How God Feels About Us is Forever Established in the Gospel

Just because God doesn’t answer your prayer the way you think He should doesn’t meean that He is any less compassionate or any less in control.  It doesn’t even mean you missed the will of God in what you were asking for…

The question about why God allows tragedy, evil and suffering are worth a book unto itself.  But how God feels about us, and how He relates to us, has been forever established in the gospel.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 178

Aggressively Graceful

The gospel does not tell us to be passive toward others in their faults.  It tells us to be aggressively graceful.  We overcome evil with good.  “Overcome” is a warrior’s term.  Paul is saying, “Go to war with evil, and defeat it soundly with grace.”  Jesus overcame evil in us through the grace of the cross.  We will overcome evil in others by being to them as Jesus was to us.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 117

Evil Is Destroyed By Extravagant Grace

The person who receives your kindness in response to their sin is shocked into awareness.  Your kindness to them makes them see the absurdity of their selfish and helps awaken them to the blessings of relationship.

Only then, Paul says, will you overcome evil.  You can’t overcome evil in someone by paying them back.  You’ll only perpetuate it.  Your retaliation will produce more anger in them, and, in turn, more evil, if not toward you, toward someone else.  You destroy the evil in someone by showing them extravagant grace.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 116

Blessed Be God for Jesus Christ

Well, when we have said all we can of the abounding sin in us – grace still more abounds in Jesus.  We cannot be so evil as he is good.  His power is a good match for our weakness.  His riches are a good match for our poverty.  His mercy is a good match for our misery.  We are vile in ourselves – but we are complete in him.  In ourselves we have cause to be abased – but in him we may rejoice. Blessed be God for Jesus Christ.

– John Newton

as quoted by – Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 173

This Evil Is Present With Me

This evil is present with me: my heart is like a highway, like a city without walls or gates.  Nothing so false, so frivolous, so absurd, so impossible, so horrid, but it can obtain access, and that at any time, or in any place: neither the study, the pulpit, or even the Lord’s Table, exempt me from their intrusion.

– John Newton

as quoted by  Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philippsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 95

This is What the Wrath of God Truly Is

The wrath of God is His eternal detestation of all unrighteousness  It is the displeasure and indignation of divine equity against evil.  It is the holiness of God stirred into activity against sin.  It is the moving cause of that just sentence which he pass upon evildoers.  God is angry against sin because it is a rebelling against His authority, a wrong done to His inviolable sovereignty.

Pink, Arthur W.; The Attributes of God; Kindle Edition; page 82

This is the Essence of Evil

So preferring the pleasures of money or power or fame or sex over the “pleasures at [God’s] right hand” (Psalm 16:11) is not like preferring caramel to hot fudge.  It is a great evil, indeed it is the ultimate meaning of evil.  Esteeming God less than anything is the essence of evil.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 34