Sunday, November 20, 2016

Really Bad News / Really Good News

Genesis 2:17 “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Our denomination’s CEO Dr. Willie Nolte preached last Sunday that magnets are always a bit mysterious to us because of their crazy attributes, where one way they repel each other and the other way attract. It is quite something that we have the opposite attribute on the same magnet, where you cannot keep it together one way and cannot stop them from coming together and sticking the other way ... on the flip side.

Similarly the same sovereign Creator God, with the same nature judges evil unto destruction and saves unto righteousness. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Sin is anything that is not pleasing in the eyes of God or is a transgression of His perfect law. That would be anything that we do that we shouldn’t do – the sins of commission, and anything that we do not do that we should do the sins of commission.  There is not only sins of deeds but also sins in words and thoughts. Because man is a sinner by breaking God’s law, we cannot save ourselves. One of the most amazing and most difficult facts is that God loves us in spite of what we do. He loves us, not because of what we are, but because of who He is. But the same Bible tells us that God is loving and gracious also tells us that this same God, because He is just and righteous, must punish sin. No matter how much secular society tries to minimize or eliminate the fact: Sin is serious. Our good, just and holy God must judge sin. The holiness of God cannot be violated and God cannot change because He is Holy. Sin always leads to death.

Romans 6:23a “For the wages of sin is death.”

The really bad news is that if you and I sin, we will die. In this theological sense, the 1828 Webster’s dictionary defines the word “die” as to perish everlastingly; to suffer divine wrath and punishment in the future world. In the physical sense the word “die’ is defined as the act of dying: to die away, to decrease gradually; to cease to blow; as, the wind dies away until we cease to live; to expire; to decease; to perish; and to depart from this world. In the spiritual sense the same word “die’ means that our relationship with our Creator Father God has come to an end; to cease; to be lost; to perish or come to nothing. Sin has broken our relationship with God and that separation is death. You cannot minimize this fact. The worse thing that can happen to us is the death of relationship, and with it the love, joy and hope associated with the separation with God. Our sovereign God recognizes the damage that sin causes, including the consequences for the sinner. Justice (the virtue which consists in giving to everyone what is his due with right impartiality, equity, vindictive retribution; merited punishment) served for sin.

Isaiah 59:2 “It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.”

Let’s move from the really bad news to the really, really good news in the next post.

In Christ, Brian

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