleansing has reason to doubt that he ever came to the Lord to receive salvation.


In reality, everything that is truly precious to us as Christians is in heaven. The Father is there (Matt. 6:9). Jesus Himself is at the Father’s right hand (Heb. 9:24). Many brothers and sisters in Christ are there, too (Heb. 12:23). Our names are recorded there (Luke 10:20). This is our inheritance (1 Pet. 1:4). Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). Our eternal reward is in heaven (Matt. 5:12). In other words, everything we should love everlastingly, everything we rightly value, everything of any eternal worth is in heaven.


Genuine love is not merely a feeling or an involuntary attraction. It involves a willful choice, and that is why (the word is often) in the form of an imperative. Far from being something we “fall into” by happenstance, authentic love involves a deliberate, voluntary commitment to sacrifice whatever we can for the good of the person we love.


If your conscience is too easily wounded, don’t violate it. To violate even a weak conscience is to train yourself to override conviction, and that will lead to overriding true conviction about real sin. Moreover, violating the conscience is a sin in itself (Romans 14:23), bringing legitimate guilt for a real offense against God. So, respond to your conscience, even if it’s weak, and then continue to inform your conscience with God’s Word so it can begin to function with reliable data.


[The conscience] either indicts you, accuses you, or it exonerates you and defends you.


Trials have many purposes…many purposes. Trials test the strength of our faith. Trials wean us from earthly things. Trials call us to eternal hope. Trials reveal what and who we really love. Trials teach us to value God’s blessing. Trials enable us to help others who suffer. Trials produce endurance which equips us for greater usefulness, but mostly trials humble us.


The fruit/proofs of authentic/true Christianity: Love for God (Psm. 42:1ff; 73:25; Lk. 10:27; Rom. 8:7), repentance from sin (Psm. 32:5; Prov. 28:13; Rom. 7:14ff; 2 Cor. 7:10; 1 John 1: 8-10), genuine humility (Psm. 51:17; Mt. 5:1-12; Jas. 4:6,9ff), devotion to God’s glory (Psm. 105:3; 115:1; Isa. 43:7, 48:10ff.; Jer. 9:23,24; 1 Cor. 10:31), continual prayer (Lk. 18:1; Eph. 6:18ff.; Phil. 4:6ff.; 1 Tim. 2:1-4; Jas. 5:16-18), selfless love (1 Jn. 2:9ff, 3:14; 4:7ff.), separation from the world (1 Cor. 2:12; Jas. 4:4ff.; 1 Jn. 2:15-17, 5:5), spiritual growth (Luke 8:15; John 15:1-6; Eph. 4:12-16), obedient living (Mt. 7:21; Jn. 15:14ff.; Rom. 16:26; I Pet. 1:2, 22; 1 Jn. 2:3-5).


No one sets out to become an apostate – it’s never the result of one abrupt, drastic turn away from the Lord. Instead, apostasy is most often the product of a pattern of sinful compromises that harden and gradually steer a professing believer away from the truth.


Discipline sometimes must be severe because the consequences of not disciplining are much worse. Sin is a spiritual malignancy and it will not long stay isolated. Unless removed it will spread its infection until the whole fellowship of believers is diseased.


The gospel according to Jesus is the gospel according to His apostles. It is a small gate and a narrow road. It is free but it costs everything. And though it is appropriated by faith, it cannot fail to produce the fruit of true righteousness in the life and behavior of the believer.


We are His servants, not He ours. He has called us to live lives of loving service and worship, not godlike supremacy. He blesses us, but not always materially. In no way can we “write our own ticket” and expect Him to follow our script – nor should any real believer even desire such a scenario. The life of the Christian is a life spent in pursuit of God’s will – not a strategy to get Him to go along with ours. No one who rejects that fundamental truth can genuinely live unto God’s glory.


Our enemies are demonic, but the warfare against them isn’t waged by commanding them, mapping their physical location, invoking magic words to subdue them, claiming authority over them, or any of the other common tactics some people usually refer to as “spiritual warfare.” We are not fighting demons in a face-to-face confrontation, or by spirit-to-spirit conversation, or with voice-to-voice communication. We attack them by tearing down their fortresses of lies… What, precisely, are our weapons? The only power that will destroy such things is the power of truth…“the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17).


Contrary to what is taught in some evangelical circles today, there simply is no such thing as trusting Christ as Savior without at the same moment submitting to Him as Lord. Whereas the believer was once under the lordship of Satan, through saving faith he eagerly places himself under the lordship of Jesus Christ. Whereas he was once the enemy of God and the slave of sin, he is now the loyal subject of his Lord and Master.


