Posts Tagged ‘Judgment’

God’s Justice (14)

November 13th, 2011
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Scripture of the Day: Psalm 5:7-12

7 But I, by your great love,

can come into your house;

in reverence I bow down

toward your holy temple.

8 Lead me, LORD, in your righteousness

because of my enemies—

make your way straight before me.

9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;

their heart is filled with malice.

Their throat is an open grave;

with their tongues they tell lies.

10 Declare them guilty, O God!

Let their intrigues be their downfall.

Banish them for their many sins,

for they have rebelled against you.

11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;

let them ever sing for joy.

Spread your protection over them,

that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

12 Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous;

you surround them with your favor as with a shield.(NIV)

In  Psalm5 David contrast the direction of their lives with his own.

David is jealous over God’s righteousness and those who seek that righteousness. We all should be concerned about being God’s image bearers. That’s why we reject all that destroys that in us.

The reason God hates sin is that he loves us so much and has entrusted the highest honour any creature can –that is to be his image bearer . Sin destroys the image of God in us. It makes us alien, hostile in our mind towards God.

In his warnings he uses the strong language we can understand because it drawers our attention to his consistent rejection of sin among his people. He must let us know that he is not playing games with sin. Evil is evil. Wickedness is wickedness. Do not assume that Jesus came to pretend that sin is not sin.

He came to take within himself all the evil of sin and to be the first of a new humanity that dwells in his communion in God through the unity of the Spirit. That new humanity is one which is God’s image bearer throughout all creation.

Message for the Day

God’s Justice (13)

November 12th, 2011
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Scripture of the Day: Hebrews 10:19 -31

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV)

The book of Hebrews has a lot to do with the symbolism of the Day of Atonement as it foreshadowed God’s mercy to us in Christ.

That’s the richness achieved for us in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which includes everyone.

But notice the warning. This is the warning from love. This like a family saying to the alcoholic, although we love you –the fact that we are here and have gone through weeks of preparation to understand alcoholism so we can support you in recovery – we cannot dwell with you when you are so distorted, so selfish and abusive, so disregarding of our lives.

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

This is not a God who hates us as his primary emotion. This is a loving heavenly Father who had done everything for us to dwell with us. Who has restored the image of God in humanity in Jesus. Who has sent the Holy Spirit to work in us, transforming us from within into this image. Who has made permanent union with our humanity through our loving High Priest.

And is warning : are you looking to this world for your life –in other words sowing to the flesh or are you looking to God for your life, sowing to the Spirit?

One will perish, one will reap a harvest of righteousness.

Why the strong language in the warning. We know that God is merciful –the whole book of Hebrews reinforces this.

In fact Paul said that Romans 11: 25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:

“The deliverer will come from Zion;

he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.

The fulfillment of Israel’s atonement.

27 And this is my covenant with them

when I take away their sins.”

28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

When we put these type of scriptures in to the context of God’s purpose for us is to be his image bearers as we described in the first half of this series, we can see why God would hate what we have become through sin. Yet his love for us is irrevocable.

Message for the Day

God’s Justice (12)

November 11th, 2011
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Scripture of the Day: Romans 5:6-8

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.(NIV)

Any person who has read the Bible understands that one of its greatest themes is love. The Bible says that God is love. It also explains that God showed His love to us while we were still sinners.

In the narrative of the rich young ruler, Jesus explained that the young man lacked something necessary to be pleasing to God. Yet even though the young man was lacking and lost, the Bible says that Jesus “loved him” (Mark 10:21). When Jesus mourned over lost Jerusalem, He cried:

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37).

Jesus said his affection for the lost inhabitants of Jerusalem was like a mother hen’s affection for her chicks. Such a statement obviously denotes love for the sinners in Jerusalem.

But we know from scripture that we can lie to the Holy Spirit, grieve the Holy Spirit, quench the Holy Spirit and become spiritually ugly.

Message for the Day