When We Tasted That, Our Hearts Were Transformed

When we are wronged, a little divine tuning fork rings in our hearts telling us that the balance of justice in the universe is off.  We feel nigh unto deity when we are righting the wrong.  We think when we restore the balance of justice, everyone will start behaving properly again.

That is a lie.  Is that how God changed us, by punishing us for our sins?  No.  God changed us by pouring out undeserved kindness on us.  When we tasted that, our hearts were transformed.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 115

Advertisements

This is the Only Helpful Answer to Our Bitterness and Anger

The only helpful answer to our bitterness and anger is the gospel. Paul put it this way: “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. “Admittedly, when we are bitter and angry, words like this can sound like a hyper-spiritual platitude, which pushes us to defend our bitterness by recalling the valid reasons for our pain. When we defend our angry bitterness, we appeal to a sense of justice – that to simply forgive someone who has not apologized, changed, or made amends is tantamount to condoning evil.

– Driscoll, Mark; Who Do You Think You Are? Finding Your True Identity in ChristThomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, copyright 2013; Page 162

These Things Can Hardly Be Pleasing

If we think soberly for five seconds, we must see our error.  If God is holy at all, if God has an ounce of justice in His character, indeed if God exists as God, how could He possibly be anything else but angry with us?  We violate His holiness; we insult His justice; we make light of His grace.  These things can hardly please Him.

– R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Ill., Copyright 1985, Kindle Edition

We Simply Do Not Understand

There is a reason why we are offended, indeed angered by the story of Uzzah and the story of Nadab and Abihu.  We find these things difficult to stomach because we do not understand four vitally important  biblical concepts:  holiness, justice, sin and grace.  We do not understand what it means to be holy. We do not understand what justice is.  We do not understand what sin is.  We do not understand what grace is.

– R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Ill., Copyright 1985, Kindle Edition

This Only Happens Once in Scripture

Only Once in sacred Scripture is an attribute of God elevated to the third degree.  Only once is a characteristic of God mentioned three times in succession.  The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy.  Not that He is merely holy, or even holy, holy.  He is holy, holy holy.  The Bible never says that God is love, love, love; or even mercy, mercy, mercy; or wrath, wrath, wrath; or justice, justice, justice.  It says that He is holy, holy, holy, that the whole earth is full of His glory.

– R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Ill., Copyright 1985, Kindle Edition

We Often Only Hate the Consequences of Sin

How can we know whether we are being transformed more and more into the likeness of Christ?  We begin by studying His character.  One of my favorite descriptions of Christ is that He “loved righteousness and hated wickedness” (Hebrews 1:9).  Jesus did not just act righteously, He loved righteousness.  In His humanity He loved equity, fairness, justice, and upright dealings with others.  At the same time He hated wickedness.  Jesus hated sin as sin.  We often hate the consequences of sin (even if it seems to be no more than the guilt feelings that follow sin), but I suspect we seldom hate sin as sin.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 98-99

The Answers to Important Questions

Furthermore, the church has as its answer to every important question the good news of the person and work of Jesus…:

  1. Jesus is our victor who conquered Satan and demons on the cross so that we could live a life free of slavery to sin, of vain regrets for past sin, of condemnation and torment.
  2. Jesus is our redeemer who freed us from slavery to sin and death…
  3. Jesus is our new-covenant sacrifice and out great high priest who offered his own body as a sacrifice in our place for our sins in fulfillment of the Old Testament sacrificial system.
  4. Jesus is our justification who takes away our sin and gives us his righteousness as a gift by exchanging places with us on the cross so that we can be justified in the sight of God.
  5. Jesus is our propitiation who stood in our place to divert the just wrath of God away from us by enduring it himself in love.
  6. Jesus is our expiation who cleanses us from the sins we have committed and the sins that have been committed against us, which commingle to make us dirty and defiled.
  7. Jesus is our ransom who has mediated between us and God and paid the price fo our sins.
  8. Jesus is our example who has shown for us the perfect human life, which includes laying down our lives for brothers and sisters by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  9. Jesus is our reconciliation who has taken awa our sin and reconciles us back into loving relationship with God and others.
  10. Jesus is our revelation and on the cross we see God’s wrath and love, justice and mercy, holiness and compassion revealed in perfection.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 21-22