To put it simply, leadership is influence. The ideal leader is someone whose life and character motivate people to follow. The best kind of leadership derives its authority first from the force of a righteous example, and not merely from the power of prestige, personality, or position. By contrast, much of the world’s “leadership” is nothing but manipulation of people by threats and rewards. That is not true leadership; it’s exploitation.  Real leadership seeks to motivate people from the inside, by an appeal to the heart, not by external pressure and coercion.


So the crucial factor in worship in the church is not the form of worship, but the state of the hearts of the saints. If our corporate worship isn’t the expression of our individual worshiping lives, it is unacceptable. If you think you can live anyway you want and then go to church on Sunday morning and turn on worship with the saints, you’re wrong.


The first characteristic of sexual sin is deceit. It never delivers what it promises. It offers great satisfaction but gives great disappointment. It claims to be real living but is really the way to death.


A corrupt and unholy heart eventually will be exposed by corrupt and unholy speech… If the tongue is not controlled by God, it is a sure indicator that the heart is not, either.


God’s will may not be the perfection of the true believer’s life, but it is the direction of it.


Without such a vision of God’s holiness, true worship is not possible. Worship is not giddy. It does not rush into God’s presence unprepared and insensitive to His majesty. It is not shallow, superficial, or flippant. Worship is life lived in the presence of an infinitely righteous and omnipresent God by one utterly aware of His holiness and consequently overwhelmed with his own unholiness… If you have never worshiped God with a broken and contrite spirit, you’ve never fully worshiped God, because that is the only appropriate response to entering the presence of Holy God.


Perseverance attests to God’s approval, for it gives evidence of eternal life (salvation). In other words, perseverance does not result in salvation and eternal life, but is itself the result and evidence of salvation and eternal life.


All sin results from failure to act in faith.


A fleshly/carnal life will corrupt morals, weaken personal relationships, produce doubt about God and His Word, destroy prayer life and provide fertile ground for heresy.


Churching the unchurched is an absolute fallacy – it is like purposing to let the tares in. It is absolutely bizarre to want to make unsaved people feel comfortable in a church. The church is not a building – the church is a group of worshiping, redeemed, and sanctified people among whom an unbeliever should feel either miserable, convicted and drawn to Christ, or else alienated and isolated. Only if the church hides its message and ceases to be what God designed the church to be, can it make an unbeliever comfortable.


Hell will not be a place, as some jokingly envision, where the ungodly will continue to do their thing while the godly do theirs in heaven. Hell will have no friendships, no fellowship, no camaraderie, no comfort. It will not even have the debauched pleasures in which the ungodly love to revel on earth. There will be no pleasure in hell of any kind or degree – only torment, “day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10).


If we measure our success as parents solely by what our children become, there is no inviolable guarantee in Scripture that we will experience absolute success on those terms…The true measure of success for Christian parents is the parents’ own character.  To the degree that we have followed God’s design for parenting, we have succeeded as parents before God.


Sin in the mind goes to work in the emotions. That incites the will, which yields the act.


A person who is not being purified from sin has no claim on being saved from it.


A study was conducted several years ago covering a span of years by sociologists Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck from Harvard and they identified after all of this study four crucial factors in predicting children who were not delinquents. This was a multi-year study and it was found to be 90 percent accurate. They said these are the four essential factors to prevent delinquency, just purely from the observation of those worldly people. One, the father’s discipline, fair, firm and consistent. Two, the mother’s supervision in the home, knowing where the children are all the time, knowing what they’re doing and being available to them. Three, the parents unceasing affection demonstrated to each other and to the children frequently. And fourthly, the family’s cohesiveness, time spent together.


You are the only Bible some unbelievers will ever read, and your life is under scrutiny every day. What do others learn from you? Do they see an accurate picture of your God?


As Christians we accept one foundational truth – God – and everything else makes sense. An atheist denies God and has to accept incredible explanations for everything else. It takes more faith to deny God than to believe in Him.


Sin is called sickness, so people think it requires therapy, not repentance. Habitual sin is called addictive or compulsive behavior, and many surmise its solution is medical care rather than moral correction.


The aim of confession [of sin] then is not to erase consequences, it’s to restore joy. And then the consequences are what they are. Your sins have consequences. They’re rocks thrown in the pond and the ripples go and they touch every shore. But God does promise when you’ve confessed and repented that He will show you lovingkindness and compassion because you are His eternal child… Your justification is settled forever. Don’t cover your sin, confess it. That’s what true Christians do. You’ve been bathed that you need continually to have your feet washed as they get dirty walking in your fallenness. If you don’t confess, you’ll be chastened. If you do confess, you may never be able to change the consequences but because you’re God’s child He’ll come to you in compassion and lovingkindness and minister to you.


