Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Way

Some would say that “God enjoys punishing man.” I say.

God is love. God is also just. The righteous requirement of God’s law for sin is death. When a sin is committed, then that sin must be paid for by death. Why? Because that is the way the Creator of the Universe has set it up. Why? God is Holy. He does not tolerate sin. He does not tolerate anything against His will. He separates Himself from all things sinful; things against His will. That is what death (the eternal second death) is. It is separation from God.
God created man to be with Him and worship Him for eternity. However, God gave man free will. That means man can choose to be with God or not. Man can choose to act in accordance with His will or not. Man can choose to sin against God and to not worship Him. In other words God wants volunteer worshipers.

Like it or not, man was created to worship God. Again, like it or not, man is only fulfilled when he is in right relationship with God. Man can’t have joy apart from what he was created for.
God loves man. God wants man to choose His will; but, if God were to force man to choose His will, then this would be no choice at all and it would not be the case that man loved God. So, the choice to love God or not is a real choice with real and everlasting consequences. The decision of each man then belongs to each man.

Man is given sovereign authority to make his choice but he is not given sovereign power. Hence, he is unable to continue in God’s will by his own effort. Every man fails, due to lack of power, to choose to keep God’s law to perfection. God made man, and so, at first glance this may seem unfair of God; even sadistic. On the contrary, the withholding of sovereign power is in fact merciful. If man were to have sovereign power, then his sin, any individual choice against the will of God, would be beyond God’s grace. It would be God’s power that was too limited to make restitution. Praise God for His wisdom and for His grace.

The plan of salvation in Jesus Christ was set down before time. God would come to be with man as a man; the person of His Son Jesus Christ. He would live a perfect life, one without sin, by His sovereign power and then lay His life down willingly in payment for all sin. This Way the righteous requirement of the law would be fulfilled. This Way man’s sovereign authority displayed in disobedience could not separate him from God for all eternity in that he lacks sovereign power. This Way man could be reconciled to God for eternity through the one decision of faith in His Son. This Way God could deliver man into His Holy presence through each man’s humble acceptance of the gift of eternal life. This Way the only man who would spend eternity separated from God would be the man who refused, time and time again, the outstretched arms of the Savior calling him home. This Way, whomsoever (that is broad enough), calls on the name of the Lord (that is specific enough), shall be saved (that is sure enough)!

What logic can be constructed to characterize God as a God who enjoys punishing man in the light of His love poured out for us on the cross? His wrath is only ever revealed against those who have, by their own sovereign choice, rejected His daily offers of love and forgiveness. His wrath is always dispensed with remorse and He never revels in its necessity. He readily and often relents in accordance with the prayers of the righteous for mercy. While He is jealous for His elect and can be angered to wrath; He is loving, kind, merciful, faithful, forgiving and full of grace. This is the God you will find if you open your heart to Him. This is the God who will save at a moment’s notice. Call on Jesus.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your school is blessed to have you as a teacher of the Word of God and of math. Blessings! JB