We Have a God Who is Far, Yet Very Near

That’s what Exodus 25-31 is all about.  The details aren’t that exciting.  But the theological point is astonishing.  The instructions to build a tabernacle show that our holy God desires to be in relationship with us – even if it means living in a tent.  We don’t go to God; God comes to us.  We can try to build a tower into heavens to reach Him…um, or maybe not.  We have a God who is far, yet very near.  Transcendent and intimate.  He ventures into our murky space to relate with us.  After all, you’ve got to plunge your hands into the sewage to fix the drain.

– Sprinkle, Preston; Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us; David C. Cook Publishing; Colorado Springs, CO; Kindle version; copyright 2014; page 71

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This Is Why God Delivers Israel from Egypt

God is transcendent.  He has the raw ability to part seas in two.  God is also intimate.  He’ll bring you through the stormy seas and embrace you on the other side.  He doesn’t  help you see if you first muster the will to help yourself.  God rescues sinners, losers, victims – those who know they can’t help themselves.  And this is why God delivers Israel from Egypt.  Israel is unlovable.  So God loves the Israelites.

– Sprinkle, Preston; Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us; David C. Cook Publishing; Colorado Springs, CO; Kindle version; copyright 2014; page 69

The Entire Book of Exodus is Shaped by Grace

The entire book of Exodus is shaped by grace.  Grace is seen in the people God uses, the people God redeems, and the way God redeems them.  If there ever was clear evidence that God saves people based on who He is and not what what we have done, it’s the exodus from Egypt.  God doesn’t rescue His people from Egypt because they are righteous.  They aren’t fasting, praying, or even living righteously while in slavery.  They aren’t on their knees, seeking the Lord.  In fact, the Bible tells us they are on their knees worshipping idols.

– Sprinkle, Preston; Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us; David C. Cook Publishing; Colorado Springs, CO; Kindle version; copyright 2014; page 68

Have You Been Reading the OT Through a Thick Lens?

…the book of Exodus is filed with sinners and outcasts who become conduits of grace when God liberates His people from Egypt.  If you haven’t noticed this, you may have been reading the Old Testament through a thick lens – looking for heroes and saints to emulate instead of a gracious God to thank.

– Sprinkle, Preston; Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us; David C. Cook Publishing; Colorado Springs, CO; Kindle version; copyright 2014; page 65

Nothing Can Prevent God from Using You

God hand selects Perez – the illegitimate son from an illicit affair between a father-in-law and daughter-in-law dressed up as a harlot – to be a part of His plan to redeem the world.

God deliberately gets His hands dirty by molding Judah’s mess into a conduit of grace, because God is in the business of working through our messes.  Grace does not mean that God encourages sin or discourages righteousness.  Not at all (Romans 6:1-2).  Nor does it mean that God saves people apart from faith in Christ.  But it does mean that no mess, no failure, no broken marriage, no affair, no night with a prostitute can prevent God from using you – an image bearing masterpiece, frail and flawed, forever loved.

– Sprinkle, Preston; Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us; David C. Cook Publishing; Colorado Springs, CO; Kindle version; copyright 2014; page 62

God Is Not Like You and Me

God is not like you and me.  God is transcendent.  And His love is fundamentally different from ours.  Even though our love is fueled by conditions – I’ll love you as long as you make me laugh and don’t gain weight – God’s love flows from his transcendent and intimate character.  He love you because of who He is and because of what He has done, not because of what you do or don’t do.

God loves Abraham because of God. God loves you because of God.  Just like Abraham slept through the covenant ceremony, you were not present at Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.  The grace that is launched in Genesis 15 ultimately touches down on Calvary.

– Sprinkle, Preston; Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us; David C. Cook Publishing; Colorado Springs, CO; Kindle version; copyright 2014; page 58