Yes, i like what you wrote, especially the third paragraph. I agree with everything said there
Yes, first comes awareness of what life is worth, for anything that is precious, you will fear to lose it
And life, not only is it precious, but its the only thing we have, without it there is nothing else.
And then one would need to come to an awareness of who holds life in the balance, who has the real authority and power.
Once one is aware of this, one will realize that without HIM, there is no life, as you said, it will only lead to death and destruction.
So to fear God is really to know what your life is worth
So it is said fear not them that hurt the flesh but cant touch the soul.
So yes, no one should fear God, but all should fear displeasing the Father.
Not because He is a mean and punishing Father, but because to displease HIM, is for your self to be a detriment to yourself, because everything that pleases HIM is for your benefit.
You obey HIS laws because all HIS laws are there so that your life may be preserved, not because He is vain for control over you, but because He loves you
Which is i think , the same what you are saying Ark I, that people shouldnt fear God but should fear the lack of God in their life.
If you displease HIM (show no fear of HIM and disobey HIM), while trying to please others (have fear of them and obey them), then the only punishment you will get is separation from HIM, which , to them that know what life worth, there is nothing worse .
Now, your first paragraph, i have questions about that
You said, "I and I" so i think i can assume that includes i and also yourself
So, basically, it is as if you are saying to me, KebreAb, you are only partly righteous for you are still on the path to righteousness and you still have things to burn out still.
Now, unless my overstanding changes from what it is right now, i wouldnt accept that statement over me....and neither would i accept it over you.
As sure as i stand here, i am sure that you are a righteous man, not partly righteous.
But by no means does this mean that you or i do not have anything we need to burn out still.
The thing is there are two phrases that you are using which seem the same but are actually quiet different
path OF righteousness and path TO righteousness.
If you notice the difference between the two, then you can sight how i see this thing
The way i see it is, the very moment one starts, with true intention of heart, to walk on the path TO righteousness (as a destination), that very same moment, that person is on the path OF righteousness(as his livity)
And once a persons starts to walk on the path OF righteousness, that very moment, that person can be said to be righteous.
He will make mistakes, he will sin once in while, but as long as his intentions are focused on staying on the path OF righteousness, that is a righteous man
So, when you make a distinction between, "those that are on the path to Righteousness, rather than those who are Righteous."
i dont see a distinction, even though i overs what you are putting across
Because , the way i see it, those on the path TO righteousness, walking along the path OF righteousness, they are the righteous.
For this reason, i can safely say,that you are a righteous man, not partly but in fullness because i know you intentions are fully focused on righteousness
You said we have things to burn out still
You should know its because you are righteous that you even know you have things to burn out
Yes , you make mistakes, i make mistakes, a righteous man makes mistake like anyone else, but its because we are righteous that we are even capable of accepting our mistakes and learning from them. You might get angry sometimes,but your righteousness will return your anger
So i say again, the righteous and the unrighteous likewise need to fear God, the unrighteous must fear to bring them back to the right way, and the righteous must fear to keep them on the right way.
No matter how righteous a man is, if not careful he can stray.
In fact the more righteous one is, the more satan will attack and try to make him stray, satan doesnt need to attck the unrighteous, he already owns them
As Ezekiel say
But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.
Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die.