Scripture repeatedly makes clear that heaven is a realm of unsurpassed joy, unfading glory, undiminished bliss, unlimited delights, and unending pleasures. Nothing about it can possibly be boring or humdrum. It will be a perfect existence. We will have unbroken fellowship with all heaven’s inhabitants. Life there will be devoid of any sorrows, cares, tear, fears, or pain.


[Love] is not a feeling but a determined act of will, which always results in determined acts of self giving. Love is the willing, joyful desire to put the welfare of others above our own.


Drugs, therapy, entertainment – they’re all used to silence a guilty conscience. But for the Christian, the conscience is the key to freedom.


James 1 says, “Lust when it conceives brings forth sin”… If you don’t win the battle on the inside, it will show up on the outside. A pure conscience is more to be sought than a good reputation.


We are so often terrified by our predicaments while all the time there’s the scaffold of God’s care beneath us. Our ignorance doesn’t change the certainty but it does destroy the peace, doesn’t it? We need to remember that underneath are the everlasting arms and you don’t know that until your fingers slip and you drop.


Evidences that neither prove nor disprove one’s faith: Visible morality (Mt. 19:16-21; 23:27), intellectual knowledge (Rom. 1:21; 2:17ff.), religious involvement (Mt. 25:1-10), active ministry (Mt. 7:21-24), conviction of sin (Ac. 24:25), assurance (Mt. 23), time of decision (Lk. 8:13,14).


When the Word of God is not set up as the supreme authority, division is inevitable. Such happens even in evangelical churches, when pastors and other leaders begin substituting their own ideas for the truths of Scripture. The substitution is seldom intentional, but it will always happen when the Bible is neglected. A Bible that is not studied carefully cannot be followed carefully. And where it is not followed there will be division, because there will be no common ground for beliefs and practices. When the truth of Scripture is not the sole authority, men’s varied opinions become the authority.


Some churches have gotten so far away from the biblical pattern that they view church discipline as an unloving, judgmental, and divisive practice. That couldn’t be further from the truth – there’s nothing more loving you can do for a fellow believer in sin than to call him or her back to repentance and purity. For the sake of the individual and the rest of the church, you want to see fallen church members restored to a right relationship with Christ.


Since the Fall in the Garden of Eden, temptation has been a constant, unrelenting part of human life. Men have tried to avoid and resist it with self-inflicted pain to make themselves uncomfortable and presumably humble, or by isolating themselves from other people and from physical comforts. But no person has ever found a place or a circumstance that can make him safe from temptation.


Does the Bible Prohibit Cremation?

1. Scripture says nothing about a required mode of burial for either believers or non-believers. However, burying the body was the standard practice among the Israelites in the Old Testament and Christians in the New (exceptions: 1 Sam. 31:8-13; Jos. 7:25).

2. Obviously any buried body will eventually decompose (Ecc. 12:7). So cremation isn’t a strange or wrong practice – it merely accelerates the natural process of oxidation.

3. The believer will one day receive a new body (1 Cor. 15:42-49; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Job 19:25-26), thus the state of what remains of the old body is unimportant.

4. The imagery of Christ’s resurrection pictures burial and then a raising up from the dead (Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 15:3-4). Because of that, many Christians prefer burial to cremation to maintain a likeness to Christ’s burial (although literally He was laid in state in a cave, not buried in the ground).


The simple fact is that you can’t fight spiritual warfare with magic phrases and secret words. You don’t overpower demons merely by shouting at them. I don’t have anything to say to a demon anyway. I’m not interested in talking to them. Let the Lord do that (cf. Jude 9). Why would I even want to communicate with evil spirits? But I have a lot to say to people who have barricaded themselves in fortresses of demonic lies. I want to do everything I can to tear down those palaces of lies. And the only thing that equips me to do that well is the Word of God. Spiritual warfare is all about demolishing evil lies with the truth. Use the authority of God’s Word and the power of the gospel to give people the truth. That is what will pull down the fortresses of falsehood. That is the real nature of spiritual warfare.


There is a true sense in which you must teach your children to fear God, and especially to fear His displeasure. You have not satisfied the responsibilities of parenthood when you have made your child submit to you. If you are consistent and firm in your discipline, your child may obey you because he or she fears violating your standards. That is a fairly easy thing to achieve. But it is not the proper goal of biblical parenting. Your child should fear violating God’s standard, not merely yours. You are only an intermediary with the responsibility of teaching your child to fear God. If your children grow up fearing only your displeasure but not God’s, what will they do when you are not there?